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Flotsam and jetsam (10/13)

super bowl wins

Good Reads

  • Buy Experiences, Not Things: Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions. (The Atlantic)
  • Irrational Atheism: The idea that the atheist comes to her view of the world through rationality and argumentation, while the believer relies on arbitrary emotional commitments, is false. This accounts for the sense that atheists such as Christopher Hitchens or Dawkins are arrogant: Their line of thinking often takes the form of disqualifying others on the grounds that they are irrational. But the atheist too, is deciding to believe in conditions of irremediable uncertainty, not merely following out a proof. (The Atlantic)
  • The Diversity of Islam: Beware of generalizations about any faith because they sometimes amount to the religious equivalent of racial profiling. Hinduism contained both Gandhi and the fanatic who assassinated him. The Dalai Lama today is an extraordinary humanitarian, but the fifth Dalai Lama in 1660 ordered children massacred “like eggs smashed against rocks.” Christianity encompassed the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and also the 13th century papal legate who in France ordered the massacre of 20,000 Cathar men, women and children for heresy, reportedly saying: Kill them all; God will know his own. (New York Times)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/10)

the_sake_of_argument

Good Reads

  • There’s Nothing Brave about Suicide:  If you are saying that it is dignified and brave for a cancer patient to kill themselves, what are you saying about cancer patients who don’t? What about a woman who fights to the end, survives for as long as she can, and withers away slowly, in agony, until her very last breath escapes her lungs?  Is that person not brave? Is that person not dignified? (Matt Walsh)
  • Why Philosophy Matters for Christians To many people, the mention of “philosophy” brings up an image of gray-haired intellectuals endlessly debating irrelevancies. There is some truth in this image, especially the part about the endless debate. But philosophy matters for Christians because many of the debates are about the “big questions” of human existence. (Vern Poythress)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/6)

60TyNOi

Good Reads

  • In Facebook’s Courtroom:  In recent years, the Web’s continuous pageantry of outrage, judgment, and punishment has become an inescapable element of contemporary life. We all carry in our pockets a self-serious, hypercritical, omnipresent, never-ending, and unpredictable justice system. Pick up your phone and court is in session; put it down and it’s in recess. (The New Yorker)
  • On Being Right or Wrong: Rather than suggest that my colleague was wrong, I would assert that while both positions were logical and sought to be faithful to Scripture, I considered my view to offer a preferable interpretation that enjoyed the support of a preponderance of the evidence. In my mind that did not make his view wrong, only less probable. (John Walton)
  • The Saint John’s Bible: Back to the Future: Privacy, control, and choice are cherished values in the postmodern West. The problem is that the Bible not only warns us against those values when they encourage self-absorption and selective reading but also that scripture itself cannot be properly received when they are in the ascendancy. (Good Letters)
  • The shocking un-truth about church budgets:  How we go about being church in the world is changing radically. With that change, now more than ever, our whole life together in faith community is mission and ministry. (ABP News)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/1)

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Good Reads

  • How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader: The goal of most executive coaching and leadership development is behavior change—help the individual identify and change the behaviors that are getting in the way of, and reinforce the behaviors associated with, effective leadership.  But what about the beliefs and values that drive behavior? (Harvard Business Review)
  • 3 Ways to Avoid the “Children’s Church” Ditch: The issue of children in the worship service is a balancing act. The simplistic answers that sound so straightforward in seminary or at the coffee shop often get extremely complicated when there are actual people in the equation! What follows is my attempt–flawed though it may be–to be faithful to the clear Biblical teaching on our children as part of the worshiping community and the clear command to reach people with the Gospel in the specific contexts in which they live. (Christward Collective)
  • The Health Effects of Leaving Religion:  one way or another, a person’s faith, or lack thereof, is often so important that it affects physical, as well as spiritual, well-being. (The Atlantic)
  • Inside the Evolution of a Dead Language:  How can there be a word for “world wide web” in a language that died long before the Internet was invented? The answer is complicated, a bit geeky, and a lot of fun if you enjoy language games. (The Daily Dot)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/29)

ariana grande

Good Reads

  • Fix Bad Habits: Insights from a 7-Year Obsession: We all have lousy habits. Things we’d like to do, or know we should, but just don’t seem to happen: exercise, diet, productivity or flossing longer than a week after the visit to the dentist. (99u)
  • What are ten characteristics I look for in an aspiring pastor? So, here are 10 other characteristics I look for that I feel are not necessarily deal breakers, but nonetheless very important for pastoral ministry and fall within the frame work of the fruit of the spirit in a Christian’s life. (Practical Shepherding)
  • The Myth of Religious Violence: The popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple. (The Guardian)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/24)

UOdiR5u

Good Reads

  • Confronting My Temptation to Ban Books: Don’t observe Banned Books Week because a few idiots don’t like The Hunger Games, but instead because our very existence as a free, enlightened society rests on the idea of the flow of information coupled with the skills to understand it. If you needed any more proof, the first thing ISIS did in the areas that they control is ban the study of certain subjects in the schools. (Huffington Post)
  • 6 Ways to Benefit from Reading Genealogies:  The genealogies in Scripture are so important that it may rightly be said that we cannot fully see the glory of the metanarrative (i.e. the storyline) of the Bible without them. Here are six tips for reading genealogies that I think will benefit the diligent reader. (Christward Collective)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/22)

xkcd

xkcd

Good Reads

  • Outlook: gloomy: Humans are wired for bad news, angry faces and sad memories. Is this negativity bias useful or something to overcome? (aeon)
  • The NFL and the church share the same culture of silence on abuse: Too often, it can be easy to assume that some issues are less prevalent in the church. We forget that, as a collective of individuals shaped by the culture at large, sin is indiscriminate in whom it touches. Many church leaders do not realize that all evils are present in their congregations, especially sins that carry a heavy culture of silence. (Religion News Service)
  • Why You Need More Art in Your Life (and 5 Ways to Get It): In our pragmatic culture we usually see art as optional. We drill this into kids from an early age. We tell them to be practical and belittle their dreams because we can’t imagine how they’ll make any money pursuing them. But the truth is, art is indispensable. Art gives us meaning. There are things that cannot be understood with pure reason—like love and beauty, to name two. Art helps us understand our world. (Michael Hyatt)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/19)

sleepy

Good Reads

  • The Church of U2: Most people think of U2 as a wildly popular rock band. Actually, they’re a wildly popular, semi-secretly Christian rock band. In some ways, this seems obvious….But even critics and fans who say that they know about U2’s Christianity often underestimate how important it is to the band’s music, and to the U2 phenomenon. (The New Yorker)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/17)

does it move

Good Reads

  • The Theology Behind Obama’s Speech on ISIS:  President Obama gave a speech last week on what to do about it. It was a sane and sensible speech, and one that may have drawn some inspiration from a Protestant minister who was a profound political thinker and one of America’s great public intellectuals of the mid-20th century. (Time)
  • The New Abortion Abolitionists:  If the abortion-rights agenda is to succeed, then, abortion must be de-stigmatized. And nothing will remove the stigma from abortion faster than making it common and celebrated. (Trevin Wax)
  • Why Can’t Men Be Friends?  Our modern routines and nuclear living arrangements hinder our finding and keeping close friends. A friend recently told me, “In college, there was a recognized script for finding friends. Now that I’m in my 30s, everyone seems to have their friend groups settled, and I don’t know the script anymore.” (Christianity Today)

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Flotsam and jetsam (15)

need money

Good Reads

  • “Act Like Men”: What Does Paul Mean?  later translators have clarified that Paul is not suggesting some sort of transgender goal for women—that all women become perfect men. Rather, he has in mind full human maturity. (Engage)
  • The Upside of Pessimism: The theory of defensive pessimism suggests that imagining—and planning for—worst-case scenarios can be more effective than trying to think positively. (The Atlantic)
  • The Illusion of Neutrality: My point here is that for certain questions, neutrality is an illusion. The nakedly secular state is not a neutral thing. It is something utterly different from, and irreconcilable with, every human polity that has existed until a few anthropological minutes ago. It is itself a set of choices which, like all such, forecloses others; a way of living that makes other ways of living unlikely, practically impossible, or inconceivable. (Public Discourse)
  • #WhyIStayed: How some churches support spousal abuse: Many churches have created a distorted understanding of physical abuse that occurs within homes. It is defined as a “relationship” matter that should be addressed within the “church family”, instead of a criminal matter that should be handled by the authorities. (Boz Tchividjian)

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