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Flotsam and jetsam (4/23)

written language

Good Reads

  • What the Bible Belt Stereotypes Don’t Tell You: It was easy to avoid my questions about God and faith, because in my community and in my circles, spiritual conversations simply didn’t take place. Relocating to Nebraska, however, brought my struggles with faith to the forefront and forced me to face my deep doubt head-on for the first time in 20 years. (Hermeneutics)
  • What Hollywood gets wrong about heaven:  In Scripture, when mortals catch a premature glimpse of God’s glory, they react in remarkably similar ways. They tremble. They cower. They go mute. The ones who can manage speech express despair (or “woe” to use the King James English) and become convinced they are about to die. Fainters abound. (CNN Belief)
  • Why You Need to Stop Bragging about How Busy You Are:  Schulte had bought into a “culture of busy.” That is, a work environment where logging in long hours and complaining about not having any time in the day is considered a status symbol and a sign of success. (Fast Company)

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Book giveaway: Theology Questions Everyone Asks

Theology-Questions-Ev-4044If you’re looking for an excellent resource for dealing with some of the most common questions in theology, I have a book for you. Actually, I have three of them. One for each of three lucky winners. So read on or scroll to the bottom of the post to sign up.

In Theology Questions Everyone Asks (IVP, 2014), the theology faculty at Wheaton College worked together to address the questions they encounter most frequently in the classroom. And they do so clearly, engagingly, and thoughtfully. (Observant readers will notice that I’m not in the book. That could be interpreted as yet another attempt to keep the new guy down. Or it could be because they wrote the book before I got here. I’ll let you decide.) Here’s the endorsement from Tom McCall (Trinity) to whet your appetite.

Some of the most penetrating and intriguing theological questions are the ones asked not by professional theologians but by sincere students and laypersons. Helpful answers to such questions are not, alas, as common as we might think. Thankfully, in Theology Questions Everyone Asks, we get some real-truth answers to go with real-life questions.

And here’s a short video trailer for the book.

Like I said, I have three copies of the book to give away. If you’re interested, just enter below. (I won’t use the email addresses for anything other than this giveaway.) And be a good servant of the kingdom and pass news about the giveaway to anyone you think might be interested.

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/21)

toilet paper

Good Reads

  • Fundamentalist Arguments against Fundamentalism:  Biblical fundamentalism, Ehrman contends, is simply wrong. Therefore, he reasons, the Bible really can’t be trusted. There is just one problem with this conclusion — it is flawed at its very core. (Craig Evans)
  • If a Student Says Homosexuality Is a Sin in School, Is It Bullying? Anger has been building up on both sides,” said Haynes. “On the conservative Christian side, they see this as being used to inappropriately hush up kids. But the reality is that this speech does trigger a lot of emotion, and for some people on [the other] side, we’ve come to a place where kids talking about homosexuality being sinful [is considered] unacceptable in public schools. (The Atlantic)
  • 12 Things I Want To Hear My Students Say:  The magic of learning isn’t in its finite and concrete inputs and outputs, but rather its abstractions–the confrontation between a thinker and the stimulus around them. This suggests that we look for something other than correct answers–little light bulbs coming on–to soothe us as educators. (TeachThought)
  • Why We Need Monks: Because consecrated religious stand in opposition to so many of the modern world’s common conceits, their existence is almost utterly inconceivable to us. This unintelligibility is, in part, a tragic effect of the major loss of religious life over the past half-century. And this countercultural witness is precisely why we need a renewed monasticism today. (Fare Forward)

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A Prayer for Sunday (St. Anselm)

anselmOne of the great minds of the medieval church,  St. Anselm of Canterbury served as a monk in northern France for more than thirty years before becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury. Best known for his treatise on the doctrine of the atonement (Cur Deus Homo), Anselm was also a key figure in the Investiture Controversy, an important clash between church and state that helped define medieval Europe.

Anselm died on April 21, 1109. In honor of his amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.

Teach me to seek you,
and reveal yourself to me as I seek:
For unless you instruct me
I cannot seek you,
and unless you reveal yourself
I cannot find you.
Let me seek you in desiring you:
let me desire you in seeking you.
Let me find you in loving you:
let me love you in finding you.

Saturday Morning Fun…Best Flight Attendant Ever

If you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen this yet, check out what has to be the funniest pre-flight announcement ever.

Flotsam and jetsam (4/18)

no dogs

Good Reads

  • No, All Christian Content Shouldn’t Be Free:  I understand the desire to get resources into the hands of those who can’t afford them. The impulse to break down financial barriers so  people can hear the gospel and so God’s people can grow is good. I’m thankful for all of the free content, readily available online and elsewhere. But there point we must understand is that good content always has a cost. (Daniel Darling)
  • Top 10 tips for atheists this Easter: I doubt there are any strong scientific, philosophical or historical arguments against Christianity. Most of those in current circulation are nowhere near as persuasive as New Atheism imagines. Contemporary sceptics would do well to drop them. Paradoxically, I do think Christianity is vulnerable at precisely the points of its own emphases. (The Drum)

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/15)


Good Reads

  • The Power of Story: Captivated by the Gospel:  Stories help us make sense of where we find ourselves, what has gone wrong with things, and what can be done about it. Stories shape and narrate how we view ourselves. These narratives speak to a deep longing in our hearts, opening the doors of possibility to things that could be. However, most of the narratives that captivate the imaginations of children are nothing more than fanciful myths. (Facts & Trends)
  • What Gethsemane Teaches Us about Suffering:  Who among us hasn’t found ourselves in a situation where the inevitable seems impossible? Where the unavoidable seems unimaginable? Who hasn’t said to God, in so many words, “Remove this cup”? (Religion News Service)
  • Forgiving the Unforgiveable in Rwanda: I knew that to really minister to Rwanda’s needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country….It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable. (CNN Religion)

Things I Would Wish Upon My Enemies

I know we’re supposed to pray for our enemies and whatnot, but for those occasions when you just need a good curse or two, here are some things you can wish upon your worst enemies, maybe even you nemesis, if you’re lucky enough to have one. (via Doghouse Diaries)

Things-to-wish-upon-an-enemy-01-685x793 Things-to-wish-upon-an-enemy-02-685x675

Flotsam and jetsam (4/14)



Good Reads

  • 9 Groundbreaking Scientists Who Happened to Be Christians:  what is frequently lost in all this is that the history of science is rich with believing Christians, for whom the process of discovery did not jeopardize their faith, but enforced it. These people are reminders that science is not a threat to be feared, but a journey we can embrace with confidence, knowing that all truth can only be revealed as God’s truth. (Relevant)
  • Diversity and Dishonesty:  What both cases illustrate, with their fuzzy rhetoric masking ideological pressure, is a serious moral defect at the heart of elite culture in America. (Ross Douthat)
  • 5 Reasons Religious Millennials Aren’t Marrying:  Millennials’ median marriage age is also the highest of any group in modern history — 29 for men and 27 for women. Though most unmarried Millennials (69 percent) say they’d like to marry, they’re not in a hurry. (OnFaith)

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/11)


Good Reads

  • Can Church Separate Mental Illness and Shame?  People don’t want to admit to having a mental illness, because we all know what it looks like. It’s either a psychopathic killer or somebody sitting in a corner, staring vacant-eyed and drooling…. That’s not what it looks like. It looks like the people in this room. (Christianity Today)
  • The Nun Who Got Addicted to Twitter:  You might not expect nuns to be experts on Twitter, Facebook, and multi-player video games, but Burns defies all expectations. With 13,790 Twitter followers and counting, the Daughter of St. Paul calls herself a “media nun”: A woman religious with a calling to communicate the word of Christ, in any way she can. (The Atlantic)
  • What the Happiest People Know about Work:  a growing body of research in positive psychology and neuroscience is demonstrating that happiness is the secret ingredient to success. It turns out, our brains are more engaged, creative, productive, and resilient when in a positive state. (Fast Company)

Other Info

Just for Fun

  • If you’ve ever wondered how Hong Kong and Macau are related to the rest of China, here you go. (Even if you’ve never wondered, it’s still interesting.)

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