Are Christians Anti-Science?

Fewer slurs against Christianity are more common today than the accusation that Christians are anti-science.  You know the portrayal—Christians as Bible-thumping fundamentalists, so sure of themselves they don’t give a darn what science says; Matthew Brady in Inherit the Wind.  A few, perhaps are happy to accept the stereotype, while others regret it, but see this as the price they have to pay in order to be faithful to Scripture on issues of creation and evolution.  Others more cockily insist they care deeply about science, but it’s just mainstream science that isn’t to be trusted, and they trumpet their own idiosyncratic scientific theories instead.  Outside of evangelicalism, and increasingly within, many have nervously shifted out of the firing line, doing their best to renounce all that is scientifically unrespectable in traditional Christian teaching.  On the wisdom of this latter strategy I do not intend to comment here (clearly, I have described it in rather unflattering terms, but on many issues, such accommodation may involve no trace of unfaithfulness).

On reading Merchants of Doubt, though, I was troubled by just how much truth there might be to the stereotype, and I have begun to wonder how true is the claim of American Christians that “We’re not anti-science in general; we just cannot accept mainstream science on Darwinian evolution.”  For when it comes to environmental skepticism, there seems little question that evangelical Christians have been in the front ranks.  To be sure, I speak somewhat impressionistically and anecdotally, but as I look back, it seems to me that not only was skepticism (or downright hostility) toward climate change issues the norm in my evangelical background, but also skepticism regarding the litany of other issues surveyed in Merchants of Doubt—the ozone hole, acid rain, the dangers of secondhand smoke, the dangers of pesticides, etc.  Certainly, “red states” that are strongholds of the religious right also tend to be the places where one would encounter the greatest opposition to mainstream science on such issues.  Much of this may be correlation without causation, and indeed, no doubt the chief source of evangelical skepticism toward environmental science is the same as it was for Fred Seitz and Fred Singer—allegiance to free market ideology, which is threatened by environmentalism.  

But still it seems so incongruous that Christians would so instinctively rally to the side of Big Tobacco or Monsanto that I couldn’t help but ask whether or not there might be a deeper cause.  Two might be identified.  First, I suspect that being a conservative Christian in today’s world cannot help but encourage a certain contrarian tendency, a tendency to “root for the underdog,” so to speak.  We are counter-cultural, we are despised and rejected among men, we insist on positions that are unpopular or anathema in respectable public opinion, etc.  And so we tend to have a predisposition to sympathize with others who hold minority or out-of-the-mainstream views.  If the majority is not to be trusted in matters of morals, then why should we think it is to be trusted in matters of ____ (fill in the blank—science, history, economics, aesthetics)?  Not only do we lend a favorable ear to such voices on the margins of respectable opinion, but we often go on to identify with them, and to extend some of the martyr complex that we may have developed to the resulting scorn we receive.  Within the Reformed world, I wonder if the passion for “Christian worldview thinking” doesn’t contribute to some of this—Christian claims, we are told, will shape how we think about every aspect of life and the world, so if our Christianity is counter-cultural, then why shouldn’t we expect ourselves to be counter-cultural on nearly every subject we take up?

Now, I should immediately add that I have a deep contrarian streak myself, and think there are often sound reasons for doubting the received orthodoxy on any number of issues.  But I have to be honest with myself and always ask how much of my reflexive skepticism might be due to this deeply engrained way of thinking. 

Second, I think we might have a particularly bad case of this contrarian pathology when it comes to science.  The culprit is not hard to find; perhaps the popular Inherit the Wind stereotype is not so far off.  To be committed to creationism (especially young-earth creationism) requires a determination to stubbornly contest almost everything that mainstream science—geology and biology in particular—most confidently affirms.  It may well be true that such contrarianism stems not from any particular anti-science animus, which is earnestly disclaimed by many, but it would be hard to imagine that it does not tend to generate a kind of instinctive skepticism.  After all, if mainstream science can have been so dead wrong on so many fundamental matters, as creationists must insist, then how are we to have much if any respect for it?  It is as if we were convinced that our history professor didn’t know whether Martin Luther or Constantine came first, or whether it was Hitler or Genghis Khan that ruled the Third Reich.  Would we really be disposed to trust him on other matters, however much we denied any particular bias against him?  Indeed, some creationists may feel that to be intellectually consistent, they have to denigrate the reliability of science across the board; if they place great faith in science on climate science, for instance, how can they consistently refuse to trust carbon dating?

 I write this not at all as an attack on creationism; but if creationists are going to hold their heads high and deny the charge that they are simply anti-science, then they’re going to have to find a way of resisting these tendencies; they’re going to have to show that they can take science seriously when it deserves to be taken seriously, and will not just join every contrarian chorus that comes along.  When they do refuse the conclusions of scientific orthodoxy, they’re going to have to be willing to articulate why with theological and scientific precision, without simply resorting to broad-brush attacks on science as a mere “naturalistic religion” or as the tool of some left-wing agenda.  My friend Bradley Belschner makes just this plea in his comment on my Merchants of Doubt post below (in another of our remarkably frequent intellectual deja vus, I was working on this post already before I saw his comment):

It’s important that we know what we’re doing when we oppose a “scientific consensus.” If we oppose global warming willy-nilly without even weighing up the scientific evidence carefully, then how will folks treat us when we start criticizing Evolution? Oh, there they go again—the idiot Christians who refuse to look at real science. . . . I would like for Christians have a reputation for rigorous science, which in my opinion would involve the realization that global warming is real and evolution isn’t.”

 

Even better are the words of Augustine, writing fully 1600 years ago in De Genesi ad litteram, and still incredibly relevant

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth. This knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.

The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think that our sacred writers held such opinions. Then, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well, and hear him maintaining foolish opinions of his own about what our books say, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on matters of fact which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?”


A New Creation Prayer

The world is charged with the grandeur of God*

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; 

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil  

crushed.  


Lord, we thank you for the glory of springtime, when the golden gorse blossoms on the sides of Arthur’s Seat, when Princes Street Gardens are transformed into a sea of green, when each day is longer and brighter than the one before.  It is not hard, when the sun shines out across the spires of Edinburgh, to believe that we live in the dawn of new creation, when “old things have passed away, and all things have become new.”  For your glory refracted in every flower, every sunrise, in the waves of the Firth of Forth and the cliffs of Salisbury Crags, we thank you.  For every good and perfect gift, which we take for granted; for everything that is going right in the world, which we somehow think it tactless to dwell upon, we thank you.  Make us mindful of your presence and your grace at all times, even when they are not so obvious; but at least do not let us ever be so callous as to ignore your grandeur when it flames out so blindingly as it does each Easter season.

 

Why do men then now not reck his rod?  

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; 

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod


Lord, we confess that each one of us has turned inward upon ourselves.  How rarely we look outward to admire your handiwork, instead of gazing, ever unsatisfied, on our own; how rarely we look outward to see the faces and needs of others, the bearers of your glory, instead of brooding on our own problems and desires!  We bend everyone and everything into the instruments of our own projects; we manipulate our family and friends in a hundred subtle ways; we treat the world around us as so much raw material for us to consume to suit our pleasure, or remake or unmake to make our lives a fraction more convenient.  The evil that we see and deplore on a national and global scale—of bankers for whom the pursuit of money has become a self-justifying end that knows no end, of politicians for whom the truth and the common good are values so frequently traded for short-term gains that they have lost all meaning, of tyrants and war profiteers for whom violence is a way of life, of an earth straining under the weight of our demands, reeling from our daily depredations on soil, sea, and sky—is merely the selfishness of our own hearts writ large.  Lord, have mercy upon us. 

 

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent 

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

 

Blessed are you, our God, Redeemer, for you have had mercy upon us; you have not left us trapped within ourselves, cut off from one another and from you.  For you, O God, were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself, and you have given us the Spirit of reconciliation.  For the reconciling work of Christ, we thank you, and pray that you bring it to completion in each one of our lives.  For the reconciling work of this church in the power of the Spirit, we thank you, and we pray that you would advance it through the preaching of the Word, through worship, through service, through fellowship, and in every new endeavour we undertake.  For the reconciling work that you have tasked each one of us with, we pray for your grace to carry it forward.  May the love of Christ compel us to turn out of ourselves and become part of the new creation of which you have invited us to be a part, that we might live no longer for ourselves, but for Him who died for us and rose again.  Reconciled to you, may we be agents of your reconciling, recreating work to a world gone stale and dark—to the needy right in front of us, in our church and our streets, to friends or family estranged from us or from you, to nations and men in power deaf to your word and to the cry of the oppressed, and to the voiceless victims of our preoccupations, in the creation around us.  Make us ready for the dawn that awaits this groaning world, when your grandeur will flame out for all to see. 

 

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery hast established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.**

 

(Composed for St. Paul’s and St. George’s Church; 22 April 2012. Sermon passage: 2 Cor. 5:12-6:2)

* The poem used here is “The Grandeur of God,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

** For all you liturgical police out there—I recognize that this is the Collect for the 2nd Sunday in Easter, not the 3rd.  However, it fit the sermon passage so well that I decided to disregard calendrical propriety.


Headship and Authority in 1 Cor. 11

This past Sunday, our senior minister approached with some trepidation 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, the passage which speaks of the subordination of women and their need to wear head coverings.  Also on the agenda was 1 Cor. 14:34-35, which states “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.  And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church”—although in the event, the sermon confined itself to the first passage.  These passages naturally can be quite a source of discomfort to churches committed, as ours basically is, to an “egalitarian” rather than “complementarian” position (though I hate those labels!) and to the legitimacy of women’s ordination.  But really, they will be a source of discomfort for almost any Christian today, however “complementarian.”  After all, Paul seems to go beyond a mere outward subordination to suggest that women are naturally inferior: women come from men, and are made to serve men.  Men stand in the same relation to women as Christ does to the Church.  Ouch.  Paul accordingly commands behaviors that only a few radical fringe groups of conservative Christians would actually observe—head coverings for women, silence of women in church.  

So I was genuinely interested in hearing what an egalitarian interpretation of these verses would look like. (The easiest route might to say that Paul was a product of his culture, and thus felt obliged to argue for something that was simply inconsistent with his teaching elsewhere; but I doubted our minister was going to take that route.)  The key argument hinged on the meaning of the word “head” (Gk. kephale) in v. 3, and suggested that of its three main meanings—”physical head,” “authority,” and “source”—it was the third, and not the second, which Paul was using here (in addition to the first, which is of course used in the following verses).  Man is not the boss of the woman, we were told, he is the source.   

However, this didn’t seem to me to be the anti-complementarian trump card that was desired.  What might it really imply to say that man is the “source” of woman?  I offer the following reflections with two major caveats: (1) I have not read any of what is no doubt the copious exegetical literature on this passage, so there will no doubt be a lot of re-inventing (and mis-inventing) the wheel here; (2) I am not trying to argue here for or against women’s ordination, or to provide a decisive solution to the dispute between “egalitarians” and “complementarians”—I am simply trying to trace out the logic of these concepts and of this passage, and see whether it might lead us to conclusions that could be attractive to both sides in certain respects.

 

So first, it’s worth noting that these three meanings of the word “head” are, after all, not three completely unrelated meanings, like the “bark” of a tree and the “bark” of a dog.  Clearly, they are closely related.  The physical head is the source and guide of all intelligible action in the body.  The head of an organization is the source and guide of all intelligible action in the organization.  The head of a river is the source of that river, that which sustains its existence, sends it on its way, establishes its direction.  Clearly, we have three closely interrelated and mutually-interpreting concepts here.  The concept of authority is deeply rooted in the concept of origin.  “It is the authority which has called the form of action into being.  The term ‘authority’ in this sense recalls the Greek word arche, which means at once both ‘beginning’ and ‘rule.'” (O’Donovan, RMO 122)  Obviously, kephale has a somewhat different field of meaning than arche, but I think the analogy with arche is significant.  It was not a coincidence that the Greeks associated rule with beginning.  

While the concept of authority is not exhausted by the concept of origin or initiation (for instance, the concept of “judgment” is generally a central part of what we understand by authority), this is clearly a central part of it.  If we want to know whether an action is authorized in any organization or entity, we will ask where it came from.  If we find out that some order just came from a coworker, then we can scoff at it.  It needs to be traceable back to the “head”—perhaps indirectly, by coming from someone authorized by the head to act in certain matters.  Of course, an individual within the organization may take action on her own accord as circumstances seem to dictate, but if the action is to be meaningful or constructive, it must fit into a shape conferred by the head.  One way or another, all intelligible action in an organization is traceable back to the “head” of the organization, who initiates and orients the actions that are to be taken.  For this reason, of course, the head is also the endpoint, the point where buck stops—the person finally responsible for actions that are taken.

So authority initiates, authority serves as an origin, rule implies beginning.  Is it the other way around though—does an origin always serve as an authority?  Does the “source” of something necessarily have an ongoing claim over it?  Does “beginning” imply rule?  Most societies seem to have thought so.  In early modern political debates, the question of origin was always paramount.  Did the society predate the king as a political entity, did it call the king into being?  Or did the king predate the society, and call the society into being as a political entity.  Who came first?  Who was the source of the other?  The answer to these questions largely determined one’s political theory, one’s judgment as to which was the highest authority, king or parliament.  Theologically, we root God’s authority over the world in the fact that he is the source of it.  He created it, therefore he is king over it.  Likewise, Christ’s headship, in the sense of authority, over the Church, seems inextricable from the fact that he is the source of the Church, that which has brought her into being and sustained her. 

Perhaps there is no reason that we should draw the inference that origination implies authority.  After all, in what sense does the source, the head, of a river have “authority” over that river?  Well, in the sense that it initiates it and directs it.  It gives shape to it.  The source determines which way the river will start flowing, and if the source dries up, the river will not continue flowing.  The river depends on its source, just as a subordinate depends on an authority.

So, if “head” in 1 Cor. 11:3 is not to imply authority in any sense, but only “source,” then what content are we to give to this attribution of source?  What does “source” mean?  The answer that our minister wished to give, it seemed in our conversation afterward, was “mere temporal priority.”  The man is the source of the woman in the sense that January 1st is the source of the new year.  The year does not depend on January 1st, January 1st exercises no directive power over the following year, but January 1st does happen to come first.  Now, the problem is that I am not at all sure, then, that we could meaningfully speak of January 1st as the “source of the year.”  I certainly don’t know anyone who has done so (though I was told that the ancient Hebrews did so).  As a concept, “source” simply has to imply more than mere temporal priority.  Perhaps more problematically, it is unclear how this line of argument could make any sense from the theistic evolutionist standpoint, which is of course the operative standpoint here.  For the theistic evolutionist, there can simply be no literal meaning in the assertion that man is the source of woman, unless perhaps we mean to say that the first hominid that God chose to designate a human being was in fact male, although there were of course a multitude of roughly equivalent female hominids, including his mother.  For the theistic evolutionist, it is hard to see how the narrative in Gen. 2:18-24 could be anything more than metaphorical.  And what then would the point of this metaphor be?  Well, probably something like what Paul seems to say about it—that woman is the glory of man, and woman was created for the man.  

 

Now, the point of all this is to say that it’s not immediately clear that substituting the meaning “source” really gets us away from the concept of “authority.”  But what it does do is to help suggest a new context for the concept of authority; no doubt part of the hostility to the use of that term stems from a misguided paradigm of what “authority” involves—an authority, we think, is someone who can command you to do something without good reasons, who can oblige you to obey whether or not you want to.  Authority, we think, is the opposite of freedom.  But O’Donovan, in his remarkable discussion of authority in Resurrection and Moral Order, invites us to see authority as “the objective correlate of freedom.”  What the heck does that mean?  Well, the concept of authority as initiator, which we have gestured at here, might help us out somewhat.  

At this point, we can finally turn to look again more closely at the passage itself.  We have a good clue that in fact the concept of “source” is central here, in v. 8, “For man is not from woman, but woman from man.”  Does this work with v. 2? “the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”  Well, let’s work back from the last.  The Father is certainly not “the boss” of the Son, to use the contrastive term our pastor used.  But the Father clearly can be legitimately said to be the “source” of the Son.  He is the fons divinitatis—the Son is eternally begotten from Him.  But although the Son therefore has dependence on the Father, the Father does not for this reason stand over against the Son then as the one who commands him, for the two are perfectly united.  The Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father.  If we look at the relationship of Christ and the Church, we have the same thing.  The point being made here is not that Christ has authority to command the Church, although that may be true in its own context.  The point is that Church has come out of Christ, it is the creature of the water and blood flowing from his side.  The Church has come out of the side of Christ, and therefore it depends on him, and he has defined its identity and its calling.  It exists in relation to Him. However, again, it is not separate from Him.  He is our King, but that is not the point here.  We are in him, and he in us.  Now clearly, these same points are being made about man and woman.  Woman was taken out of the side of man, just as the Church out of the side of Christ.  For this reason, woman depends on man, exists in relation to man, is oriented toward man.  However, likewise, as with the other two relations, the key point here is indwelling.  Eve was taken out of Adam in order then to be made one flesh with him.  

And this perhaps provides us with a helpful way forward.  For thus far, I expect, few egalitarians are going to be very satisfied with the implications of this concept of source and origin, with its inescapable connotations of dependency.  Woman is dependent on man?  Yuck.  Of course, one might reply, “Sorry, that’s what Paul says.  Deal with it.”  But I’d like to brainstorm some ways in which the egalitarian might take comfort from this passage.

 

First, one might point out that the language of priority is frequently subverted throughout Scripture.  The last shall be first, the elder shall serve the younger.  Throughout the Old Testament, the one who, by virtue of priority, has a claim to be “head,” turns out to be dependent on the one who comes after—Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, David and Saul.  And of course, this repeated plot line turns out to be prophetic of the greatest reversal at all.  The Church comes out of Israel; Israel is the source, the head, of the Church, and yet the Church is greater than Israel.  The feminist could perhaps have a lot of fun with this plotline of reversal—sure, man may have come first, but now woman is in charge.  Naturally, this would be taking it a bit too far.  Indeed, if we look at the illustration of the Church and Israel, Paul cautions the Romans against just this sort of thinking (Rom. 11:16-18).  Yes, there has been something of a reversal, but neither should boast against the other.  Both have need of one another.  The reversal is one in which a relationship of dependency is transformed into one of interdependency.  If we look back at our 1 Cor. 11 passage, we see something very like this being expressed. “Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (vs. 11-12).  In the beginning, woman came from man, but then, God made it so that every man has to come out of woman.  The initial dependency is transformed into interdependency.  Or, to put it in other terms, man does not command, and woman obey; man initiates, and woman responds, as an equal, in perfect mutuality.

If we look back at Paul’s analogies, we see this picture confirmed.  The Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and yet (without wanting to peer too far into the mystery of inter-Trinitarian relations), their relation is one of perfect mutuality.  The Father initiates, the Son freely responds.  The Son is the equal of the Father.  The Church comes from Christ, and depends on him, and yet Christ is the firstborn of many brothers.  We are co-heirs with him.  By grace, he treats us as equals.  Christ initiates, and his Church freely responds, in a relationship characterized by mutuality.

Of course, these analogies are imperfect—they are not even strictly equivalent to one another, much less to the man/woman relationship.  And yet, perhaps they provide a clue that the concept of headship, although implying a certain kind of authority, does not imply the kind of authority that egalitarians hate.  We still have a certain kind of “complementarianism” here, but the kind that seems unavoidable.  Any river has to have a starting point.  Any organization has to have someone who’s responsible for getting things moving.  Any conversation has to be initiated by someone, or else everyone’s just going to stand there awkwardly looking at their feet.  Every dance has to have a partner who’s ready to take the first steps.  But for the Christian, this initiation serves the purpose of initiating a relationship of genuine mutuality and complementarity, in which both partners are equal participants, responding to one another.  

 

Of course, this does not begin to address the particulars of Paul’s commands to women, and how much they might still apply today.  Most of us are quite happy to say that the head-covering command was a culturally specific one, though “keeping silent in the churches” (14:34-35) is a bit more contentious.  The prohibition on women teaching (1 Tim. 2:12) has seemed to many to have a permanence that the earlier commands do not.  There are important arguments to be had here, to be sure, and I will not attempt to enter in to them.  It is simply worth noting that the answer to these questions is, I think, underdetermined by 1 Cor. 11:3.  It is not clear that the concept of man as kephale in the sense of “initiator,” as I have spelled it out, constitutes a blanket argument against women in the ministry.  Indeed, if we lay our emphasis on vs. 11-12, where the initial relationship of dependence is revealed to be one of of interdependence, one might say that v. 3 constitutes no bar to women’s ordination.  This, I think, would be overly hasty, but so would the conclusion that it constitutes a decisive bar.


Vegetables are Food

So, I posted this entire quote 2 1/2 years ago.  However, I re-read the chapter containing it, from O’Donovan’s Resurrection and Moral Order, the other day and was just as mesmerized this time as I was the first time, so I thought it good enough to warrant sharing again:

Abstraction from teleology creates a dangerous misunderstanding of the place of man in the universe. For it supposes that the observing mind encounters an inert creation–not, that is, a creation without movement, but a creation without a point to its movement. Thus the mind credits to its own conceptual creativity that teleological order which is, despite everything, necessary to life. All ordering becomes deliberative ordering, and scientific observation, failing as it does to report the given teleological order within nature, becomes the servant of techne. Of course, man continues to eat vegetables; but he no longer knows that he does so because vegetables are food, and comes to imagine that he has devised a use for them as food. And so he looks for other uses for them, which will seem to him to have as much validity as that one which was, if he could only have remembered it, given in nature. That vegetables exist as food for other animals than himself will not impress him–unless, of course, the continued existence of other animals too falls within his deliberative purposes for the world, in which case both vegetation and animal life will continue to hold their value as a feoff from himself. Thus arises the irony of our own days, in which the very protection of nature has to be argued in terms of man’s ‘interest’ in preserving his ‘environment’. Such a philosophy offers no stable protection against the exploitation of nature by man, since he can discern nothing in the relations of things to command his respect. And, of course, this unprincipled domination must extend itself to include his own psychosomatic nature, all that is not itself the devising mind, so that humanity itself dissolves in the polarization of the technological will and its raw material. Man’s monarchy over nature can be healthy only if he recognizes it as something itself given in the nature of things, and therefore limited by the nature of things. For if it were true that he imposed his rule upon nature from without, then there would be no limit to it. It would have been from the beginning a crude struggle to stamp an inert and formless nature with the insignia of his will. Such has been the philosophy bred by a scientism liberated from the discipline of Christian metaphysics. It is not what the Psalmist meant by the dominion of man, which was a worshipping and respectful sovereignty, a glad responsibility for the natural order which he both discerned and loved. (52)


Updates, Kindling, and Creation

Just a few notes for regular readers:

First, for the first time in six months, I have updated the Projects page of this blog, rectifying a number of frightful anachronisms.  Most of the changes are fairly minor updates, but one long-dormant project has been swept off the stage to make room for an exciting newly-hatched one.  Let me emphasize again that if you have interests in any of the areas described in these projects, I would love to hear from you and profit from your input.  The second project, the Mercersburg Theology Study Series, is at last nearing a significant milestone, as the first volume nears completion and we prepare to launch a website–a one-stop shop for all things Mercersburg.  Stay tuned for that.  In the meantime —

— Second, my book, The Mercersburg Theology and the Quest for Reformed Catholicity, is now available on Kindle!  So if you’re an avid e-reader who’s interested in an idiosyncratic and unstable mix of Reformed theology, Hegelianism, and Anglo-Catholicism, go check it out! 😉

Third, my bandwidth-devouring series on English cathedrals that I visited last month will be drawing to an end with the lovely Wells Cathedral tomorrow, and I’ll at last begin posting the long-promised series from my friend, Brad Belschner, on Creation and Evolution (delayed till now due to the unfortunate theft of his laptop), which will give me the opportunity to focus almost wholly on some writing deadlines–though I’ll probably intersperse some themes of my own on familiar themes while the Creation series is ongoing.