The World’s Most Contagious Falsehood Debunked

misconceptions (550x1203)

Okay, I totally thought the goldfish one was true. And I just learned the one about the vikings horns a few months ago. So I’m catching up, albeit rather slowly!

Check out the rest of these 52 common misconceptions. I’m sure the evolution one is likely to annoy some people, but the rest are fun. (Click to embiggen.)

misconceptions (550x1203)dd

What Is Literature Good For?

purebred english Bulldog in glasses and book

purebred english Bulldog in glasses and bookI have made no secret of the fact that I like good literature. (To be honest, I’m not terribly picky. I like a good story whether it qualifies as “literature” or not.) And I think there are good reasons that everyone should read fiction regularly. (See 6 Reasons You Should “Waste” Your Time Reading Fiction.) So I resonate deeply with this new video from The School of Life on what literature is good for.

The video highlight four benefits of good literature:

  1. It saves you time.
  2. It makes you nicer.
  3. It’s a cure for loneliness.
  4. It prepares you for failure.

And I think the video is correct on all four. But my favorite is the idea that literature saves you time. Rather worry about whether fiction as a waste of time, the video points out that there is no other way to “experience” the world from so many different perspectives and in so many different ways. It would take a lifetime to experience even a portion of what you can get through literature. We need to have some experiences of our own, of course, but we can expand that by having the kind of mediated experiences that literature offers.

If you’re still not convinced, check out the full video for yourself. It’s worth five minutes.

Retelling Gospel Stories

first time we saw him

first time we saw him

Have you ever read one of the stories in the gospels, either one that was about Jesus or one of the parables told by Jesus, and been…well…bored? If you’re like me, you’ve heard those same stories so many times that they’re like an old blanket: more comforting than interesting.

What would it be like to go back and once again hear those stories for the first time?

That’s what Matt Mikalatos is trying to help us do in The First Time We Saw Him: Awakening to the Wonder of Jesus (Baker, 2014). As he explains in the introduction, the book comes from his own experience of knowing lots of facts about the Bible, but realizing that his muted responses to the gospel stories were radically different from those who were hearing those stories for the first time.

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The Rise of “Emerging Adulthood”

Adorable Kids in Over Sized Suits

Emerging adulthood is now viewed by many as a distinct stage of life in America, one that covers the period between high school and “real” adulthood. And according to Christian Smith, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, it’s a stage of life that is powerfully shaping the way people in their 20s view the world, how they understand the church, and how they approach their own formation.

Adorable Kids in Over Sized Suits

At a faculty workshop at Wheaton College earlier this semester, Smith gave a fascinating summary of recent research on emerging adulthood and its significance for understanding and ministering to young adults today. Here are some of the highlights. (Keep in mind that these are all sweeping generalizations. Smith was quite clear that none of this will apply across the board to any particular young adult or even to distinct sub-groups of young adults. But these are pretty clear characteristics of the life stage as a whole.)

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