- 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)
- Don’t Mess with Dispensationalists! Never in the history of (my) blogging has one short sentence caused so much grief! (David Murray)
- 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)
When I was a kid, my family went on lots of drives in the country. That was my dad’s way of getting away from the demands of life and relaxing for a while. Normally it worked.
On one memorable occasion, though, it didn’t. We got lost.
Five hours into a one-hour drive, it was pretty clear that we had a problem. We could probably have asked for directions, but apparently that violated some kind of man-code. So we just kept driving. And, to make matters worse, we got caught in a lightning storm. In the mountains. At night. Too young to know better, I thought it was pretty cool. It’s not every day that you get to see lightning up close like that.
Obviously we survived. But it would have been much easier and resulted in less emotional scarring if we had just mapped the journey from the beginning.
If you’re heading into a new school year, you need a good map. Without it, you’ll end up getting lost in the mountains and quite possibly fried by lightning like crispy bacon. (Great, now I’m hungry.)
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to avoid that unpleasant outcome. You just need to map your semester at the beginning of the term.
- 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)
- How Google flushes knowledge down the toilet: The Internet isn’t a resource for all knowledge, no matter how much we like to think it is – and yet we increasingly rely on it to be just that. (Salon)
You’d think that only an idiot would agree to a contract without reading it. But students do it all the time.
My wife and I recently purchased a house. If you’ve ever done that, you know they make you sign an insane number of documents in the process. And, like most people, we didn’t read them. Sure I skimmed a few to make it look like I meant business, but for the the most part, I simply scrawled my name at the bottom and hoped I hadn’t just agreed to trade my youngest child for a worn-out llama.
I’m sure it’s no problem, after all, they’re standard contracts that everyone signs when they buy a house–which, of course, is just another form of the “But everyone’s doing it” defense. But still, I’ve just agreed to something and I don’t know what. That can’t be a good idea.
But every semester I see students do the same thing. They sign up for a class and launch into the semester without reading the contract. Then they get frustrated when their grades don’t turn out the way that they expect. If you don’t bother to read the contract, you shouldn’t be surprised when things don’t work out the way you expect.
- 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)
- Rowan Williams tells ‘persecuted’ western Christians to grow up: ”When you’ve had any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word very chastely,” he said. “Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable. ‘For goodness sake, grow up,’ I want to say.” (The Guardian)
A famous theologian, philosopher, mathematician, inventor, and writer, Blaise Pascal was a polymath who explored virtually every aspect of human life. But he is probably best known among Christians for his Pensées, a defense of Christianity, and his famous wager on the existence of God.
Pascal died on August 19, 1662. In honor of his amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.
Perfect, O my God, the good impulses that thou givest me. Be their end as thou art their principle. Crown thy own gifts, for I recognize that they are from thee. Yes, my God, and far from pretending that my prayers may have some merit that forces thee to accord them of necessity, I humbly acknowledge that, having given to created things my heart, which thou hadst formed only for thyself, and not for the world, nor for myself, I can expect no grace except from thy mercy, since I have nothing in me that can oblige thee to it, and since all the natural impulses of my heart, whether tending towards created things, or towards myself, can only irritate thee. I, therefore, render thee thanks, my God, for the good impulses which thou givest me, and for the very one that thou hast given me to render thanks for them.
Every now and then it’s fun to check out the “search terms” that led people to this blog. Some are encouraging, some discouraging, some funny, and some just confusing. Here are some of my favorites among the most popular search terms that led people here.
At least some of the search terms make sense and lead me to believe that some people who find there way here might actually be happy with the results: Thomas Aquinas, religion, god, thinking, Karl Barth, theology, etc. These are encouraging signs.
Others searches, though, make me laugh, wonder, and cringe:
- “wet koala” – this makes me laugh every time I see it.
- “great porn,” “powerful sex video,” and other porn related searches. I should have known that writing posts like this would result in lots of unexpected traffic. I suppose it’s too much to hope that they worked through the disappointment and actually read the post.
- “hillbilly 10 commandments” – I know why this search is leading people here, but why are so may people looking for it?
- “there’s a bear in the way” – I love creative test answers.
- tırnak işareti – I don’t even know what this means, but lots of people are looking for it.
- Siri and the meaning of life – apparently lots of people really want to know what Siri thinks about life.
- “confused” – I don’t know why, but it makes me happy to know that lots of people who search for “confused” end up on this blog.
I could keep going. But those were some of the more common search terms that made me smile. I hope they did the same for you.
- What Is the Unforgivable Sin? So when troubled souls come to us anxious about having committed the unpardonable sin, what shall we say? (The Gospel Coalition)
- Study: women influential in early Christianity have been ‘airbrushed’ from history: The most interesting thing about this article is that it comes from Wired magazine. Not exactly where you’d normally expected to find this kind of discussion. (Wired)
- When You Pray With Your Children, You Are Teaching Your Children to Pray: And I had taught them. I had taught them that prayer can be monotone, that prayer can be done in a quick and uninterested and perfunctory manner. I had taught them that prayer is duty more than it is delight. (Tim Challies)
- Are We Letting Kids Online Too Early? The biggest problem experts like Toyama see in the implementation of educational technology is that it is often viewed as an end unto itself and not a tool through which to achieve broader learning goals. (Daily Dot)
Have you ever thought about how many of our metaphors for learning have something to do with eating? You consume knowledge. Teachers plant ideas and nurture minds. An interesting concept is food for thought, and a good book feeds the soul. I could keep going, but you get the point. Learning is a lot like eating.
So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that you can also draw some interesting connections between unhealthy eating and unhealthy learning. You should avoid a steady diet of junk food in each, although the occasional treat is just fine. You need to use what you take in or you’ll end up being fat and lazy. And, of course, I recommend avoiding starvation if at all possible.
But the unhealthy analogy I want to focus on is the classic binge and purge approach to learning.