Monthly Archives: December 2010

Barth and Technology

I’ve just finished reading The Word in this World: Two Sermons By Karl Barth, in preparation for BT859 Theology of Karl Barth.

The first sermon was preached in 1912 in the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic. In his homily, Barth takes a moment to address the idea that perhaps the sinking of the Titanic is “proof” that technological advancement is evil.

He writes:

The simple-minded will draw the conclusion that it is a sin to build ships this big and to journey across the sea in them. Quite the reverse, I am saying. It is entirely God’s will that the world’s technology and machinery attain to higher degrees of perfection. For technology is nothing other than mastery over nature, it is labour, and the divine spirit in humanity ought to expand in this labour and to prosper. If people did not invent things, or if they did not wish to make proper use of things that have been invented, that would be the work of the devil. And therefore it is also entirely God’s will that people build large, swift and comfortable ships, and venture out upon the seas in them… (page 36).

He continues to say that God used this disaster, this sinking of the Titanic, to remind humanity that God is in control, and that there is a good and a bad way to use technology. In the case of the Titanic, the use of technology was based in arrogance:

…It is arrogance, because mind and body and money are being expended upon luxury and frivolity instead of on safeguarding against such disasters…There is a lie to be seen in the contrast between all the fuss and bother on board this ship and the helpless way in which it then had to submit to a very elementary force of nature. The catastrophe brought this lie to light. God will not be mocked. He certainly intends us to work and to achieve something in the world. But he does not intend us to act as though we were done with working, and could now go fooling around…He sends us an iceberg to remind us that we have no reason to play the fool, when we should be working and battling away. God has not set a limit to technology, to progress, to the human mind. Quite the reverse! (page 38)

2010 in Review — Top Posts

Last week I posted my favourite posts of 2010. Today I list the top posts based on page hits.

10. Big Tent Christianity. My contribution to a synchroblog back in August.

9. Why Christians Shouldn’t Worry About the Neuropsychology of Religion. A guest post by Charles Hackney.

8. Training Up Pastors — Issues for Female Pastors. Part of the Training Up Pastors series that I wrote.

7. Training Up Pastors — Going to Seminary. Another installment in the Training Up Pastors series.

6. A Letter to the Church in North America — Canada. This was part of a synchroblog I participated in.

5. Canadian Christian Blogs. I have put a permanent link to this ever-growing list of fantastic blogs up at the top of my blog.

4. Vampires, Werewolves and Christians, Oh My! I loved this post. Of course any time I can bash Twilight, it’s a good day.

3. Clark Pinnock — Obituary and Write-ups. This was just a post linking to some of the great tributes to Pinnock after his passing.

2. Genesis 1-3: Asking the Wrong Questions?

1. Christians and Immigration. I wrote this post as part of a synchroblog. It continues to get hits every week through weird google search terms like, “how canada churchs can helps me imagrate to canada”.

2010 in Review — My Favourite Blogs

Just a quick post to highlight my top ten favourite blogs of 2010.

10. First Thoughts. This blog over at First Things is where I go to read about the intersection of faith and politics. And every Friday, Joe does a “33 Things” post and links to 33 interesting things/articles/videos from around the internet.

9. Rachel Held Evans. I came across Rachel’s blog not long before the debut of her book Evolving in Monkey Town. There are some great conversations and questions being asked on her blog. This year she’s blogging about her current yearlong project to live following the precepts of “biblical womanhood”.

8. Near Emmaus. This is a team-blog with five contributors. It’s a great place to see how seminary students are wrestling through and applying what they have learned/ are learning. There is quite a bit of potential at this blog, and it will probably become one of the hot biblio-blogs of 2011.

7. Freedom Log. This blog is by a vineyard pastor out in Ottawa, Ontario. I’ve been following his journey through his PhD program.

6. Full Hands, Full Heart. Carmen has just completed an MA in biblical studies and is working towards a PhD, while raising three young children.

5. Roger Olson. Dr. Olson’s blog is a must-read for anyone wanting to know about the Calvinism/Arminianism debate.

4. Storied Theology. Dr. Kirk is a professor out at Fuller. This is a great place to find out what is new and hot in NT studies.

3. Internet Monk. Originally started by Michael Spencer, this blog continues to run through the hard work of the iMonk community and under the thoughtful watch of Chaplain Mike and Jeff Dunn. A great resource for those Christians who are struggling with the “evangelical” traditions of the North American church and find themselves drawn to the liturgy and ancient-future faith streams of Christianity.

2. Political Jesus. This blog of Rod and Chad is a great place to get a little bit of everything: politics, faith, movie reviews, etc. And anyone who puts Ryan Reynolds in their blog banner is definitely cool!

1. Jesus Creed. Scot migrated his blog from beliefnet to Patheos this year and it was definitely a good move. I have been spending quite a bit of time exploring the different religion blogs and portals as a result.

2010 in Review — Top Motivational Posters

Every Monday I post de-motivational posters. Some of them I have found on the internet, some have been sent to me, but most of them are the product of the warped brain here at Cheese-Wearing Theology. Here are the top five motivational posters of 2010 based on hits.

5. Of course Chuck Norris made it to the top 5.

4. This is my top Babylon 5 poster of the year.

3. Gotta love the Buffy motivational posters!

2. This one is number two based on the sheer number of google search terms for an image of hopelessness.

1. Thanks to a shout-out from Whedonesque this became my top motivational poster.

2010 In Review — My Favourite Posts

2010 has been a great year for my blogging. I started back up in the spring, and wanted to post on a regular basis. And, to my surprise, I actually stuck with it. Looking back through the posts, I am so shocked at how my writing has grown and matured. I think the discipline of writing something every day (or close to it) has helped refine my writing.

For the next couple of days, I want to highlight some of the interesting things from 2010. Last week, I posted the strangest ways to find my blog using a search engine. Today, I’m posting my favourite posts. Later this week, I’ll post the top 10 posts based on page-views. And I’ll also post the top 5 motivational posts based on page-views, followed by the top 10 blogs I follow.

So here are my favourite posts that I wrote for this blog:

***Back in April, I asked why this “biblical” resurgence must be neo-Calvinism. In The Cure for Me-Centered Christianity is Calvinism?, I argued that there are some great non-Calvinist churches who are working hard to help their congregations love Scripture, grow in the faith, and keep them away from the watery milk that is the seeker-sensitive movement.

***I participated in 4 different synchroblogs this year, and I loved it. Having to write on a specific topic, and then reading how other people approach the same topic was a fantastic experience. One of my favourites was participating in the Big Tent Christianity Synchroblog, especially since most of the other participants were on the other end of the spectrum on this issue than me. I do wish I had been able to go to the corresponding conference, but alas I couldn’t make it work with my schedule.

***The post God Uses Messy People was a good swift kick in my butt, and though re-reading it it looks pretty rough, the idea is good. Maybe I’ll follow-up on that post in the New Year.

***Any time I can talk about geeky sci-fi stuff it’s a good time. I think my favourite of my sci-fi related posts is Too Much Religion in Science Fiction?

***I wrote quite a few posts about bible translations this year, but my favourite is Bible Translations and George Lucas.

Sunday Meditation — Peace on Earth

The peace between God and man and the salvation which comes to us … is not something general, but the specific thing itself: that concrete thing which is indicated by the name of Jesus Christ and not by any other name. For He who bears this name is Himself the peace and salvation. The peace and salvation can known, therefore, only in Him, and proclaimed only in His name.
Karl Barth. (CD IV.1 pg 21).