This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I compile  a list of interesting articles and blog posts from around the web. I don’t always agree with their content, but I find them interesting enough to share. Check out this week’s list, there’s bound to be something here that interests you.

1. “What We’re Reading This Summer” by TGC Staff

The Gospel Coalition staff share what they’re reading this summer. Since it’s the thing to do this time of year, maybe I’ll share my own list.

2. “N.T. Wright on Gay Marriage” by Matthew Schmitz

Here is a portion of an unedited manuscript from part of an interview with the beloved New Testament scholar on the subject of gay marriage. His answers define marriage within the grand narrative of God’s creative and redemptive story. His answers also stand very confident despite the popular opinion on the subject.

3. “Gregory and Practical Theology” by Dave Dunham

Here is a piece I wrote for The Southern Ohio Pastors Coalition blog. In it I explore the practical nature of theology via the works of the Great Cappadocian father Gregory of Nazianzus. It’s a lengthy piece but in order to best capture Gregory’s convictions about the practicality of theology it had to be.

4. “The Psychological Does Not Exist” by Ed Welch

In this piece Welch confronts the Trichotomist perspective, stating that the Scriptures do not divide humanity into spiritual, physical, and psychological. Instead, Welch argues that our so-called “psychological” problems are expressions of our bodies and our spirits. Welch raises good points here, but in the interest of being as helpful as we can I pray we do not diminish the significance of the elements of the psychological or reduce all so-called “psychological problems” to idolatry issues. If I agree with Welch in theory, I hope in practice this does not become a form of reductionism.

5. “Grace and Law in Geneva and Rome” by Collin Hansen

Hansen reflects here on Tim Keller’s recent trip to preach and speak in Geneva and Rome, and looks back at the influence of Calvin and Luther on the Reformation. He explores how their preaching of Pauline doctrine in contrast to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church offers liberation from legalism and antinomianism. This piece fascinated me if, for no other reason, than to read first-hand accounts of what it was like to sit in Calvin’s city and listen to Tim Keller preach.

6. “N.T. Wright on the Bible and Why He Won’t Call Himself an Inerrantist” by Jonathan Merritt

Just when I start to like Wright he frustrates me. That, I suppose, is one of his values: he keeps readers engaged, thinking carefully, and having to constantly return to Scripture. I am certain that his views on Scripture are probably pretty close to mine, but his rhetoric is disappointing. I have highlighted the insufficiency of his views on Scripture elsewhere, but this interview highlights those frustrations well.

7. “Pastors Aren’t Born But Formed” by Derek Rishmawy

My friend Derek highlights three lessons on mentorship and friendship for the shaping of pastors, lessons drawn particularly from Calvin’s early years. Point one about choosing mentors who will encourage your strengths and temper your weaknesses is very important. I have seen the best of young pastors become arrogant jerks because of the men they chose to model their ministries after.

8. “Tim Keller on Mars Hill Preaching, Homosexuality, and Transgender Identity” by Owen Strachan

An interview with Tim Keller on these wide-ranging topics. As usual, Keller’s thoughts are insightful and winsome.

9. “Sharon Jones on the Pros and Cons of ‘Orange is the New Black’” by David Fear

The R&B icon was formerly a corrections officer before making it big in music. In this fascinating interview she talks about what the Netflix show gets right about prison life and what it exaggerates. The article, like the show, contains strong language and content so be forewarned.

10. “Thoughts on the ‘Together for the Gospel’ Conference 2014” by Iain H. Murray

Murray, a respected Reformed historian, editor, and publisher made his first appearance at the T4G conference this year. In this piece he reflects on that experience what he loves about the conference. He also shares his thoughts on the label “New Calvinism” and the language of “movement” so often associated with it. This is worth reading simply to get the perspective of an “outsider” who appreciates what’s happening among young Calvinists in the states.

 

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