This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Every week I compile a list of interesting articles that I’ve read from around the web. Here is this week’s list. Check it out:

1. “7 Ways to Keep Your Wife Beautiful for Life” by Brad Hambrick

A simple list that is really more about how to keep yourself attracted to your spouse than is suggested by the title. It applies both ways and speaks to the importance of our relational responsibilities.

2. “Studies in Esther” by Dave Dunham

I loved contributing two articles to this study in the book of Esther over at the Servants of Grace blog. In them I argue that the church is largely reading Esther wrong. We tend to read the book as if it  presents young women a role model of courageous leadership, but I don’t think I it does that. Instead, I present an alternate, more pessimistic reading of the characters in these expositions of both chapter 1 and chapter 2.

3. “The Theology of Death” by Gary Chaffins

My friend Gary wrote about death as a part of a recent reflection on his own father’s passing. This is a good and simple reflection on the important and deep truths of the Scriptures regarding death. I love how Gary end’s this reflection by emphasizing that Jesus has conquered death.

4. “Words Unwired” by Lorin Stein

A beautiful piece by one of the editors of The Paris Review discussing why there is still value in print media. I appreciate The Paris Review and am so encouraged that so many publications are seeing a bit of a rebirth and rejuvenated life.

5. “God’s Cleaning His House…the Church” by D.A. Horton

Horton has written a really good and fresh piece on the tension that exists within Evangelicalism regarding race relations. He posses a three-fold strategy for seeking to better address this tension among us. We have the gospel, but “as movement, we won’t appropriate the good news if we continue to refuse to see racism and systemic brokenness as gospel issues.” This is a great piece featured by Ed Stetzer on The Exchange. Of particular value is his first point on limited perspective on racial issues owing to a limited diversity among our leaders. I am convinced that if we don’t have more diversity in our leadership our conversations, theology, and practices will be largely white-middle class. Horton’s point here is spot on!

6. “These are the 10 Worst Places to Live in Ohio” by Nick James

Number two is the city that we lived in for five years before moving to Detroit. Youngstown is where I went to college. I love these cities and am sad that they are in such turmoil.

7. “Pedagogical Authority” by Jason Garwood

An interesting approach to the final topic of Jesus’ Sermon the Mount. Garwood puts an emphasis on the authority of Christ as the interpreter of the Word of God and, for our sakes, the sufficiency of the Scriptures as our “pedagogical authority.”

8. TGC Debate on Romans 7

Romans 7:13-25 has been a contested chapter among interpreters. The two views essentially state that (1) Paul is speaking of his pre-Christian life, or (2) Paul is actually speaking of his Christian life. I have wrestled with this passage myself many times and have finally landed on the second of the two options. Here Tom Schreiner argues why he supports position one, then John Piper argues why he supports positions two. You can examine both and determine for yourself which makes the best sense of the overall text.

9. “The Journey to Restoring Broken Trust” by Brad Hambrick

Brad’s 10 step journey to restoring broken trust in a marriage is exceedingly helpful and hopeful for couples impacted by sexual infidelity. The first five are detailed here and the remaining five delineated in this post.

10. “Girl Meets World’s Rowan Blanchard Says She Identifies as Queer” by Lindsay Kimble

So, what makes this interesting is not that some celebrity has come out as gay. That happens all the time and is no longer that mind-blowing. What makes this particular article interesting is that Rowan Blanchard actually doesn’t come out as a gay. She writes that she “identifies as queer” but has “only ever liked boys.” In other words she’s straight but is “open to liking any gender in the future.” Two things stand out about this article: (1) It’s hard to be popular in Hollywood when you have nothing to come out from; (2) We have really gotten to a point in the sexuality discussion where words can literally mean whatever we want them to mean.

11. “Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church” by Wendy Horger Alsup

This is a great piece by Wendy on the dynamics between men and women within the church. She helps us consider how we can look beyond marriage as the only viable interaction between men and women in the church. From there she helps us to consider two keys to healthy male/female relationships in the church: (1) men who aren’t threatened by women; (2) men who value female contributions to the church.

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