This time of year is both "back to school season" and "political convention" season, so I will begin this week's digest with articles and posts from those two topics.
Back to School: Lindsey Burke compiled "Some Surprising Education Numbers" for The Foundry, Romanita Hairston writes for World Vision about the need (and simple ways) to empower child success in education, Sean Kennedy calls in the Chicago Tribune for decertification of the Chicago Teacher's Union (and, even as an educator myself, I agree with him, as CTU has gone beyond ensuring a safe working environment for its members to burdening taxpayers with its demands for luxuries), and my friend Allison J. Althoff interviews Geoffrey Canada, founder of New York City's Harlem Children's Zone, for This is Our City - this man understands how to commit to ensuring children have a chance at a successful future!
Political Convention: In The Foundry, Lee Edwards explains the role and often-overlooked significance of the conventions, and Amy Payne, writing as the Republican National Convention wrapped, highlights the issues raised in this first convention and the significance of this election to America's future course. The Economist muses over the case for a second term for Barack Obama, and John Dickerson reflects in the Chicago Tribune on the effect of Ann Romney's speech to the RNC.
I had a handful (a potpourri, more accurately) of articles having to do with music this week. Ben Sisario wrote for The New York Times an interesting piece on recent developments in electronic dance music (EDM) and its relation to the larger music industry, Donna Perlmutter summarized some of the jokes musicians have about each other in the Los Angeles Times, Chuck King wrote two pieces, one about re-packaging classic hymns and the other about "the joy of just simply making music,"and Niels Swinkels interviews Klaus Heymann, founder of Naxos, for San Francisco Classical Voice.
Now to pieces about faith and theology. Jason Hood writes for the SAET blog about learning how to read the Bible (advice intended mostly for academic settings, but could be useful in personal devotions as well), Leslie Leyland Fields wrote a sobering column on our identity in Christ, and Jon Acuff writes about his experience of unlearning God. For the blogs of The Gospel Coalition this week, Chris Costaldo summarizes current challenges to gospel ministry, and Tim Keller proposes that, when sharing Christ, one should start with the beauty of the gospel before moving to the rationale for it (or put another way, making it personal before making it reasonable).
And finally, two more pieces from The Foundry, Dominique Ludvigson's summary of the news that Wheaton College's lawsuit over the HHS preventive services mandate had been dismissed on technical grounds (the College and its lawyers are deciding on their next move) and Ed Fuelner's attribute to Neil Armstrong, Ray Pritchard discusses packing and moving, and Kevin Purdy suggests not checking email until 9 AM, along with other beginning-of-the-day advice.