Quick Hits

The Tiemeyer clan welcomed a new addition this past week: Benjamin William, a 7 lb., 9 oz. healthy baby boy. His mother is doing well and his siblings are thrilled, as demonstrated by his 2 year-old sister petting him like a horse.

Of course, all the joy brings with it certain predictable side effects, like the inability to think coherently. Ergo, this week’s post of hopefully-still-interesting-and-helpful quick hits:

1. The Washington Post recently ran an article about a debate/public conversation between the brothers Hitchens, Christopher and Peter, as well as their somewhat estranged relationship. Christopher, the well-known essayist/public intellectual, is staunchly holding on to his atheism in the midst of a serious battle with cancer. Peter is also an author and a convert from atheism to Christianity. As compelling as all that may be, what jumped out at me more was a comment left by a reader: “I’ve watched my siblings waste a lot of their lives on petty arguments like this. I certainly hope that their estrangement is based on something more serious than whether or not God exists.” Wow. Of course no one wants brothers to be estranged, but no matter where you fall on the issue, it’s hard to conceive of a question that is more serious, more important than whether or not God exists.

2. If you’re a political junkie, you might be familiar with Real Clear Politics, a website that collects political opinion, news, and polling from all over the country and ideological spectrum. It’s actually a part of a larger family of sites that has included Real Clear Markets, Sports, and World. Just recently, however, they launched sites for Religion and Science. Though both will no doubt require orthodox Christians to exercise discernment, my guess is they’ll be of interest to those wishing to think more deeply about their faith and it’s exercise in the midst of a sometimes sympathetic, sometimes hostile pluralistic world.

3. Three books available from The Crossing’s Bookstore that I’ve not mentioned (or not mentioned in a while) that you should consider checking out:

  • The Story of Christianity—This book is sizeable, but it reads a lot like a novel. You’ll gain a lot of literacy in important people, movements, debates, etc., from the 2000 year history of the church.
  • The Christian Imagination—If you love stories, you’ll love them even more after reading this collection of essays dealing a Christian understanding of literature and creativity. Useful for both readers and writers.
  • God in the Dock—I think everything C. S. Lewis wrote is worth reading, even the points on which I disagree with him here and there. This book not only contains some of his finest moments, but it has the advantage of being mostly short essays, so it’s digestible in bite-sized chunks.

4. In preparation for the Seminary 101 class this week, I once again read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. One of what scholars often call the “Servant Songs” in Isaiah, this passage is justifiably famous. It’s difficult to find a clearer summation of the gospel of Christ in the entire Bible, let alone the Old Testament. Take a few moments and read it. Slowly. Let yourself dwell on just how amazing the gospel really is.

5. To bring things somewhat full circle, I’ll end with another thought from the Seminary 101 class, which this time around also deals with the mystery of Christ being both fully human and fully divine. In holding my own newborn son recently, I’m all the more amazed that God the Son, despite being the creator and sustainer of the universe (see Col. 1, Heb.1), was once held in much the same way. The grace and humility evident in that fact is something else worth taking a few moments to think about and be thankful for.

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