Author Archives: Chris Heard

Martin Luther on astrology

“… Augustine condemned all astrology. Although it contains much superstition, yet it should not be entirely despised, for it is wholly given up to the observation and consideration of divine themes, a zeal and diligence most worthy of human beings. Therefore we find that many most highly talented and excellent persons have exercised themselves in astrology and obtained pleasure from it.” — Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, vol. 1 (ed. John Nicholas Lenker, 1904), 74

Not that Luther was ever reluctant to disagree with Augustine, but I can’t help wondering which “highly talented and excellent persons” Luther had in mind, and why they were so important to him that he characterized astrology as good clean fun rather than pagan drivel.

Mac apps and Biblical Hebrew update: ditch your Tiro keyboard

If you’re frustrated with your attempts at right-to-left text processing on a Macintosh, the problem may lie in your keyboard layout. For quite a while now, I’ve been using the Biblical Hebrew keyboard layout prepared by Tiro Typeworks and distributed by the Society of Biblical Literature. Two or three days ago, though, I discovered that the vast majority of my frustrations with right-to-left text processing on a Macintosh were caused by using the Tiro keyboard layout.

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I hope so

When the shampoo bottle says “Lather. Rinse. Repeat,” we don’t spend the rest of our lives in the shower. We infer that it means “repeat once.” And we know how to interpret ambiguous headlines such as “Kids Make Nutritious Snacks,” “Prostitutes Appeal to Pope,” and “British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands” … (Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate)

“Noah” and environmentalism

By now it’s almost become old hat: read a Christian’s negative review of Noah, and at some point you’ll find the film criticized for heavy-handed environmentalism. For example, in an excessively vituperative review on the Christian Post website, Brian Godawa writes:

Christians, you are tools being played if you think that this movie is anything BUT a subversion of the Biblical God and an exaltation of environmentalism and animal rights against humans. Don’t listen to those who say that hurting the earth is just part of the sins of mankind in the story. No matter what “sins” of man that are portrayed in this story, they are clearly only expressions of the ultimate sin, which is to sin against the earth. Every time it talks about man’s sin and God’s intent, the context is always “creation” not God, and not man as God’s image. The guy who preaches “man as God’s image” is the villain. “Creation” as in “Nature” is the metanarrative here, NOT God.

And that’s when Godawa is being nice.

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How to watch Aronofsky’s “Noah”

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah premiered this week in theaters worldwide. Rob Moore, the Paramount executive who green-lit the project, is a Pepperdine alum. On Thursday night he hosted a Dean’s Executive Leadership Series event for Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management at Paramount Studios, including a screening of Noah. This particular post won’t present a comprehensive review of the film—there are plenty of those out there and will be plenty more, I’m sure—though I may post additional reflections later on. Rather, I want to suggest something about how you should approach the film, should you decide to go see it.

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