This Week’s Good Reads

readingHere are some interesting articles from around the web, you’ll probably find one here that interests you too. While I don’t agree with all that the author’s say I found them interesting and worth considering.

1. “Does Prince Charming Really Need Reinvented?” by Akash Nikolas

I think this author makes some leaps and I wouldn’t agree with everything but I found the pushback on some of the praise Frozen has gotten interesting. I think it’s fair to raise the question of whether or not we are overreacting to Disney Princess culture. Pendulum swings aren’t helpful, so this is a good caution at least. *WARNING: this piece contains some content that could be offensive to readers.

2. “How is God Working in the World? Understanding Miracles and Providence” by Justin Holcomb

Holcomb does a great job here of helping us understand the distinction between God’s miraculous work and His every day providence over all of life. I wrote about the importance of this distinction last year in a series on miracles, the danger in not seeing the difference is that we will wrongly define the term miracle and we will wrongly assume God’s activity is minimal in our world.

3. ” ‘Experts’ and Evangelical Subculture” by Thomas Kidd

Kidd does a fantastic job here of highlighting how prone Evangelicals are to adopting unqualified yet persuasive “experts.” As one example he points readers to David Barton, but there are plenty of other examples to go around – he notes too our culture’s general affinity for unqualified health experts. He gives us some advice for thinking about this tendency, and then urges qualified academics to reach broader audiences to keep the appearance of such “hacks” down. I so appreciate Kidd’s voice on this subject.

4. “Has ‘Authenticity’ Trumped Holiness?” by Brett McCracken

McCracken wonders aloud here on whether Evangelicals have turned being “screwed up” into a badge of honor, and what such a trend mean for the church. It’s an important challenge to the church today. Kevin DeYoung wrote a good book on this subject as well, you can read my review here.

5. “The Real Reason Pediatricians Want You To Vaccinate Your Kids” by Russell Sanders

This is a trend I still don’t understand, it’s pretty new to me, but here is an interesting piece from the perspective of a concerned pediatrician. He essentially says that it’s an issue of trust. If parents don’t trust him to provide good care on a subject that is as basic and, to him, obvious as vaccinations then they aren’t going to trust him on the more complicated and complex issues later on. In some ways I wonder if this phenomenon is related to an aspect of the “expert” trend discussed in article #3 above. Are we culturally adopting the views of people less qualified because they are more dynamic than the actual qualified experts? I am not sure, but I can appreciate this doctor’s perspective.

6. “Is the Proper Christian Response to the Grammy’s to Walk Out?” by Amy Lepine Peterson

So Natalie Grant was shocked by the performances at the Grammy’s, which is itself a little shocking to me. She apparently walked out, and such an action created a stir. I confess I don’t know what the right thing to do in that situation was, I am glad I didn’t have to make that call. In some sense I think she could have stayed or left and it would have been perfectly acceptable. Amy Lepine Peterson offers a different perspective than most Christian outlets are offering and it’s some food for thought. I do think Christians are sometimes too easily offended by secular culture and that makes reaching people with the gospel a whole lot more difficult. If that’s not particularly true of Grant’s situation, Peterson’s article at least sets us up to consider that subject more broadly.

7. “How to Read N.T. Wright: Tom Schreiner Looks Once More at His View of Justification” by Justin Taylor

The theological nerd in me loved this piece. It’s such a helpful examination of a controversial figure. I appreciate so much Schreiner’s warning not to be dismissive, simplistic, or reductionist in our understanding of Wright. Too often Christians want everything to be a very simple black and white, but sometimes there are issues of grey that do requires us to do some hard analytical work and nuanced articulation. This is one such case. There’s much to appreciate about Wright, even if there’s also much to be concerned about. Here Taylor summarizes, thankfully, a 29 page review Schreiner did of Wright’s new massive work on Paul. For the bigger theo-nerds here’s the full article by Schreiner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: