1. “10 Temptations Facing a Pastor’s Wife” by Aaron Menikoff
My dear brother Aaron has written a wonderful piece on some of the common challenges that pastor’s wives face. While much of what he says here could apply to any Christian he notes the unique struggle that an elder’s wife will have in each scenario.
2. “The Problem with Solutions” by Invisibilia
This fantastic new show from NPR explores the ways in which Americans attempt to solve the issue of mental illness. This is a great episode that explores the differences between our over-medicalized, institution-based, simplistic pill-popping approach, and the more community-interventionist approach of a small town in Belgium. A fascinating look at a complex issue.
3. “Study: 25% of Americans have no one to confide in” by Janet Kornblum
Increasingly studies are revealing this common trend of friendlessness in American culture. We are increasingly less involved in deep and meaningful relationships. Here’s another study discussed in USA Today.
4. “Hope in the Ruins: Why Politics Can’t Save Our Politics” by James K.A. Smith
Smith gives something of a review of Yuval Levin’s newest book in this post at Comment. It looks like a fascinating book in which the author speaks of the failures of both the left and the right to advance society, and suggests a focus on the “middle layers” of society. It’s not about big government or about individualism, it’s about the various contexts of localized community and solidarity. From there Smith points to the needs of the church to step-up and reform our role in that “middle layer.” This is a good read and I look forward to checking out Levin’s book as well.
5. “The Language of Beauty: Art as Outreach” by Joel Mooneyhan
“Beauty is God’s language to reach where human language cannot,” so writes Joel. Here is a personal story from the author about his involvement in a creative project in Chicago. He speaks of the role of creativity in the development of community and the revelation of God. It’s a wonderful story which can serve as a great reminder to both creatives and churches.