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Flotsam and jetsam (6/23)

adults on board

Good Reads

  • The Dead White Poet You Need in Your Life:  Why all this interest in Herbert, and why now? I believe it’s because Herbert writes with unblinking candor about both the joy of faith and the ongoing pain of our remaining weakness. We need his words today, to remind us that the Christian life is one that invites hope, but makes room for struggle as well. (Christianity Today)
  • The Last Crusade: The First World War and the Birth of Modern Islam:  How to live without a Caliph? Later Muslim movements sought various ways of living in such a puzzling and barren world, and the solutions they found were very diverse: neo-orthodoxy and neo-fundamentalism, liberal modernization and nationalism, charismatic leadership and millenarianism. All modern Islamist movements stem from these debates. (Religion & Ethics)

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Flotsam and jetsam (6/20)

could be worse

Good Reads

  • Pornolescence:  So many young Christians have stunted their spiritual growth through what I call pornolesence. Pornolescence is that period when a person is old enough and mature enough to know that pornography is wrong and that it exacts a heavy price, but too immature or too apathetic to do anything about it. (Tim Challies)
  • The Banality of Clergy Failure:  This is the banality of clergy failure—that we put ourselves between people and God. That we tacitly assume God is distant, remote, occupied, distracted, and so we, to compensate, must be present, intense, hearty, and inspiring. We must be more human than God. (Christian Century)
  • In Two Michigan Villages, a Higher Calling Is Often Heard:  In an era when the number of priests in the United States continues to dwindle — declining by 11 percent in the past decade and crippling the Catholic Church’s ability to meet the needs of a growing Catholic population — this rural patch of Clinton County offers a case study in the science and mystery of the call to priesthood. (New York Times)
  • The Great Calvinist Reawakening:  But the new Calvinist revival—which amounts to a partial shift in theological emphasis and style—is a far cry from the Calvinist revival that burned through the Northeast a few centuries ago during the Great Awakening….They wept, they trembled, they flushed, they fell senseless to the ground. They sang at the top of their lungs and threw their worldliest possessions on bonfires. They writhed with the shame of sin, and shook with the power of salvation, and fainted with the sweetness of the grace and glory of God. (Religion & Politics)

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Flotsam and jetsam (6/18)

wishes

Good Reads

  • Generation X: America’s neglected ‘middle child’:  This overlooked generation currently ranges in age from 34 to 49, which may be one reason they’re so often missing from stories about demographic, social and political change. They’re smack in the middle innings of life, which tend to be short on drama and scant of theme. But there are other explanations that have nothing to do with their stage of the life cycle. (Pew Research)
  • Intelligent Design: Slowly Going Out of Style?  There’s room for ambiguity in faith these days, it seems. Science doesn’t have to negate God; one man’s Bible interpretation doesn’t invalidate another’s. As evolution gains more and more traction, it won’t be a “loss” for religion; it will be just be one more change in how modern Americans are learning to believe. (The Atlantic)

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Flotsam and jetsam (6/16)

first world problems

Good Reads

  • Why Your Teaching Isn’t As Effective As You Think: Progressive bloggers ranting against conservatives is not teaching. Preachers ranting against the sins “out there,” while ignoring the actual sins in their church—that is not teaching. All these leaders are really doing is tickling their listeners’ ears and fortifying their already held beliefs. (Sharon Hodde-Miller)
  • Meet the Atheist…Who Believes in God:  Maybe we need a new category other than theism, atheism or agnosticism that takes paradox and unknowing into account. Take me, I am an atheist who believes in God. Let me explain. (Frank Shaeffer)
  • Shun the Atheist Boyfriend: A poll reveals that parents of all political persuasions are very squeamish about the prospect of a godless daughter- or son-in-law. (The Atlantic)

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Flotsam and jetsam (6/9)

danger

Good Reads

  • 4 Principles on Prayer from Saint Augustine:  The first rule is completely counterintuitive. Augustine wrote that before anyone can turn to the question of what to pray and how to pray it, he or she must first be a particular kind of person. What kind is that? He writes: “You must account yourself ‘desolate’ in this world, however great the prosperity of your lot may be.” (Tim Keller)
  • Punching Down: If the Christian community is visibly hostile to marginalized groups in the face of legitimate harm, we’ve screwed up our whole mission; if the only people we can be seen as walking with consistently are just like us, we’re no better than our pagan ancestors. (Elizabeth Stoker)
  • Hell Is a Myth — Actually, a Bunch of Myths: The sad truth is that Dante’s hellish vision has been useful in promoting colonizing, crusades and “conversions” for the last 700 years. But it is time for that to change. It is time for Christians, and all people of faith, to re-imagine the afterlife in less medieval terms. (HuffPo)

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Just for Fun

  • Could you win $10 on Jimmy Kimmel’s latest game? I’m pretty sure that I’d have blown it too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xh3z_c4JHk

Flotsam and jetsam (6/6)

hipster

Good Reads

  • The Crisis of Biblical Illiteracy & What Can We Do about It?: I’ve heard people call it a famine. A famine of knowing the Bible. During a famine people waste away for lack of sustenance. Some people die. Those who remain need nourishment; they need to be revived. And if they have any hope of remaining alive over time, their life situation has to change in conspicuous ways. (Biola Magazine)
  • Is pulpit plagiarism on the rise? Some blame the Internet:  Recent cases of high-profile pastors who have been accused of lifting others’ material are raising questions about whether pulpit plagiarism is on the rise — and whether it has become a more forgivable sin. (Sarah Pulliam Bailey)
  • Bonhoeffer and Technopoly: It is with these obligations to the coming generation in mind, I think, that we are to consider how to respond to the powers that reign in our world. (Alan Jacobs)

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Flotsam and jetsam (6/4)

try me

Good Reads

  • On-the-Job Training Isn’t Working:  The on-the-job training of pastors and other faith leaders in preventing and responding to child sexual abuse isn’t working – it is dangerous and all too often has devastating consequences. (Boz Tchividjian)
  • Pastors, You Make Your Own Sandwiches: I would be the first to amen the confession blogs, as I am overworked, often discouraged, and take everything in the church personally. But the reality is, I make my own sandwich. My church isn’t to blame, I am. My schedule isn’t to blame, I am. It’s a sandwich I made, and instead of complaining and chomping through it, I want to find joy in it. (Gospel Coalition)
  • Mixing Soul Medicines:  These days, though, the relationship between secular shrinks and old-time faith isn’t usually as hostile or mutually exclusive in practice as these battle-cries would suggest. Both in academic scholarship and the everyday experience of people who need help or provide it, the two worlds seem to be overlapping more and more. (The Economist)

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Flotsam and jetsam (6/1)

how i like my coffee

Good Reads

  • Christian humanism and the Twitter tsunamis: So you can see that my own response to the problems I’ve been seeing discussed on Twitter is a Christian one, more specifically one grounded in a theological anthropology that sees all of us as creatures made in the image of God who have (again, all of us) defaced that image. And it is in the recognition of our shared humanity — both in its glories and its failings but often starting with its failings — that we build our case against abuse and exploitation. (Alan Jacobs)
  • Why 80% of the Work You Do Is a Waste of Time:  It’s an old theory, honestly, but Koch explains it well and helps us apply it in new ways. And this theory applies to much more than work. It also means 80 percent of our unhealthiness is likely coming from just 20 percent of the food we eat. And 80 percent of our social troubles likely come from just 20 percent of our relationships. (Don Miller)

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Flotsam and jetsam (5/28)

funny-120

Good Reads

  • Faking Cultural Literacy:  It’s never been so easy to pretend to know so much without actually knowing anything. (New York Times)
  • On TV, How Dark Is Too Dark? ” There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored,” Flannery O’Connor wrote in Mystery and Manners. That is true. Our problems start when we expect that restoration to arise through human action, even the fictional kind. (Hermeneutics)
  • Judging Spinoza: Like Galileo, disciplined by the Roman Catholic Church just two decades before him, Spinoza has gone down as one of history’s great thinkers punished by intolerant ecclesiastic authorities for his intellectual boldness. (New York Times)

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Flotsam and jetsam

sneezing-bless-you

Good Reads

  • Searching for Jesus in today’s Church:  Yes, there are days I grieve. But that grief is only overshadowed by the hope I still have in Jesus – the King who turns everything upside down, and who is very good. (Boz Tchividjian)
  • ‘One Anothers’ I Can’t Find in the New Testament:  Sanctify one another, humble one another, scrutinize one another, pressure one another, embarrass one another, corner one another, interrupt one another, defeat one another, sacrifice one another, shame one another, judge one another, run one another’s lives, confess one another’s sins, intensify one another’s sufferings, point out one another’s failings . . . . (Ray Ortlund)
  • Could Quitting Facebook Be a Mistake?  Facebook (Instagram, Twitter) didn’t invent the disconnection between my husband and me. It didn’t invent jealousy or time-wasting or procrastination or coveting other people’s stuff. It didn’t invent self-centeredness. All of these things existed long before Facebook or Instagram did.  So why do we assume quitting Facebook will eradicate the problem? The problem isn’t Facebook. The problem is us. (Relevant)

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