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Flotsam and jetsam (3/2)

mcdonald's revenge

Good Reads

  • Why are Millennials less religious? It’s not just because of gay marriage: Among those who have abandoned their childhood religion and are now religiously unaffiliated, one quarter say anti-gay teachings factored into their decision to go faithless. Among Millennials in the religious turned irreligious camp, almost one third said the same. At first blush, that would appear to suggest clear causation….But while there is certainly a link between the two, it is an overly simplistic analysis that glosses over a host of reasons that Americans — and particularly younger ones — are losing their religion. (The Week)
  • How iTunes Radio Is Bad for Your Soul: One overlooked spiritual consequence of our noise addiction is a failure to hear spontaneous sounds. By tightly controlling and curating what we hear, we may block out everything else and muffle the God-messages sewn throughout the fabric of the world. (Jonathan Merritt)
  • America’s Angriest Store: Whole Foods tries to bring to market the best products an area’s surrounding farms and suppliers have to offer, in a socially conscious way with high-touch customer service at the point of sale. Yet in doing so, they’ve brought out the worst in the people who are attracted to that idea. (Medium)
  • How to Debate a Christian Apologist: This one is rather painful to read, but it’s a good summary of some common responses to common Christian arguments. They’re not necessarily good arguments, but they are common. (HuffPo)

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/25)

that escalated quickly

that escalated quickly

Good Reads

  • Six Major Issues Regarding the Digital Church: This phenomenon is not transitory. It will be with us for the foreseeable future. As I speak with pastors and other church leaders across America and beyond, here are the key issues being discussed. (Thom Rainer)
  • Can I Reject an Eternal Hell and Still Be Saved? I am afraid that some of those who are attempting to be theologically astute wind up becoming academically agnostic. That is, they are agnostic enough to find every place where they don’t have to take a stand, which allows them to remain neutral for the sake of evangelism. (Michael Patton)

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/24)

xkcd

xkcd

Good Reads

  • After-Birth Abortion: The case for “after-birth abortion” draws a logical path from common pro-choice assumptions to infanticide. It challenges us, implicitly and explicitly, to explain why, if abortion is permissible, infanticide isn’t. (Slate)
  • Wait, I thought that was a Muslim thing?! Americans…might have certain assumptions about what beliefs and practices are distinctly “Islamic”….However, my time spent living in Jordan and touring Israel/Palestine has revealed that some of these stereotypically “Islamic” things are also quite Christian. These unexpected points of contact between Christianity and Islam may help Christians appreciate our own diverse religious heritage, and develop a better understanding of a people and a religion that often seem utterly ‘other’. (Commonweal)
  • Do We Really Need to Go Back to the First Century? Rather than long for another place and time, I believe we will more boldly fulfill our calling when we embrace the idea that God has placed us here and now and called us to express what it means to be the church–full of flawed people–with the cultural conditions, personalities, and living conditions we are given. (Amy Simpson)
  • 28 Books You Should Read If You Want To: I discovered one of my favorite books because the author called our store and charmed the living daylights out of me. I found another in a box of old books that my Russian literature professor left outside his office to give away. So while I do think that you should read the canon if it interests you, I think it’s more important that you read the books that find their own way into your hands.

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/21)

snowman

Good Reads

  • 5 Quotes that Luther Didn’t Actually Say: Here are a few quotes you’ll often hear attributed to Luther, though none of them are exact actual quotes, and a few of them are things that Luther would have disagreed with! (Justin Taylor)
  • The Age of Ageism: We are in an age of ageism where many of the young men I meet today in the church do not know how to relate to older men in ways that honor them and God all at once. (Bryan Lorrits)
  • Why We Don’t Just Need Community, We Need Church: In libraries and parks and museums, I can marvel at our Creator; I can shiver at his goodness; I can beat out my laments in angry stomps along trails; I can get lost in the created images and words and catch glimpses of Imago Dei along the way. I can worship; I can feel; I can ask. I can learn. But not like I can in church. (Hermeneutics)
  • True Greatness Never Goes Viral: Despite his lack of public fame, my grandpa was truly great in God’s eyes. That’s the funny thing about true, biblical greatness. Biblical greatness almost never goes viral, because biblical greatness almost always involves doing things no one ever sees. (Stephen Altrogge)

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/19)

wayne and darth

Good Reads

  • Islam, the American way: A new generation of Muslim Americans separate what is cultural, what is religious, and what is American, finding that the ‘straight path’ isn’t the same path for all. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Escaping the Prison of the Self: If the celibate person, no less than the husband or wife, is called to go out of himself in the love of friendship and siblinghood and in other bonds of kinship, then he also should want to guard his heart from constructing self-serving fantasies that have nothing to do with self-giving. (Wesley Hill)
  • Not Quite Two Cultures: Headlines regularly illustrate divides between science and religion over issues such as evolution, which many evangelicals reject. But poll results presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science suggest that the divide may be less absolute than many imagine (at least if you go beyond issues such as evolution). (Inside Higher Ed) 
  • The Cold that Bothers Us: The Pixar conquest of Disney—the ongoing effort by the new recruits from Pixar to change the Mouse House’s shallow culture of self-indulgence and self-esteem with something much more morally serious—has been an uneven battle up to now. But Frozen is an unqualified victory for Pixar’s morally serious and culturally edifying storytelling, and its stratospheric success with audiences and critics may well turn the tide of the war. It’s a profound movie on many levels.

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/17)

iron man and magneto

Good Reads

  • The Poor Shall Inherit the Boards: It would be naïve to deny that even some of our best churches and Christian nonprofits select people of affluence for their ruling boards because they crave access to these people’s financial incentives, renown, and business savvy. Having the wealthy and influential involved can be greatly beneficial, but it’s wrong for us to limit board membership to these individuals. (Hermeneutics)
  • How to Survive the Next Wave of Technology Extinction: The trouble arises when you are sold on a tech ecosystem that doesn’t prosper. It’s likely that at least one, if not several, of today’s tech behemoths won’t be around a decade from now. Thus the pervasive worry of choosing tech in these uncertain days: How do you avoid betting on the wrong horse? (New York Times)
  • 21 things shouldn’t be said to sexual abuse victims: As a sexual abuse survivor, I’ve heard my share of insensitive comments. I’ve also talked to enough victims to be able to gather some of the most damaging words here—all for the sake of those who truly, truly want to be loving, sensitive and helpful. (Mary DeMuth)

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/14)

the kitchen

Good Reads

  • When you wonder if you’re qualified for ministry: Don’t tell me that holy dirt beneath the fingernails doesn’t look like blog posts, carpool, science projects, teaching Sunday school. Don’t put a box around my calling, my audience, my seven days a week of holy Sundays breaking the bread and spilling the bloody sweat of serving out the determination to like my kids and not just love them right there in the discount aisle of my local grocery store. (Lisa-Jo Baker)
  • Not Just a New Testament God: It’s the severity of God that frightens us, and the Old Testament is rife with it. Sure, the Lord is Israel’s shepherd, but when he steps off his throne and places his foot on the mountains, they melt under the heat of his anger (Mic. 1). How exactly does a “rod” comfort me? (Christianity Today)
  • The Origin of ‘Liberalism’: When Adam Smith and a group of fellow Scots first used the word in a political sense, it meant something very different than it does today. (The Atlantic)
  • The End of Charity: How Christians are (not) to ‘Remember the Poor’: I call attention to…the commonplace presumption by Christians that we are a people of charity. We are supposed to care for those less well off. Almsgiving is constitutive of what it means to be a Christian. Yet how Christians have cared for those who have less has recently come under severe criticism. I want to explore that critique and hopefully provide a constructive response. (Stanley Hauerwas)

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  • If Sochi was Hoth. Best Winter Olympics video ever!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mKVJeA-wTw#t=13

Flotsam and jetsam (2/12)

universe carton

Good Reads

  • Is Philosophy inherently evil? Colossians 2:8 is often misunderstood to say that all philosophy is bad and Christians should not engage in the discipline. It is a little thing in translation, but one word can carry a lot of meaning. (Bill Mounce)
  • Evangelicals, Pop Culture, and Mass Culture: The issue of populism in the Evangelical ethos raises a concern for the need to differentiate between pop culture as folk culture and pop culture as mass culture. At its best, Evangelicalism seeks to preserve and foster folk culture and the critics of Evangelical piety need to recognize this strength, because it is through the ongoing propagation of folk culture that the disenchanting effects of modernity will be overcome ultimately. I say this knowing full well that the strong temptation within Evangelicalism is to traffic in the forms of mass culture, and it has succumbed to that temptation on more than one occasion. (First Things)
  • The Anabaptists: The rise of Anabaptist thinking in contemporary evangelicalism — like David Fitch and Greg Boyd and others — needs to be set into context of Anabaptism itself. (Scot McKnight)
  • I Love a Church That Sings Badly: But one reason they sing so well is that there are very few among them who are new to the faith….They sing so well because they evangelize so poorly. (Tim Challies)

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/10)

valentine

Good Reads

  • Teaching religion: my students are trying to run my course: Academic rigour, research-inspired teaching and independent, critical thinking are the hallmarks of today’s university culture. And yet many of us have found ourselves diluting or softening the topics of our modules, and the intellectual and critical content of our lectures, for fear of poor student feedback (which is carefully monitored by the university). And to take account of the personal preferences of our evangelical students. (The Guardian)
  • But There Is a Problem….: In scripture, there is a richness of response to evil and suffering, of which the assertion of divine sovereignty is simply one part. (Carl Trueman)

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Flotsam and jetsam (2/7)

dragon slaying

Good Reads

  • 10 Reasons to Know a Little Bit of Church History: Who was Athanasius? In what century did the Protestant Reformation occur? Why was Jonathan Edwards important? What was the Second Great Awakening? In most churches, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who could answer these questions. Indeed, the study of church history has fallen on hard times. But here are 10 reasons why the average believer’s walk with Christ would be enriched by learning a bit of church history. (BibleMesh)
  • Toxic Leaders in Our Ranks: Ten years ago, the United States Army decided to explore a previously forbidden subject: toxic leadership. What they learned could have far-reaching ramifications for their organization, but also for others, including the church. (Hermeneutics)
  • Where Is Biblical Counseling’s Ken Ham? If our worldview is so sure and strong, why can’t we more frequently recognize, praise, and use findings, advances, practices, and even meds that secular scientists and psychologists have discovered and have used to help others? (David Murray)
  • Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline: Once considered the product of genius or divine inspiration, creativity — the ability to spot problems and devise smart solutions — is being recast as a prized and teachable skill. Pin it on pushback against standardized tests and standardized thinking, or on the need for ingenuity in a fluid landscape. (New York Times)

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