Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Real Reason for Park Benches and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

by Ben Howard and Sebastian Faust

Reads of the Week

1) Guilt is Good by Christena Cleveland

"Despite their discomfort, I challenged my study-abroad students to talk about inequality every single day that we were in Brazil. I brought it up all the time. I pointed out racial and economic disparities on the bus, at the museums, at the Monsanto plant, at the beaches, at the pousadas. I asked our guest lecturers to focus on inequality.  I asked the students to journal about it. It was inequality all day, all night, all the time. As a result, the students felt guilty…a lot. And that’s okay because guilt is good and necessary."

2) My "Enlightened" Christian "Friends" by Doug Bursch

"But you are so certain of the absence of certainty, so the moment will come when you cut into me. I know you say it in general, but the sword you wield cuts indiscriminately. It cuts indiscriminately and I bleed. I bleed quietly, unable to defend. You say feel free to defend yourself, feel free to share your perspective. But I know the consequences. My attempt to defend my contrasting truth will simply codify your conviction of my immaturity and closed-mindedness."

3) Some Ambivalent Thoughts on Sovereign Grace, The Gospel Coalition, and Twitter by Morgan Guyton

"Those of us who have a more progressive understanding of Christianity tend to push back against a strictly retributive understanding of justice and call for a more restorative form of justice. But when it comes to our ideological enemies, we get sucked into the scorched earth buzzfeed retributive approach to justice where nothing less than total political annihilation and absolute discredit will suffice."

4) Abducted & Robbed In The Congo (How Jesus, Bear Grylls & CBS Saved My Life) by Benjamin Corey

"With every mile that went by, my sense of panic only increased. It was so dark that I couldn’t see anything around us, and we didn’t seem to be driving in any direction that I’d want to be going. With robbery and murder being so common (while I was there they killed 20 people after losing a soccer match, which locals shrugged off as typical), I began to accept that I was being robbed (something I can deal with) and that there was a good chance I was also about to be killed (not how I preferred to start my trip)."

5) When Christians Fall by Jennifer Luitwieler

"I see it all the time. Social media makes it pretty easy to witness lives spiraling out of control. A man I know has devolved into a mewling mess after being caught in a years’ long affair. A dear woman has become a virtual, polarizing Hester Prynne after she left her husband for another man. The details don’t matter, because the story is so old, so common, you see it in your own social media streams. All day long."

Honorable Mention

Can You Have A Church Without A Prison Ministry? by Zack Hunt

Chicken and Fries by Jen Hatmaker

A Love Letter from Bethany Suckrow by Bethany Suckrow

When You're Thirsty, Keep On Walking by Rachel Haltiwanger

In Praise of Heretics by Kelly Pigott

Tweets of the Week

"The fact that the new 9/11 Museum sells tacky merchandise is triumphant proof that the terrorists failed to change the American way of life." - @TheTweetOfGod

"On the first day of prison go up to the most ironic guy you see and tell him prison is actually good." - @lukeoneil47

"a line of Catholic crafts stores called Build-a-Bear-Your-Own-Cross" - @ashfein

On Pop Theology Week in Review

In Celebration of a Milestone by Ben Howard

"The first post I wrote for this website is a mess. The writing is stilted and repetitive. The thesis is obvious and uninteresting, and even if it wasn’t, I don’t explain the premise enough for anyone who isn’t reading my mind to understand what’s going on."

In Defense of Gluttony by Charity Erickson

"For anyone who follows along with my regular tweeting about cheese, this shouldn’t come as a shock, but for those who are unfamiliar I will begin with this proclamation: I love food."

Pint-Sized Picassos and Human Identity by Justin McRoberts

"A pair of brilliant young girls in my neighborhood (ages 6 and 8) set up an art gallery in their garage. Hung on packing twine with clothespins and paper clips, most of the art is their own, though they also featured a few contributions from siblings labeled 'guest pieces.'

Song of the Week

"One Night Town" by Ingrid Michaelson (feat. Mat Kearney)


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