Loads of good reading this week:
1) “Norman Mailer’s Son Protests Outside the Village Voice” by Alex Klein
The Village Voice, a NY paper once organized to hold people accountable to abuse of power, has come under attack recently for alowing sex trafficking to continue through classifieds website. Norman Mailer’s son has joined the protest this week. It was Mailer who originally founded the Voice, and so the presence of his son has garnered some attention. But the story is worth reading because it displays just a glimpse of how rampant the sex trafficking problem is within the U.S.
2) “Do Academic Papers Matter, or Are They Pointless?” by Owen Strachan
There is a balance, I believe that must come with regards to how the average pastor views so-called academic theology. On the one hand we must not be consumed with overly academic discussions that barely touch on the life and ministry of the average Christian. But there is an equal danger in totally discounting what actually does shape the church through academia. My friend Owen offers us some great thoughts on why we should appreciate the writing of academic works.
3) “Financers and Sex Trafficking” by Nicholas Kristof
In this piece about the Village Voice Media owned website Backpage.com Kristof exposes for us who some of the owners are. Kristof is quick not to blame many of these owners for implicilty supporting sex-trafficking, but he does call on them now that they know to pressure Village Voice Media to end their involvement in it with Backpage.com. While many of these backers are getting out, selling their shares, and distancing themselves from the whole ordeal Kristof asks more from them, and I think he’s right to do so.
This story gets crazier by the day. Now two experts, taking different approaches to their analysis have concluded that they do not believe the 911 recording was not George Zimmerman crying for help. This has been one of Zimmerman’s primary defenses against chrages of a crime. He has claimed self-defense. I can’t help but ask, with no-little exasperation, when are authorities going to require this man to come in and go to trial?
5) “Planting Churches: Local congregation supports missionary couple in West Africa” by Wayne Allen
Our local paper did a nice story on some of our missionaries serving in Senegal. We love Shawn and Jenn and you can read about their story in this article and more about their lives here at their personal blog.
6) “Promoting Gospel-Centered Ministry in Germany” by Matthias Lohmann
This was an interesting article about gospel-centered ministry recently launched in Germany. I think it is a good thing to remind ourselves of how fortunate the church in America is. It’s also important to remind ourselves to pray for our brothers and sisters in places like Europe where gospel ministry is not a strong. Pray for brother Matthias and Evangelium21.
7) “Perfectionisms” by D.A. Carson
In doing some research on sanctification for a class I was teaching last week I stumbled upon this article. It wasn’t actually relevant for my study, so I saved it for later. This week I had a chance to read it in total and it is an incredibly insightful and pastoral editorial from Carson. Here he reflects on a type of perfectionism that comes from the average Christian who is confronted both with the reality that all sin is an afront to God and yet they are still struggling with their sin. I recommend this article as a great resource to fighting off the wrong view of the Christian life that each of has at various stages of life.
8) “Caffeine Enhances Real-World Language Processing” by Christopher Shea
I am definately a high-consumer of coffee, so I find scientific studies on coffee always interesting. If you have trouble reading this one try drinking a cup of joe first and then read it again.
9) “Anywhere But Nineveh” by Eric Geiger
This is a great post on how to develop a love for your city. It’s written by a pastor to pastors, in hopes that none will end up like Jonah (begrugingly serving a city they hate). But it has lessons for all of us.
10) “Where are all the Protests against Black-on-Black Violence?” by Alan Noble III
Alan brings another relevant and brilliant piece to the table on the subject of Trayvon Martin’s death. Here he is tackling the ignorance and arrogance behind the complaint “why are people protesting Trayvon Martin and not protesting all the black-on-black violence.” He does a great job of forcing us to look more carefully at our bias, our rhetoric, and our ignorance. It’s a painful bu necessary critique.
11) “Mark Driscoll’s Consequentialism” by R.W. Glenn
In this interesting post the author reflects on some closing remarks to one of the Elephant Room 2 discussions. He concludes that no matter how great the end result is the ends never justifies the means. In particularly he addressing the faulty assertion that Mark Driscoll and Steve Furtick made in the discussion that if souls are saved then methodology does not matter. It’s worth a look.
An interesting article discussing the gentrification occuring in the Bronx. As more people leave Manhattan and moving into the Bronx, it is creating some significant changes for that community. Interestingly too most of the gentrification is not white people moving into the Bronx. Check out the article.
13) “Time for Tebow to Stand Tall” by James Panero
How did I miss this article when it appeared on the 1st! I guess probably because I know nothing about football, but I like the tone of this piece. It is hopeful that Tebow’s strong Evangelical convictions can rub off on the Big Apple. For all you sports fans, or pseudo-fans, or just Christian fans, this is a good read.
14) “Separation Anxiety: An Open Letter to Katherine Stewart” by Sam Andreas
This thoughtful response to a NY Times writer who argues that NYC churcehs should not be allowed to rent space from schools is worth reading. It’s good not simply because of the cleverness of its writer, but because it is a response to the kind of hubris appearing all over the U.S. in regards to good churches. Pray for our brothers and sisters and the churches they serve in there in New York City.