This Week’s Good Reads

Here are some good articles and blog posts that I’ve found around the web this week. Enjoy:

1) “Honoring Fundamentalism” by Michael A.G. Haykin

If I don’t agree with all that Fundamentalism stood and stands for, I can at least agree with my old prof. that there are two stories to the Fundamentalist legacy. One of those stories deserves being remembered and appreciated.

2) “Blind-Sided” by Eric Metaxes

In this timely piece Metaxes points out how ineffective and counterproductive some of the inane rantings of Christians can be. He gives two examples one of which includes a group of Christians pressuring Lifeway Stores to remove the film Blind Side from its shelves for using racial slurs in the film. His final words are important to hear: it’s difficult to imagine how we Christians can hope to be taken seriously in cultural discussions and debates with this kind of an approach.

3) “Place, Patriotism, and Sehnsucht” by Brett McCracken

I am not all that patriotic, I never was much of a teams-spirit kind of guy. But I think I am increasingly agreeing with the sentiments expressed here by McCracken. The backlash against patriotism, especially among Christians, may not be natural or healthy. While I think the idea of nationalism and the confusion of patriotism with Christian worship is dangerous and deadly, I do appreciate his willingness to challenge us to think carefully about the proper respect we should have for “home.”

4) “Housing Affordability Crisis: Americans Squeezed By Higher Rents, Tight Credit” by Michelle Conlin and Melanie Hicken

A sad report on the massive rent increases and how it is affecting not just the poor but now even the middle class. It reports that “In New York City, one-third of households are spending more  than half their pay on rent.”

5) “And Also Many Beasts (Jonah 4:11): The Function and Status of Animals in the Book of Jonah” by Yael Shemesh

This interesting piece builds a case for God’s actual care for animals. Pulling from the whole Bible, but with a special focus on the book of Jonah, Shemesh encourages us to draw back from our antropocentrism. I don’t agree with all his conclusions, some of his interpretations seem a bit far-fetched, but overall this is an intersting and informative piece.

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