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Flotsam and jetsam (10/3)


Good Reads

  • 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)

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Flotsam and jetsam (10/1)

clever comma usage

Good Reads

  • 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)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/30)


Good Reads

  • 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)

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17 Things You Didn’t Know about Coffee

I almost missed the fact that it’s National Coffee Day today. It may be too late for you to celebrate with a free cup of coffee, but here’s an interesting coffee infographic. Enjoy!


Saturday Morning Fun…The Real Allegory of the Cave

Flotsam and jetsam (9/27)


Good Reads

  • Creativity Is Really Jut Persistence, and Science Can Prove It: When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete. (Fast Company)
  • Why Aren’t More Ph.D.’s Teaching in Public Schools? Despite this surplus of teachers, though, individuals with years of graduate school education and years of college classroom experience should be snapped up by public schools. They have far more classroom experience and deeper knowledge of their content than most graduates from education programs. (The Atlantic)
  • Leading in a world of unreliable information: Yet the sort of tacit and systemic knowledge for which CEOs are yearning is the bread and butter of a theological education. Theological thinking involves seeing the whole and the parts within the whole. It is the ultimate in tacit and systemic. Christians have a picture of God’s reign from scripture that guides us, no matter the current circumstances. (Call & Response)

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/24)

meatloaf love

Good Reads

  • The hidden immigration impact on American churches: Much has been written about the way that growing numbers of “millennials” are walking away from the church. Yet while millennials are walking out the front door of U.S. congregations, immigrant Christian communities are appearing right around the corner, and sometimes knocking at the back door. And they may hold the key to vitality for American Christianity. (Religion News Service)

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The Personalities of Punctuation Marks

Apparently it’s National Punctuation Day. So, in honor of this prestigious holiday, here’s a helpful chart for understanding the various personalities of your favorite punctuation marks. And, as a bonus, you can use it to psychoanalyze yourself and the people around you.

I’m definitely a comma. I like to pretend it’s because my brain routinely comes up with amazing new thoughts while I’m speaking, and I have to pause to process them. In reality, I’m just easily distracted.


Flotsam and jetsam (9/23)

cuddling on the bus

Good Reads

  • The Evangelical Orphan Boom: However well intended, this enthusiasm has exacerbated what has become a boom-and-bust market for children that leaps from country to country. In many cases, the influx of money has created incentives to establish or expand orphanages — and identify children to fill them. (New York Times)
  • The Female Holocaust: Indian parents killed an estimated 6 million girls in the last decade, but U.S. lawmakers can’t agree on what to do about it. (World)
  • Adults Are More Anxious Than Ever, but Teens Are Upbeat: This comprehensive look at attitudes about the state of childhood in America conveys a widespread sense that families today face complex and interconnected challenges rooted in an economy that typically requires earnings from two parents — and leaves them too little time to shape their children’s values, especially against the tug of an inescapable media and online culture. (The Atlantic)
  • Don’t Cancel That Short-Term Mission Trip: I’m an advocate for wise stewardship and for doing away with our old colonial approach to missionary efforts. But I’m also concerned youth are getting left out of opportunities to be involved in the global church. Isn’t there a place for students in this new paradigm of sustainability? (Gospel Coalition)

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Just for Fun

  • In case you were wondering, don’t ever get in a neck-wrestling contest with a giraffe!

A Prayer for Sunday (Hildegard of Bingen)

hildegard of bingenA renaissance woman. That would be an apt description of Hildegard of Bingen if it wasn’t for the fact that she lived well before the beginning of the European renaissance. Nonetheless, she was one of those amazing polymaths of the middle ages, people who developed high levels of expertise across a broad range of disciplines. And in Hildegard’s case, that meant she was a writer, composer, poet, theologian, philosopher, abbess, artist, scientist, and a partridge in a pair tree. Okay, maybe not that last, but you get the point.

Hildegard of Bingen died on September 17, 1179. In honor of her amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from her.

O Great Father we are in great need;
Now therefore we implore, we implore you
Through your Word, by which you have
Filled us with [those things] we need;
Now it may please you Father for it befits you
To consider us with your help,
So that we might not fail and lest your name
Might be blackened in us
And through your name, deign to help us.