Dr. Matthew Sleeth’s newest book 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life is the most recent book on the topic of keeping the Sabbath. Many books on Sabbath keeping read like a technical manual describing in detail how to keep the Sabbath. Sleeth differs in his approach by emphasizing the health aspects of keeping the Sabbath, as befits his training as a doctor, in addition to the spiritual benefits.
Phyllis Tickle’s newest book, The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why, arrived yesterday. At 172 pages, this small but elegant volume (aren’t all Tickle’s books elegant?) both informs and disappoints. Tickle takes on the daunting task of reviewing the major turning points or ‘Great’ events in the life of the Christian church. Her contention is that every 500 years or so the church goes through a ‘great’ transformation.
Counting back from the present, the Great Reformation took place about 500 years ago — 1517 to be exact. Prior to that, The Great Schism occurred when the Eastern and Western churches split over icons and statues. Five hundred years earlier, Gregory the Great blessed and encouraged the monastic orders which would preserve the Christian faith through the Dark Ages. Of course, 500 years before that, we’re back in the first century and the time of the apostles. Today, Tickle contends, the church in in the throes of The Great Emergence.
But, the Great Emergence is not just religious. It is also cultural, technological, and sociological. Of course, context shaped each of the other ‘great’ church transformations as well, and this time is no different. …
Matthew Sleeth: The Green Bible focuses the reader on the vast amount of scripture that deals with God creating, sustaining, and commanding us to maintain the world. The format of verses highlighted in green allows the reader to easily find relevant scripture. What is God’s first commandment to mankind? It is now printed in green. We are to placed on earth to protect and care for the garden. This charge, found in Genesis , has no time limit. It hasn’t run out. We live in an era when environmental questions abound. What should we do about water or fuel shortages? How should we help refugees displaced by flood or drought? The answers can be found in the Bible.
Not only is The Green Bible a tool for finding God’s operating instructions for earth, it is an example of how everything we do can model stewardship and sustainability. Care has been taken in the manner of printing and binding The Green Bible, which reflects the understanding that there is no “away.” Everything we use will eventually return to our closed system of food, water, and air–even our Bibles.
Question: Most of us think of science as a virtuous or noble profession and view scientists as people motivated purely by the pursuit of knowledge—in and of itself. From where does this idea originate and how did it come to dominate our ideas of the sciences?
Steven Shapin: If, indeed, we do think this—and the extent to which we do is becoming an interesting question—the origin of the sentiment is classical. The Greeks believed that human beings innately desired knowledge and that the pursuit of knowledge was virtuous in itself. In Christian conceptions of Nature as God’s Book—on a par with Scripture—the study of Nature had the power of moral uplift, ennobling those who pursued natural knowledge. Moreover, we have to appreciate that it was only in fairly recent times that scientific research became a job, ultimately paid for by the State or by industry. For the great majority of scientists before the twentieth century, scientific inquiry was more a calling than an occupation: the normal historical state of affairs was for the scientific practitioner to be an amateur—however competent—doing it for love and not money.