This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEach week I like to share some of the most interesting pieces I’ve read from around the web. Here’s this week’s list of good reads:

1. “The Eight Kinds of Commenters in the Christian Blogosphere” by Dale M. Coulter

Coulter, over at First Things, shares this funny list of the eight different types of comments you can find in the Christian blogosphere. I’ve seen just about every one of these types of comments in my time as a blogger and this list, humorous though it be, is spot on.

2. “The Deep End” by Dena McGoldrick

Dena is a member of our church here in the Detroit Metro and a godly woman who has just recently experienced the loss of her husband to ALS. In this moving blog post she shares what living a year without him has been like. It’s is both gritty and yet filled with worship. I encourage you to read it, it will do your own soul much good.

3. “Subjectivity Overload” by Karen Swallow Prior

In this fantastic piece Karen Swallow Prior, humanities professor at Liberty, tackles the subject of sentimentality in Christian art. With a little bit of help from Flannery O’Connor she shows how deficient a model of artistic expression sentimentality really is. In a surprising twist she parallels the shallow efforts of Christian artists to the work of pornography. She urges the church, then, in lieu of these realities to recapture the objective nature of beauty.

4. “Evangelicals Find Themselves In the Midst of a Calvinist Revival” by Mark Oppenheimer

The New York Times has taking a surprising interesting in the revival of Calvinism in America, and here they run a piece on the subject interviewing Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

5. “Some Thoughts On Reading Books” by Al Mohler

Al Mohler reads more books in a week than most people do in a year. Here he gives some helpful tips on how to accomplish more reading this year.

6. “Todd Starnes Sold Us A War On Christianity. We Bought It.” by Alan Noble

Noble begins this piece saying, “Some lies and some liars need to be called out.” Such a liar, he believes, is Todd Starnes. He continues,  “And when a liar identifies with my community–conservative evangelicals–and tells lies to my community repeatedly and without apology, influencing hundreds of thousands of people, that needs to be addressed.” In this particular piece, Noble identifies two specific lies that Starnes has been caught in. Noble argues, as he has elsewhere, that Starnes is prone to fear mongering, and that he plays into the confirmation bias of many Evangelicals. I like Nobles concluding thoughts, “That’s the thing about sensationalism and exaggeration: it hurts real efforts to address real issues. But in this case, there’s more at risk. Starnes’ lies should remind us that for many people and companies, Christians are a market demographic. They know our fears, our values, and our desires.” This is a piece worthy of your time, if for no other reason than it warns us as Christians not to believe every self-identified Christians celebrity!

7. “Where Jesus Lived On Mission” by Timmy Brister

Brister offers a neat info graphic here with some helpful conclusions about where Jesus lived on mission while on this earth. Check it out.

8. “New Year’s Resolution as an Expectation of Faith” by Derek Rishmawy

My friend Derek has a good piece on New Year’s resolutions over at Christ and Pop Culture. As you resolve to “do better” this year take a minute to read his reflection here.

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