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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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Flotsam and jetsam (8/26)

usb position

Good Reads

  • Race Equality Is Still a Work in Progress, Survey Finds: Though gaps in life expectancy and high school graduation rates have all but been eliminated, disparities in poverty and homeownership rates are about the same. Compared with five decades ago, imbalances in household income and wealth, marriage and incarceration rates have widened. (New York Times)
  • Make the Bible Your Native Tongue: Our limitless access to prepackaged devotional, inspirational, and theological insights from others can unwittingly give us a BSL — Bible as a Second Language — status with God. But intimacy with him is better reached via a firsthand relationship through his word than through someone else’s translation of it on our behalf. (Desiring God)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/23)

sharks

Good Reads

  • How to Keep the Faith on Campus: Those going off to college this time of year are in the midst of the most significant transition of their lives….Often overlooked in the transition to college are the spiritual and religious dimensions of the change. (Washington Post)
  • The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Life Forever: Of all the things money can’t buy—love, happiness, time machines—immortality is one we sure pay a lot for. According to the market-research firm Global Industry Analysts, the anti-aging industry generates more than $80 billion per year. All this despite the fact that there are no proven ways of extending human lifespan. (The Daily Beast)
  • The lingering, devastating impact of bullying: Children who are bullied are more likely to have serious mental and physical health problems as adults and less likely to hold steady jobs or develop meaningful relationships with family and friends, according to a new study on the lingering effects of bullying. (The Week)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/21)

you may be cool

Good Reads

  • The Pope’s Theology of Sin: True Christian mercy presupposes a strong moral order with clearly defined teachings on good and evil: It is not an open-ended, amorphous, free-floating concept; nor is it a prelude to changing moral doctrines rooted in eternal truth. (First Things)
  • A True Leader is an Aggressive Listener: What experience and maturity has taught me is it’s actually more valuable to have the right questions and an ability to listen and work collaboratively than it is to try to hold yourself out as the person with all of the answers. (Big Think)
  • How Your Biased Brain Makes You a Jerk Online (and How to Stop It): Haters gonna hate, and you can’t change them by learning why. Fortunately, you can use this understanding of our overactive biases to understand where the trolls and…get their steam. You can feel smarter for not engaging, know exactly why, and move on with your life. (Lifehacker)

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Flotsam and jetsam (8/19)

answering questions

Good Reads

  • Why We Talk in Tongues: Last month I was in Accra, Ghana, to learn more about the African version of the new charismatic Christian churches that have become so popular in the United States and are now proliferating in sub-Saharan Africa….What struck me was how much people spoke in tongues: language-like sounds…thought by those who use them to be a language God knows but the speaker does not. (New York Times)
  • Six Ideas on How to Lead Congregations to Integrate Work and Discipleship: Most Christians do not have a theological framework that accommodates the integration of faith and vocation. Many are even hostile to the idea. They are more comfortable with a life that is not integrated, compartmentalizing work and discipleship. Any attempts at integration feel like intrusions into their private lives. (The High Calling)
  • Before You Hit Send, Read This: While email can sometimes be a quick and convenient way to gauge interest or disseminate information, it’s often not the best tool for the job, he said. About 20% of the time, we’re using email correctly – leveraging it to communicate across time zones or answer a well-defined question. But 80% of email traffic is “waste,”…stuff that’s useless or really requires a phone call or face-to-face discussion. (The Wall Street Journal)

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