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Human Nature

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 140

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Guests on Volume 140: Matthew Rubery, on the history of the “talking book,” and on how reading aloud differs from listening to it being read; James Herrick, on the “post-human” aspirations of the transhumanist movement, and how its plausibility is established by stories; Jack Baker & Jeffrey Bilbro, on lessons that universities should heed from Wendell Berry’s essays, poetry, and fiction about commitment to living in a place; Timothy Gloege, on the influence of business methods on 20th-century evangelicalism through the shaping of Moody Bible Institute; David Hollinger, on how the sons and daughters of mid-20th-century missionaries to Asia came back to the U.S. and influenced government, journalism, and the academy; and Barrett Fisher, on the themes of the challenge of faithfulness as presented in Shusaku Endo’s Silence and in Martin Scorsese’s film version.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 24

Gilbert Meilaender, "The First of Institutions"

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(From Pro Ecclesia, Vol. VI, No. 4 [1997])

For the Christian to think about questions of sexuality as they arise today, he or she must first think about the biblical and ecclesial teaching of marriage as “an image of what is truly ultimate.” In this Audio Reprint, Gilbert Meilaender argues that notions of sexual fulfillment that ground themselves in self-expression and emotional satisfaction, or in the mutual exchange of love cannot adequately account for the historical, spiritual, communal, and bodily dimensions of sexual union. Although the challenge to establish Christian norms of behavior while avoiding additional conditions for salvation is perennial for the Church, failure to undertake this challenge stimulates a dangerous dualism between body and spirit within the Church itself. By emphasizing that the body is the place of spiritual and moral significance in our lives, Meilaender points out the need for the Church to uphold and enforce normative behaviors of chastity, in order to practice the pastoral role of showing compassion and acceptance with integrity. 40 minutes

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 23

Mark Shiffman, "Humanity 4.5"

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(From First Things, November 2015)

Transhumanism is an attitude toward humanity that views life and consciousness as data and material limitations (particularly the body) as disposable wetware. Through science and technology, transhumanists hope to achieve immortality by surpassing our current bodily limits, thus crossing over to a different type of humanity. While it is tempting to dismiss transhumanism as a fringe science fiction, professor of classical studies, Mark Shiffman, warns that the Cartesian aspirations of transhumanists are becoming more accepted and more common. And this should not come as a suprirse, since the agenda to transcend ourselves emerges from a history of thought that reaches as far back as the thirteenth century. In this Audio Reprint, Shiffman repeats a forgotten account of human history in order to help readers identify our own assumptions about humanity and to reexamine our relationship to God and his creation. 45 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 22

Gilbert Meilaender, "Mortality: The Measure of Our Days"

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(From First Things, February 1991)

In this Audio Reprint, ethicist Gilbert Meilaender considers the different ways in which we can think about our death, particularly from the paradoxical “simultaneities” of our finite nature and our transcendent desires. We are dual creatures, writes Meilaender, simultaneously bound by nature’s cycles and yet freed from mere finitude by our God-directed ends. To view death solely from one or the other of these realities is to trivialize either our spiritual longings or our historical and physical experiences. Taking his cues from Charlotte’s Web, Bambi, and The Last Battle, Meilaender confronts contemporary inclinations to deny death by placing both death and life within a spiritual framework that enables us to “measure our days.” 51 minutes.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 137

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Guests on Volume 137: Gilbert Meilaender, on how adoption offers lessons concerning the relationship between nature and grace; James L. Nolan, on what the observations of four distinguished foreign visitors can teach Americans about themselves; Joel Salatin, on how honoring the pigness of pigs enables us to more fully recognize the Godness of God; Michael Di Fuccia, on Owen Barfield’s understanding of the imagination; Robin Leaver, on clarifying some misconceptions about Martin Luther’s commitment to congregational singing; and Michael Marissen, on how J. S. Bach’s music conveys theological meaning.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 131

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Guests on Volume 131: John Durham Peters, on understanding media as agencies of order, not just devices of information; Paul Heintzman, on how a biblical understanding of human spirituality can inform our concept of “leisure”; Richard Lints, on how the image of God and idolatry are inversely related; Peter Harrison, on how our current definition of “science” and “religion” represents novel conceptual categories; Francis J. Beckwith, on the widespread tendency to erect a wall between faith and reason; David L. Schindler & Nicholas J. Healy, Jr., on how the First Amendment is not as sympathetic to religious freedom as is commonly believed.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 130

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Guests on Volume 130: Jacob Silverman, on the hidden costs of social media; Carson Holloway, on the neglected role of religious revelation within political science; Joseph Atkinson, on the sacramental and ontological foundations of marriage and family; Greg Peters, on the value of retrieving the theology and practices of Christian monasticism; Antonio López, on human nature and freedom in a technological culture; and Julian Johnson, on how Western music expresses the spirit of modernity.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 127

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Guests on Volume 127: Christopher Shannon, on the historian's communal role as story-teller; Kevin Vanhoozer, on the dramatic purposes of doctrine; Oliver O'Donovan, on negotiating our way in the created realities; Rebecca DeYoung, on the forgotten vice of vainglory; Thomas Forrest Kelly, on the invention of Western musical notation; and Calvin Stapert, on the life and work of Joseph Haydn.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 126

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Guests on Volume 126: James W. Skillen, on how all human cultural activity, including politics, should be understood in the context of God’s good purposes for Creation; Christian Smith, on how American sociology is not (as is claimed) a disinterested scientific endeavor but the pursuit of a sacred project driven by sacred commitments; B. W. Powe, on the unique “apocalyptic” insights of Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye; David Downing, on C. S. Lewis’s The Pilgrim’s Regress; Roger Scruton, on the inability for materialism to give a satisfactory account of our experience of the material world; and Jonathan Arnold, on the curious place of sacred music in a secular society.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 125

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Guests on Volume 125: Brent Hull, on the virtues of craftsmanship; David Koyzis, on the goodness and nature of authority; Steve Wilkens, on three Christian views of the relationship between faith and reason; Roger Lundin, on faith and doubt in an inescapably verbal universe; Craig Bernthal, on the Christian doctrine of Creation in Tolkien’s mythic writings; and Kerry McCarthy, on the life and legacy of English Renaissance composer William Byrd.

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