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Flotsam and jetsam (10/29)

super whale

Good Reads

  • Watching TV can make you a better person: New research provides tentative evidence that it can—but only if viewers take time to reflect on the personal implications of what they have just watched. (Salon)
  • Of Gods and Cubicles: Religion, the Office and the Law: issues of religion in the workplace are becoming more fraught and complex. Experts cite immigration, more frank conversations about faith and spirituality and growing assertiveness among workers as reasons for the number of complaints. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Neuroscience Behind How Sleep Cleans Your Brain: We know that getting even a measly extra hour of sleep a night can have major benefits for us–like more memories, less anxiety, and happier genes. But scientists have tested another hypothesis for why we need to spend so much time horizontal: Sleep cleans our brains. (Fast Company)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/28)

bear lake

Good Reads

  • The 50 Greatest Breakthroughs Since the Wheel: This article is fascinating not just for the list, but for an excellent discussion of the logic behind the list, the difficulty of assessing technological breakthroughs, and its taxonomy of innovation. (The Atlantic)
  • Excesses of the Wahoo Brethren: In short, I believe that cessationists usually understand the Bible better than do continuationists, not to mention the logic of the thing….I believe the continuationists often understand the personal nature of the world better than do cessationists. (Doug Wilson)
  • Dumbing Religion in the New York Times: Prayer without a plausible metaphysics is just me. In such circumstances, the cosmological picture is a cosmological fantasy; and fantasy provides pleasure, not certainty. It trivializes an attempt to change the world, which prayer is, when it suffices with the good feelings that are generated by the attempt. (The New Republic)
  • Practicing Biblical Hospitality: True hospitality is sacrificial, uncomfortable, and does not seek to impress others. Hospitality flows from a hospitable heart. It is more about your open heart and home, not your impressive entertaining skills. (Resurgence)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/25)

friend's password

Good Reads

  • Don’t be that dude: Handy tips for the male academic: There is a plethora of research on the causes of hostile environments for women in academia….These initiatives are important, but here’s the thing: gender equality has to be a collaborative venture. (Tenure, She Wrote)
  • I’m Done Fixing the Church: Turning the Future Over to God: If you have fallen into the trap of trying to “fix” the church, I don’t write this article to make you feel guilty or to encourage you to beat yourself up. At best, we are all stumbling along on the journey of faith in need of God’s grace….The time is ripe for us to confuse our human needs with God’s desires for the church. In addition to confusion over God’s desires, I believe a major reason for our misguided attempts to fix the church is a misunderstanding of our role as clergy. (Ministry Matters)
  • The Secret Women’s Porn Problem: It’s difficult to find concrete numbers on women’s pornography viewership. We shouldn’t be surprised; adult entertainment has always been designated as the “man problem.” But the little research on the topic, plus anecdotal evidence, reveals otherwise. (Hermeneutics)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/23)

french kiss

Good Reads

  • The Bible Paradox: Nearly 80 percent of all Americans think the Bible is either literally true or is the inspired word of God. And yet, most Americans have no idea what is actually in the Bible. (The Big Think)
  • How does a pastor wisely seek change in his church? Pastors who walk into existing churches are quickly burdened by needed changes to improve the church.  Where the challenge is for most of us is when and how those changes need to be brought.  If you are wondering how to choose those battles wisely, first receive this most excellent counsel I received as I entered my first Senior Pastor position at a church clearly needing change and revitalization. (Practical Shepherding)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/21)

shuffle

Good Reads

  • What Does It Mean to Be Charismatic? There seems to be a failure to recognize how influential and growing the charismatic movement is these days among the most theologically astute. What I mean by theological “astuteness” is that this new breed of charismatics is thoroughly evangelical, orthodox, and Christ-centered. (Michael Patton)
  • How Cereal Transformed American Culture: More than a century ago, Christian fundamentalists invented cereal to promote a healthy lifestyle free of sin. Little did they know, their creation would eventually be used to promote everything from radio and cartoons to Mr. T and tooth decay. (Mental Floss)
  • Why Do Teachers Quite? And Why Do They Stay? Approximately 15.7 percent of teachers leave their posts every year, and 40 percent of teachers who pursue undergraduate degrees in teaching never even enter the classroom at all. With teacher effectiveness a top priority of the education reform movement, the question remains: Why are all these teachers leaving—or not even entering the classroom in the first place? (The Atlantic)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/18)

luke warm

Good Reads

  • The Double-Edged Sword of Being a Female Bible Scholar: There are still tremendous challenges for women in evangelical scholarship, and I’m just not sure how to go forward because of the tokenism mindset. I want to encourage female scholars, but I would want a young, male New Testament scholar to look up to me as much as a female New Testament scholar would. I want to move beyond thinking that I should just mentor women. I should also mentor men, and I think that would be the next frontier. (Hermeneutics)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/16)

every teacher needs this t-shirt

every teacher needs this t-shirt

Good Reads

  • Conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’s approach: Rattled by Pope Francis’s admonishment to Catholics not to be “obsessed” by doctrine, his stated reluctance to judge gay people and his apparent willingness to engage just about anyone — including atheists — many conservative Catholics are doing what only recently seemed unthinkable: They are openly questioning the pope. (Washington Post)
  • The Bible Is the Word of God: This is an ongoing series looking at critical “axioms” of hermeneutics (the art and science of biblical interpretation), those things that I believe one must know and/or believe in order to interpret the Word of God accurately. (Transformed)
  • Forget About Learning Styles. Here’s Something Better: Whenever I speak to audiences about the science of learning, as I’ve been doing a lot this fall, one topic always comes up in the Q&A sessions that follow my talk: learning styles. Learning styles—the notion that each student has a particular mode by which he or she learns best, whether it’s visual, auditory or some other sense—is enormously popular. It’s also been thoroughly debunked. (Annie Murphy Paul)
  • Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming: I’m going to tell you that libraries are important. I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I’m going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/14)

not a train

Good Reads

  • 7 Unconventional Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books: In a world of omnipresent screens, it can be easy to forget the simple pleasure of curling up with a good book. In fact, a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults found that 28 percent hadn’t read one at all in the past year. But the truth is that reading books can be more than entertainment. (Huffington Post)
  • A Theologian’s Influence and Dark Past Live On: All of us fall short of our ideals, of course. But there is a common-sense expectation that religious professionals should try to behave as they counsel others to behave. They may not be perfect, but they should not be louts or jerks.By that standard, few failed as egregiously as John Howard Yoder, America’s most influential pacifist theologian. (New York Times)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/11)

government

Good Reads

  • The Meaning of Martyrdom: For people who practise religion in comfortable, well-ordered places, and face no greater physical danger than sore knees or feet, the idea of being a martyr (in the sense of dying for one’s faith and receiving a heavenly reward) can seem rather remote. But in almost all the world’s religions, martyrdom plays an important role. (The Economist)
  • What Multitasking Does To Your Brain: In case we needed another reason to close the 15 extra browser tabs we have open, Clifford Nass, a communication professor at Stanford, has provided major motivation for monotasking: according to his research, the more you multitask, the less you’re able to learn, concentrate, or be nice to people. (Fast Company)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/9)

boomerang fear

Good Reads

  • It’s Time to Talk about Power: As one who frequently wears what I have come to call the Wireless Headset of Authority, I have begun to worry that it is not just our microphones that are becoming invisible. What is also becoming invisible, especially to those with the most to gain and to lose, is power. (Andy Crouch)

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