This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Here is this week’s collection of interesting articles from around the web:

1. “Partisanship and tribalism are ruining our conversations about art” by Sonny Bunch

A fantastic piece from The Washington Post that explores the way in which political partisanship has played out in art and how that has essentially impacted our ability to discuss aesthetics. Bunch writes: Art appreciation is dead. Naked tribalism is all we have left.

2. “10 Warning Signs You’re a Power Hungry Leader” by Chuck Lawless

Lawless gives a good list for leader to evaluate their own hearts and lives by. As “abuse of leadership/authority” continues to abound in the ministry it’s important for all pastors to take time to pause and reflect.

3. “Detroit’s New Paradise Valley Development Moves Forward” by Louis Aguilar

A fascinating new development is beginning in Downtown, which will include some luxury apartments, a Jazz club, and an expanded seafood market. Very exciting stuff is happening in Detroit!

4. “Too Tired to Care” by Joshua Waulk

This piece from The Biblical Counseling Coalition blog has rung true for me as of late. Here the author addresses the subject of “compassion fatigue” and offers some suggestions to mitigating its impact and focusing on Christ. It’s a great reminder that no counselor is self-sufficient, we need the Holy Spirit, the community of believers, and rest. These are good words for me and I hope good words for other counselors too.

5. “9 Inspirational Missions Books for Summer Reading” by David Sills

Everybody has the summer reading lists coming out, but here is a unique one. It focuses solely on missionary related works. Dr. Sills lists several handfuls of biographies here, none of which I’ve read, but all of which look fascinating. Good to take to the beach with you this year, or on that STM.

6. “How to Change Minds: Blaise Pascal on the Art of Persuasion” by Maria Popova

This is a great little piece that pulls excerpts from Pascal to demonstrate that persuasion involves recognizing what’s true in another person’s point of view and offering them a perspective on what they might be missing. He emphasizes empathy over control. A good word for all, especially as we increasingly find ourselves yelling at each other across massive divides.

7. “The Day I Got Sober” by Kristin Justus Burke

I love stories like this. Addiction takes many forms and attacks many (all kinds of) people. Here a working professional, mother of two, and wife. It’s a beautiful story of transformation from alcoholism. Burke writes of herself:

I decided that morning I was tired of apologizing for hurting the people I loved. I was tired of being out of control, and that day marks the day I committed to sobriety.

It’s a beautiful testimony to the importance of making a decision to change. Of course, not everyone’s story towards recovery happens that way and that’s why I believe in the importance of Recovery Culture Churches who support addiction recovery and help addicts. Still, this is a great story in its own right.

8. “How Christians Can Bear Gospel Witness in an Age of Anxiety” by Tim Keller and John Inazu

A thoughtful piece on living as “resident aliens,” witnessing to the gospel, and loving our communities in spite of a rapidly changing cultural context. I love this piece from Keller and Inazu. Not only do they give some real practical guidance on their topic, but they discourage some of the common overreactions by Christians.

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