Saturday, October 27, 2012

Articles of the Week - October 27

Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope you have something worthwhile planned for today.

I want to begin this week's highlights with faith and theology as (a) those articles account for about half of what I will share and (b) I rarely begin there. I will sort them by publication.

The Gospel Coalition
  • Greg Forster examines some of the nuances of the "culture war" as applied to religious liberty
  • Matt Smethurst summarizes a recent sermon on Christianity and politics by Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church
  • John Starke provides a more biblical definition of discipleship
  • The Gospel Coalition has also launched a new blog, "New City Catechism." If you subscribe to one new blog, make it this one! Ben Peays explains its purpose.

Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology
  • Matthew Mason muses on politics in light of the upcoming election (make sure to read thought #8)
  • Matthew Mason further reflects on the pastoral approach to theological study exhibited by John Paul II

Christian Post
  • Michael Gryboski summarizes recent remarks by Dr. Owen Strachan on shifting views of God among millennials (they are not so good)
  • Lillian Kown reports on changes in the megachurch movement (the most prominent of which is the multisite sub-movement)

And elsewhere,
  • Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like discusses the lessons he has learned about surrender
  • Jeff Haanen reviews a new book about domestic yet cross-cultural missions for Christianity Today
  • Continuing his series of devotionals on Ecclesiastes, Ray Pritchard examines thanksgiving and satisfaction
  • James Wood, for The New Yorker, celebrates the 350th anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer

Given that more than one of the "faith and theology" highlights had to do with politics, perhaps I should turn next to politics and public policy
  • David Bittinger of the Chicago Tribune looks forward to November 7 and beyond
  • Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation summarizes Paul Ryan's recent comments on school choice
  • Victor Davis Hanson, in the Tribuneoffers a concise synopsis of the effects of the presidential debates
  • Ken McIntyre of Heritage outlines recent civic engagement by people of faith
  • Sarah Morris of Heritage presents the word cloud for the final presidential debate
  • Alyene Senger of Heritage argues that the contraception debate is not really about contraception
  • The Tribune reports on a push from American business leaders this week for "action on the federal budget deficit"
  • The Economist's Lexington looks at the oft-misunderstood significance of suburbia
  • The editorial board of The New York Times offers its take on whether government creates jobs (my immediate response is that while yes, government employs many, many people, that is not quite the same as creating new jobs)

And that leaves us with just a few pieces on arts, entertainments, and sports
  • BBC News reports on trends in the overseas revenues of British musicians
  • Cordelia Hebblethwaite discusses the fate of pianos - and some of the emotions toward and conceptions of pianos over the last few centuries
  • Carrie Muskat of summarizes Theo Epstein's goals for the future of the Chicago Cubs
  • The Economist's Prospero considers how the e-book industry is different from the print book industry

What articles or blogs caught your attention this week? Share them in the comments section below!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Articles of the Week - October 20

Like last week, this week's highlights have no primary focus, but plenty of good reads nonetheless.

I will begin this week with politics and public policy:

Arts and entertainment:
From The Gospel Coalition:
From the Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology:
From Christianity Today:
And finally:
What articles, blogs, of columns caught your attention this week? Share them in the comments section!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

God Is My Helper

Part of the "Devotional Thoughts" series. Go to the list of Labels in the right sidebar and click "Devotional Thoughts" to browse the entire series. Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version.


Read: Psalm 54 (seriously, click on the link and read it - it's "only" seven verses)

My study Bible tells me that David wrote this psalm "after being betrayed by the Ziphites (1 Sam. 23:19; 26:11)." This experience would certainly qualify as "trouble" (v. 7). I have never had the experience of betrayal at the hands of my countrymen (the Ziphites were from Judah, thus were David's countrymen), but I have certainly had the experience of God delivering me from trouble.

"Behold," David writes in verse 4, "God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life." If that is the truth (and I believe it is), what more is needed. The Lord who gave me and you life in the first place upholds it, and (take a moment to consider the significance) even helps us! When, in times of distress, we cry out, "God, help me!" - HE WILL!!!

This is likely not a major revelation to anyone. But there is a difference between knowing something and living in light of its truth. What might the latter look like? I think it looks like letting go of the ridiculous idea that I can get myself out of difficult or painful situations. It also looks like being patient, and having hope in the promises of God, like the ones in Psalm 54.

My desire is to be like David, and to know and to live in the light of the truth that God is my helper and that the Lord will deliver me from every trouble. May our gracious Lord help you live in that light as well.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Articles of the Week - October 13

Unlike the last few weeks, there was no one single event or topic that dominated my highlighted articles, so I will simply present this week's highlights in, well, no specified order.

In arts and entertainment...

I starred quite a few articles relating to issues of faith and theology, though again with no single dominant theme...
In matters of presidential elections and public policy...
And finally, Alexandra Logue writes for Inside Higher Ed that the key to technology in education is not having the technology - the key is using the technology.

What articles or blogs caught your attention this week?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Articles of the Week - October 6

The 2012 United States Presidential Election entered its final act this week with the first head-to-head debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney, so needless to say, my blog reader had more than a few pieces on that whole subject. I shall begin this week with them.

In The Economist, Lexington had what I thought was a very thorough and balanced analysis of the debate, and elsewhere in the magazine was an argument for why this election "really is" the "most important for decades." The Heritage Foundation, not surprisingly, analyzed the debate from all angles on The Foundry: Lindsey Burke summarized the education issues and proposals that the candidates discussed, Jason Richwine focused on the president's call for more teachers, Julia Shaw looks into a statement by the president about Abraham Lincoln, and Sarah Morris presents a word cloud based on the debate (the most-used word for the president was "governor" and for the former governor, "people").

A few other pieces on public policy to mention:
Two notable pieces on arts and entertainment:
  • Jason Victor Serinus looks at the future of streamed music for the San Francisco Classical Voice
  • The Economist's Prospero celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the James Bond franchise and examines its uniqueness among movie franchises
On matters of faith and theology:
Finally, Carrie Muskat looks at the work to be done during the Cubs' offseason, and Chuck King, the departing music minister of College Church, gives his valediction.

What articles, blogs, or commentary pieces caught your attention this week?