This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I try to compile articles from around the web that I’ve found interesting. Here’s this week’s list, perhaps you’ll find something worth reading here too:

1. “Living with Longing: The Genuine Challenge of Singleness, Chastity, and Heartbreak” by Richard Clark

My good friend Rich writes beautifully in this piece about the importance of recognizing the genuine frustration and discouragement that some of the folks in our world can have as a result of their singleness. It’s not that being single is bad, or necessarily less fortunate, he says, but some single folks have a deep longing that those who are married should not dismiss or explain away with trite platitudes. We ought to be sensitive. I have been thinking a lot about marriage and singleness in the church as of late, this article is a great starting place for that conversation.

2. “Small Groups from 16th Century Europe” by Chris Castaldo

This is exactly what it sounds like, a survey of a cool and thriving small group from 16th Century Europe. Castaldo describes how one particular small group was part of a Reformation movement in Italy. As a member of small group ministry I was encouraged by reading this brief survey.

3. “Should You Trust the Monkey Mind?” by Joe Carter

A non-teleological evolutionary process cannot produce a trustworthy mind. Here Joe Carter of TGC explains some of the ground-breaking work of Alvin Plantinga. Particularly here he argues, not against evolution, but against evolutionary naturalism. This is a great post in Carter’s ongoing series on apologetics.

4. “Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Paradox of the Loving Addict” by Erin Wyble Newcomb

In the aftermath of Hoffman’s death I was saddened, and I was particularly saddened by so many who refused to grieve his passing. Yes, he died because of his own addictions and sins. But to suggest that if he really loved his family and friends, and career, then he should have just stopped using is to completely misunderstand the reality of addiction, or even sin for that matter. Newcomb has written a beautiful, moving piece about this reality, this paradox. It’s a great piece that is more about all of us than it is about Hoffman.

5. “Book Review: Called to Stay” by Joey Cochran

Whenever I see the word “millennials” I am immediately disinterested in the writing. Most people write as if “millennial” is an actual group of people instead of just a label applying to people born within a certain time frame. There is no such thing as a “millennial,” there are just lots of different people born in a certain time frame. So when I saw that there was a book all about how to keep this group in the church I thought, “what a waste.” Joey Cochran suggests in his review that there’s actually some good in Caleb Breakey’s book Stay. There’s also some failures in the book, particularly the suggestion that “millennials” are the saviors of the church. All around I am still not convinced, but I am intrigued by this review to check out the book.

6. “Walking with the Dead: The Trauma and Healing of Community” by Dave Dunham

The Walking Dead returned this week and with it so did my weekly column over at Christ and Pop Culture on the show. This particular piece looks at how community creates the potential for psychological trauma and yet also offers the hope of healing from such trauma. It explores this subject through the storylines of Michonne and Carl in episode nine of season 4. Fans of this show may enjoy this piece.

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