This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I try to compile a list of interesting articles from around the web that I want to share with my readers. Here’s this week’s list, take a look. I am sure there’s something here that will grab your interests.

1. “Can’t We All Be Beautiful?” by Krista Dunham

I am completely biased and I don’t deny it, but this woman has some good insights. Here my lovely wife reflects on the weaknesses of the varied “beauty campaigns” which individually highlight either thin or big, or any number of other external characteristics. Her words offer some insight and corrective to these trends. Check it out over at Revformation, a growing new website for women and theology.

2. “The New Apocalypse” by Alissa Wilkinson

Alissa gives a recap and commentary on the brand new HBO series The Leftovers. The show borrows the idea of the rapture from certain segments of Christian fundamentalism and turns it on its head in this series. The pilot episode was wound very tight, and was fairly intense. Alissa shares some good thoughts on this episode and the whole idea of a repurposed raptured. Fundamentally, I think, the episode asks us to consider: what do you do when there seems to be no explanation for terrible events.

3. “Small Groups, Big Impact” by Dave Dunham

Here’s a piece I wrote for Leadership Journal on utilizing small groups to do church-wide discipleship.

4. “The Hidden Blessing of Infertility” by Karen Swallow Prior

For paid subscribers to CT this is a beautiful piece! Here Karen discusses how her inability to conceive has opened the door for other opportunities.

5. “6 Reasons Pastors Need Learning Communities” by Marc Cortez

Cortez argues that pastors need more than just a desire to continue learning – they actually need to be part of healthy learning communities. Independent learning is good and valuable, he says, but too much of it is dangerous for pastors. This is a very insightful article with fresh perspectives. I love the two learning communities I am part of, and I know I would be much much worse off if it weren’t for the folks in these groups keeping me sharp. These folks help refine my ideas, give me pushback, correct my thinking when it’s wrong, and generally challenge me. I firmly believe that I am a better thinker and, hopefully, a better pastor because of them.

6. “How to Glorify God with Wizards, Captain America, and Spider-Man” by E. Stephen Burnett

Burnett argues that God gives us “echoes of His Word and reflections of His image in secular novels and films.” To make his case Burnett speaks of three instances where this very thing happened for him. It’s anecdotal, no doubt, but this article can serve as a good reminder of the power, beauty, and benefit of art.

7. “The Trouble Isn’t Liberals, It’s Progressives” by Charles Murray

In this piece, subscribers to WSJ, can read about the divergent philosophical roots of these two groups. Murray offers a good introduction to their differences here. Whether your Conservative or Liberal this is probably a good article for you to read.

8. “A Christian Psychology of and Response to Homosexuality” by Sam Williams

The Biblical Counseling Coalition ran a four-part series on this subject attempting answer the following question: How will the church understand persons who struggle with SSA, and what should the hope and help that we offer look like? Of particular interest to many counselors will be part two, where Williams differentiates between identity and attraction. To experience same-sex attraction or orientation is not the same as being gay or lesbian. Part four is also helpful in reminding us that gender comes with a wide array of differing temperaments, and cultural stereotypes are not the same as Biblical norms. Read all four parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

9. “Human, All Too Human?” by Carl Trueman

Trueman’s bite always comes with insight and this article is no exception. Here he takes on a rather inane piece of writing from Slate on gender assignment. Trueman for the win!

10. “How to Make a Home Where You Live” by Collin Hansen

An interview with Mark Mitchell on a host of ideas related to place, home, and making a life.

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