Flotsam and jetsam (9/3)

not a sith

not a sith

Good Reads

  • Religious Language and Everyday Discourse: My list of seven troublesome words and brief explanations is below, with suggested alternatives. Feel free to consider them for yourself and wonder about the continuing usefulness of these terms that most non-Christians have no idea what we’re talking about. Many Christians are foggy on the meaning as well. This is an appeal for clarity in our communication. (The Good Book Blog)
  • Give Us This Day Our Daily Brew: My husband has been working in specialty coffee shops since his teens, and the Chicago location he now manages is our second home. Watching him and other Christian friends work their way quietly through the coffee scene, I’ve observed the theology behind their work, and I’ve seen how coffee can be a uniquely-suited vocation for Christians to live out the image of God. (Hermeneutics)
  • Liberalism’s Parochialism: What I find remarkable is that liberals aren’t even willing to entertain the possibility that I’m right. I’m a heretic—a menace to society—not someone who cares about people, worries about the common good, reads surveys, observes society, and has a capacity to reason and analyze. (First Things)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/29)

can't even

can't even

Good Reads

  • Going, going, gone: Books study exodus from religion:  he question of what is happening to organized religion in America remains unanswered, but one thing is clear: Larger and larger numbers of individuals are drifting away from traditional notions of church. (National Catholic Reporter)
  • Overall, Americans in the Suburbs Are Still the Happiest: City centers and downtowns across the United States may very well be in the midst of a comeback or a renaissance, be reaching a moment of triumph or successfully transforming themselves into magnets for millennials and retiring boomers. But according to the new Atlantic Media/Siemens State of the City Poll, when it comes to overall community satisfaction, the suburbs are still king. (CityLab)
  • Kindle + Evernote = ♥:  Books hold the information I want to know while Evernote holds the information I want to retain. When I put the two of them together, I get a powerful system to record and remember what I have read. Let me share a simple technique to quickly and easily get every one of your Kindle notes and highlights into Evernote. (Tim Challies)
  • Iraqi Christian Village: From Sanctuary To Ghost Town In 2 Months:  While the Christian exodus from Iraq is extreme and driven by the country’s bloodshed, it’s a trend that’s been underway for decades throughout the Middle East. In the mid-20th century, Christians were estimated to be about 20 percent of the Middle East’s population. Today, it’s 5 percent at most. (NPR)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/27)

star wars

star wars

Good Reads

  • Can You See Too Much Jesus in the Bible? Throughout history, Christians have affirmed that Jesus is the focus of Scripture. But one Bible scholar is being forced to take early retirement by a conservative seminary for seeing too much Jesus in the Old Testament. (Christianity Today)
  • How Pastors Get Hired Today: Sure, candidates can just keep mailing unsolicited resumes to overwhelmed search committees of small churches and hoping for different results. But don’t be surprised if this approach is less likely to land you behind a pulpit than on the front page of USA Today. (Gospel Coalition)
  • How the Internet Could Protect Your Memory: The Internet is frequently blamed for messing with our minds, making us superficial, distracted and even deluded. But a new study suggests that for some people, using it could actually be healthy. (New York Times)
  • Multi-Ethnic Churches Lament America’s Racial Injustice:  The fact that 86.3% of local churches throughout this country fail to have at least 20% diversity in their attending membership is one reason the American Church has been rendered impotent in attempting to speak on what is, perhaps, the most critical issue of our time: lingering, systemic, racial injustice in a supposedly post-racial society. (Time)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/25)

new study

new study

Good Reads

  • School Starts Too Early:  Parents, students and teachers often argue, with little evidence, about whether U.S. high schools begin too early in the morning. In the past three years, however, scientific studies have piled up, and they all lead to the same conclusion: a later start time improves learning. And the later the start, the better. (Scientific American)
  • How Magic Conquered Pop Culture: Something odd happened to popular culture somewhere around the turn of the millennium: Whereas the great franchises of the late twentieth century had tended to be science fiction—Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix—somewhere around 2000 a shifting of the tectonic plates occurred. The great eye of Sauron swiveled, and we began to pay attention to other things. What we paid attention to was magic. (Time)
  • Of Exiles and Educating in the Tradition:  The task was not to defend the particular stream of Christianity in which my students had first touched the waters of baptism, but to show them that it was fed by a vast river stretching back two millennia. In short, I defended Christianity by helping them swim upstream so that they could discover just how deep and wide Christian Tradition was. Through a confrontation with full-throated Christianity, students had the resources to criticize the stream to which they belonged while also locating that tradition within the great river of Christian Tradition. (First Things)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/22)

dark side cookies

dark side cookies

Good Reads

  • Why We Never “Wait” for All the Facts Before We Speak: What wisdom is there in a silence that risks nothing for the oppressed and grants no opportunity for understanding? What wisdom is there in a call for “all the facts” while ignoring some basic and publicly available facts that give cause to lament? What wisdom is there in a silence that actually speaks volumes about its willingness to not even comfort the grieving? (Thabiti Anyabwile)
  • Four Unexpected Benefits of a Small Church: over the years I have been so grateful for our small church, and many of its unexpected benefits and opportunities are specifically related to its … smallness. (Leadership Journal)
  • Behind Ferguson: How Black and White Christians Think Differently About Race: With an increasing number of Christian writers arguing that a significant gap exists between black and white Christians, the latest findings from a significant ongoing study of religion and race in America offers some hard statistics—and suggest that polarization is increasing. (Christianity Today)
  • 5 Misunderstandings about Church Discipline: In the evangelical churches I have participated in during my adult life, there has always been a policy regarding church discipline, attempting to be true to the teaching of Jesus in this text. But a number of exegetical observations are often overlooked. (Craig Blomberg)

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