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Flotsam and jetsam (9/18)

grading

Good Reads

  • Why a theologian can never retire: one of the frustrations of the job I have had is you are never sure that you have done it well. To be a theologian comes with a kind of ambiguity that means you are unsure whether what you have done is theology, not to mention whether it is theology done well. Nor can you ever be sure, even if you think you have done theology well, that is the end of the matter. To do theology well means you have a sense that you are never finished. (Stanley Hauerwas)
  • Can Faith Ever Be Rational? The implication seemed to be that faith cannot be based on reason and, perhaps, that faith can never be rational. But is this right? Might faith be rational under some conditions? Could faith be warranted as an attitude one should (sometimes) adopt in guiding actions and beliefs? (NPR)
  • Francis at the six-month mark seems a force of nature: A pope is expected to be the CEO of a global religious organization, a political heavyweight, an intellectual giant, and a media rock star, not to mention a living saint….Yet at his six-month mark, which falls today, Pope Francis is drawing better reviews on those five scores than anyone might reasonably have anticipated. (National Catholic Reporter)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/16)

werewolf

Good Reads

  • Don’t Knock Beauty: If we lose our desire for beauty, it will only serve to diminish our desire for our beautiful God. The balance, I suppose, is learning to long for the beauty that matches his character and reflects his beauty. And then, once we find it, we give praise to the one who gives beauty to all that is beautiful.
  • Liberated from Ideological Captivity: Ideologies are dangerous. They carry power and distort thinking and vision. Racism, sexism and tribalism have no place in gospel-centric theopraxis.
  • Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy: The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/13)

What I imagine cats are doing when we're not looking.

What I imagine cats are doing when we’re not looking.

Good Reads

  • A Scientific Guide to Effectively Saying No: Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop, especially when it comes to living a more productive and healthy life. Saying no to unnecessary commitments can give you the time you need to recover and rejuvenate. Saying no to daily distractions can give you the space you need to focus on what is important to you. And saying no to temptation can help you stay on track and achieve your health goals. (Lifehacker)
  • Trapped: The Church Vocation Issue We Don’t Talk About: There are thousands of ministers out there who no longer wish to be ministers. They no longer want to work in churches. They don’t want to do it anymore. But they don’t know how to leave. They don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t know what to do. (The High Calling)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/11)

iphone5

Good Reads

  • A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood: I’m interested instead in what leads Miley Cyrus or the midriff-baring girl up the street to believe that in order to prove her adulthood, she must become an object of male sexual consumption. And I’m interested in how the church can offer her an alternative. (Her·meneutics)
  • Science Vs. Religion: A Heated Debate Fueled By Disrespect: Issues about science and religion have become so politicized and polarizing that it’s hard to find public forums in which people with different commitments can meaningfully engage in discussion and debate. You know, respectful conversations, ones in which we interpret each other charitably and don’t simply assume that those who disagree with us are foolish, immoral or just plain stupid. (NPR)
  • The Short Sentence as Gospel Truth: If you ever have a preposterous statement to make … say it in five words or less, because we’re always used to five-word sentences as being the gospel truth. (New York Times)
  • How Much Should It Cost to Find God? The spirituality and well-being industry continues to encourage seekers to invest in costly books, workshops, and other products. Are we being played? (The Atlantic)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/7)

shake_that

Good Reads

  • Abuse Does Not TAke Away Use: One of the most important rules I’ve learned in my theological studies is abusus non tollit usum—”abuse does not take away use.” Basically, fire can destroy, but it’s also good for cooking or keeping your home warm; an oxygen mask can still save your life, even if someone choked you with one; scalpels still cut out cancer, even if someone got injured with one. In the same way, doctrines can still be good, true, beautiful, and helpful despite the ways they’ve been abused or misconstrued in the past. (The Gospel Coalition)
  • How to Find the Time for That Important Project: Almost everyone has some important project they can’t seem to get to. Maybe it’s starting a blog, writing a book, or launching a new business initiative. You just can’t seem to find the time to tackle it. (Michael Hyatt)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/6)

The same is true for theologeuns.

The same is true for theologeuns.

Good Reads

  • Three Things I Need to Say: I stopped seeing the church as a place where God invites us to serve one another and instead commenced to critique it through a me-centered, consumerist standard against which no institution comprised of human beings could measure up.
  • The One Shortcut That Exists in Life:  mentorship is the one and only shortcut that exists in life.  And the reason is if you find the right mentor for whatever field you’re in, they’ve made mistakes in life and they learned from them.  They can steer you away from the kinds of mistakes that are going to make you  waste a year or two of your life.
  • How to Read Way More Books (And, Thus, Know Way More Stuff): While many problems are new to 2013–what, exactly, is twerking?–most are quite old, like having a meaningful career or being able to do your best work. So if we want to be able to address our various ignorances, we need to hack our days to get more knowledge–which is another way of saying read a ton of books.

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/4)

Think my wife will let me get one for the kitchen?

Think my wife will let me get one for the kitchen?

Good Reads

  • Eight Areas Where Many Ministers Are Unprepared for Ministry: My email inbox is full of tragic examples. They entered into vocational ministry with hope and healthy idealism. They had been prepared well in the study of the Bible, theology, Church history, and other classical disciplines. They were bright, eager, and ready to change the world in God’s power. And they failed. (Thom Rainer)
  • Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are: So much of this is about out-doing each other. To say that “I’m busier than you are” means I’m more important, or that my time is more valuable, or that I am “winning” at some never-finished rat race to Inbox Zero…..What you’re trying to say with these responses is: I’m busier, more in-demand, more successful. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Recovering Confession: I don’t hear much talk about confession these days. There was a time when any good book on Christian piety dealt with it. Confession used to occupy an important place in the liturgy of corporate worship. But outside of a general admission that we are sinners, or the specific confession of the one “big sin” in our life, confession seems to have become something largely forgotten. (Joe Thorn)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/2)

romeo and juliet

Good Reads

  • The Gender Wage Gap Lie: The point here is not that there is no wage inequality. But by focusing our outrage into a tidy, misleading statistic we’ve missed the actual challenges. (Slate)
  • A bivocational minister warns against bivocational ministry: I am bi-vocational. I love it. I feel called to it. I know what people say in support of it. I know that many of our African American and immigrant pastors have been bi-vocational for a long time. But I want to raise a red flag against the model as a path to our vital future, for the following reasons. (The Christian Century)

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flotsam and jetsam (8/30)

balloon hat

Good Reads

  • Haters Are Gonna Hate, Study Confirms: Haters really are going to hate. A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology corroborates the hip-hop and Internet truism that you just can’t win with some people. (No word yet on whether playas gonna play or ballers gonna ball, but we’ll probably find out soon. Researchers gonna research.) (Slate)
  • Exploring the Religious Prisoner’s Dilemma: America is a country with an extremely high regard for religion, which regard is matched only by her enthusiasm for mass incarceration. What, then, of the intersection between the two things, religion in prison? (Big Think)
  • Against Symbolic Killing: Just war-making requires clearly articulated and substantive goals. Launching cruise missiles or air strikes simply to “show resolve” or “send a message” cannot be justified. At the end of the day, these rationales authorize symbolic killing, which is fundamentally immoral. (First Thoughts)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/28)

in memory of

Good Reads

  • How To Be Polemical Without Being a Downright Nasty Person: There was a time, of course, when every theologian, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, was a polemicist. Later, polemics became merely a distinct position on a theological faculty. Finally, it disappeared altogether in a spirit of congenial tolerance. (Michael Horton)
  • Duck Dynasty’s Cultural Christianity: Here’s the dilemma – what the show presents is a good life, but it is not in any specific way the Christian life. It is cultural Christianity of the kind that still characterizes much of the South. (Thomas Kidd)
  • Creating an Assessment Culture: When we speak of the need for an assessment culture, we want churches and Christians to avoid making claims that are unsubstantiated. We, above all others, need to be trustworthy, and we can do that with accurate assessment of where we are as individuals and a church. (Ed Stetzer)

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