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Links to Think: 06.04.12

June 4, 2012

NeverSeconds: One primary school pupil’s daily dose of school dinners. – A 9-year-old girl blogs about her daily school lunches, with photos. (I believe she’s from Scotland.) Her blog has attracted attention from worldwide school-lunch-eaters (and foodies), and she also shares pictures sent in by other students around the world.

“Coronation Chicken was invented to celebrate the Queen coming to the throne in 1953 and it’s still here today! It’s a mixture of cold chicken in a cold curry sauce. It tastes a lot better than it sounds. It was on our menu to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee this weekend. We’ve an extra day off school to celebrate and I am going to a street party. We don’t go back until Wednesday next week!”

American Scripture: How David Barton Won the Christian Right – As someone who attended high school history classes watching David Barton videos, I found this article helpful and insightful.

“Barton’s focus on returning to the original text, and his pointed disdain for the scholars whom he accuses of distorting its plain meaning, seems to resonate with his largely evangelical audience. There is a reason for this. It echoes the general doctrine of sola scriptura, the bedrock of the Reformation, that the text of the Bible alone contains the knowledge necessary for salvation. It draws on the tradition of prooftexting, using verses lifted from a larger text to buttress specific points. And in particular, it mirrors the notion of the perspicuity of Scripture — that its essential teachings are sufficiently clear that “not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.””

“His error, of course, is that the hundred thousand documents he treasures were all written by men, bereft of divine inspiration, muddling through as best they knew how. Their authors were creatures of their time and place, seized by the usual sets of contradictory impulses and passions, changing and evolving with the passage of time. To apply the same exegetical principles to the works of man as to those of God is folly.

(HT: B.T. Schoolfield)

Violent Men, Working Women, and Evangelical Gender Norms – David Crabb has Paul Matzko write a guest blog post, “writing an immensely helpful article arguing that evangelicals often get their conception of gender roles from cultural norms rather than Scriptural principles.”

“For the evangelical Christian, a series of logical questions follow: If there are so many different expectations of gender, which is right? Does the Bible mandate a particular kind of manhood and womanhood? Should Christians imitate broader cultural standards of masculinity and femininity? Do my gender norms conform to Scripture?

My purpose in writing this essay is to caution our small conservative evangelical subculture from answering those questions too hastily. It is tempting to fit Scripture to our ideas rather than the other way around. All too often, we try to legitimize our beliefs by ignoring contradictory opinions and rationalizing away inconvenient evidence. As harmful as that tendency is in politics, education, and family life, it is devastating when it shapes our interpretation of the Bible.”

Worth the read, though I’ll note in the words of one commenter, “[T]here are some very basic reasons why women (and myself included) often choose to stay at home with young children and it has less to do with Victorian values than it does with simply having certain body parts and the physical demands placed on them through pregnancy and (if you chose) breastfeeding. But for me, this is no tension. I find my place in this world through the intersection of my god-given abilities–my spiritual, mental, emotional, and yes, even physical gifting.”

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