Flotsam and jetsam (2/4)

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QWrsmE5

Good Reads

  • Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains: Teens can’t control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why? Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly. (NPR)
  • The Return of Anti-Semitism: Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, violence and hatred against Jews is on the rise, especially in the Middle East and among Muslims in Europe. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Building Better Secularists: The only secularism that can really arouse moral motivation and impel action is an enchanted secularism, one that puts emotional relations first and autonomy second. I suspect that over the next years secularism will change its face and become hotter and more consuming, less content with mere benevolence, and more responsive to the spiritual urge in each of us, the drive for purity, self-transcendence and sanctification. (David Brooks)

Flotsam and jetsam (1/28)

too bright

too bright

Good Reads

  • How to Deal with an ‘Over-Talker’ in Your Group: Bible study groups are composed of all types of people. Some are extroverts. Some are introverts. Some are long-time Christians. Some are new disciples. Some may be seekers. Some rarely talk in the group. And then there are those who like to talk — a lot.
  • 7 Ways Thomas Merton Changed the World: Is it a stretch to say that the Trappist monk and spiritual master Thomas Merton, who died in 1968 but whose 100th birthday we celebrate this week, changed the world? Perhaps. But he surely changed people’s lives, and if that’s not enough to change the world, I’m not sure what is. With God’s grace, he did the following. (OnFaith)

Flotsam and jetsam (1/26)

Embarrassing-State-Facts-13-685x356

Good Reads

  • William Willimon’s “The Culture is Overrated”: It is a strange assumption for Americans to feel they already have the equipment necessary to comprehend the gospel without any modification of lifestyle, without any struggle—in short, without being born again. The point is not to speak to the culture. The point is to change it. God’s appointed means of producing change is called “church”; and God’s typical way of producing church is called “preaching.”
  • 4 Reasons to Stop Obsessing about Heaven: What happens when people die? Their bodies and souls are unnaturally torn apart; their bodies stay here while their souls go to either heaven or hell. Praise God that those who die in Christ go to heaven, but never forget that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. The only reason anyone ever goes to heaven is because of sin. (Gospel Coalition)
  • Why Hollywood’s best directors are ditching movies for the internet: And while there’s still some debate about whether the new “golden age of television” is killing Hollywood, coming to an end, or really existed in the first place, one fact cannot be disputed: Artists are coming to TV and the internet for the creative freedom they offer. (The Week)

Flotsam and jetsam (1/21)

phone checking

 phone checking

Good Reads

  • 7 Reasons to Teach Our Children Church History: By no means should church history supplant teaching your family the Bible. Family worship and God’s Word must come first in your home. But the benefits of teaching them something about the key figures and movements from the rich heritage of the church are myriad. (Gospel Coalition)
  • 4 Kinds of Fake Faith and How to Spot Them: Fake watches are tempting to buy, but so is fake faith. Fake faith is a faith that has elements of the real deal but that falls woefully short, lets us down in the long run, and denies the reality of our relationship with God. Like my friend’s watch, a fake faith doesn’t stand the test of time. (Transformed)
  • Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Known Gospel: A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published. (Live Science)
  • Making Christianity Weird Again: if young people are given the choice between unbelief and a faith that puts a light God gloss on the same consumerism and materialism that everybody else lives with, then who can blame young people for rejecting it? Because that is not historic Christianity. The real thing is wild, and weird; it is not a set of ideas, but a way of life. (Rod Dreher)

Flotsam and jetsam (1/19)

Embarrassing-State-Facts-13-685x356

Good Reads

  • Who Falls for Conspiracy Theories? So if you’re convinced that the world’s solutions could be easily solved if everyone simply fell in line with your self-evidently correct beliefs, it’s a puzzle as to why this doesn’t simply happen. Many people, it seems, conclude that the most likely answer involves a massive conspiracy of some sort. (The Week)
  • What We Talk About When We Talk about Race in Pop Culture: But I have to first listen. I need others to help me know when I am unwittingly offensive, when I think I know what it means to be a “real” black person or to live life in another’s skin. I don’t know what it’s like to be stereotyped for having dark skin, or to have people think I’m an ish because of upward mobility. (Christianity Today)
  • 5 Simple Ways to Teach Your Children Theology: How can you weave theological teaching into their daily lives, without necessarily setting them down for an in-depth family sermon (though there is nothing inherently wrong with that)? How can you impart good theology into the lives of your children, without possessing a theological degree (though hopefully there is nothing inherently wrong with that)? (The Wardrobe Door)
  • From Seminary to the Cemetery, Fascination Persists Over Pets and the Afterlife: Questions about the religious status of animals have always been with us; popular theology refuses to deny animals their souls. Our sense of spiritual kinship is already latent in the bootees and little sweaters we buy our pets, and the sidewalk baby talk with which we embarrass ourselves, and perhaps them. Consider how we treat our pets in death. (New York  Times)