It's been a few weeks since the last Friday in the Wild, so why don't we save some time and get right to the links?
Remember when I said that we should expect more attempts to erase the differences between men and women, and that the conflict in our culture over sexuality is, at root, a disagreement over "whether human nature is something in particular or a sea of possibilities bound only by what we can imagine for ourselves"?
Well, Slate has kindly illustrated that for me. . . .
A tad over 10 years ago, I posted an article titled "Daniel in the Conspirators' Den", about Christians and conspiracy theories. Even today it's still one of my favourite things I've ever written, despite the fact that it was out of date even when I posted it (it was originally taken from a Sunday-school lesson I gave in about 2000, and so missed out on 9/11 trutherism, probably the highest-profile and most obnoxious of all conspiracy theories). Fred Butler just wrapped up a three-part series on "Tin-Foil Hat Theology," about the same topic. He writes, in Part 2, about the irrational scenarios concocted by theorists:
Moon hoax conspirators are convinced that none of the Apollo missions went to the moon and the government is covering it up. Yet, other conspiracy theorists claim the Apollo missions did get men to the moon, but the government is attempting to cover over the fact that the astronauts saw giant building and other alien structures. Now, both of those scenarios cannot be correct. Which one is wrong and which one is right and why?
I appreciated this bit for two reasons: One, I've often observed the same inconsistencies. Want to start a bar fight? Yell "Oswald acted alone!" in a crowded room and duck as the buffs start brawling over whether LBJ, J. Edgar Hoover, Fidel Castro, the Mafia, or the Illuminati offed JFK.1 Two, I well remember an episode of Art Bell's radio program back in the summer of 1997, on which he hosted a debate between moon-hoaxer James Collier and saucer nut Richard Hoagland, on the very topic Fred cites as an example. Talk about Napoleon and George Washington fighting over who gets to run the loony bin.
Scripture tells us that the eternally unchanged and unchanging God became so angry against Israel at Sinai that He threatened to annihilate the entire nation and essentially void the Abrahamic covenant [Exod. 32:10-11]. . . .
Two things are perfectly clear from such an account: First, we are not to read this passage and imagine that God is literally subject to fits and temper tantrums. His wrath against sin is surely something more than just a bad mood. We know this passage is not to be interpreted with a wooden literalness.
My recollection is that Phil's essay by the same title was the best part of the collection Bound Only Once: The Failure of Open Theism (ed. Douglas Wilson; Moscow, ID: Canon, 2001). Unfortunately my copy is boxed up, so I'm unable to find out if this is an abridgement. Look up the book if you can; that essay alone is worth the cost. The reason this post hit me is somewhat tangential: I actually wasn't sure if open theism was still a going thing, until James White announced a July 8 debate with open theist pastor Bob Enyart this week.
Once again, that's that. Share and Enjoy!
1 Speaking of tinfoil-hat theology, it's uncanny how often I want to type "JFK" but, thanks to muscle memory, bang out "KJV" before I realize it.