"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Friday, October 21, 2011

"How to Read the Bible" in Christianity Today

The cover story for this month's (October 2011) Christianity Today is an article by J. Todd Billings entitled "How to Read the Bible: New strategies for interpreting Scripture turn out to be not so new--and deepen our life in Christ". The article introduces some of the main themes and scholars in the field of theological interpretation of Scripture. Billings makes some excellent points and is challenging about the place of a theological hermeneutic in relation to historical-critical exegesis and also in relation to the Church's engagement of Scripture in the context of worship and devotion.

One quick quote (for now), pp. 25-26: "Instead of providing a detailed blueprint, a theological reading [of Scripture] brings a map for a journey. Our map does not give all the answers about a particular text. Instead, our reading sends us on a journey in which God in Scripture encounters us again and again, both with comforting signs of his presence and surprises that confound us, yet may open new vistas. Reading Scripture is not about solving puzzles but discerning a mystery. Through Scripture, we encounter no less than the mysterious triune God himself."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Arts and Science: Colliding and Integrating

For Christian liberal arts education, the integration of the academic disciplines is central to understanding the Creator and humanity's work as subcreators within the world. Last week, while listening to the BBC World Service (Oct 9), I heard an interview with Ariane Koek, the director of the arts program at CERN. Although CERN is the joint particle physics laboratory in Europe, they have a arts program called Arts@CERN and have begun a new internship for artists called Collide@CERN (also here).

The Arts@CERN website states: "The Arts and Particle Physics are inextricably linked: both are ways of us exploring our existence - what it is to be human and our place in the universe."

Here is another statement by the program director,“The arts touch the parts that science alone cannot reach, and vice versa,” said Ariane Koek, CERN's cultural specialist.“Collide@CERN gives CERN, artists and scientists the opportunity to engage in creative collisions that can occur when these two areas of human creativity and ingenuity come together.”

Both statements are also great articulations of what the liberal arts are about more generally. Science and the arts often seem farther apart, but religious studies and business might be argued by some to be just as far apart. Integrating the disciplines makes us more aware of our humanity, our community together, and the unity and diversity of the world which God has created.

See also the article by Ariane Koek.

I wish I had access to "Notes From the Universe: Particle Sounds" by Brian Foster and Vesna Petrestin Robert.