This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper21. “Are Big Alcohol’s Ad Men Targeting Recovering Alcoholics?” by Jeff Deeney

This is an insightful piece which, if true, reflects the grossest insensitivity and manipulation in mass media. If the piece boarders, just barely, on the dramatic, it nonetheless presents some important issues for consideration.

2. “Sin and Biochemical Brokenness” by Dave Dunham

This is a piece I wrote for the Servants of Grace blog. It discusses the importance of having a holistic view of the fall, which can keep us from blaming people for their mental illnesses. It explores biochemical brokenness as part of the curse of the world, not as personal sin. It then offers three simple steps we can take to care for those among us who suffer from a mental disorder.

3. “20 Interesting Bookmarks You’ll Want So Badly” by Siobhan Harmer

Lifehack found these awesome bookmarks and you’ll likely find them cool too.

4. “Grand Rapids Revels in Its Low Murder Rate” by Francis X. Donnelly

This major Michigan city in our backyard had a total of six homicides in all of 2014. “Detroit had that many murders during an average week in 2014.” Interesting information and congrats to GR.

5. “How can Systematic Theology Help a Drug Addict” by Adam Embry

If the author’s tone is a little condescending the point is nonetheless well taken. As a counselor, and as one who particularly works with addicts, I love the connection between systematic theology and counseling. I want my guys and my gals in Recovery to see and appreciate this very relationship.

6. “Directions to Walking with God: Learning from a Puritan” by Brian Hedges

My friend Brian walks readers through a list of 17 “Grand Directions for Walking with God” from Richard Baxter’s The Christian Directory. He notes, of course, that many of us are too intimidated to read the Puritans and reluctant to dive in to them. But then, interestingly, he suggests that our reluctance to read the Puritans and our feeble Spiritual growth may be related, because both require effort. He writes:

But I’d also suggest that this very attitude may lie at the root of our low levels of holiness and happiness in our Christian lives. We don’t want to put effort into it. And so talk about grace is more attractive to us than talk about effort and we do all that we can to sidestep lists of requirements, directions, and rules.

Reading the Puritans can actually help us appreciate the effort and discipline that goes into spiritual growth. I’d recommend starting with this very article.

7. “Biblical Counseling, Addiction, and the Body of Christ” by Dave Dunham

I was honored to have an article published at The Biblical Counseling Coalition blog this week. It discusses the ways in which a whole congregation can help in the labor of addiction counseling. In this particular piece I outline some of those ways by means of a story, the recovery story of one of our own brothers.

8. “Sexual Confusion: Who Are You?” by Sam Allberry

Here is a video of Sam’s talk at The University of Idaho. You can also listen to it as an MP3. It’s well worth your time whether you struggle with SSA or not.

9. “What if Wes Anderson Directed an X-Men Movie?” by Danielle Ryan

Ryan points us to the brilliant artwork of Patrick Willems, who made this spoof. It is brilliant. As both a Marvel fan and an Anderson fan I couldn’t resist watching this video…twice.

10. “A Review of Comfort the Grieving by Paul Tautges” by Dave Dunham

I have the joy of writing reviews for Zondervan publishing. Here is one of my first reviews. It is of a very helpful, practical work on shepherding the grieving. Thanks to The Southern Ohio Pastor’s Coalition for running the review.

11. “Why Pastors Struggle with Confronting Domestic Violence” by John Shore

As we prepare for our next Biblical Counseling seminar (this one on domestic abuse) articles like this are going to be important, not just for pastors but for all counselors. Here Shore lists six reasons why pastors tend to be bad at dealing with domestic abuse. I might add a seventh reason: they have a very narrow definition of domestic violence. This is a good and indeed important article. I commend it to my Biblical Counseling students to read in preparation for our next seminar.

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