Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Macleod on Hick, Pluralism and Camels

In the last analysis, there is a blatant hypocrisy in Hick's position: under the language of pluralism there lurks a most dogmatic exclusivism. Far from gazing admiringly on all the world's religions, Hick is standing on the vantage-point of modern western humanism, giving a nod of approval to the few elements in each religion which agree with his own philosophy and dismissing the rest with unconcealed contempt....Hick does not believe, with the Jew, that Yahweh is God and that Israel is his people; or with the Muslim that Allah is God, Muhammad his prophet and the Q'ran his infallible revelation; or with the Christian that Jesus is Lord and his cross the one place of atonement. He believes all these claims to be, equally, nonsense. The real prophets are Hume, Kant and Lessing; the real truth is Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; and the real kingdom came with the Enlightenment....How could one ever again look Goethe in the face if one came to believe that a dead man had risen?
Hick's argument is entirely circular: if the resurrection were fact, it would confirm the entire Christian worldview. But it cannot be fact precisely because it would confirm that worldview. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a worshipper of the Enlightenment to enter the kingdom of God.

Macleod, The Person of Christ, 240-241

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Music of the Way Things Are

I've been listening to Radiohead's latest album In Rainbows (if you must know, I paid £5 for it) alongside Amnesiac, which has been my favourite for a few years now. In Rainbows is definitely more accessible musically, but the themes are similar.

Musically, Radiohead are at times discordant, even chaotic. Lyrically, they are dark, challenging optimism about life in the world. I sometimes wonder why I like their stuff so much?! But for me, to borrow Beuchner's language, this is the Music of The Way Things Are.

In Orwell's 1984, Winston stands at an open window, listening to one of the proles singing...

one of countless similar songs published for the benefit of the proles by a subsection of the Music Department. The words of these songs were composed without any human intervention whatever on an instrument known as a versificator...she knew the whole drivelling song by heart it seemed.

When so much music is escapism, like the opium administered by the Ministry of Truth, the Music of the Way Things Are grounds us in realism. Our task as disciples of Christ is to bring the Hope of the Way Things Will Be, the Hope of the Coming Kingdom of God alongside and to work for the triumph of that hope over the lostness of the world.

Monday, December 03, 2007

HTC Newsletter, Winter 2007

The latest HTC Newsletter is out there in the ether. Man, this thing is 12 pages long! In it you can read about:
  • Paul Helm and Gerald Bray teaching MTh modules;

  • Principal Andrew McGowan's new book 'The Spiration of Scripture';

  • the 2007 FF Bruce Lecture by Ted Donally;

  • the 2007 Graduation; and other stuff too!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Kiwis Pray After Dubai Sevens Victory

How great to see and hear the Kiwi's sevens squad and coach gathered in a circle praying after their 31-21 victory over Fiji yesterday in the IRB Dubai Sevens. The match was shown live on BBC Sports interactive service and after the win, a cameraman recorded the prayer of thanks offered by the squad. Needless to say the BBC commentator was dumbstruck, eventually resuming the banalities after the amen!