This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I compile a list of some interesting articles from around the web. Here’s this week’s list, I suspect you can find something here that interests you too:

1. “How God Showed up in House of Cards: An Interview with Jae Jin” by Helen Lee

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Netflix original series House of Cards. It’s gripping, gritty, and thought-provoking – also on a side note, I hope the show is not representative of the actual U.S. government, but I wouldn’t be surprised. In this interview with Helen talks with a young Christian about his experiencing leading worship on the set during one of the church scenes in the movie. He talks, quite honestly, about how much it really felt like a worship experience for him and how the whole event reminded him that God will have worship wherever and however He wants it.

2. “Does Juicing Have Any Real Health Benefits?” by Darya Rose

So here’s the bad news juice-fiends: the jury is still out on this one. I know, I know, some of you are thoroughly convinced. But pseudo-science is not the same as science and while it probably isn’t bad for you (though too much juice most assuredly is) there’s no solid evidence that it’s doing anything more for you that just eating fruits and vegetable and staying healthy can’t do for you. Healthy eating can easily become an idol, friends, so just be careful here. Keep that in mind while you blend your kale.

3. “What’s Wrong With Buying Your Way Onto The Bestseller List?” by Jared C. Wilson

Ugh, Mark Driscoll is at it again. It was exposed last week that Driscoll and his church bought up enough copies of his book Real Marriage to earn it a spot on the New York Time’s bestseller’s list. It was a classless move at best, a thoroughly dishonest one at worst. Here Wilson examines what makes it particularly wrong.

4. “Walking with the Dead: The Burden and Beauty of Friendship” by Dave Dunham

This week’s column on The Walking Dead explores the inconvenience and grace of true friendship. “Friends don’t have the luxury of distancing themselves from the burdens of those they love.” I was reminded after the episode and in reflection on it to both be thankful for the dear friends I have, and to confess my burdens to them. To invite them to share the load with me. Who knew a show about zombies could be socially and relationally beneficial?

5. “The Danger of Not Doubting” by Nick Rynerson

My friend Nick assures us that doubt is a good thing, “messengers of God to the honest.” In this piece he gives us some insight on how to be good stewards of our doubts.

6. “Five Keys To Developing Your Own Evangelism Strategy” by Will Mancini

Mancini’s book Church Unique was a favorite of mine years ago when I first read it. The goal of that book was to help church develop a unique, Biblical, and contextualized vision for ministry. In this post he shares some basic components for developing your own Evangelism strategy within your church. One, again, that is unique, Biblical, and contextualized. #1 is huge for me.

7. “We are Not Past Race”: An Interview with Trillia Newbell” by Tyler Glodjo

A great interview with Trillia on her new book, the reality of racism, and the need for diversity within the church.

8. “Combatting Generational Poverty Through Early Childhood Intervention” by Alan Noble

In this fascinating piece for Cannon & Culture, my friend Alan Noble explores the dynamics of generational poverty and how one particular local Christian organization is attempting to curb the problem. He urges churches to consider how they can participate in addressing this massively important problem, and he offers a few suggestions himself.

9. “The Idol Behind Same-Sex Desires” by Sam Allberry

This beautiful piece is written by someone who is an “insider” to the struggle with same-sex attraction. Allberry discusses what his desires often mean, and how Jesus fulfills the deepest longings He has.

10. “Holy Relics: A Youth Group Anti-Onanism Game Plan” by Martyn Jones

Through a fictional narrative Martyn explores the value of accountability groups for things like masturbation, lust, and sexual desire among teens in particular. He wonders aloud about what a grace-based program might look like and why its so hard to grasp.

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