Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Importance of Reading the Fine Print and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

the world is yours, never forget, terms and conditions, fine print, cliches
by Ben Howard

Reads of the Week

1) I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards and a Bigot by Chris Kluwe

"Hello. My name is Chris Kluwe, and for eight years I was the punter for the Minnesota Vikings. In May 2013, the Vikings released me from the team. At the time, quite a few people asked me if I thought it was because of my recent activism for same-sex marriage rights, and I was very careful in how I answered the question. My answer, verbatim, was always, 'I honestly don't know, because I'm not in those meetings with the coaches and administrative people.'"

2) Power of Naming by Carol Howard Merritt

"I am not depression. I am not foremost a depressed person. But I can feel my body responding with certain lethargy in particular situations. It’s as if the air has gotten thicker and I retreat within myself. When things become particularly difficult, I imagine myself a victim in my own life’s drama. Yet, when I focus on the “situational” rather than the “depression,” I know that it’s a season that will pass. There are many aspects to who I am, not just depression."

3) Missionary Kids, Downward Mobility, and My Friend Sarah by Briana Meade

"This is everything that getting to know someone who is different than you should be.  It is the initial terrifying jump into the unknown of possibly offending someone. It is the unwieldy silences between difficult vocabulary words in other languages. It is the complexity of relationship when individualism and village mentalities clash and bang.  When the noise that goes up shatters into the loud dissonance of the family-frameworks and culture we have come from."

4) Prophetic Criticism by Kelley Nikondeha

"I want my criticism to move us toward freedom. I want my criticism to build His Kingdom of justice. Then my critique will be in the prophetic tradition, engaged in shaping an alternative community rooted in the God who is free, who delivers us from oppression and is at work doing new things in the world."

5) Time For the 'Let the Churches Handle It' Crowd to Fish or Get Off the Pot: 1.3 Million Unemployed Lose Their Lifeline by Fred Clark

"This is a catastrophe. It’s a catastrophe for those 1.3 million people and their families, who will now be unable to pay for food and shelter. It’s a catastrophe for every American business, because they just lost 1.3 million potential customers. And it’s a catastrophe for society as a whole, because here are more than a million people who could be doing stuff and making stuff, but we’re leaving all of that stuff undone and unmade because we couldn’t manage to figure out how to pay them to do it."

Honorable Mention

What Does Hope Look Like? by Bethany Olsen

In 2014, I Resolve to Fail More by Elizabeth Esther

Alternatives to Becoming an Armadillo by Carol Howard Merritt

Tweets of the Week

"New Year’s Eve is like being in line for a wooden rollercoaster ride. You wait forever for the fun part but only end up with a headache." - @emilyvolman

"'College Football' was a better name than 'Under-compensated teenagers giving each other brain damage for people's entertainment' - @johnthorntonjr

"I found a brick in the woods. I do not know how it got there, and I do not know what to do with it. I am a bear." - @A_single_bear

On Pop Theology Week in Review

Fly From Heaven (If He's All You Say) by Sebastian Faust

"The song "Fly From Heaven" from Toad the Wet Sprocket’s album Dulcinea is 20 years old now, which means, here at On Pop Theology, it’s just about ripe for us to discuss it as though it’s a contemporary piece, trending even now through the charts."

Christian Celebrity and the Already, But Not Yet by Ben Howard

"A few weeks ago I wrote a post entitled 'Christianity Needs Celebrities.' The central thesis was that cultural change is mediated through celebrity personas. Moreover, the structure and history of Christianity is celebrity-based and, as a result, Christianity not only needs celebrities, but needs to work to foster better celebrity representations."

Song of the Week

"Heavy Metal Drummer" by Wilco


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