Saturday, December 7, 2013

The War on Christmas Crosswords and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

christmas, crossword, war on christmas, santa, satan, hail, consume, flesh, funny
by Ben Howard

Reads of the Week

1) The "War On Christmas": On Ethnocentrism and Blasphemy by Richard Beck

"What is being 'lost' in our nation isn't Christianity but white hegemony. The white majority of America is declining. America is becoming more diverse and pluralistic. And retailers, well attuned to the demographic shifts in their customer base--it is their lifeblood after all--shift to reflect the times."

2) What Teachers Do: On Dave Ramsey, Prosperity Theology, and Christ-Character by Seth Haines

"The prosperity gospel is a thin ruse that associates the accumulation of wealth with Godly character, and if it were relegated to the silver-tongued televangelists, perhaps it’d be tragically laughable. The unfortunate truth is, though, the philosophy is seeping into mainline Christianity at an alarming pace."

3) Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults by Christena Cleveland

"Since married people are the ones calling the shots, they remain central to the life of the church.  Meanwhile, single people are relegated to the margins. Whether this is intentional or not, this “married people monopoly” results in a Christian world in which single people are often misunderstood, ignored, overlooked for leadership positions, caricatured, equated with immaturity, and little more than a punchline or an afterthought."

4) Advent: A Prison Story by Richard Beck

"The logic of retribution holds. The righteous are blessed. Sinners are punished. That's how God has set up the world. Bad things happen to bad people. And then we get to the book of Job. And an entire theological trajectory--starting in Deuteronomy and traced through 2 Kings--gets knocked off course. Good people are always blessed? Not so fast, says the book of Job."

5) The Time I Fell In Love With Rockstar Jesus by Deanna Ogle

"About a year ago I was really angry at him. I asked why he had to ditch the worship leader hair and why he stopped giving sermons. I understood him when I only saw him at church. He was my pastor then and it made sense. I understood the rules back then. So why did he give that up?"

Honorable Mention

Who Will Carry On by Lyndsey Graves

In Which Advent is For The Ones Who Know Longing by Sarah Bessey

ShePonders: Another Arrival by Kelley Nikondeha

Tweets of the Week

"'I don't like you either.' -A Brazil Nut" - Jonathan Coulton (@jonathancoulton)

"Motion to rename the 'Christian Fiction' section at Barnes and Noble to 'Pseudo-Erotic Amish Novellas'" - Emily Joy (@softlysoaring)


On Pop Theology Week in Review

On Advent Dawning by Sebastian Faust

"My favorite song this time of year sounds nothing like Christmas on the ears, but it sings with unspeakable beauty to the heart."

On Demonizing the Devil by Sebastian Faust

"I was searching through some old texts about Saint Martin of Tours, the 4th century bishop and monastic who’s probably best known for his impressive skill at slicing cloaks with a sword, and his very shoddy skill at hiding amid geese."

A Power Ranking of Various Kinds of Powers by Ben Howard

"Sports writers have to fill a lot of column inches every week and there's only so many original ideas that you can come up with before you just start making lists of things."

Song of the Week

"Freaks" by The Hawk in Paris


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