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From Around the Internet - 12/29/11

A wonderful Bonhoeffer quote on grief and loss, shared by Wesley Hill:

… nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love, and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute; we must simply hold out and see it through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bonds between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; he doesn’t fill it, but on the contrary, he keeps it empty and so helps us to keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christmas Eve 1943, writing from prison to his niece and best friend.

Here’s an interesting question:
Have you ever been thankful your prayers were not answered?

Did you forget your New Year’s resolutions from last year? You know, those personal & professional goals you set for yourself? Yeah? Well, so did Mark Payne — to which he can only say:

John Byron, Associate Professor of New Testament at Ashland Theological Seminary, alerts us to a National Geographic program airing on January 5th, in which Jeff Rose will suggest that an ancient catastrophic flood created the Persian Gulf:
Noah's Ark and the Persian Gulf.

Since I am a big fan of the writings of theologian / physicist John Polkinghorne, I should mention that RJS has begun a new series at the Jesus Creed blog on Polkinghorne’s book about Scripture: Testing Scripture 1 (RJS). It contains this quote from Polkinghorne:

When I became a middle-aged student at a theological college, the lectures I enjoyed most were those concerned with biblical studies. I had a long career as a theoretical physicist, and the instinct of a scientist in approaching any new field of inquiry is to ask first what are the basic phenomena that will motivate and control the search for a truthful understanding of what is going on. In considering questions of Christian belief, the Bible gives us accounts of the history of Israel, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the first thoughts and experiences of his earliest followers. These are the foundational phenomena of the Christian tradition.

Tim Schmoyer has been wondering out loud:
Do churches sometimes expect pastors to play the role of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives?

Holly Boardman has been teaching her students about modern day slavery — and it’s a good thing she has. Without being taught, people might assume there was no such problem
: Teens Stand Up as Abolitionists. In fact, it is rampant.

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