This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I compile a list of interesting articles from around the web, here’s this week’s list:

1. “Coming Out Again” by Wesley Hill

Hill presents a beautiful and compelling piece here regarding what it’s like to be open about the fact that he struggles with same-sex attraction. He talks about the reality of not simply coming out, but regularly discussing the realities of his struggle with those who love him. I appreciate Hill’s sensitivity and honesty, and love this piece!

2. “Jonathan Edwards on Mentoring” by Rhys Bezzant

Michael Bird shares a guest post in which Bezzant argues that Edwards has much to teach us with regards to mentoring in the church. I confess the article doesn’t say as much as I had hoped it did, but I am intrigued to read more about the great theologian’s approach to mentoring in the future.

3. “3 Spiritual Disciplines for Dispelling Doubt” by Charles Ware

Ware has written a helpful piece on how to deal with doubt. He urges us to “remember our identity in Christ,” “purifying our motives,” and “expect God’s fruit.” I appreciated this post as one who often struggles with self-doubt. If that’s you too, this can be a simple, short, and yet encouraging post.

4. “Walking with the Dead: Confessed Weakness Can Be Strength” by Dave Dunham

This week’s column on the AMC hit The Walking Dead reflects on weaknesses. In particular I argue that confessed weakness can become a strength. Looking at the characters in the show and interacting with Brene Brown’s new book on vulnerability. Check it out at Christ and Pop Culture.

5. “The Unremarkable Call to Love Our Gay Neighbors” by Karen Swallow Prior

Dr. Prior does an excellent job of reviewing a new book by Glenn Stanton. She walks us through its strengths and weaknesses, and hopes for a day when such calls to love our LGBT neighbor is unremarkable.

6. “How News Makes Us Dumb” by Kevin DeYoung

YES to all that DeYoung says here! The constant consumption of the news can make us dumb, not because the news is dumb, but because the importance we place on it is. I am thankful for this post and hope that many Christians will read it and take it to heart.

7. “Spurgeon’s Three R’s: A Useful Method for Evangelism” by Jeff Robinson

Robinson highlights the “three core doctrines of evangelism” as discussed by the Prince of Preachers himself, C.H. Spurgeon. He speaks of “Ruin,” “Redemption,” and “Regeneration” as the best guide to sharing the gospel with others. If these are somewhat obvious concepts their simplicity reminds us that evangelism is not about canned approaches so much as communicating carefully key truths.

8. Reflections on Ferguson

In light of the events of Ferguson it seems like everyone had something to say about it this week. Some responses were not very sensitive and compassionate, like this response from Voddie Baucham. Baucham seems here to outright dismiss the potential problems of Ferguson as irrelevant, since, after all, there are other kinds of problems. He starts with a  false dichotomy and builds off of this throughout the article. He also, more or less states that Michael Brown got what he deserved for robbing a store – an unrelated event to his being shot. His overall conclusion is even more reductionist and simplistic: it’s a sin problem. Much more needed to be said than this.

Other responses were far more insightful, and comprehensive. I like these posts by Thabiti Anyabwile: The Ferguson Grand Jury Has Given Us Our Marching Orders, and Why I Believe the Grand Jury Got It Wrong and Injustice Triumphed, and Four Common But Misleading Themes in Ferguson. In these three pieces Thabiti reveals the complexity of this issue, and urges us to be more critical of common commentary on this issue. The last of the three articles is particularly insightful and worthy of your time.

Also in response to Bachaum’s piece is this one by Alan Noble at Christ and Pop Culture. I am always blessed by the writing of my friend. His article, Sins Part in the System (and Vice Versa), gives a very thoughtful response to the errors in the other article. He goes point by point to interact with Baucham’s arguments so read both pieces.

Finally I would point to Russell Moore’s piece, Ferguson and the Path to Peace. Here Dr. Moore wonders aloud why black and white Americans view issues like Ferguson so starkly different. His answer is that we live and move in different worlds, but he proposes that the church is the means to bridging that gap. I say “Amen” to that!

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