This Week’s Good Reads

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

1. “Moving Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Cities” by Laura Bliss

Urban design is absolutely fascinating to me. In this piece for City Lab at the Atlantic the author explores a new theory of urban categorization and then speculates about a field shift away from categorizations toward a more full-blown evolutionary theory of urban development.

2. “On Earth As It Is In Heaven: Living God’s Will Through Our Daily Work” by Karen Swallow Prior

Karen has written a beautiful piece reflecting on a few lines from The Lord’s prayer: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. She reminds us that we can see God’s will on earth through our mundane work. A good reminder and a beautiful piece of writing.

3. “Advice to Young Pastors from R.C. Sproul, Tom Schreiner, and Carlos Contreras” by Matt Smethurst

This is a good series of posts for those of us young in the ministry. I confess the multitude of answers across the wholes series can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s nice to see what each of these different men values and believes vital for study.

4. “Church Should Be Uncomfortable” by Brett McCracken

“Talking about one’s ‘dream church’ is–increasingly, I’ve come to think–an exercise in not only futility but flat-out gospel denial. The church does not exist to meet our every need and satisfy our various checklists of tastes and “comfort zone” preferences. If anything it exists to destabilize such things. The church should draw us out of the dead-eye stupor of a culture of comfort-worship. It should jostle us awake to the reality that comfort is one of the greatest obstacles to growth.” I loved this piece that reflected on how going to a church different from your “dream church” is good for you. Read this!

5. “Deprograming Your Ministry” by Drew Dixon

My friend Drew, at Lifeway, suggests that one of the biggest deterrents to effective ministry may be the amount of programs we run to try and fulfill our ministries. In this piece he gives us a quick push to deprogram our ministry in 2015 and then walks us through three key steps to address those issues. This is a good reminder, and worthwhile reading for pastors and lay leaders.

6. “15 Black Christian Leaders You Should Know” by Corrie Mitchell

I would not agree theologically with everyone on this list, so you shouldn’t read this as a complete endorsement, but I am thrilled to see a list like this put together and thrilled to see some dearly loved people on this list. Check it out and learn from the ministries and teaching of men and women like Trillia Newbell, Eric Mason, Thabiti Anyabwile, Jemar Tisby, and Tony Carter.

7. “All That I Keep Safe” by Christopher Quinn

I love Zach Williams’ music, and this story makes me love it even more. This is a moving piece about the tragedy that swept into Williams’ life and how it awakened his poetry.

8. “3 Reasons Christians Should Vaccinate with Confidence” by Justin Smith

Medical doctor, Justin Smith writes this piece for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, under Russell Moore’s leadership. I want to be sensitive to those who disagree with the decision to vaccinate their children. This is not a gospel issue and should not divide the church, as it too often does. I do believe in the importance of vaccination and am grateful for Smith’s writing this piece. Check it out for yourself.

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