• Book Reviews 11 hours ago

    Process and Providence: The Evolution Question at Princeton (bookmark)

    Process and Providence: The Evolution Question at Princeton (bookmark)

    Process and Providence: The Evolution Question at Princeton, 1845-1929 by Bradley J. Gundlach Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 374 pages  It is a staple of American church history that the late nineteenth century witnessed the churches grappling with the challenge of evolution and biblical criticism. It is almost as well known that the theologians at Princeton became the Maginot Line of criticism of evolution, the defense of biblical authority and the assertion of Calvinist Orthodoxy (known as the Princeton theology). Along comes Grundlach, a revisionist of this standard treatment. Focusing on… continue reading...
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  • Movie Reviews 1 day ago

    Film in review – “The Trip To Italy”

    Film in review – “The Trip To Italy”

    by Ronald P. Salfen
    I have an old friend who is a great conversationalist. Recently he proposed that we go on a road trip together, “just once before we die.” What would we do? Drive, eat, talk. Maybe see some spectacular scenery (how about Wyoming?). If both of us could afford it at the time (we’ve both had our ups and downs), stay in some nice places. Dine at some fine restaurants. Converse about anything and everything, but try to keep it light most of the time. Humor always appreciated, because we’re in this… continue reading...
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  • Movie Reviews 2 days ago

    Film in review – “November Man”

    Film in review – “November Man”

    by Ronald P. Salfen
    This spy thriller is kind of in the genre of John le Carre’s literary potboilers: the viewer has to try to piece together a plot from the seemingly disconnected actions of the characters, and the viewer’s chase to guess the end-game parallels the characters chasing each other on the screen. Viewers who long for clarity and straightforwardness will naturally be frustrated, but part of the point is that that’s the way it is in the shadowy world of espionage: few things are clear. And even fewer are pure. Pierce Brosnan… continue reading...
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Witnessing to the world: Columbia Seminary and the Presbyterian Ministry at the U.N. partner to advance global engagement

Paricipants in the Columbia Seminary D.Min. class at the Presbyterian Ministry at the U.N. (left to right): Meiying Shi, John Odom, Bob Freymeyer, Kerri Hefner, David Schaefers, Professor Mark Douglas, Barbara Johnson and Peter Bynum. —Courtesy of Presbyterian Ministry at the U.N.

LOUISVILLE (PNS) The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations  and Columbia Theological Seminary have built a tradition that blends two valued Presbyterian hallmarks — public policy involvement and well-educated clergy. This May marked the seventh time a Doctor of Ministry class from the Presbyterian seminary in Decatur, Ga., spent two weeks at the U.N. Ministry in New York. Each class studies a different global issue from a faith perspective. This year’s topic was one of the hottest international issues in the church, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The timeliness of the class right before the General Assembly was very important,” said David Schaefers, one of the students. “There were folks in my congregation who had questions about overtures (on the Middle East) before G.A,” said Schaefers, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Richardson, Texas. Before attending the class he had a “general idea” about the issues and the PC(USA)’s polices in the region, but now he says … [Read more...]

Process and Providence: The Evolution Question at Princeton (bookmark)

process and providence

Process and Providence: The Evolution Question at Princeton, 1845-1929 by Bradley J. Gundlach Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 374 pages  It is a staple of American church history that the late nineteenth century witnessed the churches grappling with the challenge of evolution and biblical criticism. It is almost as well known that the theologians at Princeton became the Maginot Line of criticism of evolution, the defense of biblical authority and the assertion of Calvinist Orthodoxy (known as the Princeton theology). Along comes Grundlach, a revisionist of this standard treatment. Focusing on the theologians at both Princeton Seminary and Princeton University, Grundlach offers a careful reading and a finely nuanced chronicle of the Princeton theologians. He shows that they were far more sympathetic to the idea of historical development and even “evolution,” as long as the metaphysics behind it was rejected. In his analysis, the Princeton theologians were heroic figures, rather than … [Read more...]

Film in review – “The Trip To Italy”

trip to italy

I have an old friend who is a great conversationalist. Recently he proposed that we go on a road trip together, “just once before we die.” What would we do? Drive, eat, talk. Maybe see some spectacular scenery (how about Wyoming?). If both of us could afford it at the time (we’ve both had our ups and downs), stay in some nice places. Dine at some fine restaurants. Converse about anything and everything, but try to keep it light most of the time. Humor always appreciated, because we’re in this for a good time; all we really want to do is enjoy one another’s company. The same ground rules apply to old friends Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. They’ve already done this once, around England (they’re both Brits), with the pretext of Rob writing restaurant reviews. Now his editor wants him to do an Italian mini-tour: Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi, Capri. Fire up the sports car. Plug in the Alanis Morissette music (can we really be nostalgic about 90s pop, or is that, too, ironic?). Bring on … [Read more...]

Film in review – “November Man”

The_November_Man_poster

This spy thriller is kind of in the genre of John le Carre’s literary potboilers: the viewer has to try to piece together a plot from the seemingly disconnected actions of the characters, and the viewer’s chase to guess the end-game parallels the characters chasing each other on the screen. Viewers who long for clarity and straightforwardness will naturally be frustrated, but part of the point is that that’s the way it is in the shadowy world of espionage: few things are clear. And even fewer are pure. Pierce Brosnan plays Devereaux, a supposedly retired CIA operative whose “nom de guerre” was “November Man,” because after he went through the landscape, everything was dead. Devereaux himself states that a bullet travels at 1400 feet per second, and, particularly in the case of a head shot, death is not only instantaneous, but painless. Ostensibly, that was supposed to comfort the young woman he was trying to protect at the time. But somehow “this won’t hurt a bit” has never been … [Read more...]

Film in review – “What If”

what_if_movie_poster

Even we married folks have friends of the opposite gender. And occasionally it will occur to us that we seem to have much in common with said friend, though there’s always this clanging warning bell going off inside our heads; much like when big construction equipment goes in reverse: you can’t help but hear the loud beeping. There’s danger here, especially combined with a lack of due vigilance. And it’s not really fair to compare a friendship with a live-in relationship, anyway, because the dynamics of intimacy are so different. But occasionally even otherwise intelligent people will play with fire and blithely assume that no one will get burned. Chantry (Zoe Kazan) meets Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and they seem to have an instant chemistry, except she quickly informs him that she lives with her boyfriend. Wallace, still recovering from walking in on his ex-girlfriend “in flagrante delicto,” decides he doesn’t need to be strung along any more than he already has. But he also … [Read more...]

Speaking from the heart

Jana Childers

“A MAN CANNOT LIE,” said Sigmund Freud (in the sexist language of his day), “if he lies with his lips he will chatter the truth from his fingertips.” Freud is talking, of course, about the way we human beings have of telegraphing our true feelings. “No, please, take all the time you need,” we say, and even as we arrange our features in an oh-so-patient expression, our drumming digits give us away. Most of us know what it is to be betrayed by our own non-verbals. Shifting feet (the desire to flee), a lifted chin (aggression, often compensating for fear), crossed arms (self-protection) … traitors, all. Freud’s words remind us of the old expression “the truth will out.” “Yes,” he seems to be saying, “and it will be the truth about you.” Sometimes it is not the fingers or the feet that give us away but our voices. Nearly every time we open our mouths, word choice, pronunciation and inflection patterns send subtle and not-so-subtle clues about what is going on in our unconscious minds. … [Read more...]