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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)

commas

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)

Flotsam and jetsam (4/14)

brilliant!

brilliant!

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)

HW5xsAG

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.)

Flotsam and jetsam (4/9)

vandalism

Good Reads

  • Long a Survivor in Syria, a Dutch Priest Is Slain:  The Rev. Frans van der Lugt, a Dutch Jesuit priest who became a symbol of suffering and compassion in the war-ravaged Old City district of Homs, Syria, was shot to death Monday morning by a lone gunman, according to members of his order. (New York Times)
  • 9 unintended benefits of small group life:  Healthy small groups teach us more than they often set out to teach. We are molded and changed in so many ways, because God uses others in mighty ways to make us more like Jesus. In fact, you can’t be like Jesus without others. It’s impossible. You can’t serve others, love others, be generous with one another, or accomplish any of the “one another” commands in Scripture by yourself. (Ben Reed)
  • How the Internet Is Taking Away America’s Religion:  Using the Internet can destroy your faith. That’s the conclusion of a study showing that the dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use. (MIT Technology Review)
  • The Rise of Same-Sex Marriage Dissidents:   But in the spirit of Jon Stewart’s poster shown up at the top, which reads, “I may disagree with you but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler,” let’s go on an open-minded journey where we seek to understand the views of others without characterizing them as Hitler-like. It’s difficult in these times, but we can do it. (The Federalist)

Other Info

Just for Fun

  • Disney characters can be a little weird.

Flotsam and jetsam (4/7)

uVE5gdB

Good Reads

  • The Girls Next Door: In 2012, President Barack Obama said the fight against human trafficking was ‘one of the great human rights causes of our time.” so why are so many Colorado children still being sexually exploited? (The Denver Magazine)
  • Richard Dawkins Is So Wrong It Hurts: What the Science-vs.-Religion Debate Ignores:  This current discourse that pits faith and science against one another like Nero’s lions versus Christians — inappropriate analogy intended — borrows directly from the conflation of all religious traditions with the history and experience of Euro-American Christianity, specifically of the evangelical variety. (Salon)
  • 15 Keys to Parenting: What No One Tells You:  Ten years, it’s been a bit of dog and pony show and your hearts have catapulted through our own daily tilt, implanted themselves right into mine. Ten years, broken bits of us to the power of God and who knew exponential glory was found in the sticky and messy places? (Ann Voskamp)
  • Where I Stand: Also wounded on the side of the road are Christians who sincerely love God and people and believe homosexuality is a sin, but they’ve been lumped in with the Big Loud Mean Voices unfairly. Painted as hateful intolerants, they are actually kind and loving and are simply trying to be faithful. The paintbrush is too wide, the indictments unfounded. (Jen Hatmaker)

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/4)

pet me

Good Reads

  • Is an Online Church Really a Church? E very church should have an online presence. Your church people and your community are there, so you should be as well. But that is different than referring to something that happens via your website as a “church.” (Ed Stetzer)
  • The Fault Lines Before the Evangelical Earthquake:  The recent controversy surrounding World Vision USA’s decision to open employment to same-sex couples and the organization’s subsequent reversal reveals the fault lines in evangelicalism today. (Trevin Wax)
  • The Four Questions of Christian Education:  if any student graduates from a Christian school, at either the secondary or the university level, and cannot answer the following questions I argue that the school is failing. (Anthony Bradley)
  • 7 Reasons We Don’t Make Disciples:  Today I believe the Holy Spirit is drawing the church back to the New Testament model. Leaders as well as churchgoers are weary of the impersonal, performance-based, people-in-the-pews approach. We are tired of the show. We have not been called to entertain an audience—we have been commissioned to train an army. (Charisma)

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/2)

batmans wedding

Good Reads

  • How math illumines our infinite God:  If we don’t possess even basic math skills, how will we ever be able to engage the mathematical – that is, the logical, precise, trustworthy, universal, elegant, infinite and awe-inspiring – mind of God? (Think Christian)
  • A Thread Called Grace:  Secrets draw their power from shame. I convince myself that I am too messed-up, too tainted, or too tarnished for others to accept. Or maybe people will think I am a fraud. As I believe these lies, shame grows into fear, which is almost always at some level, fear that if others truly know me, they won’t love me. Or at least love me as much or in the same way. (Jonathan Merritt)
  • What Worship Style Attracts the Millennials?  And you will hear Millennials speak less and less about worship style. Their focus is on theologically rich music, authenticity, and quality that reflects adequate preparation in time and prayer. (Thom Rainer)
  • Aged Out of Church:  The emotional, spiritual, physical, and relational shifts that occur at midlife can lead to disconnection from old social networks and a profound sense of loneliness, which brings with it serious health risks. At this point, many also feel drained by the increasingly common occurrence of death, disease, divorce, and the changes that redefine old friendships. (Hermeneutics)

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Flotsam and jetsam (3/28)

at at oops

Good Reads

  • Hooray for “worthless” education! We live in one of the few cultures in the world that has the ideal of pursuing happiness – not industry, not wealth – built into its national character, and yet we increasingly treat the notion of educating ourselves in how to be well-rounded, sentient beings as a pointless expense. And learning for its own satisfaction is all but laughed at. (Salon)
  • The Friendless Pastor: It’s ironic that pastors, who talk the most about the need for community, experience it the least. Our days and nights are filled with calls, meetings, and interactions with people. But despite lots of people contact, we have few trusted peers. We have too many relationships and too few friends. (Leadership)

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Flotsam and jetsam (3/26)

real books

Good Reads

  • Jesus Ate with Sinners: Jesus’s table fellowship with sinners looked suspicious from the outside, but those who were there knew that kingdom activity was going on. Those intent on purity and cleanness, who live with an us-versus-them mentality, should think that we are drunkards and gluttons! But the broken sinners should know that we are people of grace and compassion. (Andy Holt)
  • Get Ready for Generation X to Take the Reins: They’re more pragmatic than the boomers, and less idealistic overall. But unlike the millennials, they haven’t rejected either large institutions (political parties and organized religion) or capitalism. More than the “slacker” stereotype, many Gen Xers were aspiring “yuppies” who saw movies like “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Wall Street” and thought about how they might make money and acquire power in a world that no longer promised each generation a better life. (US News)

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