This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Every week I collect some interesting articles from around the web to share. Here is this week’s list:

1. “Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age” by Alastair Roberts

Roberts reviews Jonathan Grant’s new book Divine Sex. If his portrayal of the book is accurate it’s going to be an influential work offering a more comprehensive philosophy for thinking Biblically about our sexual selves. I look forward to reading this work.

2. “When Some Turn to Church, Others Go to CrossFit” by Mark Oppenheimer

An interesting sociological survey on how the CrossFit movement can function very much like a religious community for some.

3. “With Sobering Science, Doctor Debunks 12-Step Recovery” by NPR

I am very interested in reading Dr. Dodes research in Sober Truth. I have believe that while 12 Step Programs can do some good, they are not nearly as effective as they claim to be. Dr. Dodes says as much in his own research. In this NPR Author Interview readers will get just a brief introduction to his arguments.

4. “No Desks? No Problem in Language Classes” by Chris Balusik

My friend Andy McDonie, a French language teacher in the Chillicothe School System, is doing some novel work in the classroom. The Chillicothe Gazette picked up the story and gives us a look at what he’s doing with removing desks from the classroom. Andy is incredibly smart and I am certain he is a great teacher. I am glad to see people I love get some attention for doing interesting work.

5. “C.S. Lewis, Public Intellectual” by Thomas Kidd

Though this is an old piece, from 2014, Kidd gives a brief review of Alister McGrath’s C.S. Lewis: A Life. The point of particular interest to Kidd, however, is Lewis’ own struggle with being a public intellectual and how it created tension between himself and his colleagues at Oxford. We need public intellectuals, and institutions ought to support and applaud those who bridge the gap between academia and popular culture, that is they ought to support men like Lewis. This is particularly true for Christian scholars and Christian institutions. Kidd writes, “Reliable public intellectuals are essential for cultivating the Christian life of the mind.”

6. “A Bigger Platform” by Glenn Packiam

The desire to “expand our platform” and broaden our influence can be a good one, but deciding if it is wise is not always easy. It’s tempting, especially as a young professional, to want to pursue every new potential opportunity. To seek a new writing engagement, a new speaking engagement, a new level of influence. But it can also be disastrous, idolatrous, and unsatisfying. Packiam has written a good piece here for Leadership Journal to help us think through how to accept such opportunities and when to say no.

7. “Inside Pixar’s Technological Evolution, from Toy Story to The Good Dinosaur” by Jordan Zakarin

I love Pixar mostly for the brilliant story telling. They don’t rely on CGI to drive story. That being said, however, there is no denying that they have made impressive strides forward in digital animation. This piece from Yahoo actually interviews employees at Pixar to discuss some of the advances they’ve made.

8. “The Simple Goodness of ‘Huck’ Is a Welcome Relief in Superhero Comics” by Jeremy Writebol

Writebol reviews a new comic by legendary superhero writer Mark Millar. The new story revolves around a superhero who is anything but the standard violent action star of more recent years. In fact he is a bit “slow,” with a great big heart. For Millar this is particularly what we need in light of the heaviness of our current world. We need something “lighthearted.” I am interested to read this series both because of Millar and because of its novelty.

9. “Should We Only Forgive Those Who Repent?” by David Prince

This is a great piece on the importance of having a forgiving heart even when reconciliation is not possible. Forgiveness is about surrendering our rights to vengeance, and that can happen regardless of another person’s response. We must, of course, always be conscious that we are not glossing over consequences, but forgiveness is about the state of our heart. As a counselor I greatly appreciate this piece. As a human I need it.

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