This Week’s Good Reads

Check out these interesting articles collected from around the web. There’s bound to be something here that interests you:

1. “Responding to Relapse: A Pastor’s Questions” by Jeff Forrey

Here’s a simple and yet insightful interaction between a pastor trying to help a congregant struggling with porn, and a seasoned Biblical Counselor guiding that pastor on what to do. It’s good as a peak into the layers of counseling that a struggle may require.

2. “An Introduction to the Thought of Alvin Plantinga” by William Edgar and K. Scott Oliphant

This is a fascinating look at the major contributions of Plantinga to both philosophy of religion and to Christian apologetics. Plantinga is one of the most important philosophers alive today and this brief intro evidences what makes him so important.

3. “Inner-City Living Makes for Healthier, Happier People, Study Finds” by Reuters

A fascinating report on a major new study that revealed people who lived in densely populated inner-cities are healthier and happier. The difference is found in both socializing and exercising, which the inner-city affords. The hope is that more studies like this will undo the myths about inner-city life and encourage more people to not only live there, but to work towards building up the city.

4. “The Dying Art of Disagreement” by Bret Stephens

This is one of the most brilliant things you’ll read this month! Stephens writes about the fact that as Americans we disagree more, and disagree more vehemently, than we have in previous generations, and yet our disagreements do not make us more intelligent. He writes about the true nature of free speech, and the importance of open debate for dialogue and healthy society. This represents such an important concept and correction to our current state. I highly recommend reading this long Op-Ed piece in the New York Times.

5. “Why the Doctrine of the Atonement Matters to the Poor” by Mez McConnell

There’s more to ministering to the poor than simply handing out food and other necessities. Mez McConnell knows what he is speaking about when he writes on this subject, and here he addresses the importance of doctrinal instruction in our ministry to the poor.

6. “Colin Kapernick vs Tim Tebow: A Tale of Two Christians On Their Knees” by Michael Frost

Frost has written a good piece here from the Washington Post on the difference between these two Christians and their two “knees.” His point is to stress that much of the church has adopted a particular “brand” of Christianity and as a result we are losing the influence of other good believers. The Kapernick Knee is just one example, he could draw from many others. While I question the way he phrases some of the things in this article I appreciate it much of what he says. I do find the Evangelical response to racial issues seriously flawed and am often very frustrated and saddened by it.

7. “How to Vet Potential Counseling Referral Sources” by Brad Hambrick

A tremendous guide for thinking about referrals in counseling. How do you decide if someone is going to be a good fit for your church and faith community? Brad Hambrick gives us a great tool for vetting other counseling professionals. I highly recommend this to all pastors.

8. “Is the Reformation Just a White Man’s Legacy: How the Reformation Addresses Social Exploitation” by Mika Edmonson

Personally, I wanted to see more of the historical analysis, but this author’s point is well-received. That the Reformation speaks to social ills is certainly true and offers then some orientation on how to apply the movement of reform to the church today in a fresh way.

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