Philip Melancthon’s Objection to Other Worlds

“The Son of God is one: our master Jesus Christ, coming forth in this world, died and was resurrected only once. Nor did he manifest himself elsewhere, nor has he died or been resurrected elsewhere. We should not imagine many worlds because we ought not imagine that Christ died and was risen often; nor should it be thought that in any other world without the knowledge of the Son of God that people would be restored to eternal life.”

Initia doctrinae physicae, Corpus Reformatorum 13 (Halle: Schwetschke, 1846; reprint, Frankfurt; Minerva, 1963) 1.221.

Cited by Thomas F. O’Meara, “Christian Theology and Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life” Theological Studies 60 (1999), pg. 6.

Wrecked Horses

On HWY 82 yesterday, between West Point and Starkville, I saw an overturned horse trailer a quarter of a mile ahead and there was a man standing on the shoulder who was signaling for everyone to slow down.

My chest seized up when I first entertained the idea that there were horses inside. I think of horses as being so heavy and long-limbed – sturdy when upright but almost absurdly brittle in every other inclination. As I passed, I looked back and saw two brown horses on their sides, one on top of the other. There were two men and a woman talking to the horses and trying to figure out how to get them out safely.

I really hope that the horses are alright. That when they were removed from the trailer that their limbs were whole… that they didn’t bolt into traffic… that they didn’t kick anyone…

Update: Found a tweet that the horses are okay:

“She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.”

Austen, Mansfield Park

Place Names in England

My friend Neil is studying in England right now and has been sending me some great place names:

Stoke Newington, Tooting Bec, Chalk Farm, Heron Quays, Golders Green, Pontoon Dock, Limehouse, Snaresbrook, Harrow & Wealdstone, Tott’ridge and Whetstone, Angel, Chigwell, Crouch End, Neasden, Ickenham, Bromley-by-Bow.

I think it would be really cool to live in “Crouch End.”

Dear Rita: Misheard “Lyrics” in Jane Eyre

I just finished listening to Jane Eyre on audiobook. It was great, and the reader’s English accent was very pleasant. When I finished listening to the book, I immediately thought of looking up literary criticism to find out who Rita is. Throughout the novel, Jane writes, as in a diary, to someone named “Rita” and yet there are no epistolary artifacts – a diary written *to* someone seemed to be an interesting thing to explore. Of course, as I told Ann what I was hoping to research, it dawned on me that “Rita” is “reader!” My train of thought – maybe “Rita” is a pun for “reader” and then, doh…

Processing in Private

I thought this roundtable was helpful in thinking through the recent controversy caused by the TGC article. The real lesson of the whole event is that it’s a bad idea to process thoughts about race in public. It’s a perilous topic to broach and there are no rewards for failure that aren’t overwhelmed by the likely punishments for failure. You’re better off serving your immediate neighbors or making your garden a more beautiful place.