2007-12-03 The Brief

Politics:

            Campaign 2008: Foreign Affairs presents “a series of articles by the top U.S. presidential candidates previewing the foreign policy agendas they would pursue if elected.”  So far, these are the essays that they have made available, with two more arriving every month.

            The War We Deserve: “Americans now ask more of their government but sacrifice less than ever before.  It’s an unrealistic, even deadly, way to fight a global war.  And, unfortunately, that’s just how the American people want it.”

Culture:

            The Golden Compass: If you have not heard of the controversy surrounding the upcoming film The Golden Compass then it is likely that you will sometime soon.  Al Mohler provides a phenomenal commentary on today’s radio program, “The Golden Compass”: A Clash of Worldviews at the Box Office.  The LA Times is also running an article entitled Religious furor over ‘The Golden Compass’.  If you have not seen the trailers for the film, they are available at the Official Golden Compass website here.  I would agree with Mohler’s advice that spiritually mature individuals should see the film and then seriously discussing the underlying themes which the film promotes.  Sadly, far too many Christians are so ill-equipped in the areas of discernment and apologetics that such a task is impossible.  What about you will you be seeing the film?  If enough people see it, I may have a post where individuals can discuss the film.

            Fire: I am not sure how many of you have heard of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; however, I find their website to be especially informative and it should be a daily read for students who want to stay informed of how their rights are being violated by the educational institutions of this country.

            The Gospel of Judas: I am sure you all remember the controversy caused by the Gospel of Judas last year, which was honestly nothing new as there are numerous Gnostic texts available.  Well the Gospel of Judas is back and causing controversy again, this time the National Geographic Society’s flawed translation is being put under the microscope.  Al Mohler discusses April D. DeConick’s new book, The Thirteenth Apostle:  What the Gospel of Judas Really Says, and her recent New York Times article, Gospel Truth, in his post Revising the Revisionists — New Controversy over “The Gospel of Judas.”  I appreciate DeConick’s willingness to call out the National Geographic Society on their inexcusable mistake, I only hope this stirs up as much controversy as the flawed work’s original publication.

Economics:

            The Dying Dollar: Der Spiegel profiles the plunging value of the US dollar and its affect on the global economic situation.

Random News:

            Ironically, I was talking just this week about the disappearance of the payphone and the LA Times is currently running an article on AT&T’s plans to cut its payphone business by the end of 2008.  The article is available here.

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5 thoughts on “2007-12-03 The Brief

  1. April DeConick’s New York Times piece on the Gospel of Judas fiasco is excellent. I was particularly interested in what she said about the Dead Sea Scrolls:

    “The situation reminds me of the deadlock that held scholarship back on the Dead Sea Scrolls decades ago. When manuscripts are hoarded by a few, it results in errors and monopoly interpretations that are very hard to overturn even after they are proved wrong.”

    From what I understand, the consequences of the Scrolls monopoly are indeed still continuing today, in an exhibit taking place in San Diego. See this article for an example of the kind of horrifying conflict this has led to:

    http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/did-christian-agenda-lead-biased-dead-sea-scrolls-exhibit-san-diego

    So I would suggest that an important question is whether serious biblical scholars who, like April DeConick, seek to do their research in accordance with basic principles of scientific humanism rather than any specific religious agenda, will frankly condemn what is going on with the Dead Sea Scrolls in one museum exhibit after another. Or will we have another decade of silence, innuendo and embarrassed shrugging of shoulders?

  2. I offer this link for a more simpler summary of decline of the dollar. Delong explains 2 possible scenarios in just a few paragraphs, rather than reading through much of the noise Der Spiegel prints. At this point it all depends on expectations. The key sentence in the Der Spiegel article is: “and no one knows what happens next.” Delong explains why.

  3. And I thought the NY Times article on Gospel of Judas was interesting, and raises some questions for me about the importance of word-for-word translation, particularly of Scripture.

  4. Tapp, thanks for the link the Delong article is clear and concise and a far better read than the Der Spiegel article.

    Also Al Mohler posted overnight on the Golden Compass his article is available here for those of you who prefer to read rather than listen.

    One of the thing which I found disturbing about the whole Gospel of Judas controversy was that it was not new when it was released. The National Geographic Society had actually had posession of it for long enough to create numerous products which would hit the shelves at the peak of the controversy. I think their fauly translation was part of their strategy to profit from their discovery.

  5. Informative post. Chock full of links…
    Although I’m not one to get excited about political info, this post did spark my interest to read about some of the front runners. props keith…

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