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Matthew Tuininga’s three-part series on the Two Kingdoms Doctrine (2K) published by Reformation21.org is an essential introduction to the contemporary debate within conservative Reformed circles concerning the role of the church in its relations to society and culture. Part One introduces the conflict, Part Two reviews John Calvin’s historical-exegetical approach to the temporal-spatial dimensions of 2K, and Part Three is an analysis of the scriptural basis of 2K. I recommend it for all who are making their first foray into the controversy. The Aquila Report has provided a very helpful analysis of some recent, especially vocal contenders with diverse perspectives on the issue. Finally (as far as introductions go), I recommend David VanDrunen’s Living in God’s Two Kingdoms—his book essentially reflects my position on this issue.

Barth’s thoughts on the three theories of the institution; from CD III/4, pp. 440–46

From § 55. Freedom for Life; 2. The Protection of Life

Note: I did not include Barth’s small-type, I have emphasized text that I believe is particularly relevant, and I included sub-headings to facilitate reading.

Outlining the Three Theories of Capital Punishment

According to the first theory [of capital punishment], which is not only the oldest and most primitive but also the most obvious and impressive, the purpose of punishment is to protect society and the individuals pitied in it against the criminal and possible imitators of his action by effectively removing the former in some gentler or more drastic fashion, by thus preventing him from further wrong doing, and at the same time by setting a dreadful example before the latter in order to teach them that such acts are not worth while.

Excavating the Archaeology of Oppressive Discourses — Blackness and the Sports-Industrial Complex

Source: Twitchy.com

A friend asked me to problematize a gossip column released by TMZ concerning a recent event at a UCLA sporting facility.

I’d like to highlight the work of Theresa Runstedtler (cf. her American University profile), specifically her 2011 paper on black labor in the sports-industrial complex. From the abstract, the following paragraph — which includes my interjections and framing — highlights some of the more structural criticisms I have with what I insist on calling l’américain folâtre la scène—the American sports scene.

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One of the luxuries of studying history, if you’ll indulge me, is the relatively fluid transition between what I do in college and what I do over the summer interruption. This last Spring Quarter, for example, I spent the majority of my time reading books about Low Country iconoclasm for the purpose of writing a 20 page paper — part of a one-on-one directed research class with a brilliant professor. In a word, the paper is about tracing ritual inversion and revolt in Ghent from the mid-fifteenth century to the late sixteenth century, using Peter Arnade’s considerable research on urban particularism.