If you’re looking for something good to read here’s my recommendations from this week:
1) “The Forgotten Influence of Martin Luther” by John Starke
I am a Luther fanatic. I have spent years studying him, reading him, and laughing at him. I find him both fascinating and unsettling. You can read more about my own thoughts on Luther here. But one aspect of Luther’s legacy that is often untouched is his contribution to the realm of a theology of marriage and home life. Luther had much to say on such things and here is a good essay exploring some of that contribution.
2) “Beyond Wretched: Wretched TV, Deception, and ‘Violent’ Muslims” by Alan Noble
Alan Noble consistently writes articles that I want to read. His column at Christ and Pop Culture is a regular part of my weekly intake, but this featured article is of supreme importance to read, in my humble opinion. Here Noble takes a hard look at so-called Christian tactics to undermine the influence of Islam in America. But the approach that some Christians are taking are not only disgusting but ardently anti-Christian. Read the article to see how Wretched TV used an edited video to promote hatred towards Muslims. The article does a great job of exposing their despicable behavior and warning us against such bigotry.
3) “What is the Gospel – Revisited” by D.A. Carson
This is Carson’s chapter from the Festschrift for John Piper which came out a few years ago. The article is really worth reading. The subjecting and definition of the “gospel” are hot topics right now among Evangelical authors and scholars. Often we confuse the gospel itself with the implications of the gospel. Carson offers us a good explanation, rooted in word-studies, exegesis, and theological study in this chapter originally published in For The Fame of God’s Name.
4) “Why I Love Ash Wednesday” by Brett McCracken
A beautiful piece on the symbolism of ashes and the meaning of Lent for the Christian life.
5) “Ash Wednesday, Criticism, and the Fear of Death” by Mike Cosper
Mike Cosper is worship pastor at Sojourn Church in Louisville. In this post he take a look at how Ash Wednesday encourages us to contemplate our mortality and asks to the critics of Protestant participation in this event what they are doing to remember death is coming. It’s a great little piece that explores his motives for participating in this annual reminder.
6) “The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep” by Stephanie Hegarty
This fascinating piece from the BBC explores recent research done by two historians exposing that the eight-hour sleep “need” is really a myth. The research documents a historical reality of bi-modal sleep patterns where people slept in two separate chunks of time with a break between to help them unwind and relax. It really a fascinating review of the research and makes me really want to read the two books listed in the article.