Saturday, September 15, 2012

Articles of the Week - September 15

I must admit: when I first heard that the Chicago Teachers Union might strike, I had no idea it would become national (even international) news. I guess I am so used to Chicago that I forget, sometimes, that it is (to paraphrase Jonathan Blanchard and Phil Ryken), a world-stage city.

All that to say, I read more than a few articles and columns about the strike. The highlights are James Sherk's factual and theoretical analysis of the situation for The Foundry and three editorial pieces from the Chicago Tribune: the editors' support for the mayor, Clarence Page's assessment of shifts and conflicts within the Democratic Party, and Jeb Bush's take on inevitable trends in education reform (the former governor of Florida is now chair of the Foundation for Excellence in Education).

In matters of faith and theology, I found the usual wide mix of thought-provoking or challenging pieces. Randy Newman draws a distinction between complexity and mere confusion in presenting the gospel. Paul Tripp offers some advice for facing each new day of ministry (written mostly for readers in professional ministry, but I think the advice is wholly applicable for those of us ministering in other vocations), Keith Johnson offers two pieces of advice for good "theological thinking," and Mitch Chase offers some advice for how to read the Bible's many layers. Jon Acuff reminds readers that God is there, if only we would stop and see.

In arts and entertainment, Perri Klass reports for The New York Times on studies showing lifelong benefits of early music lessons, not just music exposure (be sure to read all the way to the end of the article), and The Economist tracks changes in perceptions of classical music in the age of recordings.

Finally, Laura Tremaine provides a helpful explanation of how World Vision child sponsorship works (this is something I would like to do, hopefully starting within a few years), and Verlyn Klinkenborg considers yet another sign of the changing seasons.

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