Interesting Things This Week

Link dump of some cool, interesting, encouraging, and/or insightful things I came across this week.

Why English majors make lousy fundamentalists by Morgan Guyton from Mercy Not Sacrifice

This might be my favorite thing this week. First, Morgan talks about personality type (which I have an unhealthy obsession with). Then, he goes on to explain some of the nuance, beauty, and depth of meaning that is lost when you read the Bible in certain ways. I may not agree with every interpretive example Morgan uses, but that’s not the point. The point is that you have to understand something about literature in order to have a fuller understanding of the Bible.

When the Bible is “nothing but the facts,” then it’s been robbed of a critically important layer of its beauty.

Wanna Save Marriage? Stop Patronizing Women by Yaholo Hoyt from Red Letter Christian

Yaholo takes a look at how seemingly self-deprecating jokes can further the tension and misunderstanding between men and women. It amazes me that certain Christian cultures continue to paint women as overly emotional, unreasonable, and downright crazy when that same culture claims men are the ones who are unable to control their animal urges (which is why I’m supposed to wear floor length skirts).

We may get a chuckle with our little “guys are stupid” and “women are crazy” jokes, but they are pointing to a major problem. The picture often painted by church culture is that women are unreasonable and over-emotional. Therefore, the only way to a healthy marriage is seen as the man just making sure to be “humble” and apologize a lot. This kind of thinking leads to growing resentment on both sides.

Who are the meek? by Paul Walker from As above, so below

I’ve been studying the Beatitudes lately and came across this post. Not only does Paul do a great job of explaining what “meek” means, he also asked, “Christian scholars, leaders, bloggers and authors to ‘tweet’ me their definition of meek”. He did a wonderful job of pulling everything together and it was interesting to see what the experts thought.

The Extra Burdens Faced by Young People with Chronic Illness by Toni Bernhard, J.D. from Turning Straw into Gold  on Psychology Today

I’ve lost count of how many people have said, “Oh, you’re too young for that. You should just exercise more and you’ll be fine.” (Sure, exercise will magically rewrite my DNA.)

This ignorance about young people with chronic illness has other consequences. Several young people have told me that they’ve been openly challenged when they park in a disabled spot, even though they have the required placard or sticker… A young woman with multiple sclerosis told me that someone spit on her when she didn’t give up her seat to an older person on the subway.

When God Calls a Complementarian Woman into Ministry by April Fiet at the Junia Project

I appreciate April’s honesty and her willingness to go into ministry despite her reservations. I’ve often seen woman ministers painted as prideful, power-hungry, militant feminists that are trying to wrest power away from men. April’s story doesn’t look anything like that.

I had already come to realize that you could take God’s Word seriously and believe that women could be used in church leadership. I wasn’t doing it because it was easier to follow cultural trends of equality.  I was being faithful to God’s calling and the Bible.

The Church Can’t Afford the Muskox Model by Jayson D. Bradley

I’ve been known to go off on rants about how Christians tend to view anyone who isn’t exactly like them as “that other group”. I get frustrated when we start other-ing instead of trying to understand and love. Christian culture has taken “in the world, but not of the world” to the extreme in some cases. A friend of mine flipped that phrase around in a way I thought summed it up even better “of the world, but not in the world”. We have Christianized everything that the “world” has to offer, but we keep ourselves separate so that we don’t have to actually interact with the world. That separation is more illusion than anything. We just stamp CHRISTIAN on everything that pop culture has to offer and hide out among our “own kind” so that Christianity won’t actually cost us something.

The problem with adopting the defensive strategy of the muskox is that we begin to live at odds with the message we say we believe. We talk a big game about taking care of the poor, but talk down to people who live on government subsidies. We speak endlessly about grace and forgiveness, but refuse to let people experience it until they’ve become a muskox themselves.

101 Amazing Facts from mental_floss

I really like random bits of trivia. I know way too many completely useless facts, but I just can’t help myself when I come across more of them.

Most Shocking Second a Day Video

War always involves civilians. When we’re talking about war, we can’t forget that.

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