Worth Reading - 3/27

Last year I wrote for First Things on John Wesley’s reaction to anti-Methodist riots in the mid-1700s as it relates to contemporary assaults on religious liberty. Recently a letter by John Wesley revealing his views about law enforcement and religious freedom was tweeted by its owner, the Wesley Hobart Museum of the Uniting Church in Tasmania, Australia. The letter, addressed to an ironmonger turned Methodist preacher in Winchester named Jasper Winscom, dated May 9, 1785, when Wesley was almost age 83, barely appears in Methodist literature. This letter initially concerns plans for a Methodist preaching house but mostly focuses on how to deal with anti-Methodist rioters, with whom Wesley and his Methodist followers in Britain had contended since almost their start.

2. The mass murder of the German pilot who intentionally crashed his airliner demonstrates how much we tend on others to be people of good will, and how no matter how safe we try to be, we must still rely on God:

It seems to have been no accident, officials said Thursday.

Information collected by investigators suggests the co-pilot who was in control of the Germanwings airplane when it crashed, killing all 150 people on board, was acting deliberately, the prosecutor said Thursday.

The co-pilot apparently “wanted to destroy the aircraft,” Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said.

Lufthansa officials are “speechless that this aircraft has been deliberately crashed by the co-pilot,” CEO Carsten Spohr said. The company owns Germanwings.

It’s unknown whether the co-pilot planned his actions in advance, Robin said. But the co-pilot, 28-year-old German national Andreas Lubitz, “took advantage” of a moment in which the pilot left the cockpit.

3. Peter Enns here is castigating scholars that hold to inerrancy, because, you know, its better for Christianity if everyone believes there are lots of errors in it. In less snarky terms, he is going after scholars that look for ways to resolve apparent discrepancies in Scripture in ways that are faithful to the text. I disagree with his methods and conclusions, but it is worthwhile to see how he does what he does:

I recently posted, with some commentary, an article published by Stephen L. Young on inerrantist biblical scholars employing “protective strategies” and “privileging insider claims” in their publications.

In that article, Young, “examines how Evangelical Christian inerrantist scholars theorize their biblical scholarship and its relation to the broader academy, highlighting (1) their self-representation as true academics, and (2) the ways they modulate historical methods to prefer interpretive options that keep the Bible inerrant.”

Young just published a second article illustrating this thesis by focusing on the complex issue of Israelite literacy: “Maximizing Literacy as a Protective Strategy: Redescribing Inerrantist Scholarship on Israelite Literacy.”

4. Voices from both sides of the "same sex marriage" debate present their perspective on the opposing view's strongest argument. This is a though provoking post:

In advance of the Supreme Court’s consideration of the gay marriage issue, we asked five people on the Right with differing views on gay marriage to share doubts or misgivings they have about their own position. On an issue where so many people are sure of the rightness of their views, what’s the one thing that gives you pause? Here’s what they had to say.

5. I found this ESPN story on what Penny Hardaway has been doing after the NBA to be enjoyable. He is making good use of his talents in a way that benefits society, and helping his friend makes for a very good story.