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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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Flotsam and jetsam (9/12)

thesaurus

Good Reads

  • Does Art Need Religion? Is it possible that such Old Masters as Michelangelo were great because they lived in more religious times? Is the connection between great art and religious influence a correlation or just coincidence? (Big Think)
  • The New Evangelization and its Assumptions: There is an underlying assumption shared by both religious conservatives and their progressive antagonists (they just differ on what to do about it): that modernity means a decline of religion and its concomitant morality. That’s not exactly right, however. (The American Interest)
  • Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent:  Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends. (New York Times)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/10)

miss

Good Reads

  • The Church and Violence against Women:  Male violence against women is a real problem in our culture, one the church must address. Our responsibility here is not simply at the level of social justice but at the level of ecclesical justice as well. (Russell Moore)
  • 5 Ways America Changed God:  The majority of America’s churches teach that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. But considering our country’s near-400-year history, can we honestly say that our concepts and perceptions about God haven’t evolved? (Matthew Paul Turner)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/8)

crocodiles

Good Reads

  • Issues:  What on earth has happened to the word “issues,” that lowly, dutiful, and colorless bureaucrat of a noun? How did such a businesslike and antiseptically neutral word, the semantic equivalent of the man in the grey flannel suit, become transformed into one of our era’s most favored and most versatile euphemisms—a politely opaque nugget of soothing and pseudo-insightful psychobabble, liberally used by talk-show hosts and social-services types, a word whose reticent and clinically rational demeanor artfully conceals the ungenerous and often highly judgmental spirit in which it is so often offered? (The Hedgehog Review)
  • Not for the Love of God: The myth that religion is essentially and uniquely generative of division and violence passes for common sense among celebrity atheists and militant secularists. It undergirds their insistence that public space be purged of it, that bishops be expelled from the House of Lords, and that faith schools be closed down. Once the peace is no longer disturbed by warring claims to be the One True Faith, they suppose, secularist society can settle down to enjoy the fruits of modern rational tolerance. (Standpoint)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/5)

cookie thief

Good Reads

  • The Rise of Biblical Counseling: It has been confronted with mounting external criticisms and widening internal divisions, and the result, among its practitioners, is a looming crisis of principle. How Christians address this crisis will shape the mental health choices of millions of Americans. (Pacific Standard)
  • No Offense Taken: There are two views of marriage vying for supremacy, viz., the traditional or conjugal view and the revisionist or romantic view. According to the former, marriage is the comprehensive union of a man and a woman that is by nature (though not always in fact) oriented to procreation and child-rearing. According to the latter, marriage is an emotional union, enhanced by sexual activity according to preference, taking the form of a publicly recognized domestic partnership. (Touchstone)
  • U.S. evangelicals headed for showdown over gender roles:  In recent decades, parts of American religion have been transformed by feminism, from women serving as rabbis to Catholic girls becoming altar servers. Now the heart of U.S. evangelicalism may be heading for a gender showdown. (Washington Post)

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