Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Economic Insights of Children's Books and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

by Ben Howard and Sebastian Faust

Reads of the Week

1) Sermon on How Hard It Is Being Spiritual Without You by Nadia Bolz-Weber

"Of course I wasn’t thinking about God’s love much when I was away from you guys. Because as inconvenient and at times, unreliable as it might be – other people are the most common way of knowing and experiencing the love of God in Christ. And you guys are my other people. As much as experiencing the love of God in Christ though meditating alone on a mountain might sound awesome, that’s not what Jesus sent his disciples to do after he left. He told them to love each other as he loved them."

2) If Evil Has a Best Friend, It's Apathy by Jamie Wright

"I've spent the last 12 months trying to get my head around the language of modern day slavery and the fact that when we are using these words - word's like sold, smuggled, traded, transported, brokered, abused, starved, beaten, broken in – we're talking about human beings. Actual human beings. The kind with names and faces and families. The kind with dreams. The kind with hearts and souls. Real live people."

3) 'Send Them Away': A Homily for the Loaves and Fish (Proper 13A) by David R. Henson

"The priest, though, shrugged and offered the bread to him anyway. Now, it would have been easy for the priest to simply send Jeff away with a blessing only and not with the bread. It was technically the right thing to do. But by placing the thin wafer of Christ’s body onto Jeff’s tongue, the priest broke church law and, to some Catholics, violated the Sacrament itself."

4) I Don't Always Tell You by Rachel Held Evans

"I don’t always tell you about the mornings I wake up and feel the absence of God as though it were a presence—thick and certain, remembered all over again the way you remember in the morning that someone you love has died. Or about the days when the idea that a single religion can stop the CNN crawler from reporting one more missile strike, one more downed plane, one more bombed hospital, strikes me as freshly stupid, dangerously naïve."

5) "I Used to Believe X for Reason Y..." and the Failure of Intellectual Imagination by Derek Rishmawy (Note: Read the comments)

"This, as I said, is a failure of the intellectual imagination, and for reasons I’m not entirely sure of (and I’d love others to weigh in on), it’s one that seems increasingly common. I will say that I’m fairly sure it has something to do with the narcissism of human experience. The story we know best is our own and our human tendency is to shrink the world to fit our experiences. We take our personal stories, and instead of seeing them as one, particular, unique experience, we expand them out and unjustifiably universalize them."

Honorable Mention

Mark Driscoll and Me and Our Desperate Desire To Be "Okay" by Ben Moberg

Parched for Community by Katie Bergman

Those Who Are Not Like Us by Sarah Schwartz

Holy Relics: Super 3D Noah's Ark by Martyn Wendell Jones

Why I Think You Should (Sometimes) Ignore Your Children by Esther Emery

Tweets of the (Last Two) Week(s)

"I've seen a lot of Jesus billboards on this road trip. Call me crazy but I don't think he likes being hung up on display to make a point." - @primaawesome


"I'm just a girl, standing in front of a guy, asking him for all the money in the cash register." - @lindzeta 

"You can do anything if you put your mind to it and are willing to disassociate and become a goddamn monster" - @ashfein

"Maybe I'm reading this chart wrong, but according to my weight, I'm 7'3" tall." - @Thing_finder

"I violently wiped all the fingerprint smudges on my iPad and I think I accidentally earned an online degree from the University of Phoenix" - @MeetGreg

The Best Things You Could Have Hypothetically Read Last Week 

Without Justice, We're Not Reading the Same Book by Fred Clark  

 #FaithFeminisms: Faith, Feminism, and the Battle for Supremacy by Becca Rose

Faith Like a Kid by Shannan Martin 

#WeAreN: What the Media Misses About the Iraqi Christian Persecution by Jonathan Merritt 

Sweet Tea and Sympathy for Invisible Women by Melinda Jackson   

Defending the Powerful Is Not Our Mission by Joy Bennett

A Good Joke Can Change the World by Fred Clark

The Red Couch: Americanah Discussion by D.L. Mayfield

On Reading More Women: Examining Our Consumption Habits by Krista Dalton

#Sorrynotsorry: On Sexual Abuse in the Church by Janice Rees

On Pop Theology Fortnight in Review

On Pop Theology Podcast: Episode 58 - Arts & Entertainments w/ Christopher Beha

"This week on the show Ben talks with author Christopher Beha about his new novel Arts & Entertainments, his Catholic faith, and the nature of the novel of ultimate concern."

On Metaphors and Summer Breaks by Lyndsey Graves

"It has been ten weeks since I last attended church. I didn’t plan it this way, and there are a hundred reasons why this is a terrible state of affairs, but it is how the summer has turned out."

Chaos and Fictional Theology by Ben Howard

"As a writer who occasionally has opinions about Christianity I am required by divine fiat to have a definitive position on the issue of the afterlife."

How The Bachelor Illuminates the Falsehoods In Our Lives by Emily Joy Allison

"I get a lot of scornful, “I can’t believe YOU watch THE BACHELOR” sort of comments from my friends when they find out about my obsession. Granted, if you know me even a little, it’s a bit surprising."

The Cosmic Effect of Violence (and Peace) by Rebekah Mays

"A photo of a man holding a limp child lit up my computer screen as I clicked on the Twitter link. The boy was one of four Palestinian children playing on a beach, killed by an Israeli airstrike."

Song of the (Elongated) Week

"Secrets" by Mary Lambert


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