Oh, in the time of silence, when I remain alone and abandoned because I do not hear your voice, it seems as if the separation must last for ever. Father in heaven! It is only a moment of silence in the intimacy of a conversation. Bless then this silence, and let me not forget that you are silent through love, and that you speak through love, so that in your silence and in your word you are still the same Father, and that you guide and instruct even by your silence.
- 7 facts about atheists: Estimating the number of atheists in the U.S. is complicated….But one thing is for sure: Along with the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans (many of whom believe in God), there has been a corresponding increase in the number of atheists. Here are a few facts about this group and their beliefs (Pew Research)
- Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family: This is not an individual problem, it is a social problem,” said Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist and the founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions at the University of California, San Diego. “This is creating a stress for working parents that is affecting life at home and for children, and we need a societal-wide response. (New York Times)
- Nominal Christians are becoming more secular, and that’s creating a startling change for the U.S.: There are big and important shifts here. In navigating the new religious environment, Christians must recognize three trends that may change the way they see the culture. (Washington Post)
- People’s Deepest, Darkest Google Searches Are Being Used Against Them: Google knows the questions that people wouldn’t dare ask aloud, and it silently offers reams of answers. But it is a mistake to think of a search engine as an oracle for anonymous queries. It isn’t. Not even close. (The Atlantic)
Just for fun
- 21 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in November. Sadly, I’ve already missed Cliche Day and Sandwich Day, both of which are well worth celebrating. But I can still set some time aside for Pumpkin Destruction Day, Unfriend Day, and Stay Home Because You’re Well Day.
- The Futility of Representing Religion With a Bar Chart: Robert Wuthnow, a Princeton professor whose new book, Inventing American Religion, takes on the entire industry with the kind of telegraphed crankiness only academics can achieve. He argues that even gold-standard contemporary polling relies on flawed methodologies and biased questions. Polls about religion claim to show what Americans believe as a society, but actually, Wuthnow says, they say very little. (The Atlantic)
- 3 Misconceptions of One of the Most Unknown, Fruitful Theological Ideas: Arminianism, check. Lutheranism, check. Calvinism, big check. But Molinism, named after the Catholic reformer and Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina? Mostly unknown. (Zondervan)
- How should conservative Christians handle a rapidly changing culture? Suffice it to say that conservative Christians have been lately pondering their relationship to American culture. And not just those who are hysterical for a living. When the court rejected traditional sexual ethics as a permissible basis for laws defining marriage, many conservative believers felt a cultural milestone had been reached. (Washington Post)
- 10 Debunked Brain Myths: It’s going to take more than 10 percent of your brain to read this story. (Popular Science)
Just for fun
- The trick-or-treat honesty test. Take only one.
- Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges: We have raised a generation of young people who have not been given the opportunity to learn how to solve their own problems. They have not been given the opportunity to get into trouble and find their own way out, to experience failure and realize they can survive it, to be called bad names by others and learn how to respond without adult intervention. So now, here’s what we have: Young people,18 years and older, going to college still unable or unwilling to take responsibility for themselves, still feeling that if a problem arises they need an adult to solve it. (Psychology Today)
- An FAQ on Mysticism and the Christian Life: Mysticism is a notoriously vague and complex word. One can make it so specific so as to exclude those throughout history who would self-identify as mystics. On the other hand, one can define it so vaguely that virtually nothing is excluded. (Gospel Coalition)
- The Tragic, Forgotten History of Zombies: The original emerged in a context where humans were denied control of their own bodies and sought death as an escape. And now in pop culture, the zombie has come to serve as the primary symbol of escapism itself—where the fictional enslavement of some provides a perverse kind of freedom for everyone else. (The Atlantic)
- Karl Barth, Christ, and the OT: Karl Barth’s theology and exegesis is often debated….But one thing we should all appreciate is his ability to synthesize theology and exegesis in such a way that even when there is disagreement with him, the counterargument had better eat its Wheaties before coming to the table. (Brandon D. Smith)
- Why Pastors Need to Remain Silent: Ten Situations in Which the Silence of the Pastor is Golden.
Just for Fun
Most loving God, give me a steadfast heart,
…..which no unworthy thought can drag downwards;
…..an unconquered heart, which no hardship can wear out;
…..an upright heart, which no worthless purpose can ensnare.
Give me also, O Lord my God,
…..understanding to know you,
…..diligence to seek you,
…..and a faithfulness that will finally embrace you;
through Jesus Christ, my Lord.