This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Here are some of the more interesting articles from around the web this week. Check out the list, there is bound to be something here that interests you.

1. “Reading the Bible Like Jonathan Edwards” by Kyle Strobel

Strobel uses Edwards’ idea of reading the Scriptures as a means of grace to help us get past the idea of religious duty and into the deep joy of communion with God.

2. “Creative Walking” by Jonathan Pennington

Apparently walking regularly increases your creative output by 60%!

3. “The Spirit is Willing but the Schedule is Tight” by Garrett Kell

“Ministry can be lots of things, but convenient is usually not the best way to describe it,” says Kell. Here he helps us to think through how to respond to “divine interruptions”.

4. “What does a horrific disease like ALS do to a Christian’s Joy?” by Dan Cruver

I don’t know much about ALS, and I never personally knew anyone who died from it. My church family knows it well, however. Before I came on staff they watched one their pastors suffer with it. Patrick McGoldrick, from all accounts, was a remarkable man, a man I wish I had known. Here is part of his story as told by a friend and former classmate. The beauty of this story is the legacy that Patrick left as he went through this ordeal. Read this account and learn the answer this great question.

5. “Mark Driscoll is Being Urged to Leave Mars Hill Church” by Michael Paulson

The New York Times has gotten into coverage on Driscoll fall from grace. Here they give an overview of the situation, and the pleas being made by many that Driscoll step down from his pastorate.

6. “More on Ferguson and White Privilege” by Matt Chandler

I am so impressed that Chandler wrote this, not that I didn’t think he was capable of it. Talking about white privilege is a good way to lose a fan base, but it’s absolutely the truth! We are seeing it clearly on display in the presentation, perception, and discussion about Ferguson. Chandler offers a gentle caution here that many of us need to hear.

7. “Reading Your Way Through Life” by Andrew Sullivan

A beautiful piece from The Dish that discusses the ways in which novels, stories, and poems can be our guides, comforters, and friends through difficult and depressing seasons of life. Sullivan shares his favorite passage to give an example and calls for submissions as well. He says:

A kind of communion occurs between the writer and the reader, and the problems of the moment seem more bearable if only because you realize you’re not the first to get there. Books offer the remarkable consolation of getting to a particular point in your life, or reaching a certain impasse, only to look around and see a flag planted in the dust: someone else has been here too.

8. “Dissing Driscoll: What the Church can learn from Pastor Mark’s fall from grace” by David Robertson

Robertson warns us that there’s much we can learn from Driscoll’s mistakes. The piece feels a little bit like a subtle attempt to dump some more on the guy, who has certainly taken a popularity beating lately. The warnings are, however, true, and in light of Driscoll’s current situation they can serve pastors well. But for a title that suggests we shouldn’t just sit and diss Driscoll, it sure feels like that’s a lot of what this piece does.

9. “Is it ‘Goodbye Evangelicalism’ or ‘We Join You in Your Suffering’“? by Thabiti Anyabwile

This is a powerful, prophetic, and timely piece from Thabiti. He calls into question the kind of Evangelicalism that refuses to view things from the perspective of, and help provide answers to, the oppressed. He wisely and boldly writes:

And until evangelicalism finds the courage and the love to enter those questions with empathy for that vantage point on a quest for better answers than Cone’s, then evangelicalism as we know it is dead.

Friends, there is a racial divide in America and in the church! Read these words with grace and be teachable.

10. “I Increasingly Find Conflict Between My Faith and some Conservative Discourse” by Erick Erickson

Another bold piece. This one expresses real frustration and concern with the way that some conservatives think and dialogue. Erickson argues that this discourse is in stark contrast to Christian ethics. I could not agree more. If desiring to follow Jesus more than toeing the party line makes someone a liberal then so be it! But surely there’s a better way to dialogue.

11.  “The Other Side of Ferguson: Local Churches Fighting Injustice” by Kara Bettis

Looking at the other side of the Ferguson situation my friends at Christ and Pop Culture give us insight into the churches and Christians serving to love and fight for justice in ways that honor Christ. This is so encouraging and lovely, read this piece, friends.

12. “Growing Into Life” by Daniel Darling

An interview with my friend Brian Hedges on his new book and the larger topic of sanctification. A topic worthy of our attention and careful consideration. Brian is a great theologian and a great writer. This interview will be an easy read and, I believe, a helpful one.

13. “What Are Gospel Issues?” by D.A. Carson

It’s super popular to call everything a “gospel-issue” these days. Carson brings a bit more clarity to the conversation here in his usually erudite way. Check out this article from the newest edition of Themelios, the theological journal of The Gospel Coalition.

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