Weekend Reading

Language-learners like to swap war-stories about their struggles, whether with Chinese tones, Japanese honorifics, German articles, Russian cases or Danish pronunciation. Each language challenges the learner with something unique. After twenty years of knowing passable French, Johnson learned today that two French words are masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural: amour (love) and orgue (organ, the musical kind). It is un amour fou, but des amours folles. This kind of thing can only make the learner shake his head: isn’t French grammar complicated enough already, to say nothing of French amours? It is easy to spend an entire lifetime learning the quirks of one’s native language, without having to boggle the mind with a foreign one.

All this diversity, when not a headache, is something to admire. But one quirk unites the world’s languages rather than dividing them: the weirdness of prepositions. Not all languages have prepositions as such: some languages use word endings instead of prepositions. But whether standalone or as endings, they are odd all around.

Prepositions seem simple enough. A child learns them as spatial relations, perhaps in a book with deceptively simple pictures. The box is on the table. Now it is under the table. The ball is in the box. Now it is next to the box.
I want to suggest that it is the theology of man made in the image of God that not only grounds morality, but also underpins our response to the Euthyphro dilemma. Because we are made in the image of God not only do we have reason to be moral, but what is moral is also that which is like God. But what does it mean to be made in the image of God?

In Genesis God decides “let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”[1]. The traditional understanding of the image of God has been the one filtered through a Greek mindset. A concept which focuses on the abstract and tries to locate what it means to be made in God’s image in terms of some property of existence. However, in the last century there has been much study into the concept of the image of God in its original Hebraic context. The Hebraic understanding of man made in the image of God gives a much more functional, and in many ways fuller, understanding of what it means to be human.
In general, some evangelicals who are keen on the race issue propose that the gospel and responsible gospel action are the solutions to the current racial divide in this country and beyond. I am an African-American Southern Baptist scholar with a multi-racial heritage. I published a book called One New Man (B&H Academic, 2010) where I made this very point. Another set of evangelical biblical scholars, Kenneth Mathews (white) and Sydney Park (Asian) published The Post Racial Church (Kregel, 2011) and made a similar point. However, when one listens to the different perspectives on race, gospel, and racial reconciliation that come from the pulpits of the evangelical movement in general, and from Southern Baptists in particular, one might wonder whether they really know what they are talking about.

Certain Southern Baptists view racial reconciliation as a social issue instead of a gospel issue because of an incomplete understanding of the gospel and race. For example, Randy White, a white Southern Baptist pastor in Texas, wrote a piece in 2014 titled “I Don’t Understand the Evangelical Response to Ferguson.” He argued that racial reconciliation is not a gospel issue but rather a social issue. He limited his definition of race to skin color. He strongly criticized fellow Southern Baptists Matt Hall (Southern Seminary), Russell Moore (ERLC), Eric Mason (Epiphany Fellowship Church), and Ed Stetzer (Lifeway) for suggesting, in light of the sad events in Ferguson, that the Christian gospel speaks to issues of race and racial reconciliation.
More than 700 people are known to have died in a powerful earthquake that struck Nepal, with many more feared trapped under rubble, officials say.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck an area between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said.

Tremors were felt across the region, with further loss of life in India and on Mount Everest.

A Nepali minister said there had been “massive damage” at the epicentre.

5. David Platt started doing "Secret Church" meetings as times of intense discipleship for his local congregation, which were designed to simulate the covert, hours-long meetings of Christians in countries where Christianity is de facto or de jure forbidden. In an ironic, but saddening turn of events, the Church at Brook Hills, at which Platt was lead pastor until he was called to the SBC's IMB presidency, was threatened on the night of their coming Secret Church meeting in an apparent attempt to disrupt the meeting. The venue was moved:

The Church at Brook Hills in north Shelby County is no longer hosting an expected 2,000 people tonight for a religious gathering called Secret Church featuring well-known Pastor David Platt after receiving a threat against the event this morning.

Church at Brook Hills communications director Chris Kinsley said a threat received by the church this morning resulted in evacuation of the building due to safety concerns as members of Birmingham-area law enforcement searched the grounds.

Nothing suspicious or threatening was found at the church, but Kinsley said tonight’s Secret Church event will not be held at the Brook Hills location. “We’re going ahead with the simulcast but this particular location of the event will be changed,” he said.