25 June 2012

Miscellaneous Musings on Monday

Well, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Our weather was just gorgeous. After suffering through hundred-degree weather, it was lovely to reacquaint ourselves with the eighties! It was the perfect weekend for Si's grandma and aunt to come for a visit. And they did!

Here are today's links...
  • Polygamy in the Bible: A sordid tale from The Briefing. In these days of marriage discussion, it's good to know what the Bible does {and doesn't} say.
    The problem, of course, is that the Bible–even the Old Testament–is not really a book of commandments and morality tales. The Bible does of course contain commandments, and lots of narratives. But hardly any of the narratives are about morally upright heroes who keep God’s commandments. Most of the narratives are about God’s actions and plans to save immoral human beings.
  • The Dirty Little Secret of Endorsements by Tim Challies. Don't judge a book by its cover...endorsements!
    It is curious indeed that several highly respected scholars—J.I. Packer, Timothy George, and others among them—wrote endorsements for this book. What do you make of a book that receives such accolades as “superb” and “remarkable” and “essential reading,” and yet contains such a multitude of serious errors?

    You may well conclude that many of the endorsers had not read the book or, at the very least, had not read it closely. And without accusing any of the people whose names appear on the back cover, that may well be the case.
  • Locavore’s Dilemma: Book promotes not the 100-mile diet but the 10,000-mile diet from thestar.com. Is the local diet all it's cracked up to be? Or does it condemn the Japanese to starvation, malnutrition, and eventual death? 
    Why do you dismiss the idea of “food miles” — the distance from farm to fork — as a greenhouse gas emissions measure?

    It’s only true if everything else is equal. In the real world, not everything is equal. Some places have more water or better pasture land. It makes more sense to grow a tomato in an unheated greenhouse and truck it then to heat a local greenhouse. A U.S. study showed that about 4 per cent of food energy signature was from long-distance transportation and 83 per cent from production.
  • The Most Radical New Band in Europe? from The Imaginative Conservative. Not your Daddy's Billy Joel album! And also not what you'd expect.
    Der Stern calls them “musical terrorists,” and the Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung is even more alarmed, demanding that Chancellor Angela Merkel issue a temporary ban on their music sales while a permanent gag-order is debated in the European Parliament. Their reviews in French, Italian and Spanish media are just as hostile, and even the usually-trendy BBC warns parents that the band “sets a worrisome precedent.”
    Younger Christians often want to shout “every square inch” along with the Kuyperians until, apparently, we start considering the inches of their skin.
  • Why Women Still Can’t Have It All from The Atlantic Magazine. Newsflash: it's not just women. No one can have it all.
    A rude epiphany hit me soon after I got there. When people asked why I had left government, I explained that I’d come home not only because of Princeton’s rules (after two years of leave, you lose your tenure), but also because of my desire to be with my family and my conclusion that juggling high-level government work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible. I have not exactly left the ranks of full-time career women: I teach a full course load; write regular print and online columns on foreign policy; give 40 to 50 speeches a year; appear regularly on TV and radio; and am working on a new academic book. But I routinely got reactions from other women my age or older that ranged from disappointed (“It’s such a pity that you had to leave Washington”) to condescending (“I wouldn’t generalize from your experience. I’ve never had to compromise, and my kids turned out great”).
  • Our Nature Journals Lately from Living Charlotte Mason in California. Yet another beautiful nature journal post.
    The more observant one is, the more one can find in the natural world to inspire awe. Cultivating your child's powers of observation is like handing that child an antidote against boredom and an inoculation from becoming jaded. I want my children to have what Douglas Wilson calls a Contempt for the Cool, and part of my strategy is to help them fall in love with the natural world.
That's all for today...unless, of course, you have something to share in the comments.


  1. Lots of interesting reading, Brandy. Thanks!

    I haven't read the first link, yet, but it would be interesting to talk about commandments in light of 1 John, and that fact we're told if we love God we will keep His commandments. Those commandments have to come from somewhere...that snippet of the article just made me wonder about that. (We're reading 1 John every day this month, so it's on my mind. :))

    1. Interestingly enough, Trisha, some friends and I were talking a bit about that last night! John Piper in his book Future Grace tries to say that ALL obedience ought to be motivated by faith in what God has done, is doing, and will do. In my opinion, he glosses over the places where Scripture ascribes other motives, such as thankfulness or love.

      The article above, though, is about people who will point out that the patriarchs had multiple wives, as if this somehow lessens Scripture's moral authority. The author's point is that the narratives are not meant to show how the patriarchs obeyed perfectly.

    2. I wish I could have been there for that discussion! I love hearing your perspective on so many things. You make me think I'm not completely crazy, and for some reason, I find comfort in that. LOL! Thanks for the clarification. It really is unwise of me to comment on something I haven't read, but I'm glad you shared your thoughts on Future Grace.

  2. Nature study breeding a contempt for the cool is a good strategy. Add that to the motivation list. :) Does it happen automatically if that list gets long enough?

    I posted the book club announcement today for Ideas Have Consequences: http://www.simplyconvivial.com/2012/book-club-announcement-ideas-have-consequences

    I hope some of your readers will join us, too!

    1. Well, I certainly hope that it happens automatically!

      I just tweeted your announcement. As you know, I am in, though I do have company that first week so I may be a bit delayed in my posting.

    2. This is one I'd love to join in on. This book makes me anxious...I think I'll need some interpreters. :)

  3. Women Can't Have it All...but she seems to think we should still be able to. Kind of ironic.:/

  4. I can't wait to dive into these interesting links, Brandy! Thanks for always putting such a great list together. The article about the patriarchs will be especially helpful in some recent discussions. Hope you enjoy your week off!


I absolutely adore hearing your thoughts, but...*please* remember to play nicely!