1. “How I Do Research: Mike Bird” by Nijay K Gupta
I love to learn from others practices, and as I continue work on my first major project this year, I was intrigued to learn how professional theologian Michael Bird does his research. Interestingly enough he validates a diversity of practice. “There is no one way to do research.” Still, I benefited from reading about some of his habits.
2. “Even in the Middle Ages People Didn’t Think the Earth was Flat” by Douglas Main
The idea that people once believed the earth was flat is one of the most insidious lies ever concocted. It has stuck too, but it’s not true. I remember learning this in grade school, and then finding out years later that it was completely unfounded. Most people have always believed in a spherical earth. Main reiterates this argument again to remind us of the truth and encourage our education.
3. “Letter to My Younger Self” by Chauncey Billups
As a young high school student I really tried to get into sports. I wanted to have something that I could talk to my dad about, that we had in common. So, I obsessed about the NBA. I loved the Pistons, for some reason. I loved Big Ben Wallace, and Rip Hamilton, and Chauncey Billups. In this awesome piece, Billups relieves his career in the form of a letter to his younger self. It’s beautiful. Even for a non-sports fan like me, it’s beautiful.
4. “Pastoral Burnout: An Interview with Dr. Frank Tallerico” by Dave Dunham
The Southern Ohio Pastors’ Coalition let me interview my mentor Frank on his current doctoral work: pastoral burnout. Frank is wise and compassionate and shares some real insights in this interview. I am looking forward to reading through his full project soon. He talks here about numbers and causes of burnout, he talks about prevention, and he talks about church culture. It’s a worthwhile interview, friends, especially if you’re in ministry or in a position to help your pastors.
5. “As women keep washing up dead, Ohio town fears a serial killer is on the loose” by Michael E. Miller
Six women have gone missing in a little over year from this simple little rust belt town in central Ohio. Four of them have been found dead. Authorities are fearful that there might be a serial killer on the loose. This town is less than an hour north of where we used to live. It is a sad reality for that region of the state: drugs, prostitution, unemployment, and death. Please join me in praying for Chillicothe, OH.
6. “Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and Me” by Kate Bowler
This is a beautiful and sad reflection on the emptiness of the prosperity gospel, particularly in the face of death. The author writes as one dying of cancer, recognizing the inability of us all to explain evil. “Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard,” she concludes.
7. “Why I’m Not the Room Mom” by Erin Davis
Such a good piece and a reminder to mothers everywhere that you “can do it all, but you can’t do it all well.” A reminder that there are things that matter and loads of things that don’t. A reminder that your life, your mothering, your family, are all about the glory of God and not about impressing others. Rest in Christ, moms.
8. “Six Reasons Your Coffee Tastes Gross” by Zoe Martin
I love Land of a Thousand Hills coffee! Here their team pulls together a list of the top common reasons why your coffee might not be delicious. Believe me, coffee can be amazing! If you’re up for it, I recommend checking out some of the coffees from Land, they do great work and make a quality bean.
9. “Keeping the Sabbath in Principle, Not Detail” by Dave Dunham
This is a piece I wrote for Servants of Grace as part of their series on the Ten Commandments. Here I explore the fourth commandment and how it applies to believers today. While some hold to the remaining significance of the Sabbath in detail for the life of the believer, I argue based on the New Testament teaching on the subject, this command is ours in principle and theology, not in detail. Check it out.