This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Here’s this week’s collection of interesting articles and blogs from around the web. Check it out; there’s bound to be something here that interests you:

1. “How Do You Know You’re Repentant?” by Jared C. Wilson

A good guide for thinking about the fruit of repentance. Wilson’s list has lots of helpful thoughts on distinguishing worldly and Godly sorrow.

2. “How Pride Poisons the Soul” by Sam Storms

Such an important reminder for me and for all of us. Pride is possibly the root to all sin, and as such it is important to root it out and dig it up. Storms unpacks the Bible’s teaching on pride, noting both that God hates it (some seriously strong language), and that it leads to destruction. He points out that pride, because it refuses instruction, puts us almost out of the reach of hope. “There is more hope for a fool” (Prov. 26:12). This is a good reminder of the spiritual dangers of arrogance. Storms writes: Simply put, pride is that ugly part of your heart that causes you to be more concerned about yourself and your own reputation than you are about Christ and his.

3. “Superhero Movies Have Become an Endless Attempt to Rewrite 9/11” by Todd VanDerWerff

Though long, this is a great piece reflecting on the ways in which the superhero movie helps us to remember and retell the tragic story of our American past. We relive this one horrific story but with a better, happier ending. Superheroes have often worked this way. So, Captain America’s first appearance has him punching Adolf Hitler right in the face. VanDerWerff has written a compelling psychoanalysis of the superhero films and their place in the modern pop culture. As an avid comic book nerd I love it!

4. “Simon Pegg is Worried that Our Obsession with Nerd Culture is Infantilizing” by Katie Rife

Here’s a thought-provoking piece reflecting on a recent interview with Nerd culture icon Simon Pegg. I am inclined to take issue with Pegg’s suggestion that nerd movies don’t have meaningful stories. In particular, I thought the most recent Avenger’s film had a fascinating thematic development of salvation and heroism. The distinctions between Tony Stark, Ultron, and Vision caught my attention and generated all kinds of reflection in me. Yet, that being said, I appreciate his pushback. How healthy is the rejuvenilization of mainstream culture?

5. “How Heroin Made It’s Way From Rural Mexico to Small-Town America” by NPR

If you’d like to know some about the town that we just moved from here is a story by NPR on how the Mexican Drug Cartel found a market for its heroin in small-town rural Southern Ohio. Portsmouth was the pill mill capital of America! It’s a sad story, one I pray will change.

6. “More Pressing Than Women Preachers” by Jen Wilkin

A couple of weeks ago there were some exchanges on the blogosphere on the issue of whether to allow women to preach. It’s a good and worthwhile discussion for the church to have. Jen Wilkin, however, presses us to see the importance of another question: are women allowed to serve in other areas of your church ministry? She asserts that if we can’t imagine a place for ministry in the body of Christ for our women, then we have a more serious issue than their being in the pulpit. She writes: Debate the question of women preaching until Jesus returns if you must. But when he does, may he be greeted by a church whose practice affirms its belief that the equal value of men and women was never open to debate.

7. “How We Sabotage Our Own Education, and How to Stop (Part 1)” by James Hoskins

My friend James has written a great piece on one of four mindsets that ultimately sabotage our educational development. This first mindset is a common one: the belief that teachers/professors should simply give us information, not challenge our convictions. He outlines how this harms our education and then how we can fight against this mindset. I commend it to you, reader.

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