This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Every week I compile a collection of articles from around the web. The list is usually random and it’s clearly a subjective list of things I find interesting, but there’s bound to be something here that interests you. Here’s this week’s list, check it out:

1. “Why Meek is Not Weak” by Aaron Menikoff

My dear friend Aaron has written a beautiful, and personal, piece over at TGC on the importance of developing gentleness. He writes as an elder who learned to pursue this characteristic only after being told he did not possess it. His piece is both Biblically sound and confessional. I highly commend it to all men in pastoral ministry.

2. “Good News, Digital Comics Sales Are Not Killing Physical Comics” by James Whitbrook

While digital is surpassing its physical counterpart in many other genres, in the category of comics, physical books still have a presence. In fact, the articles states that the sale of digital comics and the rise of digital subscriptions “has done nothing to halt the sales of physical single issues.” I am happy to do my part.

3. “Unless Your Oprah, ‘Be Yourself’ is Terrible Advice” by Adam Grant

“Authenticity” is such a buzzword these days. The problem with authenticity is that we’re all awful and if we are to constantly and consistently and fully “be ourselves” we will hurt others and become friendless. The author of this very insightful and intriguing piece at the New York Times, suggests shooting more for sincerity than authenticity. He argues that we should strive to be the person we project to be. Project the best attributes and characteristics we know and strive to be those people. This is a far more Biblical goal than the “Be Yourself” campaign. Check out this unique piece.

4. “Politics Aren’t Worth Your Friendship” by Trillia Newbell

Trillia writes a beautiful plea not to let politics destroy our friendships. This particular political season has been one of the most divisive in modern history, especially within the church. Trillia is right to call us to more careful analysis of our personal divisions. We do not want the aftermath of this political season to leave us in a wasteland of destroyed friendships. This is a good reminder written by a wise friend.

5. “How Should I Respond if My Child Comes Out To Me?” by Sean Doherty

Living Out is a beautiful website managed by Christians who experience an unwanted same-sex attraction and yet seek to be celibate and obedient to Jesus. In this piece Sean Doherty answers a common question about parenting children who express a same-sex attraction. His guide is helpful and many will benefit from it.

6. “Long-term Pot Use Tied to Gum Disease” by Steven Reinberg

Of the many arguments given for the legalization of pot, the most common is that it does not negatively affect users. Of course, in reality long-term pot use can lead to significant issues like psychosis and decreased IQ, but in this piece Reinberg reports on recent research which connects it to gum disease. This is obviously not enough to warrant keeping it illegal, but it should be noted and discussed with those who insist on smoking pot. Periodontal damage is real and problematic.

7. “How to Glorify God By Being a Generalist” by Joe Carter

This is great! It’s a real affirmation of my own life orientation. I am constantly drawn to get a PhD and pursue a specialized study, but in truth I am so enamored with everything that zeroing in on one discipline just doesn’t interest me. I have often struggled with this tension between specialized and generalized education, but Carter has given me some real encouragement to not give up on the generalist approach. I have my own approach, not nearly as involved as Carter’s, but which works for me and allows me to process information and coalesce knowledge into a working system. Perhaps some day I do a similar expose on it as Carter has done here. In the meantime check out this fascinating look at Generalist study as artistic creation before God.

8. “7T Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of GABA, Glutamate, and Glutamine Reveals Altered Concentrations in Schizophrenia Patients and Healthy Siblings” by Katharine N. Thakkar, Lara Rösler, Jannie P. Wijnen, Vincent O. Boer, Dennis W.J. Klomp, Wiepke Cahn, René S. Kahn, Sebastiaan F.W. Neggers

This article in Biological Psychiatry discusses some possible clues to deeper understanding of Schizophrenia. It proposes that part of the reason medication has not been as effective as it could be is that individualized plans need to be tailored for the unique features of each patient. The brain scans done in this research revealed interesting differences between GABA levels between patients and relatives of patients. This is an illness that desperately needs new research, there’s hope that this recent work from Michigan State University will open some new avenues of discussion and study.

9. “Saying God Has A Reason for Something Doesn’t Mean You Know What It Is (And Other Concerns)” by Derek Rishmawy

Derek, as usual, has written a beautifully simple and insightful post, this time on the problem of evil and the sovereignty of God. He offers a few important caveats regarding the standard Reformed statement that God permits evil for good purposes. This is a wonderful blog on a dense and emotional topic, I highly commend it to you.

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