Worth Reading - 1/16

1. Does free speech include the right to offend? Are some people advocating a double standard by supporting PC speech codes and demonstrating outrage at the Charlie Hedbo attack? The question is more complex than this article allows, but there are some interesting questions raised herein.

The unanimity of outrage expressed on Twitter, the unthinking allegiance to the cause of the hour whatever that cause might be, the social positioning of writers struggling to be the most pure, the most righteous, the most moving in their indignation — all of these things remind me of other scandals, of other rages, in which the targets were not Islamic terrorists but men and women who disagree with elements of liberal dogma.

2. This is an opinion piece in the NY Times that explains the difference between populism and true conservatism. It is worth every minute of the read:

Conservatism is famously anti-utopian, understanding life’s imperfections and the limitations of politics. Knowing this, those on the right shouldn’t become enraged or forlorn when the world itself doesn’t fully conform to their hopes. Conservatism considers one of the cardinal virtues to be prudence. And no conservative — certainly no one familiar with the magnificent history of the Constitution — should be opposed to compromise per se. Whether or not accommodation is wise depends on whether an agreement nudges things in the right direction.

3. Here is an introductory piece in the Baptist Press on the criteria for canonizing the 66 books of the Bible:

Some scholars today cast doubt over the canon of Scripture — those 66 books that the church has long held to be the complete written revelation of God. They justify their views by claiming: 1) that surviving texts of the Old and New Testaments are corrupt and therefore unreliable or 2) that early church leaders deliberately excluded certain books for personal or political reasons.

As Craig L. Blomberg responds in his book “Can We Still Believe the Bible?”: “... there is not a shred of historical evidence to support either of these claims; anyone choosing to believe them must do so by pure credulity, flying in the face of all the evidence that actually exists.”

4. And people say English is confusing: