- Are Smartphones the Solution to Urban Loneliness? The more smoothly people can transition back and forth between their communities online and their communities in real life, the argument goes, the less lonely everyone will be. (The Atlantic)
- Young People Are Not as Digitally Native as You Think: Fewer than one-third of young people around the world are “digital natives,” according to a report published Monday and billed as the first comprehensive global look at the phenomenon. (New York Times)
- 10 Reasons Church Leaders Should Continue Their Education: If we reach the point of assuming we’ve “arrived” and need no further training, we are instead neglecting our Christian responsibility. (Chuck Lawless)
- It’s Time to Talk about Power: As one who frequently wears what I have come to call the Wireless Headset of Authority, I have begun to worry that it is not just our microphones that are becoming invisible. What is also becoming invisible, especially to those with the most to gain and to lose, is power. (Andy Crouch)
You know those times when you know that you know what you know, but you don’t know from where you know it? In this fabulous video clip, David Mitchell not only defends why he can’t remember his sources, but why it would be detrimental for him even to try.
I am totally going to use this the next time I can’t remember where I learned something. But if you’re one of my students, don’t even think about it. I have no problem with double standards.
HT 22 Words
- Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy: Researchers at The New School in New York City have found evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. (Scientific American)
- The Conference Shaking Up America’s Evangelicals: On Wednesday evening, 30 of America’s most influential evangelicals met on the patio of Marlow’s Tavern outside Atlanta for a private dinner….They met to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and brainstorm possible future endeavors together. (Time)
- Holy Trollers: How to argue about religion online: When I first started writing about religion for an online news site, I eagerly turned to the comment section for my articles, fishing for compliments and wondering if I had provoked any thoughtful discussions about faith. I don’t wonder anymore. (CNN)
- Stop Slandering Christ’s Bride: the surest sign that thousands of Christian in church congregations across the country are talking about an issue is that someone will claim that believers in America are not talking about it. (Gospel Coalition)
- Huge LEGO Helm’s Deep made with 150,000 bricks and 2,000 minifies. It’s really quite impressive.
Just for Fun
- The never-ending epic struggle continues: Geeks vs. Nerds.
Living in 16th century Spain, Teresa of Avila was a famous Carmelite nun, a key figure in the Catholic Counter Reformation, and one of the most prominent mystical theologians of the medieval church. Along with John of the Cross, she was a key figure in establishing Spanish mysticism as a formative influence in Catholic theology and a prominent feature of the Spanish renaissance. For her writings and ministry she was named a Doctor of the Church, albeit not until 1970.
Teresa of Avila died on October 4, 1582. In honor of her life and ministry, today’s prayer comes from her.
If you’ve ever found yourself yelling at a book in public, buying books you don’t need (and may not ever read), or getting your “old book fix” by walking into a used book store and breathing deeply, then it’s entirely possible that you’re an addict. You should seek help if there’s any possibility that the piles of books in your house might tip over and crush someone or if you have gone more than three days without speaking to a living human (besides yourself).
If you’re still not sure whether you’re a book addict, you may want to consult this illustrated guide: 25 Signs You’re Addicted to Books. Or, if you’d rather have all the images in one place, someone has now put the whole guide together in a handy infographic. Be aware, though, that some of the images contain some rather “colorful” language.
According to the guide, I may need help, since I score high on quite a few criteria:
- When reading a good book, I sometimes forget to eat or sleep.
- I occasionally yell at books.
- I often like rainy days better than sunny days because of the excellent reading opportunity.
- The picture on the right is definitely what I think of when I picture my dream home (though it needs a big, comfy sofa)
- Whenever I start a new project, of course the first step is always to read a book about it. Are there other ways to learn?
- Of course the book is always better.
- And yes, I’ve experienced both “book hangover” (inability to start a new book because you’re still living in the last book’s world) and “book insomnia” (staying up all night to finish a book).
Fortunately, I’ve outgrown at least one problem. Instead of going on a trip and packing my suitcase so full of books that I barely have room for clothes, I now just take my iPad. But that probably doesn’t mean I’m less addicted, just more efficient at feeding my addiction.
- Meet the ‘Nominals’ who are drifting from Judaism and Christianity: Meet the “Nominals” — people who claim a religious identity but may live it in name only. They’re proud — but not practicing — Catholics. They’re Protestants who don’t think Jesus is essential to their salvation. (Religion News Service)
- 6 Reasons to Dig into Calvin’s Commentaries: Calvin fans, old and new, don’t always appreciate that the Institutes form a relatively small portion of his corpus. A brilliant systematician and teacher, he was first and foremost a biblical commentator who produced nearly verse-by-verse commentaries on the majority of the books of the Bible. (The Gospel Coalition)
- Why Philosophy Matters: People talk about philosophy in terms of “or.” Philosophy or faith. Philosophy or literature. Philosophy or science, as if the mind were incapable of doing both and reaching its own conclusions. But that position is ahistorical—great thinkers have long worked across disciplines—and counterproductive: you can glean profound insights from philosophy without emptying it of artistic value, without betraying scientific principles, without sacrificing your faith. (Logos)
- How Daydreaming Can Actually Make You Smarter: Daydreaming gets a pretty bad rap. It’s often equated with laziness, and we tend to write off people with wandering minds as being absent-minded “space cadets” who can’t get their heads out of the clouds. (HuffPo)
- Enjoy the Blessings of Informal Mentoring: As we consider mentoring, it is important to realize that Christians have the power to greatly influence others simply by living faithful lives wherever God calls them. In fact, a large percentage of mentoring happens incidentally as we go about our days. (Melissa Kruger)
- The State of the Church in America: Hint, It’s Not Dying: Yes, the church in the West– the United States included– is in transition right now. But transitioning is not the same as dying, particuarly if you hold the belief that Christianity is represented by people who live for Christ, not check “Christian” on a survey form. (Ed Stetzer)
- We’re Back! After a lengthy hiatus, Western Seminary’s Transformed blog has returned to action. Check it out. (Transformed)
- Today’s College Student Comes in 3 Brands: Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Drawn from the larger ongoing American Religious Identification Survey, the 2013 National College Student Survey finds that the college population can be almost evenly divided into three “worldviews”: religious, secular, and spiritual. (Pacific Standard)
- Using Christianity to Fight Crime: Alabama cops hope religion can help curb their city’s skyrocketing murder rate. (The Atlantic)
- A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent: Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening. (The Daily Beast)
- How to write a theological sentence: I have the sense…that few of us have thought about the conditions necessary to write a theological sentence that has the potential to make a reader stop and rethink what they thought they think. (Stanley Hauerwas)
- Born in the Wrong Body: This is an interesting summary of the growing transexual movement, the reasons behind it, and some of the concerns with it. It’s brief, so don’t expect compelling analysis. But as an overview, it’s useful. (The Week)