A property of statements or claims about reality; thus a claim is “true” (or “false”). Aristotle claimed that truth is “to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not.” This notion of truth involves both a saying (“of something that it is”) and reality (“what is or is not”). So there are two elements to truth: the truth bearer (a proposition, statement, or a sentence) and the truth maker (the world, a fact, or a state of affairs). In making a true statement, one asserts a proposition and reality makes that proposition true (or false). The dominant metaphor used to describe this relationship is the correspondence theory of truth, which holds that a claim is true insofar as it corresponds to the external or extramental world. So my claim “the chair is red” is true if, in fact, that particular chair has the property of redness. . . .
Christian theology, because of its realism, has tended to adopt some version of the correspondence theory of truth. With respect to central spiritual truths, it matters whether the sentences “Christ is God incarnate” and “Jesus rose from the dead” are made true by the facts that Christ is God incarnate and that Jesus rose from the dead. The biblical witness adds that people need to be related appropriately to Jesus, the Truth (John 14:8). This relational dimension suggests that grasping Christian truth involves a way of being-in-the-world and being-in-relation-to-God. Finally, the New Testament emphasizes a correlation between truth and love (1 Corinthians 8:2-3; 13:1-3).
(Excerpted from 101 Key Terms in Philosophy and Their Importance for Theology, Kelly James Clark, Richard Lints, James K. A. Smith [Westminster John Knox Press, 2004] 96.)
If you enjoy biblical studies, James Gregory’s Blog has compiled a huge collection of links to blogs that have posted comments, essays, reviews, and the like. This looks like a top-notch collection.
Some examples . . .
Robin Perry showed us what Calvin wrote on Lamentations 3:33 and offered a couple of thoughts.
Michael Bird suggested a change to the old adage, “Once saved, always saved,” by appending, “if saved!” Read his post, “Perseverance in Hebrews”, to find out more. In a separate post, he also provided F. F. Bruce’s thoughts on the warning in Hebrews 6:4-6. Anyone studying Romans 9:5 should consider Michael’s reference.
Ben Witherington III gave a few words regarding the recent introduction to the New Testament.
If you’re planning to undertake a major writing project, here are some helpful books and commentary on them from the NT Resources blog.
A few excerpts:
Booth, Wayne C. The Craft of Research. 2d ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2003; xv + 329 pgs. pbk. ISBN 0226065685.
(I just ran into this book recently and haven’t read it carefully yet, but it looks like it would be a very helpful guide to planning and implementing a research project, especially one of dissertation size. From my preliminary assessment, it’s now taken the place of an older work on the same subject.)
Germano, William. Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books. 2d ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2008.
(This is actually about the next step after the dissertation: getting it published. It’s worth knowing some of it ahead of time, however. That will save you a lot of work later. And it’s very well written—actually fun to read, which is an unusual attribute for books of this genre!)
Zinser, William. On Writing Well. 4th ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1990. xiii + 288 pgs. hdcvr. ISBN: 0060552727.
(This is a classic work that focuses simply on learning to write clearly and well in English.)
Strunk, William Jr. and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 3d ed. New York: Macmillan, 1979. 92 pgs. pbk. ISBN: 0024182001.
(Another classic on writing, slim, but valuable; the first part covers some basic rules of English, but most useful are parts 2 and 5 which talk about writing in a clear, effective style.)
If you’d like to know more about art – the kind you’ll find in museums around the world – smARThistory.org features videos, podcasts, and descriptions of famous works of art, and provides explanations of their background and significance. A great place to raise your aesthetic IQ.
A few more details via VSL.
Beth Harris and Steven Zucker, who work as art historians at MoMA and FIT, went to great lengths to create a free online art institute. We say it was well worth the effort. Their site, smARThistory, features 150-plus podcasts, 220 images, and dozens of direct links to the Louvre and other world-class museums. The lectures address individual artists, specific themes, and historical movements: Click on HIGH RENAISSANCE and listen to Harris and Zucker’s thorough dissection of Leonardo’s Last Supper. Or enjoy their 18-minute rundown of the scandal Manet’s Olympia caused in Paris in 1865. You’ll never confuse him with Monet again.
Here’s a poignant observation on men and spiritual leadership from the The Thinklings blog.
I was part of a church at one time that had about 3,500 attendees. That church had a fairly level ratio of men and women. At that time, the church had groups for motorcycle-riding, gun-shooting, and many others with a “just for the fellowship” emphasis that would appeal to men. Fine by me—I’m all for fellowship groups. The only problem was that this same church had one men’s Bible study and about a dozen women’s Bible studies. I was painfully aware of that inexplicably lopsided ratio too. Why? Because I was the men’s Bible study leader. When I asked why there was only one men’s Bible study group, the answer I usually got was that they’d not been able to maintain more than one or two for any length of time. (What made it even nuttier was about half of the ten or so men that filtered through my group on a regular basis didn’t even attend the church.)
It seems to me that men will show up for church stuff when they have a chance to show off their machismo, but flex some spiritual muscles? Not so much.
So I don’t think it’s as much of a case of the Church being feminized as it is a case of men surrendering their God-appointed roles as spiritual leaders within the Church. They’d rather watch March Madness than bow their knees at a 24-hour prayer meeting for the soul of the nation. Meanwhile, elderly grannies are keeping the devils at bay.
So the next time I hear some guy whimpering about how women are taking over the church, maybe a swift kick to the ‘nads will get him to wise up.
Or some spiritual equivalent.
See? This is what I’ve been on about.
Guys, we need to man up. But keep the pointy sticks at home.