This Week’s Good Reads

morning paperEvery week I compile a list of articles from around the web that seemed interesting to me. Check out this week’s list, there’s bound to be something here that interests you.

1. “Ten Troubling Statements Church Leaders and Members Make” by Thom Rainer

We’ve probably all said at least one of these statements on this list, but Rainer points out how these statements hide attitudes that are troubling for the church as a whole.

2. “How a French Atheist Becomes a Theologian” by Guillaume Bignon

This is a beautiful story about one man’s conversion from stark atheism to devout follower of Christ and future theologian. His story represents the hard realities, I am sure, of reaching those in Europe, and yet evidences great reminders of God’s awesome power and effectual calling. This is a beautiful testimony to read at Christianity Today.

3. “Where Young College Graduates Are Choosing To Live” by Claire Cain Miller

An interesting piece revealing the shifting trends of those most desired metropolitan residents: young college graduates. The trends reveal a shift away from the three big cities most known for acquiring young graduates: New York, Washington, and San Francisco. Among the new locations are Huston, Nashville, and Denver. My city, Detroit, is naturally not a contender, over the last dozen years we have not seen this influx, our percentage on the chart is -10!

4. “Something Good, Something Bad, A Bit of Both: Natural Law, Nihilism, and Guardians of the Galaxy” by Geoffrey Reiter

More good nerd theology, this week from Geoffrey Reiter at Christ and Pop Culture. Here the author explores the humanity of the five main heroes in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. With G.K. Chesterton as his guide he walks us through the ways in which their creatureliness opens them up to the possibility of redemption. A piece that includes Chesterton, Augustine, and Rocket Racoon – it’s everything a nerdy theologian could want!

5. “Romantic Love is Not Enough” by Dave Dunham

The Gospel Coalition is running this piece of mine on their homepage this week. I am grateful for that kindness and for the opportunity to promote this idea among a wider audience. The point of the article is to communicate the value and importance of friendships. Romantic relationships, though profoundly important, cannot meet all our relational needs. That’s why God created friendship and why he even refers to himself as our friend.

6. “Seven Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality” by Jean Lloyd

This is a beautiful piece of writing and such a thoughtful engagement with the subject. The author, a former openly lesbian woman, expresses what she wishes pastors to know about homosexuality. She frames it within the context of her own personal experience, but it is broadly applicable. She is encouraged by the response of love being directed from the church towards the LGBT community, but she is concerned about the moral compromises that often accompany such love She writes:

May I make two requests? Continue to love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Practice compassion according to the root meaning of “compassion”: Suffer with me. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

This is an excellent piece!

7. “I Am Delivered” by Jackie Hill Perry

Perry does an excellent job of discussing the realities of deliverance. The failure to understand this concept Biblically has led to much confusion and harm in the church. In particular Hill talks about this reality in relationship to same-sex attraction. Another good read.

8. “I Don’t See You As A Black Friend” by Garrett Kell

Kell writes here about being post-racial isn’t actually as helpful or encouraging to our black friends as white people might imagine. He writes about a conversation he had with Trip Lee in which he said, “I don’t see you as black.” Tripp’s response changed his life. He writes:

Trip said to me, “I hear you, but you’ve got to know that being a black man affects everything I do. Every time I walk into a store, every time a policeman looks at me, every time I step into our very-white church. I feel it. I breathe it. I live it. I am a black man, that is who God made me.” He went on to explain that being a black man meant that, in many ways, he experienced life differently than I do. His pains and joys and fears were similar to mine, but also very different. He has fears for his children that are different than the fears I have for my children. He has hurdles in relationships that I don’t have to jump. He has to trust God in ways that are both similar and different than me. And those differences matter.

In light of all the recent racial tense events in our country and in the media this is a good article to read.

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