This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I compile a list of interesting articles from around the web, here’s this week’s list. Take a look, there may be something here that interests you:

1. “Our Consuming Crushing Snare” by Trillia Newbell

Trillia looks at the fear of man and reveals how much of our own judgmentalism is tied up in this sin. She explores how “gospel humility” is the solution to the pride that drives fear of man. I greatly appreciated this piece and find it resonates well with my own soul.

2. “The Spiritual Nature of Mental Illness” by Heath Lambert

Dr. Lambert explores mental illness from a Biblical Counseling perspective in this four part series. It’s worth a read, and worth reflecting on even if you fundamentally disagree with his conclusions.  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. It’s difficult to talk in generalities about “mental illness,” and there may be points at which Dr. Lambert is perhaps less sensitive than he could be, but he gives us lots to chew on and consider in this series. the biggest benefit of this series is that it reveals the incomplete nature of psychiatry and the usefulness of considering the spiritual side of humanity in providing help to those with the most serious kinds of issues. I want to commend it to you.

3. “About that Homeschooling Infographic You Keep Seeing” by Rachel Coleman

At the risk of getting pulled into a fight I have no dog in, I nonetheless found this article interesting. Coleman is doing her PhD work on homeschooling within the Christian Right. Here, she picks apart an infographic on homeschooling suggesting that the infographic is highly misleading. There are a lot of statements made by both advocates and opponents of homeschooling, Coleman suggests that the research is not all together very conclusive in either direction.

4. “Mistakes New Leaders Make: Being Paralyzed by Fear” by Justin Clark

My boy Justin is writing a great series of blogs on mistakes new leaders make, helping those of us in leadership roles think carefully about our position, presentation, and performance. In this short post he encourages us to embrace the possibility of failure for further growth. We must recognize that taking calculated-risks is part of the job or we will be so paralyzed by fear of failure that we won’t make any decisions. A good word for all of us, but especially for leaders.

5. “Oh, the Humanity!” by John Coakley Jr.

I recently made a new online friend in John and in this piece he connects with me through our mutual love of The Walking Dead. He describes the show as an exploration in humanness, which I love, and then supports my own writing over at Christ and Pop culture on the show. I appreciate the support and promotion and look forward to reading more of John’s own work in the future.

6. “Walking with the Dead: Survivor’s Guilt” by Dave Dunham

Speaking of The Walking Dead, here is my latest column at CAPC on the show. This week I explored the show through the lens of survivor’s guilt, picking-up a clever insight from Nancy Sherman’s 2011 article in Psychology Today on the Moral Logic of Survivor’s Guilt.

7. “The Danger of ‘What This Really Means’” by Derek Rishmawy

Derek calls us to consider our own arrogance in how we respond to those we disagree with. Seeking to uncover hidden motivations in another’s words can be a dangerous trend. ” If we’re only ever listening to unmask, we’re never actually listening to understand.”

8. “Darren Aronofsky’s Noah” by Gregory Alan Thornbury

Look out, Dr. Thornbury saw and liked the new Noah film. He has two major theological objections to the film, but overall he says believes that the film sets us back into the context of the ancient world to wrestle with dangerous questions: Who are we? What has gone wrong with the world? Where is justice? Is God there? What does he have to say? There are plenty of negative reviews of the film out there, they are easy to find. Here is a somewhat positive review by an intelligent, conservative theologian. It’s worth a read if you’re a fan of the cinema or just interested in a different perspective.

9. “Is Christian Dating Incestuous?: What’s Weird, Wrong, and Good about the ‘Sibling Rule’ ” by Paul Maxwell

Maxwell makes a good case here for why we should stop using the language of “she’s your sister” to discourage sexual activity among dating Christians. There are better ways to approach that subject, he says. This is more humorous than anything else, but it does have some insightful moments to it.

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