September 02, 2011

Friday in the wild: September 2, 2011

Ha! It's actually Friday this time. No unnecessary delays, no accidentally falling asleep at 8 pm, blog article unwritten. Nope . . . just doing what I set out to do. Such a refreshing change from the usual, which I like to call "failure."

If you've ever wanted to write a novel but didn't know where to begin, the Art of Manliness blog had what I think is a helpful article on how to begin:

Many men have dreamed of writing a novel. Perhaps you have been told by a teacher that you have a knack for writing. Maybe you’re an avid reader and you think you could do just as well as the authors of the books you enjoy. Or perhaps you see writing a book as a challenge for yourself.

The good thing is this: anyone can do it! Nothing is stopping you from firing up your laptop and hammering away to create the caper of the century. There is no barrier or cost to entry. All you need is paper, pen, and the will to succeed.

[Read How to Write a Novel]

I had intuited many of the same steps myself, in the past. Hasn't resulted in any novels, yet, though.

Over at the Gospel Coalition blog, Collin Hanson wrote an article about the death-but-not-death of postmodernism in the West:

Christians tend to think of postmodernism as a revolution in philosophy and ethics. This view of postmodernism—an all-encompassing, coherent alternative to the arrogant certainty of modernism—stands on shaky ground. Postmodernism has always been applied selectively and often resembles a hyper-modernism, not a radically new enterprise. Indeed, postmodernism can only be explained in relation to its predecessor. The postmodern schools of art and literature represented a scattered protest against the conventions of modernism. The London art exhibit’s curators explain:

The modernists wanted to open a window onto a new world. Postmodernism, by contrast, was more like a broken mirror, a reflecting surface made of many fragments. Its key principles were complexity and contradiction. It was meant to resist authority, yet over the course of two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, it became enmeshed in the very circuits of money and influence that it had initially sought to dismantle.

Here we see several key elements of what has led so many Christian observers to take notice of postmodernism. We have grown skeptical of grand theories that purport to explain the way things were, are, and will be. Unlike modern schools of thought—say, Marxism—we recognize the complexity of human motivations. We have learned to live with contradiction, to embrace paradox.

[Read Postmodernism: Dead but Not Gone]

Nathan Finn at the new blog Credo posted another good article on William Carey:

History influenced the missiology of Carey and his associates. Scholars argue that the Moravians, David Brainerd, and John Eliot were all taken into consideration when Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward drew up their famous Serampore Form of Agreement. In other words, Carey and friends understood that there was nothing new under the sun and they wanted to learn from the successes and failures of missionaries who had gone before them. History was used in the service of cross-cultural evangelism and church-planting.

[Read William Carey's View of History]

Stuff Christians Like had a pretty funny article about sitting in church near someone who can sing. "Why aren't they in the choir?" Having an OK voice myself, I get this a fair bit. It's embarrassing. My singing isn't that good; that's why I bury it in the choir.

Finally, with communion coming up this Sunday, I really enjoyed what my pastor wrote on his blog this week, after finishing up radiation treatments (he's OK):

If you’ve never been through radiation treatments for cancer, the whole notion of ringing the bell may seem a bit strange. What could be so meaningful about clanging a steel triangle? When I was starting my treatments, I didn’t see loads of meaning in the ceremony. But by the time it was my turn to ring the bell, I could hardly wait.

The cancer patients at Radiation North will tell you there’s something very symbolic, almost sacramental, about ringing the bell. The music announces that radiation is finished. As you ring the bell you remember and you celebrate.

[Read The Bell and the Bread]

Until next week . . .