Friday, 10 July 2015

I agree with Jim West - almost

Jim West is the Grumpy Old Man of bibliobloggers, no contest (and I say that as a qualified grump myself). He doesn't like so many things; emergent Christianity, N. T. Wright, accredited universities, Universalists, 'Pentebabblists', marriage equality, dissenters from an every-Sunday-pew-potato role, Texas... the list goes on and on.

And of course he's wright - oops, I mean right - about some of these things (on the above sample list I score him 3/8). More often than not these days, though, he simply seems to be venting like the bar flies who sit around at the pub pontifically grizzling about the sad state of life in general.

But today I found myself uttering an 'amen', sort of, to one of his latest posts.
It’s time to abandon it [the term evangelical] as an utterly meaningless Rorschach / Chameleon like word which only takes on the appearance of its surroundings.  It CERTAINLY no longer means what Luther meant when he called himself and other protesters ‘Evangelische’.  There are virtually no Evangelische among American ‘Evangelicals’ because rather than protesting against heresy and embracing the Gospel, they have abandoned the Gospel and embraced the world.
He had me all the way through to the word 'because', when he went all Southern Baptist.

I've commented before on the misuse of the word 'evangelical'  - rampant throughout the English-speaking world. It's a battle the ELCA (which does know what the word means) joined - without notable effect - when it included the word in it's name.

To see it now as the assumed sole possession of the fruitcake fringe is terribly sad.


  1. Evolution of languages, and attempts at understanding dead languages, have certainly played into attempts at understanding scripture. And the change of meaning, or relevance of certain words just in our own time span often provides further illustration of this process. The very word "evangelical" has morphed into such a blanket cliche that clarifying verbiage is required to understand what the user of that term actually means. Language would seem to be related to and influenced by the zeitgeist.


  2. How about another Jim West, math genius though? My 11-year-old daughter just finished reading his book, Libellus de Numeros (The Book of Math) that makes math and science relevant and fun in a story of magic and danger. The story is about Alex, a young precocious girl, who mysteriously gets transported to a strange world where Latin and Math combine in formulas and equations with magical effects. With a cruel council leading the only safe city of its kind in this world, she will have to prove her worth to stay as well as help this city as it is the target for two evil wizards who seek to destroy the city and its ruling council. To help the city and also get back home, she will need the help of the greatest mathematician of all time, Archimedes. In a world where math is magic, Alex wishes she paid more attention in math class. Search for the book on goodreads for reviews.