The first, a column by David Brooks, argues that it’s socially acceptable for me to wear a Harvard sweatshirt to indicate that I’m in the academic one percent. I have two, and a T-shirt! Apparently there are many ways to construe the one percent. I suspect that every human is in the top 1% of something or other. If there are seven billion people in the world, then there are seventy million people in the top one percent of any given category. Even if we consider only the categories of income and wealth, the number of Americans in the top one percent world wide is a big number.

The second, a sneak peek at a forthcoming documentary called The Silent Majority, draws some parallels between Occupy Wall Street and the protests during the 1972 election. Richard Nixon and his campaign coined the term The Silent Majority to refer to all those people who weren’t out in the streets protesting. The video linked to the article shows some home-video Super 8 footage shot over Nixon’s shoulder of his admirers by one of his aides. It’s astonishing how many young people there were in the crowd. I don’t think it will bode well for President Obama if the OWS protests gain strength between now and the election.

The third is a blog post by a former Harvard classmate, Peter Enns, in which he is analyzing the ongoing debate among Christians on what role, if any, evolution should have in the Christian understanding of the universe. I made some comments there, including this one:

There is an issue in one of the comments above that I struggle with every Sunday morning (in the pew, not the pulpit). It is the implicit and also explicit equation: The (Christian) Bible is the (only and unique) Word of God. And Word of God comes to mean something like “words directly uttered by God for which the human writers were merely intermediaries.” My current pastor put it this way: “God speaks to us through the Bible; we speak to God through prayer.” I find this odd, because it is not what parts of the Bible teach about prayer; clearly God speaks to humans through prayer in biblical stories. Personally, I see the Bible as “the word of God” in a different sense of the genitive: not composed by God, but about God. It is, in fact, a collection of rather widely disparate points of view about God, the unity of which is located in the Jewish-Christian community from which it sprang. Parts of the Bible teach that God is also revealed through nature and through the human conscience. So for me the very notion that “The Bible is the Word (i.e., comprehensively and uniquely divine text) of (i.e, from) God” is itself imposed from the outside onto a collection of texts that as a whole does not teach this doctrine.

I welcome your comments.

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