this went thru my mind


Acknowledgement, appreciation & influence: Want to Change the World in 3.2 Seconds? by Jon Acuff

“Want to reinvent the way people think about Christians? Want to start changing the reason people think Christians are jerks? It’s not that complicated. “

Christianity & politics: Christianity’s Mistress by K. Rex Butts

“… why are so many Christians focused on earthly things? Particularly, the earthly things I am speaking about is American politics.”

Doubt: The Gifts and Benefits of Doubt by Richard Beck [required reading]

“… here are some of the benefits and gifts of doubt for the church …”

Gospel: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: How MTD Destroys Christians, Part 1 by Jay Guinn [this is a portion of an on-going series; this whole series is/will be required reading]

“MTD teaches that God does not so much compel us to live a certain way as provide a means for us to live well. God gives us self-esteem. God gives us emotional health. God gives us good marriages. God gives us friends and happy relationships. God gives us congregations filled with good people who want to help us be better people. … Where did this view of religion come from? Well, largely from preachers. And Sunday school teachers. And youth ministers. And dumbed down Sunday school curriculum. Indeed, it all results from an Americanized, market-based, consumeristic approach to selling Christianity.”

Missions: The Gospel for Headhunters and Cannibals by David Burnette

“From headhunters and cannibals to 85 percent of the tribe identifying itself as Christian, the Sawi of New Guinea have undergone significant cultural transformation in the 50 years since the first missionaries arrived in the tribe’s isolated jungle

Marriage, men & women: Plutarch and Paul on Husbands and Wives by Marg Mowczko

“I recently submitted a research essay for a course I’m studying where I compare Plutarch’s Advice to the Bride and Groom with Paul’s advice to men and women in First Corinthians.  Plutarch, who wasn’t a Christian (in fact at one time he was a priest in the cult of Apollo), wrote his Advice in a letter around A.D. 90-100. … As I was reading and comparing Advice with First Corinthians it struck me how different Plutarch’s and Paul’s views were about the relationship between husbands and wives.  It also struck me that many Christians sound much more like Plutarch, rather than Paul, in what they think and say about marriage and women.”

it’s time to be civil (26)


# 17. Assert yourself. … ‘The assertive person stands up for her own rights and expresses her personal needs, values, concerns, and ideas in direct and appropriate ways. While meeting her own needs, she does not violate the needs of others or trespass on their personal space.’ (Robert Bolton) … We rarely consider that if we fail to be assertive our relationships may be in danger just the same. … Unwilling to antagonize your friend, you acquiesce, although you feel somewhat bullied and more than mildly resentful. These feelings are perhaps a more serious threat to your relationship with your friend than anything but a polite but frank ‘No’ on your part might have stirred. Your submissive reaction may encourage your friend to disregard your legitimate wishes again in the future. This would increase the strain on your relationship. Thus assertiveness is undoubtedly the best option for all involved.

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); pp. 110,112-113