Running Heads

From the editors of Cascade Books and Pickwick Publications at Wipf and Stock Publishers

Category: Research/Writing

Playing catch up

I was out of the office for several days this week and last, and I feel like I’ve been doing little more than playing catch up since my return. Aside from the many job-related tasks and domestic duties that piled up in my absence, I returned to a long list of new music awaiting my listening ears. These past two weeks, especially, saw the release of several anticipated albums, all of which are sitting still in a Spotify playlist waiting for me to give them attention. For those interested to know what I will be listening to for the next several weeks, here’s a list of new albums I’m most anxious to hear:

William Fitzsimmons – Lions

Phantogram – Voices

Beck – Morning Phase

St. Vincent – St. Vincent

Neneh Cherry – Blank Project (yes, the Neneh Cherry of 80s “Buffalo Stance” fame!)

On another front, yesterday I learned of James Allison‘s visit to Eugene next month and I read through the discussion on Scot McKnight’s blog about penal substitutionary atonement and mimetic theory. These two things made me realize I need to catch up on Rene Girard.

Higher Education, Syria, and Other Things That Are Messed Up

I’ve known for a long time that writing does not come easy to me. I don’t consider myself a poor writer, but I’ve never been adept at sitting at a keyboard and having words flow from my not-so-fast-moving fingers. I’m not one who works out his thoughts by writing. Rather, I like to read and sit with my ideas. Continue reading

Online Research?

On the popular Lifehacker blog, Alan Henry has written a helpful post called “How to Conduct Scientific Research On the Internet (Without Getting Duped).” Until someone writes something similar for biblical and/or theological studies, I am going to point people to this blog post and tell them to make the necessary modifications for their disciplines. What does not need altering, except for a word here or there, is the first section: Recognize Your Two Biggest Research Enemies.

  1. Confirmation Bias – “your own natural tendency to find, believe, and source information that agrees with (or confirms) your already-held opinions about a topic. It’s a problem even for highly educated scientists and experts in their field, and it’s something you’ll need to be ready to battle when you’re looking into a topic that’s new to you. You may be presented with information that’ll challenge your preconceived notions and beliefs. That’s okay—that really just means you need to keep an open mind and seek to understand and find evidence to all sides of an argument (especially the ones you disagree with.)”
  2. Questionable Sources – every college, university, and seminary professor has seen this one! “…unsourced, poorly-cited articles that draw conclusions without backing them up. Even the best do this sometimes, like citing a study that doesn’t support their conclusions or reporting a study’s conclusions blindly. Keep an eye out though, even poorly-cited work can lead you to valuable reading, but unsourced conjecture should be treated as opinion” (emphasis added).

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