Antony's Attic: Imperial History of the Middle East
Ben Myers: African Creed
Richard at Sub Ratione Dei checks out Proclaim Peace: Christian Pacificism from Unexpected Quarters, and reviews Faith and Politics After Christendom: The Church as Movement for Anarchy.
The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer, has recommended Olsen's Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities.
Also, Sven realizes that "the biblical way to defeat evil and violence is by...er...violence." Way to go, Wayne Grudem.
The Internet Monk offers wise words regarding the Haggard controversy here and especially here:
Many of today’s pastors are entrepreneurs, not spiritual men at all. The are running organizations, living in front of an audience, talking about style and technology. They are shallow, ambitious and over-worked. Their families are on the stage. They are supposed to fill a dozen major roles. They are celebrities and motivational speakers. Peterson rightly points out that God is merciful to show us this is not what a pastor is to be or what a church is to do. Lord, deliver us from what we want, and show us true shepherds and sheep of Christ.I don't think that a married Catholic priesthood would lessen the incidences of abused children or ministerial affairs, though Witherington is trying to defend that notion this week (HT: Ben). If he could have had a woman, he wouldn't have had a kid? No. However, he does make some good points about the need to reverse a church culture that sees sexuality generally as bad:
There’s a reason for all the ministerial moral failure: they are burned out middle aged men who don’t know what is happening to them. ...
Its time for the whole church to stop sending mixed messages like "Sex is dirty and unholy, save it for the one you really love and marry". The message needs to be "sex is a beautiful and precious gift of God. There is nothing remotely unholy about it. Indeed it is such a precious gift that it should indeed be saved for the context of unconditional love and an unlimited life time commitment." Unfortunately, however this great truth about human intimacy is one even much of the church and even too much of the clergy can't handle as things now stand. So what shall we do about this malaise? Inquiring minds want to know.I maintain that there's a lot of house cleaning along those lines to be done in evangelical churches before we start fixing up Rome.
Can we say also that Haggard's problem is that his church has held him to an unrealistic standard of monogamy in a stiflingly heteronormative culture? No, I didn't think so.