- Christianity and climate change: the relationship between God and green: A new survey suggests that evangelical Christians in the US are more likely to be climate skeptics. (The Guardian)
- A Scientific Guide to Effectively Saying No: Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop, especially when it comes to living a more productive and healthy life. Saying no to unnecessary commitments can give you the time you need to recover and rejuvenate. Saying no to daily distractions can give you the space you need to focus on what is important to you. And saying no to temptation can help you stay on track and achieve your health goals. (Lifehacker)
- The Truth, Not the Whole Truth, but Nothing but the Truth: Communicating with a congregation in tough times is more art than science. (Out of Ur)
- Trapped: The Church Vocation Issue We Don’t Talk About: There are thousands of ministers out there who no longer wish to be ministers. They no longer want to work in churches. They don’t want to do it anymore. But they don’t know how to leave. They don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t know what to do. (The High Calling)
My mind is weird. I can remember when Augustine was born, but not where I put my keys. I know my wife’s birthday, her social security number, and the phone number she had when we were in high school, but for the life of me I can’t remember what she wants for Christmas or what I’m supposed to be doing around the house this weekend.
You can see how that might cause problems in a relationship. But it’s particularly a challenge for students. You’re investing tremendous time and money in what you’re learning. The information you gain is a treasure. Where are you going to keep it? Maybe your brain is better than mine: you never forget anything and you can just keep all that valuable information in your head. If so, count your blessings, and I hate you.
But if your brain is more like a bucket with a bunch of big holes punched through the bottom, you probably need a different plan. Otherwise, you can pour into your brain all the information you want, but most of it is just going to leak out all over your shoes and make a mess on the floor
So what are you going to do to make sure that you retain all of that precious information? Easy. Store it somewhere else.
- A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood: I’m interested instead in what leads Miley Cyrus or the midriff-baring girl up the street to believe that in order to prove her adulthood, she must become an object of male sexual consumption. And I’m interested in how the church can offer her an alternative. (Her·meneutics)
- Science Vs. Religion: A Heated Debate Fueled By Disrespect: Issues about science and religion have become so politicized and polarizing that it’s hard to find public forums in which people with different commitments can meaningfully engage in discussion and debate. You know, respectful conversations, ones in which we interpret each other charitably and don’t simply assume that those who disagree with us are foolish, immoral or just plain stupid. (NPR)
- The Short Sentence as Gospel Truth: If you ever have a preposterous statement to make … say it in five words or less, because we’re always used to five-word sentences as being the gospel truth. (New York Times)
- How Much Should It Cost to Find God? The spirituality and well-being industry continues to encourage seekers to invest in costly books, workshops, and other products. Are we being played? (The Atlantic)
Every now and then someone comes along and helps you hear a familiar passage in a new way. Last week I was blessed with one of those opportunities. Sandra Richter, fellow newcomer to the faculty at Wheaton College, presented the following devotional as a reflection on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. And she’s graciously permitted me to post it here for your edification. Enjoy.
Further, Not Faster
If you have been so blessed as to have received an e-mail from me, you know that the signature line on my new Wheaton e-mail account includes an old African proverb:
“If you want to fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
I’ve placed it there because I want to remind myself, in this particular season of my life, of the wisdom that it teaches.
How do you decide how important a theological issue is? Does the mode of baptism warrant as much attention as the incarnation? Few would say so. But how do we know?
That’s the question Gregg Allison addresses at the beginning of his excellent book Strangers and Sojourners: The Doctrine of the Church, which I’ll be reviewing in full sometime soon. And although he argues that the doctrine of the church may not rate up there with things like the incarnation and the atonement, he still thinks it qualifies as a central theological issue. (Of course, since he just wrote an almost 500-page book on the subject, that really shouldn’t surprise us too much.)
- Abuse Does Not TAke Away Use: One of the most important rules I’ve learned in my theological studies is abusus non tollit usum—”abuse does not take away use.” Basically, fire can destroy, but it’s also good for cooking or keeping your home warm; an oxygen mask can still save your life, even if someone choked you with one; scalpels still cut out cancer, even if someone got injured with one. In the same way, doctrines can still be good, true, beautiful, and helpful despite the ways they’ve been abused or misconstrued in the past. (The Gospel Coalition)
- What Makes America So Prone to Intervention? A conversation with Stanley Hauerwas, pacifist theologian, on Syria and why “humanitarianism” is a red herring. (The Atlantic)
- How to Find the Time for That Important Project: Almost everyone has some important project they can’t seem to get to. Maybe it’s starting a blog, writing a book, or launching a new business initiative. You just can’t seem to find the time to tackle it. (Michael Hyatt)
- The History and Psychology of Clowns Being Scary: You aren’t alone in your fear of makeup-clad entertainers; people have been frightened by clowns for centuries. (Smithsonian)
I normally try to connect our Sunday prayers to some important historical date. But I didn’t have anything scheduled for today, and I realized that I missed the anniversary of the death of Samuel Taylor Coleridge over the summer. So I thought I’d fix that tragic oversight today.
For those who may not know, Coleridge was a famous English poet. But like many literary figures before him, he was so much more than that. Regularly weaving theological themes into his various writings, Coleridge was a significant theologian in his own right, and one who influenced generations of theologians after him.
Samuel Coleridge died on July 25, 1834. In honor of his amazing life and influence, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.
Want to get your kids’ attention but don’t want to bother with some lengthy and emotionally draining conversation? Then you’ll find these 20 passive-aggressive notes to kids helpful. I’ll be using this one soon.