This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I compile articles from around the web that I think are interesting. Here’s this week’s list, you should check it out and see if there’s any articles that interest you:

1. “A (Very) Brief, Gospel-Centered Defense Against the Problem of Evil” by Derek Rishmawy

My friend Derek is a good philosopher and a good theologian. Here he gives a simple and gospel-centered response to one of the most common objections to faith. It’s a reminder, he says, that “all of life’s deepest, most troubling questions find their answer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

2. “A Break-up Letter to Matt Walsh” by Luke T. Harrington

Open letters make me want to scream! Okay, but now that that is out of the way, this is a great blog post. Here’s the truth about Matt Walsh, friends: He says the most obvious things (at least their obvious to his reader base) with the highest levels of snark and rhetoric. He does not challenge his readers to think, he merely rallies the troops. Christians ought to be more careful with their words and readers ought to read things that challenge them. Matt Walsh is a terrible blogger and Luke Harrington does a great job of exposing these weaknesses in this post.

3. “Striking Photos Challenge the Way We See Blackness” by Sarah Barness

And this is why we should no longer categorize people based on color of skin! Well this reason and lots of others too.

4. “Who is the Ken Ham of the Biblical Counseling Movement?” by Heath Lambert

Heath Lambert, the Executive Director of NANC, wrote a response to a very interesting question that David Murray raised over at his blog. The exchange revolves around whether or not Biblical Counselors are actually utilizing and learning from contemporary science. Lambert says yes, while Murray says it’s more lip service. I found the exchange interesting and particularly enjoyed the comments of Dr. Charles Hodges in the comments section of Murray’s original piece. If you’re a counselor this is an important reminder regarding common grace, science, and psychology, and this particular discussion can be insightful.

5. “You Are What – and How – You Read” by Rosaria Butterfield

The work of Butterfield continues to impress me. Here she talks about how our hermeneutic shapes the way we think about homosexuality in a Christian context. She urges us to go back to Scripture and to the Puritans to develop a healthier worldview about the subject.

6. “Videogames and Men” by Richard Clark

Here’s a perspective you won’t hear on video games from most Christian communities these days. I shocked that CBMW invited my friend Richard to write this piece, but it is worthy of your time whether you’re a gamer or not. I am not a gamer but I hate the rhetoric often associated with video games that Christians are inclined to hear. Clark argues here that “Videogames now provide such rich and varied experiences that it is now just as probable that playing them can genuinely make one a better, more well-rounded person, just as a powerful film or a dense and rich novel might.” The maturation of the medium opens doors for personal development. It’s an interesting thought and worthy of your consideration.

7. “What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Suffering” by Matt Smethurst

This is a great video clip of a conversation between Paul David Tripp, Tullian Tchividjian, and Dave Furman. Here the men discuss the insensitive and even theological wrong things that we can say to those who suffer. It’s worthy of your time to learn your own failures in this area, and to be reminded that it is okay to suffer. Tchividjian is so right when he says, “The mandatory happiness that we require in the church perpetuates the pain.” The church has got to do a better job of embracing pain and suffering, and this is a good starting place.

8. “Church Must Stop Abdicating Its Role In Mental Health” by Matthew Stanford

I don’t think that all that the psychological community calls “mental illness” is in fact a “mental illness,” but Stanford is absolutely right here about the role of the church in caring for those with legitimate mental illness. Of course, regardless of how we define “mental illness” or what diagnoses meet that definition we need to provide care, but I think in particular more education and sensitivity to mental illness is in order within the Christina community. This brief piece doesn’t add a lot to the conversation, but its a good introduction for those who don’t normally think about this subject.

9. “Unity in Diversity” by Jen Wilkin

Wilkin at the Village Church helps us to think through when do we express concern or disagreement within the body of believers, and how can we do so in a way that maintains the unity of peace the church should have. This is a good read because far too many of us leave churches or create division over things that are not of eternal value or worthy of division. Some things are, to be sure, but not all things. Read and learn the difference.

10. “Why Unemployment is High in Parts of Michigan” by Stephen Moore

While Detroit suffers, much of Michigan is seeing economic growth and a diversifying market. Interesting.

11. “Experiencing a Little Emotional Dysregulation?” by Ed Welch

Welch explains how terminology often has an inherent worldview and in this particular case the terminology will take us farther away from Scripture and the hope and help God provides therein for our emotional problems. This is a good read.

12. “Biblical Womanhood for Pariahs” by Wendy Alsup

Alsup thinks carefully here about how we define “Biblical womanhood” and says that some definitions are so culturally and contextually bound that they cannot be universally true of all women everywhere. That’s wrong. She writes that the concept should be explored in the worst possible scenarios before we define it. ” I am thinking today that Biblical womanhood is best understood when we understand it in our worst case scenarios.  When we boil it down to what God most wants any of us to reflect about Himself regardless of the adjective in front of “woman” and then expand that back out to the specific circumstances in which we find ourselves, we are much better equipped to endure the waves of life that come at us at each stage as a woman after God’s own heart.” This will give you some good things to chew on.

13. “Walking with the Dead: Living on Borrowed Faith” by Dave Dunham

For those who are fans of The Walking Dead on AMC, you might like this week’s commentary on the last episode. In this piece I explore how some of the characters live off of Herschel’s faith because they don’t have their own, and how that concept might aid us in times of despair too.

14. “Is Your Church A Recovery Culture?” by Dave Dunham

This piece for The Gospel Coalition discusses the stories we are willing to hear and invite into our congregation. It questions whether we have tried to tame the gospel and make everything so “family-friendly” that we are actually not doing ministry the way the Jesus did.

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