I finally found the space in my book budget to subscribe to the Mars Hill Audio Journal, and I can’t believe my first listen is already complete. Myers knows how to pick ’em. Every one of the six interviews in vol. 126 was right up my alley.
- James W. Skillen, on the necessity of keeping our beliefs about Creation tied to our convictions about redemption, and the importance of understanding the place of all cultural life within God’s plan of Creation. (I just helped write some chapters on a Christian view of government which made substantially the same point Skillen did about the givenness of creation and its relationship to the political order.)
- Christian Smith, on the commitment of American sociology to a particular understanding of human nature, despite sociology’s claim to being an objective science. (I was just needing an illustration for the teacher’s edition of that same book of how, concretely, science demonstrates its fallenness.)
- B. W. Powe, on the unique visionary imaginations of Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye, colleagues at the University of Toronto for thirty-four years. (This one was less up my alley, but one or two of McLuhan’s aphorisms have been bouncing around in my brain for years.)
- David Downing, on the allegorical references to twentieth-century cultural and intellectual movements in one of C. S. Lewis’s least-read books. (I’ve been reading this book! Can’t wait to get back into it!)
- Roger Scruton, on the numerous aspects of human experience that suggest a materialistic explanation of life is implausible. (I just got done writing about the reality of aesthetic standards in that same book, Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption.)
- Jonathan Arnold, on the curious place of sacred choral music in the lives of audiences for whom traditional religious commitments seem unavailable. (I’ve often wondered about this from the perspective of the performers. Does Chanticleer think about what they’re singing, for example? Fascinating.)
Get the Mars Hill Audio Journal. It’s kind of a cheat sheet for books you may not have time to get to, and a tip-off to books you simply must get to. More on Christian Smith tomorrow, hopefully.