This Week’s Good Reads

morning paper1). “Israel, Gaza, ‘Divine Right,’ and John Piper” by Matt Smethurst

A brilliant piece by Smethurst aimed at helping us wrestle with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He points out many of the all to frequently overlooked issues related to this discussion. He guides us helpfully through the words of John Piper and urges us to pray. A worthwhile piece for all Evangelicals.

2) “You Are Not Who You Think You Are” by Krista Dunham

My wife has written a beautiful piece here on being defined by our relationship with Christ, not by our roles, illnesses, or accomplishments. She illustrates the point with a compelling story from her own life and her own heart.

3) “Do We Need Feminism?” by Hannah Anderson

This is a beautiful piece discussing the value and limitations of Feminism as a movement. In particular Hannah does a great job of pointing out that to stop the oppression of women worldwide we need more than Feminism, we need a brighter view of the individual, one that transcends categories. She borrows from the work of Dorothy Sayers to make her case and does a compelling job.

4) “The Achilles Heel of Complimentarian Theology” by Joy Bennett

My friend Joy and I probably disagree on a fair amount. But I appreciate her concern for women in the church, it’s a concern I wish more men had. This is a challenging piece that encourages pastors, churches, and Complimentarians in particular to live out what they say they really believe about the value and significance of women. If women are truly complimentary to men then we should act like! I have written elsewhere about my own desire to learn theology from women, read about why here.

5) “Considering Reparations with Thabiti Anyabwile” by Cray Allred

A new CAPC podcast with Thabiti that discusses the issue of racial reparations and the church. A wonderful conversation that warrants our ears and minds, friends.

6) “17 Recommended Resources on Same-Sex Attraction” by Matt Mitchell

A list of some helpful resources available to those who either struggle with SSA or who love and counsel those who struggle with it. Check out the books, booklets, and articles listed here to gain some insight on this growing conversation about dealing in godly ways with SSA.

7) “Watch: The New Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” Delivers More Majestic Wonder & Awe” by Edward Davis

Everything Chris Nolan touches is gold. This new film coming out in November looks great!

8) “The Poor Poetry of Death” by Russell Saltzman

A beautiful piece on the parlor poetry of Funeral homes and a more theologically sound and encouraging set of poems to help us face grief with hope.

9) “9 Things You Should Know About Male Body Image” by Joe Carter

So thankful that Joe has written this piece. I see a number of young men for whom this subject is a real struggle. Many of my gay friends say this has been part of their story growing up (though that is not to say it is the reason they are gay!). This is an issue we should take notice of and be prepared to help brothers think through with grace, compassion, and truth.

10) “The Good Ministers of the Silver Screen” by Alissa Wilkinson

My friend Alissa does a good job here of reminding us that not all Christians in the media are presented as bumbling fools. She calls on her friends to help her compile this list of quality television and movie pastors. I particularly appreciated Brother Sam, from Dexter, and  Shepherd Book from Firefly. I would have loved to see Hershel from The Walking Dead on this list as well.

11) “J.I. Packer on Living to the End ‘Flat Out’” by John Piper

Piper sat down with the aging theologian to discuss growing old for the glory of God. Packer, who recently turned 88 has written a new book on the subject and he shares some thoughts from this work, including a stern challenging the culture of “retirement from life.”

12) “Marriage for the Common Good” by James K.A. Smith

Yes! Everything about this, yes! Smith argues that our perception of weddings and marriages is an unhealthy one. He urges us to consider the idea of an open household, to orient our marriages outward towards others. This is such an important concept, and it starts with weddings. We have over-dramatized the wedding and that has led us, in many cases, to misunderstand our marriages too. This is the best read on this list. Check it out.

13) “The 5 Directions of a Missional Church (Infographic)” by Trevin Wax

I loved this infographic on a missional church and would love to missional conceived more in these terms.

14) “Why I Can’t Read Matt Walsh” by Cory Jones

This blogger and pastor, whom I do not know, wrote exactly what I would want to say. I don’t get the appeal of Walsh and I worry about his growing popularity.

15) “Jesus, Eunuchs, and the (Almost) 30-Year-Old Virgin” by Chelsea Kingston

A great piece challenging the church’s elevation of marriage and sexual fulfillment. I am increasingly convinced we need to rethink the way we celebrate and highlight marriage in the church. Marriage is wonderful, but not everyone will marry. We want to encourage and support singles too. This piece helps us to think about the subject again.

16) “The Higher Calling, Lower Wages: The Vanishing of the Middle-Class Clergy” by David Wheeler

This is an enlightening piece on the state of pastoral ministry in America. For five years I had to work multiple part-time jobs just to make ends meet. It was very stressful and often my family or ministry suffered because of my varied responsibilities and schedules. Coming to CBC changed all of this for us, and I am very grateful. I appreciate Wheeler’s exposing this problem and challenging the church to consider how it will continue to empower, assist, and support its pastors. I think the answer begins in rethinking seminary education.

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