Fresh Tracks

28 Oct

In Light of the Logos: Creation, Redemption, and the Christian Imagination

Category: Fresh Tracks
Published: 10/28/13

Ken Myers delivers lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary

On October 22-25, 2013, Ken Myers delivered a series of three lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary as part of the school’s inaugural Arts Week. The week, which included an art show, guest performers, and Myers’s three lectures, was incorporated this year to help emphasize the importance of Christian involvement in the arts. The lectures, titled “In Light of the Logos: Creation, Redemption, and the Christian Imagination,” were recorded and are available for both viewing and downloading on Dallas Theological Seminary’s website.

One of the main themes in these lectures is the claim that a Christian understanding of art and imagination begins with a confidence in the meaningful order of Creation, an order which survives the Fall and which is perceived by the collaboration of reason and imagination. So a confident affirmation of the doctrine of Creation is fundamental to understanding art and imagination. Second, the mystery of the Incarnation — God taking human form — is the basis for regarding aspects of embodied life and action as meaningful and valuable. Third, the resurrection of the man Jesus Christ confirms God’s love for his Creation and the order he established within it. Our present delight in the reality of beauty within Creation anticipates our future delight in the new heavens and the new earth.

Below are links to the three lectures and the Q&A session:

Lecture I

Lecture II

Lecture III

Question and Answer session

17 Oct

Oliver O’Donovan in Conversation

Category: Fresh Tracks
By: Ken Myers
Published: 10/17/13

Discussing political theology with Matthew Lee Anderson and Ken Myers

Oliver O’Donovan

Oliver O’Donovan’s 1996 book The Desire of the The Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology is a monumentally important work. The roots referenced in the subtitle are present in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, and in pre-modern theological reflection on the task of political authority. Modern theology and modern politics have tended — sometimes vehemently — to insist on a wall of separation between them, a wall O’Donovan insists must be torn down if we are to be true to the Gospel, which is, after all, the good news about God’s Kingdom. “Theology must be political if it is to be evangelical. Rule out the political questions and you cut short the proclamation of God’s saving power; you leave people enslaved where they ought to be set free from sin — their own sin and others’.”

In October 2013, while the U.S. government was shut down over disputes about the federal budget, Oliver O’Donovan made a rare visit to Capitol Hill for a public conversation about the Gospel and public life. The event was held a few blocks from the relatively darkened Capitol building, before a group of about 160 congressional and executive branch staff people, Christian activists, clergy, theologians, and assorted lay-people. Sponsored by the Mere Orthodoxy blog, RenewDC, the Christian’s Library Press, and MARS HILL AUDIO, the conversation was convened by Matthew Lee Anderson, the author of The End of Our Exploring and Earthen Vessels, and one of the principal contributors to

The event was recorded and is available here, in streaming audio or downloadable MP3. (Listeners must sign in to access the audio.)

A brief extract from The Desire of the Nations is available here.

3 Sep

Robert George on Marriage

Category: Fresh Tracks
Published: 09/03/13

Free audio resource from Mars Hill Audio!

What is Marriage? (Encounter Books, 2012)

Volume 117 of the Mars Hill Audio Journal featured a lengthy interview with Princeton Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George on the subject of marriage. Given the relevance of that interview to current events, and the large amount of positive feedback we've had from our listeners on the segment, we're making it available for free to all users logged into our website. Click here to listen to or download the interview.


20 May

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal: Volume 116

Category: Fresh Tracks
By: Ken Myers
Published: 05/20/13

This issue of the Journal moves from the farm to the city, from sex to death.

Five of the six guests on this volume have been on earlier issues of the Journal. We're glad they've come back to deepen our understanding of the Gospel's description of human well-being in light of God's work of creation and redemption, and to discuss how that understanding should inform our cultural lives.

Here’s the rundown for Volume 116:

Stratford Caldecott, on the original understanding of the trivium as the foundation of education, and why schools must educate the whole person within an understanding of the unity of all knowledge

Fred Bahnson, on how his early life in the mountains of Montana impressed him with the grandeur of God, and how he came down from the mountains to become an urban gardener

Eric Jacobsen, on why the Christian commitment to love neighbors should issue in a concern for the physical shape of neighborhoods, and why the lessons of the New Urbanists are a helpful antidote to the mistakes of modernism

J. Budziszewski, on why reductionist accounts of human nature—reducing all physical actions to merely material matters—fail to do justice to our humanity

Brian Brock, on how the Church has welcomed the disabled, and on the challenge of severe mental disabilities for how we understand the nature of faith

Allen Verhey, on why a "medicalized" view of death detaches us from the life of the Church, and why our trust in God at the hour of our death should include a recognition of Christ's cosmic triumph over all evil

To listen to your copy now, click here.

20 May

The Good City: Community and Urban Order

Category: Fresh Tracks
By: Ken Myers
Published: 05/20/13

MARS HILL AUDIO Anthology 10

The phrase "human flourishing" has become quite common in conversations among Christians about the goals of cultural involvement. Sometimes the shape of flourishing remains vague, sometimes it is identified with very specific social or political issues.

All too rarely is human flourishing discussed in terms as mundane as the presence of sidewalks, the width of residential streets, or zoning regulations that encourage walking rather than driving. But for a number of contemporary thinkers, human flourishing is necessarily tied to the way we plan and cultivate our built environment.

In Anthology 10: "The Good City: Community and Urban Order," MARS HILL AUDIO host Ken Myers talks with architects, historians, activists, and clergy about how loving our neighbors can and must take shape in how we order the material aspects of shared life. The conversations on this Anthology give particular attention to how the New Urbanist movement has challenged the dehumanizing effects of modernism in urban design.

Myers notes in his script that, "As the God-ordained stewards of the earth, we must be attentive to the condition of our homes, towns, cities and countryside; the love of our neighbors demands it. A rich theology of human flourishing must include the recognition that communities are sustained by memory of their history and by specific patterns of attentiveness to Creation. An architectural agenda that allows the needs of mobility to dictate the texture of lived life in cities—a civic vision that champions efficiency with no concern to the beauty of life in a place—violates the well-being of real communities and the real people within them."

Guests featured on this Anthology all previously appeared on back issues of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, and include: James Howard Kunstler (The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition); Jeff Speck (Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream); Vincent Scully (American Architecture and Urbanism); Richard Moe (Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl); Philip Bess (Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Sacred); and Eric Jacobsen (Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith).