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Flotsam and jetsam (1/24)

meme quotes

Good Reads

  • The Art of PresenceDo be there. Some people think that those who experience trauma need space to sort things through. Assume the opposite. Most people need presence. (New York Times)
  • Eleven Reasons Pastors Are Trusted Less Today: Why are pastors no longer held in high esteem? What is behind the precipitous drop in favorable ratings almost every year? Allow me to offer eleven possible reasons. As you will see, they are not mutually exclusive. (Thom Rainer)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/22)

human update

Good Reads

  • Three Myths on the World’s Poor: By almost any measure, the world is better off now than it has ever been before. Extreme poverty has been cut in half over the past 25 years, child mortality is plunging, and many countries that had long relied on foreign aid are now self-sufficient. So why do so many people seem to think things are getting worse? (Wall Street Journal)
  • How race and religion have polarized American voters: The rise of polarized politics in Washington is a direct result of profound changes that have taken place in American society and culture over several decades. These changes include a dramatic increase in racial and ethnic diversity and a deepening divide over religion and moral values. (WaPo)
  • Brothers, we are not Amateurs: A Plea for Ministry Preparation: A ministerial amateur is not one who lacks formal training or advanced degrees from reputable institutions. An amateur is one who lacks the knowledge base, skill set, and experience for a particular task, in this case Christian ministry. This is to say, one can still be an amateur though holding an earned degree, and one can be a faithful minister though lacking one. (Jason K. Allen)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/20)

nerd problems

Good Reads

  • Why Millennials Long for Liturgy: The millennial generation is seeking a holistic, honest, yet mysterious truth that their current churches cannot provide. Where they search will have large implications for the future of Christianity. Protestant churches that want to preserve their youth membership may have to develop a greater openness toward the treasures of the past. One thing seems certain: this “sacramental yearning” will not go away. (American Conservative) (BTW – You may also want to check out Are Millennials Joining High Church Traditions?)
  • The New Age of Christian Martyrdom: Lions have been replaced by firing squads and concentration camps as record numbers of Jesus’ worshipers are persecuted from Syria to North Korea. (The Daily Beast)
  • Why Am I Not Poor?: I met men and women who were remarkably hard working, determined, and focused. I spent time with women who cared for their families and also worked at other jobs from before sun up until dark. I encountered people who were intelligent, entrepreneurial, and absolutely ingenious at overcoming obstacles. And despite all of these attributes, they were still numbingly poor. (Christianity Today)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/17)

food pyramid

Good Reads

  • The one theology book all atheists really should read: One reason that modern-day debates between atheists and religious believers are so bad-tempered, tedious and infuriating is that neither side invests much effort in figuring out what the other actually means when they use the word ‘God’. (The Guardian)
  • Mortifying the Fear of Academic Books: If you can clear the fog of fear and hesitation hovering over academic books, you might find an unexpected depth and richness between the pages. Heavy theological reading will never take the place of a heart-gripping novel or a devotional full of soaring words of worship. But a rich read can often add color, dimension, and vibrancy to your Christian walk and give those devotionals a few more volts. (Gospel Coalition)
  • Extroverts and Introverts in the Church: Jesus perfectly embodied both types of personalities. He knew when to withdraw from people and he knew when to move towards them. He knew when to step back and pray and he knew when to move forward and heal. He knew when to talk and he knew when to listen. (Hermeneutics)
  • The History of Popular Music, According to Google: Drawing on the songs that reside in the collections of millions of Google Play users, the company created a visualization of the popularity of various artists and genres from 1950 to today. (The Atlantic)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/15)

Calvin-Siezes-the-Day-685x216

Good Reads

  • Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High: more than 5.3 billion people (76% of the world’s population) live in countries with a high or very high level of restrictions on religion, up from 74% in 2011 and 68% as of mid-2007. (Pew Forum)
  • A Few Good Men, Not a Few Good Yes Men: it is encouraging as a minister to know that I have good men who are watching my life and doctrine closely so that the church will be edified and not led astray.  What minister who knows his own heart would trust himself to lead a congregation on his own and according to his own wisdom? (Carl Trueman)

Other Info

Just for Fun

  • Apparently sharks are sneakier than I realized. Clever girl.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6KXjTv8TrY#t=15

Flotsam and jetsam (1/13)

Because every day should start with a monkey riding a dog chasing a goat.

Because every day should start with a monkey riding a dog chasing a goat.

Good Reads

  • The Invisible Anglicanism of CS Lewis: If you spend any length of time interacting with contemporary writing about CS Lewis, you’ll discover one thing almost instantly: Lewis has become a theological Rorshach test for his readers. – See more at. (Mere Orthodoxy)
  • Finding a Place to Ask the Tough Questions: I think that the faith of my childhood, that faith that was neatly encapsulated in a two-sentence sinner’s prayer prayed at an exact time and place that instantaneously and transactionally changed me into someone who never has doubts again, has not held true in my own experience. On this journey of looking for God I’ve experienced instead: tentative hope, dark doubt, bright epiphanies, and even some days when I don’t know if I believe in God anymore. (Amy Butler)
  • One of the Most Significant Days in Church History: Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday: without the birth of Muhammad there would be no Islam. And, at this point in history, Islam represents one of the most significant religious challenges to the claims of Christianity. Not since Christianity’s earliest encounters with Judaism have Christians faced a religious and cultural identity as tight as Islam. (Gospel Coalition)
  • Read the Bible Like a Texan, Y’all: We might not like it or understand it, but apparently the Church is God’s plan to mediate his power and presence to the world.  Frankly, it’s remarkable that Paul is so confident about this truth as he writes specifically to the Corinthian church.  The church in Corinth was “Church-Gone-Wild XXX”  – they were immersed in factions, debauchery, and sexual immorality.  Yet, warts and all, their community was where God had chosen to dwell in a powerful and immediate way. (Cataclysmic)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/10)

textbooks

Good Reads

  • 14 Hopes for 2014: I commit to shut down murmuring and cynicism and gossip and slander and all forms of passive aggression (even on the blogosphere!) – and to exorcise the demons of negativity.  St. Benedict said that speaking negatively about people (even with well-warranted reasons) is “poison”, and it rots away the foundation of community.  In its place I hope to practice honest confrontation when hurt or offended and encourage others to do the same. (Shane Clairborne)
  • A Splash of Sanctity: It is one of the most eye-catching and resonant moments in the calendar of the Christian east. On January 6th (or January 19th if you are observing the old calendar) the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river is ritually commemorated when a priest or bishop casts a cross into the nearest available stretch of water. (The Economist)
  • What’s Ahead for Education in 2014: The last several years in education have been filled with turmoil: cheating scandals, debates and protests over curriculum and testing, big changes in the way students are taught. The new year offers brings more changes—but also an opportunity to find solutions to old problems and reach common ground on the divisions of the past. (The Atlantic)
  • Hollywood Declares 2014 the Year of the Bible: Russell Crowe is Noah. Christian Bale is Moses. Brad Pitt is Pontius Pilate. With pages of action and a faithful fanbase, Hollywood is mining the good book for blockbuster stories. (Daily Beast)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/8)

cartoon paradox

Good Reads

  • The Absurdity of Christian “Obsession” with Abortion and Single-Issue Voting: Let me put it this way: nobody today would say that MLK Jr. was wrong for fixating on race and equality issues. Nor would anybody today complain about abolitionists’ single-minded obsession with slavery. I shudder to think what future generations will think when they look at Christians today and their lack of horror at the tragedy of abortion in America. (Reformedish)
  • 3 biggest reasons why Bible reading is down: Apparently, Bible reading is way down in churches, and Biblica has dug into finding out why. Here’s what I learned at the conference I attended last week sponsored by Biblica. (Peter Enns)
  • The Confidence of Jerry Coyne: One of the problems with belonging to a faction that’s convinced it’s on the winning side of intellectual history is that it becomes easy to persuade oneself that one’s own worldview has no weak points whatsoever, no internal contradictions or ragged edges, no cracks through which a critic’s wedge could end up driven. (Ross Douthat)
  • Is Recreational Marijuana Use a Sin? Although many Christians consider the answer to the question to be rather straightforward, it can be helpful to examine the reasoning process that allows us to determine how biblical principles can be applied to this issue. (Gospel Coalition)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/6)

churchill

Good Reads

  • Evangelicals Find Themselves in the Midst of a Calvinist Revival: Increasing numbers of preachers and professors teach the views of the 16th-century French reformer. Mark Driscoll, John Piper and Tim Keller — megachurch preachers and important evangelical authors — are all Calvinist. Attendance at Calvin-influenced worship conferences and churches is up, particularly among worshipers in their 20s and 30s. (NYT)
  • Evangelicals and Hollywood Muck: I never subscribed to the fundamentalist vision that saw holiness in terms of cultural retreat or worldliness as anything that smacked of cultural engagement. I don’t subscribe to that position today. But sometimes I wonder if evangelicals have swung the pendulum too far to the other side, to the point where all sorts of entertainment choices are validated in the name of cultural engagement. (Trevin Wax)

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Flotsam and jetsam (1/3)

wishing you 2014

Good Reads

  • Where is God When the Economy Collapses? Rethinking Economic Theodicy:  How we think about economic suffering matters for our actions, both individually and through policy processes. Is poverty natural and hence inevitable? Is it an inevitable consequence of modern market arrangements? Where is individual responsibility for economic choices? Our answers to these sorts of questions determine how much effort we put into alleviating economic suffering and how this effort is directed. (ABC)
  • What I Wish I’d Known: Reflections on Nearly 40 Years of Pastoral Ministry: I wish I’d known that people who disagree with me on doctrines I hold dearly can often love God and pursue his glory with as much, and in some cases more, fervency than I do. The sort of intellectual pride that fuels such delusions can be devastating to ministry and will invariably undermine any efforts at broader Christian unity across denominational lines. (Sam Storms)
  • 4 Early Church Writings Every Christian Should Read: C.S. Lewis writes “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in-between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.” New books are great, but they are untested—we don’t know which ones will stand the test of time. But old books have been sifted by time. It’s always good for us to look at the context of the people that came before us and see how the world looked from their time and place. (Relevant)

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