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Flotsam and jetsam (5/9)

laundry

Good Reads

  • Why Theological Study Is for Everyone:  But the answer to formal scholasticism or dry intellectualism is not a neglect of theological study. Laypeople have no biblical warrant to leave the duty of doctrine up to pastors and professors alone. (Jared Wilson)
  • R-Rated Texts for an R-Rated World:  I don’t know how you set the parental controls on your cable TV. I don’t even have cable, but if I did, I’d filter certain episodes to protect my three sons. Of course, we could similarly restrict some scriptural episodes due to explicit content not suitable for all audiences. Maybe that’s one reason many churches censor parts of the Bible for being too crass, violent, or sexual. (Gospel Coalition)
  • Even as U.S. Hispanics Lift Catholicism, Many Are Leaving the Church Behind:  It has been clear for years that Catholicism, both in the United States and Latin America, has been losing adherents to evangelical Protestantism, and, in particular, to Pentecostal and other charismatic churches. But…a simultaneous, competing form of faith-switching is also underway: More American Hispanics are leaving Catholicism and becoming religiously unaffiliated. (New York Times)

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Flotsam and jetsam (5/8)

bad-babies1

I’ve been having some difficulty with my internet connection this week, so the posts have been rather sparse and today’s Flotsam and Jetsam was supposed to have gone out yesterday. Oh well, such is life.

Good Reads

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Flotsam and jetsam (5/2)

exam stress reliever

Good Reads

  • 7 Worst International Aid Ideas:  Maybe their hearts were in the right place. Maybe not. Either way, these are solid contenders for the title of “worst attempts at helping others since colonialism. (Matador)
  • Why to Read Nietzsche:  But as hard as he is to engage, Nietzsche is well worth coming to terms with for several reasons. He pioneered the strategy of discrediting Christianity by ignoring the question of its truth, in order to cut straight to his major complaint: Christianity is bad for human beings and other living things like the mind, the arts, and freedom. That attitude is probably the dominant tone of popular atheism in our time. (Fred Sanders)
  • Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be…Paper:  Maybe it’s time to start thinking of paper and screens another way: not as an old technology and its inevitable replacement, but as different and complementary interfaces, each stimulating particular modes of thinking. Maybe paper is a technology uniquely suited for imbibing novels and essays and complex narratives, just as screens are for browsing and scanning. (Wired)
  • Life Worth Living: Christian Faith and the Crisis of the Universities: higher education (in the United States) is on a dead-end street because we have given up on university-based discussion of questions of deepest human concern: “What does it mean to flourish, not in one or another endeavour, but as a human being?” or, put even more succinctly, “What is a life worth living?” (Miroslav Volf)

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/30)

x8e62ZUjpeg

Good Reads

  • 20 things I wish I knew as a college student:  I don’t know if you are like me, but as I look back on my college years I wish someone would have pulled me aside and given me some tips on how best to pursue an education at the university. (Scriptorium Daily)

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/28)

what to do with my life

Good Reads

  • How Paperbacks Transforms the Way Americans Read:  Here’s a little perspective: In 1939, gas cost 10 cents a gallon at the pump. A movie ticket set you back 20 cents. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the year’s bestselling hardcover book, was $2.75. For a nation suffering 20 percent unemployment, books were an impossible expense. But in just one day, Robert de Graff changed that. (Mental Floss)
  • New New Atheism:  Has New Atheism had its heyday? Is there a new New Atheism? Joseph Adams argues that there is and that it is good news for believers and non-believers alike. (On Religion)
  • So You Want to Be a Professor? Why?  Students need to better understand their prospects. When students ask me for advice, I tell them that they probably shouldn’t consider graduate school in the humanities or academically-oriented social sciences unless they can answer “yes” to all of the following questions. (Minding the Campus)
  • Should Christian Parents Ban Books? Rather than banning non-Christian books, certain parents might even seek them out, looking for gems of thought-provoking and stimulating philosophy. In order to truly bolster a young person’s mind, parent and child can read and seek together. Parents can serve as partners in a truth-seeking mission, not as prison sentinels “keeping watch” over a potentially dangerous inmate. (Gospel Coalition)

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Saturday Morning Fun…If You Wouldn’t Say It About a Boob Job….

I have heard from many adoptive parents about the obnoxious questions people ask about their adopted children. Finally we have some clear guidelines about how to know whether a question about adoptive children is inappropriate. Feel free to share this with anyone who might be inclined to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeT3c9TmxLE

Flotsam and jetsam (4/25)

ocd

Good Reads

  • Bonfire of the Humanities: Nobody goes to Timbuktu, right? Patrick Symmes did, to discover what happened when jihadi rebels set out to burn one of the world’s finest collections of ancient manuscripts. Bouncing around by truck, boat, and boots, he got an intimate look at West Africa’s most mythic locale. (Outside)
  • If the Internet Isn’t Killing Religion, What Is? Is anything killing religion?  Not directly or deliberately. Cultures change; people’s lives, needs and expectations change. Therefore, institutions must change. Religious institutions were slow to recognize fundamental changes in their contexts and constituencies. Many fought change, in fact, as if change were unholy. By now, many religious institutions have adapted, and they are doing fine. Others refused to adapt, and they are closing their doors at a rapid clip. (Religion News Service)

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Flotsam and jetsam (4/23)

written language

Good Reads

  • What the Bible Belt Stereotypes Don’t Tell You: It was easy to avoid my questions about God and faith, because in my community and in my circles, spiritual conversations simply didn’t take place. Relocating to Nebraska, however, brought my struggles with faith to the forefront and forced me to face my deep doubt head-on for the first time in 20 years. (Hermeneutics)
  • What Hollywood gets wrong about heaven:  In Scripture, when mortals catch a premature glimpse of God’s glory, they react in remarkably similar ways. They tremble. They cower. They go mute. The ones who can manage speech express despair (or “woe” to use the King James English) and become convinced they are about to die. Fainters abound. (CNN Belief)
  • Why You Need to Stop Bragging about How Busy You Are:  Schulte had bought into a “culture of busy.” That is, a work environment where logging in long hours and complaining about not having any time in the day is considered a status symbol and a sign of success. (Fast Company)

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Book giveaway: Theology Questions Everyone Asks

Theology-Questions-Ev-4044If you’re looking for an excellent resource for dealing with some of the most common questions in theology, I have a book for you. Actually, I have three of them. One for each of three lucky winners. So read on or scroll to the bottom of the post to sign up.

In Theology Questions Everyone Asks (IVP, 2014), the theology faculty at Wheaton College worked together to address the questions they encounter most frequently in the classroom. And they do so clearly, engagingly, and thoughtfully. (Observant readers will notice that I’m not in the book. That could be interpreted as yet another attempt to keep the new guy down. Or it could be because they wrote the book before I got here. I’ll let you decide.) Here’s the endorsement from Tom McCall (Trinity) to whet your appetite.

Some of the most penetrating and intriguing theological questions are the ones asked not by professional theologians but by sincere students and laypersons. Helpful answers to such questions are not, alas, as common as we might think. Thankfully, in Theology Questions Everyone Asks, we get some real-truth answers to go with real-life questions.

And here’s a short video trailer for the book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0PmdLwoQyM&feature=youtu.be

Like I said, I have three copies of the book to give away. If you’re interested, just enter below. (I won’t use the email addresses for anything other than this giveaway.) And be a good servant of the kingdom and pass news about the giveaway to anyone you think might be interested.

Sign Me Up!

Sorry, the giveaway is now closed.

Flotsam and jetsam (4/21)

toilet paper

Good Reads

  • Fundamentalist Arguments against Fundamentalism:  Biblical fundamentalism, Ehrman contends, is simply wrong. Therefore, he reasons, the Bible really can’t be trusted. There is just one problem with this conclusion — it is flawed at its very core. (Craig Evans)
  • If a Student Says Homosexuality Is a Sin in School, Is It Bullying? Anger has been building up on both sides,” said Haynes. “On the conservative Christian side, they see this as being used to inappropriately hush up kids. But the reality is that this speech does trigger a lot of emotion, and for some people on [the other] side, we’ve come to a place where kids talking about homosexuality being sinful [is considered] unacceptable in public schools. (The Atlantic)
  • 12 Things I Want To Hear My Students Say:  The magic of learning isn’t in its finite and concrete inputs and outputs, but rather its abstractions–the confrontation between a thinker and the stimulus around them. This suggests that we look for something other than correct answers–little light bulbs coming on–to soothe us as educators. (TeachThought)
  • Why We Need Monks: Because consecrated religious stand in opposition to so many of the modern world’s common conceits, their existence is almost utterly inconceivable to us. This unintelligibility is, in part, a tragic effect of the major loss of religious life over the past half-century. And this countercultural witness is precisely why we need a renewed monasticism today. (Fare Forward)

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