I have been buried in Plutarch, Jean Paul Sarte, feminist theory, and Corinthians all day today, which means I’m pretty much wiped out.  I was planning on writing up some reflections on Google Buzz, but will wait until John offers the definitive word on it (short version:  still not impressed).

That said, here are a few noteworthy articles and corresponding reactions.

Morality Research Sheds Light on the Origins of Religion

“There is no doubt that spiritual experiences and religion, which are ubiquitous across cultures and time and associated exclusively with humans, are ultimately based in the brain. However, there are many unanswered questions about how and why these behaviors originated and how they may have been shaped during evolution.”

Are they required to make these sorts of hyperbolic, sweeping dismissals of non-physical causes in science news articles?

Alphonse:  Untimely Rippd: This is a mildly disturbing, deeply pro-life graphic novel.  And it’s interesting.  No, fascinating.

How to Fall from 35,000 Feet and Survive:  “Statistically speaking, it’s best to be a flight crew member, a child, or traveling in a military aircraft. Over the past four decades, there have been at least a dozen commercial airline crashes with just one survivor. Of those documented, four of the survivors were crew, like the flight attendant Vulovic, and seven were passengers under the age of 18. That includes Mohammed el-Fateh Osman, a 2-year-old wreckage rider who lived through the crash of a Boeing jet in Sudan in 2003, and, more recently, 14-year-old Bahia Bakari, the sole survivor of last June’s Yemenia Airways plunge off the Comoros Islands.”

Because, you know, you might need to know this stuff.  You know.

An Interview with Matt LaBash:  I am not going to say anything other than This. Must. Be. Read.  LaBash is one of the most talented writers around, and though it’s a bit crude in parts, it’s amusing all the way down.

The Limits of Bioethics.  I haven’t read it yet, but plan to this weekend.

An Interview with…Me.  Joe Gorra over at Biola got wind of what we’re up to around here and decided to toss some questions at me to find out if I would flinch.  I told him they were above my pay grade, but he insisted on answers….so I gave them to him.  We cover lots of territory, so enjoy.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. Christopher Benson February 12, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Hi Matt: Long time no talk. I read the Biola interview with you. Well done!

    1. Regarding calling, I think you’re right to propose that Christian colleges should make a greater effort to facilitate summer internships so students are exposed to various professions. As a lifelong student, I’m aware that students are blithely myopic. Internships help widen the scope of what is possible and what is desirable. My favorite book on calling is Os Guinness’ THE CALL: FINDING AND FULFILLING THE CENTRAL PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE. For too long, I operated with an ambiguous and misguided conception of calling. Guinness brought clarity, distinguishing between our primary calling – “first and foremost we are called to Someone (God), not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere (such as the inner city or Outer Mongolia)” – and our secondary calling – “everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live, and act entirely for him.” I made the error of conflating the secondary calling with the primary calling. As Guinness says, “Secondary callings matter, but only because the primary calling matters most.”

    2. I laughed when I read this line: “I remain firmly convinced that no university actually implements this [the integration of faith and learning] better than Biola.” I’ll chalk that claim up to school pride. I feel no university does it better than Wheaton College, my alma mater.

    3. Your distillation of the “new evangelical scandal” is precisely what I exposed in my critique of Andrew Chignell’s essay, “Whither Wheaton?” Mr. Chignell gives voice to these younger evangelicals that you mention: when they “take their identity as a protest movement to traditional evangelicalism, they unwittingly keep the problems they are rejecting, albeit without realizing it.” I recognize that you’ve already weighed in on Mr. Chignell’s essay here. Because you occasionally reference “outside articles of interest,” would you please consider referencing my blog post at Evangel? The gesture of kindness would be much appreciated. I suspect more readers of Mere-O are interested in the future of Wheaton College than readers of Evangel.

    4. Joseph Gorra’s questions in the interview reveal his view about the academy in general and Biola in particular. Consider the language: “knowledge institution” and “knowledge workers.” Since I’ve engaged Jamie Smith’s DESIRING THE KINGDOM and Nicholas Wolterstorff’s EDUCATING FOR SHALOM, I’m increasingly uncomfortable with this intellectualist view of the academy. We need to a corrective to our societal emphasis on knowledge workers, and Matthew Crawford’s SHOP CLASS AS SOULCRAFT: AN INQUIRY INTO THE VALUE OF WORK is a start in the right direction. I encourage Mere-O readers to watch a video interview with the author on PBS’s News Hour: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec09/bookconver_09-04.html

    Best regards, Christopher


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