This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Every week I compile a list of interesting articles from around the web that caught my attention. Here is this week’s list, check it out, there’s bound to be something here that interests you.

1. “The Pumpkin Spice Latte and Our Craving for Season” by Valerie Dunham

I am not related to Val, except in my love of the changing season. Here she writes beautifully about our human desire for the “providence of seasons” and the ways in which the PSL has capitalized on it. Excuse me while I go drink some coffee and wear my flannel shirt.

2. “Framing John Frame, Part 2: Influencers on His Thought” by Steve Childers

I love Frame and this four part series on the great theologian is wonderful. Here Childers talks about some of the man’s greatest influences and those shapers of his thought. I love the swath of names dropped here. One thing I love so much about Frame is his ability to read widely and find value from a range of voices.

3. “19 #WhyIStayed Tweets that Everyone Needs to See” by Jared Keller

Blaming victims is a popular and horrible trend in American culture. In the aftermath of the Ray Rice video there was a lot of that floating around the web, even from people who ought to know better (I am looking at you Ben Carson!). This article does a good job of exposing the complexity of situations and the sensitivity required to really be helpful to victims of abuse.

4. “9 Questions to Help You Steward All of Your Life for God’s Glory” by Brad Hambrick

Nearly every week I find something on Brad Hambrick’s website that is so practically helpful that I can’t resist sharing it. Thank you for that, Brad. Here is a great piece on running towards God with our whole life, and some questions that can practically help us move in the right direction. Hambrick writes, “Life is not primarily about what we avoid, but what we pursue.” To help yourself pursue good things check out this piece.

5. “When I Realized that the Bible Could Not Cure Everything” by Brad Williams

As a firm believer in the value of Biblical counseling I agree 100% with this article! For all that I have said about Biblical counseling, about medication, about depression in the recent months I want to add my voice to this point too. Depression is not always a sin issue and medication can often be an important factor for getting help! Biblical counselors take Scripture, sanctification, and science seriously.

6. “The Achievement of Wolfhart Pannenberg” by  Michael Root

In light of the recent passing of Protestant German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg, First Things takes a look at his contributions to the theology of his time.

7. “Advice to Young Pastors from Sam Storms, Wayne Grudem, and David Wells” by Matt Smethurst

I am not sure why Matt chose these three men. Storms is an experienced pastor so that makes sense, but the other two seem less obvious to me. Still their counsel is good if not overly insightful.

8. “Help for those Who Feel Disconnected at Church” by Erik Raymond

Raymond here suggests, with a few caveats, that if we don’t feel “connected” at church it’s probably our fault. He urges us to follow through on the “one another” commands of Scripture to reconnect with God’s design for the church. A good word.

9.  “US Conservative Contempt for Arab Christians” by Rod Dreher

American Conservatism is in a sad state. Alan Noble has written brilliantly about its desperate need for imagination and purging. But here Rod Dreher, writing for The American Conservative, points fingers directly at Ted Cruz and those who follow him for his ignorant and hateful comments about Middle Eastern Christians. First Things had some of its own comments on the event as well, calling it “a farce to make Cruz look good with his base and shore up his credibility as a pro-Israel hawk.” And all this was done at a time when he could have been caring for the powerless and persecuted sitting right before him. If this is American Conservatism count me out!

10. “Rape and Rotherham” by Ross Douthat

A grim but important look at the role of power in cases of rape. Douthat states plainly, “Show me what a culture values, prizes, puts on a pedestal, and I’ll tell you who is likely to get away with rape.” We have seen this over and over again. He points to the Catholic Church, I point to the small Ohio town whose football players got away with it. Douthat concludes with a terrifying thought: So don’t expect tomorrow’s predators to look like yesterday’s. Don’t expect them to look like the figures your ideology or philosophy or faith would lead you to associate with exploitation.

11. “What Makes Young Evangelicals Less Conservative? Results of New Study May Surprise You” by Napp Nazworth

The answer is diversity, but not like you’re probably thinking. Nazworth writes: Young white Evangelicals whose social networks mostly included people like them were the most likely to depart from older Evangelicals on cultural issues while young Evangelicals with more diverse social networks were more likely to hold views similar to older Evangelicals. In other words, the more embedded Millennial Evangelicals are in the Evangelical subculture and the less interaction they have with non-Evangelicals, the more likely they are to demonstrate attitudes diverging from their elders.

12. “10 (Unexpected) Church Trends to Surface by 2020” by Sam Rainer

I for one am super excited about a number of these trends!

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