Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Super Cozy Turtle and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

by Ben Howard

Reads of the Week

1) Come Hither Men, For I Have Sex Demons by Grace Biskie

"It is those men who have been Jesus to me. It’s the ones who’ve looked me in my eye with definitive actions and words and communicated: you are not your sexuality. Those are the men who have healed. Those are the men who have pulled a miracle of out their damned hats in rescue of my soul. Thank God for these men. Thank God for these men."

2) Your Story is Worth Finishing by Luke Harms

"This is me opening doors that I’ve never dared to open publicly because the fact that you’re reading this means maybe you’re looking for a reason not to and I’m telling you that this is it. This is me, jumping up and down, waving my arms and screaming that I see you, that you’re not alone, that your life has value. This is me telling you all of the things that I wish someone would have told me when I started down that road. It is worth it. You’re worth it. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved."

3) A Threat to Never Forget: September 11 and America's Vengeful Memory by David Henson

"There is a threat implied in refusing to forget. It is a threat against others, a reminder that our collective memory is as deep as our desire for vengeance. We refuse to forget with war, drones, and torture. We refuse to forget with the erosion of civil liberties. We refuse to forget by reminding the entire world that retaliation — not freedom — is our nation’s most treasured value."

4) The Witness of the Saints by Richard Beck

"What holds the church together are the saints. And I think church history bears this out. Before there was a bible or creeds or orthodoxy or an authoritative teaching tradition there were the martyrs and the saints. And it was the veneration of the martyrs and saints that held the church together."

5) Mumford & Sons and Religious Experiences by Nate Pyle

"For the Christian, the church is the thing we connect to that is larger than self.  It gives us a sense of purpose that is greater than just our individual lives.  It connects us to something that transcends the moment and extends back through 2,000 years of history connecting up to eternity.  This is why I believe the church is God’s plan for the world.  Church is supposed to be the ultimate transcendent, larger than life experience."

6) Texas Evangelicals Argue Against Evangelism by Fred Clark

"Here let’s just say this: If you’re an evangelical Christian and you find yourself arguing that “religious liberty” means that religious identity is immutable and unchangeable, and therefore that evangelism is unnecessary and impossible, then you need to rethink the trap you’ve set for yourself."

7) #BlackGirlProblems at a Christian College by Joy Ubani

"I often wonder if genuine racial diversity can be achieved at a Christian college, or any PWI. Generally speaking, students who attend these colleges are privileged, White students. Some of these students and staff members have grown up in a rather homogeneous environment. (Hence the dramatic questions about hair and surprised expressions when they know I can’t twerk like the Black girl they saw on YouTube)."

8) The High Human Stakes of Movie Destruction by Geoffrey Reiter

"Because too many disaster movies fail to earn their stakes by demonstrating the human cost in concrete terms, they are “pornographic” in the same way: they create a brief, artificial thrill that cannot be sustained and comes at the expense of recognizing the implications that such catastrophic events would have on actual lives if they actually occurred. Thus, the terms “disaster porn” or “destruction porn” are actually uncannily accurate."

9) If You Knew Me, You Would Care by D.L. Mayfield

"Because I know people now, and they have made me care. But here is the other truth that no one want to talk about, that we spend all our time protecting at all costs: our culture thrives on forgetting. On distractions, petty concerns, and the crushing pursuit of individual comfort. Every day is a struggle to care. The only thing that makes it easier is if you are forced to confront it, time and time again."

10) From 'Full House' to 'Modern Family': Ten Shows That Forced Us to Reimagine the American Family by Jonathan Merritt

"In the 1950s, television largely mirrored the prevalent concept of the American family. Popular shows like 'Leave it to Beaver' and 'Father Knows Best' depicted the family as a heterosexual, patriarchal, churchgoing unit with chaste children. But in the 1960s, family depictions began to change. And so did America’s thinking."

Honorable Mention

A Piece of the Answer by Elora Nicole

Becoming Madrina: Relationships and World Vision by Micha Boyett

Are Concussions the Price We Pay for Manly Men? by E. Stephen Burnett

Tweets of the Week

"Sort of think Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga are building towards an endgame where they wear turtlenecks and play sedate piano pop." - Alyssa Rosenberg (@AlyssaRosenberg)

"When Miley Cyrus is naked & licks a hammer it’s 'art' and 'music'.. but when I do it, I’m 'wasted' and 'have to leave Home Depot'" - Ray Lopez (@Raylopez)

The year is 2015. Someone publishes an article that isn't a list. Is promptly burned for witchcraft." - Jonathan Harrison (@jonateharrison)

On Pop Theology Week in Review

On Pop Theology Podcast: Episode 39 - A Christian Nation Full of Care Bears by Ben Howard

"This week Ben, Jesse and Sebastian talk about whether or not America is a Christian nation."

How to Get Abs Like Jesus by Lane Severson

"Ever since the Disciples asked Jesus how to pray people have been changing up the pattern to work better for their schedule, personality, or just to get better results."

A Series of Outright Lies About the Bible by Ben Howard

"There's a lot of misinformation in the world today. Some argue that's simply the nature of the internet and the democratization of information itself."

Song of the Week

"Wrecking Ball (The Country Version)" by The Gregory Brothers


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