This Week’s Good Reads

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

1. “Hope Is a Very Good Thing, Maybe the Best of Things: What is the Active Ingredient in Antidepressant Medication” by Charles Hodges

Dr. Hodges reviews some research that recently found that the belief that medication could help was as equally effective in bringing about relief as actual medication. A good reminder on the power of hope.

2. “The Addict as Modern Prophet” by Kent Dunnington

The author argues here that “addiction is, in fact, a kind of embodied cultural critique of modernity and the addict a kind of unwitting modern prophet.” In particular he has in mind the ways in which the addict reveals the inadequacy of our own lifestyles and our own faith. This is a very interesting, compelling, article.

3. “Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury: Made to Measure” by Gregory Alan Thornbury

I love fashion and theology, which is surely why I have such an appreciation for Dr. Thornbury. He loves those things too. Here he writes about his favorite pin stripe suit custom designed by Billy Reid designs. You have never read about a suit like this.

4. “Church as (non-nuclear) family” by Steve Holmes

A very interesting article on the language of “church as family.” Here Holmes reflects on the near irrelevance of the “nuclear family” structure to the ancient writers of Scriptures and how that has colored our understanding of the language of the Bible. He asserts that the goal of the “church as family” language is not first and foremost about intimacy. Rather it is about responsibility. That’s an interesting take. Following that Wesley Hill reflected on where intimacy might come from if not in that idea of “church as family.” Both articles are interesting.

5. “How to Get Things Done: Define Your Areas of Responsibility” by Tim Challies

A helpful introduction to productivity. I use some similar ideas in helping others who need counsel in this area. I like the simplicity of this approach and especially appreciate some of the more cursory comments, such as: Displaying self-control in one area of life somehow shores up self-control in others. So consider taking this challenge: If you want to have an organized life and get things done like never before, commit to exercising three or four days a week. Or commit to the daily disciplines of reading the Bible and praying. Pick at least one major habit and pursue that even while you pursue getting things done.

6. “Traditional Sexuality, Radical Community” by Corey Widmer

This is a great piece that reflects on some of the things that I have been mulling over for a while now. The author states: But among churches that are committed to a biblical sexual ethic, there are few, I’m afraid, that make living out that ethic possible for the average person dealing with same-sex attraction. It’s a good word to get us all thinking more carefully about how to shepherd and how to walk alongside those who struggle with SSA.

7. “Abraham Kuyper Goes Pop” by Andy Crouch

If you’ve got a subscription to Christianity Today check out this article on the seven part film series that unpacks Abraham Kuypers’ cultural anthropology!

8. “13 Recourses for Ministry Leaders Who Struggle with Porn” by Ministry Best Practices

Since the number of pastors who confess to secretly struggle with pornography is stunningly high, this is a useful list to share. Get help, friends!

9. “Uprooting the Christian Masculinity Complex” by Matthew Block

YES! Everything about what Block writes here is refreshing and insightful. Men are not “warriors” by nature, and a version of Christianity that continues to perpetuate this idea is merely rooted in cultural stereotypes, not Biblical truth.

10. “Against Stupidity” by Alan Jacobs

With a heavy dose of tongue-in-cheek, and an even heavier dose of straightforward meaning, Jacobs challenges us to end the toleration of intentional stupidity, particularly among Christians. If stupidity has always been a reality there’s certainly no denying that the Internet has made it worse. For Christians in particular our constant fearfulness in the culture makes us sometimes more prone to say, repeat, and believe stupid things. We ought to do better, Jacobs urge us to better.

11.”We Need an additional Way to Credential Pastors” by Ed Stetzer

This article doesn’t give all the details I wanted, but it does make a decent case for the need to find alternate paths to credentialing men for ministry. A one-size-fits-all approach to pastoral education is simply not realistic, compatible, or helpful to the church.

12. “Loving Muslims Enough to Reach Out, Globally and Locally” by Ed Stetzer

Another good piece by Stetzer. Here he guides us through the reasons and means to better loving Muslims. Such an important message for Christians today!

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