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Flotsam and jetsam (9/18)


Good Reads

  • Why a theologian can never retire: one of the frustrations of the job I have had is you are never sure that you have done it well. To be a theologian comes with a kind of ambiguity that means you are unsure whether what you have done is theology, not to mention whether it is theology done well. Nor can you ever be sure, even if you think you have done theology well, that is the end of the matter. To do theology well means you have a sense that you are never finished. (Stanley Hauerwas)
  • Can Faith Ever Be Rational? The implication seemed to be that faith cannot be based on reason and, perhaps, that faith can never be rational. But is this right? Might faith be rational under some conditions? Could faith be warranted as an attitude one should (sometimes) adopt in guiding actions and beliefs? (NPR)
  • Francis at the six-month mark seems a force of nature: A pope is expected to be the CEO of a global religious organization, a political heavyweight, an intellectual giant, and a media rock star, not to mention a living saint….Yet at his six-month mark, which falls today, Pope Francis is drawing better reviews on those five scores than anyone might reasonably have anticipated. (National Catholic Reporter)

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The 12 Kinds of Procrastinators

I am definitely a Sidetracker, though The Cleaner makes an appearance pretty regularly as well. (Click to embiggen.)

procrastinators (550x1002)

Flotsam and jetsam (9/16)


Good Reads

  • Don’t Knock Beauty: If we lose our desire for beauty, it will only serve to diminish our desire for our beautiful God. The balance, I suppose, is learning to long for the beauty that matches his character and reflects his beauty. And then, once we find it, we give praise to the one who gives beauty to all that is beautiful.
  • Liberated from Ideological Captivity: Ideologies are dangerous. They carry power and distort thinking and vision. Racism, sexism and tribalism have no place in gospel-centric theopraxis.
  • Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy: The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.

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A Prayer for Sunday (Anne Bradstreet)

anne bradstreet Living in colonial America in the mid-17th century, Anne Bradstreet was a prominent poet and author, and she was the first woman to be published in the British colonies of North America. As we would expect from an author living in Puritan New England, her writings are full of theological themes and allusions. But she is also famous for stressing the value of women and the important role they play in society.

Anne Bradstreet died on September 16, 1672. In honor of her amazing life and ministry, this morning’s prayer comes from her.

As spring the winter does succeed,
And leaves the naked trees do dress,
The earth all black is clothed in green;
At sunshine each their joy express.
My sun’s returned with healing wings.
My soul and body do rejoice;
My heart exults and praises sings
To You who heard my wailing voice.
My winter’s past, my storms are gone,
And former clouds now seem all fled;
But, if they must eclipse again,
I’ll run where I was amply fed.
I have a shelter from the storm,
A shadow from the fainting heat;
I have access unto Your throne
You who are God so wondrous great.

Saturday Morning Fun….A Modern Monty Python Trailer

What would it look like if you made a trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail to make it look like a modern action/adventure? Something pretty epic.

Flotsam and jetsam (9/13)

What I imagine cats are doing when we're not looking.

What I imagine cats are doing when we’re not looking.

Good Reads

  • A Scientific Guide to Effectively Saying No: Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop, especially when it comes to living a more productive and healthy life. Saying no to unnecessary commitments can give you the time you need to recover and rejuvenate. Saying no to daily distractions can give you the space you need to focus on what is important to you. And saying no to temptation can help you stay on track and achieve your health goals. (Lifehacker)
  • Trapped: The Church Vocation Issue We Don’t Talk About: There are thousands of ministers out there who no longer wish to be ministers. They no longer want to work in churches. They don’t want to do it anymore. But they don’t know how to leave. They don’t have anywhere to go. They don’t know what to do. (The High Calling)

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Don’t Store Your Treasures in Holey Buckets (The Art of Taking Notes, part 1)

My mind is weird. I can remember when Augustine was born, but not where I put my keys. I know my wife’s birthday, her social security number, and the phone number she had when we were in high school, but for the life of me I can’t remember what she wants for Christmas or what I’m supposed to be doing around the house this weekend.

leaky bucket (300x262)I’d like to believe that my mind is a steel trap. But it’s more like a sieve.

You can see how that might cause problems in a relationship. But it’s particularly a challenge for students. You’re investing tremendous time and money in what you’re learning. The information you gain is a treasure. Where are you going to keep it? Maybe your brain is better than mine: you never forget anything and you can just keep all that valuable information in your head. If so, count your blessings, and I hate you.

But if your brain is more like a bucket with a bunch of big holes punched through the bottom, you probably need a different plan. Otherwise, you can pour into your brain all the information you want, but most of it is just going to leak out all over your shoes and make a mess on the floor

So what are you going to do to make sure that you retain all of that precious information? Easy. Store it somewhere else.

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/11)


Good Reads

  • A Grown-Up, Not Sexed-Up, View of Womanhood: I’m interested instead in what leads Miley Cyrus or the midriff-baring girl up the street to believe that in order to prove her adulthood, she must become an object of male sexual consumption. And I’m interested in how the church can offer her an alternative. (Her·meneutics)
  • Science Vs. Religion: A Heated Debate Fueled By Disrespect: Issues about science and religion have become so politicized and polarizing that it’s hard to find public forums in which people with different commitments can meaningfully engage in discussion and debate. You know, respectful conversations, ones in which we interpret each other charitably and don’t simply assume that those who disagree with us are foolish, immoral or just plain stupid. (NPR)
  • The Short Sentence as Gospel Truth: If you ever have a preposterous statement to make … say it in five words or less, because we’re always used to five-word sentences as being the gospel truth. (New York Times)
  • How Much Should It Cost to Find God? The spirituality and well-being industry continues to encourage seekers to invest in costly books, workshops, and other products. Are we being played? (The Atlantic)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/7)


Good Reads

  • Abuse Does Not TAke Away Use: One of the most important rules I’ve learned in my theological studies is abusus non tollit usum—”abuse does not take away use.” Basically, fire can destroy, but it’s also good for cooking or keeping your home warm; an oxygen mask can still save your life, even if someone choked you with one; scalpels still cut out cancer, even if someone got injured with one. In the same way, doctrines can still be good, true, beautiful, and helpful despite the ways they’ve been abused or misconstrued in the past. (The Gospel Coalition)
  • How to Find the Time for That Important Project: Almost everyone has some important project they can’t seem to get to. Maybe it’s starting a blog, writing a book, or launching a new business initiative. You just can’t seem to find the time to tackle it. (Michael Hyatt)

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A Prayer for Sunday (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

coleridgeI normally try to connect our Sunday prayers to some important historical date. But I didn’t have anything scheduled for today, and I realized that I missed the anniversary of the death of Samuel Taylor Coleridge over the summer. So I thought I’d fix that tragic oversight today.

For those who may not know, Coleridge was a famous English poet. But like many literary figures before him, he was so much more than that. Regularly weaving theological themes into his various writings, Coleridge was a significant theologian in his own right, and one who influenced generations of theologians after him.

Samuel Coleridge died on July 25, 1834. In honor of his amazing life and influence, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.

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