Reads of the Week
1) Why I Am Not a Progressive: Church [Part Two] by Lyndsey Graves
"But the more I read, the more churches I visit, the more inclined I am to err on the side of Tradition, at least in my own life; and most especially, the less inclined I am to give my unqualified approval to all things “progressive”, all things not of the past (or even of the past fifty years). I am more and more inclined to engage with the past than to abandon it, because that is the hard work of community and it is the sanding-down rub of humility. To stay with rather than splitting off."
2) I Am Not a Drug: Why God Isn't in the Business of Using People by David R. Henson
"There is also something profoundly insulting about it, this demotion of humanity from sentient beings to inanimate objects — earthen vessels, dirt buckets, jars of clay — picked up and used at the pleasure of the Divine. For some, the damage may be in feeling used one too many times and wondering whether God will soon find someone else to use. For others, though, the damage is in never feeling used or used propely, as if you are the scrawny kid God never picks for Team Divine Purpose."
3) Riley Cooper, The N-Word, and the Unfair Placement of the Burden of Forgiveness by Larry Shallenberger
"I saw a pick up truck pulled over on the side of the road. The driver readied the jack so he could change his tire. I started to pull over to help but then noticed a Confederate flag sticker on his back window. Anger rose to my throat and I pulled my van back on the road and left him to struggle on his own. It didn't take a lot of character for me to act the way I did. There was no love or grace in my behavior. I identified sin, judged it, and let the guy struggle. Not a very Jesus-y snap shot of my life, for sure."
4) The Church Failed Millennials, Just Not In the Way You Think It Did by Derek Rishmawy
"One thing I think the pop Evangelical church has truly dropped the ball on is talking to us about the Church. I mean, honestly, during all the Sunday School lessons, high school talks, and special Bible studies, I’m not sure I heard any solid teaching about the Church until I hit college. This was a problem because once I hit my bitter phases, I didn’t have really have much of a doctrine of the Church to fall back on; to me the Church wasn’t really the beloved bride of Christ"
5) What Does Rachel Held Evans Want? by Richard Beck
"Rachel gets dinged a lot for not just moving over to the mainline. Why not just become an Episcopalian? That's a good question, and I can't answer it for Rachel. But growing up in a low-church, fundamentalist tradition I know what it's like to be spiritually formed in a certain way. This isn't a news flash, but it's just different going to my church compared to going to a mainline church."
Practicioner vs. Scholar: Why Reza Aslan Reminds Me to Fight for that Division by Krista Dalton
What Happens When "False Teachers" Love Jesus Too? by Zack Hunt
Vanity of Vanities: Does Ministry Really Matter? by Christian Piatt
Tweets of the Week
"I seriously wonder if I could get a blog sponsorship from Bud Light. They're involved in every post." - Micah Murray (@micahjmurray)
"I kissed a nihilist. Nobody liked it." - Nein. (@NeinQuarterly)
"REPUBLICANS HAVE DISCOVERED GIFS. I REPEAT THEY HAVE THE GIFS. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. INITIATE GIF CULLING SEQUENCE." - Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria)
On Pop Theology Week in Review
The Lie They Tell About Emma Watson and Me by Lyndsey Graves
"Today I went to the grocery store, the nice one here in Atlanta, and unlike the bargain-box store in my Syracuse neighborhood, it had rows and rows of magazines on the checkout line."
The Church of Sharknado by Ben Howard
"Let me be clear up front, Sharknado is arguably the greatest achievement in cinematic history. In fact, there's a good chance it ranks in the Top 100 in the annals of human existence, right up there with The Great Wall of China and videos of panda bears sneezing."
The Good Ol' Days by Andrew Thetford
"Doesn’t it suck to live in this modern society, so filled with corruption and sex, violence and greed, enslaved to technology? According to the generations who have gone before us, it should."
Song of the Week
"Everything You Wanted" by Clubfeet
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