This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Every week I pull together a collection of articles from around the web, which I found interesting. Here is this week’s list, check it out. There’s bound to be something here that interests you:

1. “The Demands of Love in Harry Potter” by Jake Meador

This is more than just some lovely commentary on a good piece of fiction. It is a meditation on being governed by love, verses ruling by coercion. Read and be edified, friends.

2. “Original Sin is Problematic” by Alan Noble

Alan tackles the firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who asserts his job was terminated because of his religious beliefs. Alan evaluates the facts of the case and raises and important issue: do non-Christians clearly understand what Christians believe about sin. Some of the varying interpretations around this case reveal a general misunderstanding of the doctrine. For pluralism to exist in America clear understanding of what Christians believe must be communicated and received. This is a good piece about more than just one case.

3. “Husbands, Pray With Your Wife” by Wendy Alsup

Wendy has written a very insightful post here for husbands. She sets up this piece by discussing the reality of relational strain that can come on a marriage over time. In particular she notes that husbands don’t always know how to help their wives with some of the emotional difficulties they experience, as a result many men simply back away from their wives. Hide from their emotions. Instead, Alsup offers us the outlet of prayer and explains three ways that this simple act can benefit wives and marriages. This is a great read, husbands.

4. “Re-Focusing the Incarcerated Redeemed in Society’s Prisons” by Jason Sexton

This is a fascinating interaction between Jason Sexton and Amy Levad over Levad’s latest book applying Catholic moral theology to prison reform. Much to chew on in the general review and then the interaction of the two voices following Sexton’s original post.

5. “Spider-Man in Love” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This Atlantic piece is about far more than the new forthcoming Spiderman comic, in which Peter Parker and Mary Jane renew their commitment to one another. It’s about the nature of mature love, and cultural differences in demonstrating love. Ta-Nehisi is a brilliant writer and this is just one example of his compelling and interesting writing.

6. “Productivity for Writers: 5 Ways To Become More Productive in 2015” by Joanna Penn

A good, practical list to keep you on task for this year.

7. “Addictions and Augustine, Bunyan and Edwards” by David George Moore

An interesting piece that picks up where the Huffington Post piece on addictions (from last week’s reading list) left off. Here Moore suggests that Augustine and Bunyan understood the absolute value of friendships for helping us to fight sin, and contends that Edwards seemed to focus more exclusively on the nature of the will.

8. “The Role of Spiritual Wisdom in Understanding Our Vocation” by Al Wolters

Wolters has a good piece here reminding us that we need God’s help to seek God’s will in every area of our lives, even our professional work. I am reminded again of John Frame’s insistence that all knowledge is divine revelation of some kind. Wolters affirms that notion in this piece of his own.

9. “God’s Glory, Artistic Beauty, and Joyful Longings” by Tony Reinke

Reinke reflects here on the holistic worldview of Herman Bavinck, even giving us a small excerpt that demonstrates this worldview. The piece actually points to relationship between the natural world, man-made, art, and the glory of God. Check it out.

10. “Friendship, Race, and Knowing Your Place” by Nicole Soojung Callahan

This is a very insightful piece, written by a transracial adoptee who shares her story of growing up as the only Asian girl in her community. She describes in particular the challenges she experienced in developing friendships with people who were often completely ignorant of their racism. This is a piece for white people to read and think carefully about.

11. “Why Your Millennial Outreach Needs A Bit of Bonhoeffer” by Andrew Root

The ubiquitous mention of and urgency to save millennials has been sabotaging itself, says Andrew Root. This “millennial anxiety,” as he calls it, fails to actually do what it sets out to do, and, according to him, Bonhoeffer has the keys to explain it.

12. “Baptizing “Masculinity”: The Real Reason Men are Leaving the Church” by Luke T. Harrington

Luke has written a thoughtful piece here on the role of ideas in the discipleship of men. He suggests that part of the reason Evangelicalism struggles to reach men is that it does not offer them intellectual challenges, but instead insists that they approach ideas through their emotions – something Western men are not inclined to do. I was quoted in the article discussing our Free Seminary program at CBC and how it is reaching some men in our congregation. I think there’s some weight to Luke’s suggestions here.

13. “Unchanging and Promise-Keeping: A Reformed Metaphysics of the Exodus” by Derek Rishmawy

Here’s some philosophical theology that is deeply devotional. Derek, borrowing from Frances Turretin, demonstrates that discussions of God’s character are still rooted in metaphysical considerations. “He does good because He is good.”

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