links: this went thru my mind

Here are several links I found to be interesting and helpful.

Choices, decisions, discernment, intuition, morality, rationalization & thinking: Your Mind is a Spin Machine

“… usually, the rider is the servant to the elephant.”

Cinema, faith, film, forgiveness, hatred, movies, torture & war: The Power of Forgiveness [essential reading]

“How does a man forgive what is seemingly unforgivable? In search of the answer, I began a seven-year journey through his life, a journey that culminated in my book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.”

Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights, Hanukkah, Jesus & Jerusalem: * Jesus Visited Jerusalem During Hanukkah; * Hanukkah: When Jesus Claimed to be God

* “The Gospel of John records more visits to Jerusalem by Jesus than any other of the Gospels. John is the only one to record the visit during the Feast of Dedication.”

* “Today, some say Jesus never claimed to be God. But His words during that Hanukkah left little doubt.”

Israel, roads, the ascent to Jerusalem & travel: New Video: The Modern Ascent to Jerusalem

“Bill Schlegel, author of the Satellite Bible Atlas, has just posted a video showing the ascent to Jerusalem from the Shephelah. The 6-minute video uses drone footage to show the modern highway’s route and the new construction. In antiquity, travelers followed the natural routes along the ridges. Today when we deviate from those ridges, we spend billions to destroy the landscape in the construction of passes, bridges, and tunnels.”

Prison system & teens: End Solitary Confinement for Teenagers

“That the practice is widespread remains a disturbing indicator of how poorly we treat the hundreds of thousands of minors arrested each year in the United States.”

links: this went thru my mind

 

Church, relationships & the marginalized: What of the Marginalized Christians?

“When Jesus ministered to people in the margins, the majority of them were people who were in the margins of Judaism, the church. They were already a part of the faith.”

Computing: 8 Essential Browser Tips & Tricks

“The Web browser is a funny thing. It’s one of the most-used computer programs, but many people don’t really understand it. … Today, I’m helping you get the most out of your browser with a few simple tricks that you really need to know.”

Justice, penal system, prison, punishment & solitary confinement: Solitary Confinement: 29 Years in a Box

“Prisoners in solitary confinement tend to be restricted to cells of 80 square feet, not much larger than a king-size bed.”

Marriage: How Do I Get My Wife to Love Me Again?

“A man seldom understands (this man included) how different a woman is from a man.”

Ministry: Three Smooth Stones for Ministry

“Ministry is about the two most unpredictable forces in the world–the Spirit of God and human beings. There’s little predicting to be done, or little cause and effect logic to be implemented when these are the primary mediums involved in your work.”

Non-resistance, nonviolence, pacifism & violence: The Case for Non-Resistance– Part One [essential reading]

“The nations of this world employ physical weapons of offense and defense. When Jesus announced His new nation, He needed to clarify the character of His nation with respect to the use of force.”

this went thru my mind (on violence)

 

V-for-violenceIncarceration & prison reform: Behind ‘The New Black’: The Real Piper’s Prison Story

“… the single most important thing is to send far fewer nonviolent, first-time offenders in the first place. To hold people accountable in the community would be the most important first step.”

Peace & transformation: Beating AK47s into Shovels

“Inspired by the prophets’ vision of ‘beating swords into plows’, these Mennonite metal-workers started turning guns into garden tools. They call themselves RAW tools (turning ‘war’ around and forging peace).”

Photography & war: Haunting Images Chronicle 165 Years Of A World At War

“We need to tell the public, the public of the entire world what war is really like … The more you’ve seen of death and inhumanity, the more it turns you into someone who really can’t stand the sight of war.”

War: Hauerwas and ‘War and the Irish Difference’

“The church does not so much have a plan or a policy to make war less horrible or to end war. Rather, the church is the alternative to the sacrifice of war in a war-weary world. The church is the end of war … Christ has shattered the silence that overwhelms our killing and restores those who have killed, because his sacrifice overwhelms our killing and restores us to a life of peace. Indeed we believe that it remains possible for those who have killed to be reconciled with those they have killed. This is no sentimental bonding represented by the comradeship of battle. This is reconciliation made possible by the hard wood of the cross.”

this went thru my mind (on violence)

 

V-for-violenceAltruism, goodness, the prisoner’s dilemma & war: One Good Deed Deserves Another [24 min. audio; very interesting!]

“… we tackle the prisoner’s dilemma, a classic thought experiment, and learn about a simple strategy to navigate the waters of cooperation and betrayal.”

American culture, racism & violence: Transcript: Obama Speaks of Verdict Through the Prism of African-American Experience [required reading]

“We understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history. And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration. And the fact that a lot of African-American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African-American boys are more violent — using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain.”

American history, Bible interpretation, eisegesis & the Revolutionary War: Preaching Liberty to the Colonists [book review]

“The American revolutionaries justified their cause with ample appeals to Scripture. But what should Christians think of the conclusions they drew?”

God, Old Testament & violence: Every Known Theistic Approach to Old Testament “Texts of Terror”

“The phrase ‘texts of terror’ usually refers to stories in the historical books of the Hebrew Bible that describe God as commanding his people to slaughter groups of men, women and children and “show them no mercy” (to quote on such command). Here I will lay out all the theistic approaches to interpreting these texts I am aware of. Every ‘other’ approach I know about seems to me to fall under one of these—as a version of it. … As you can see, in my opinion, all have serious problems. This is almost certainly a question that will have to wait for answer until paradise or the eschaton.”

Justice, prison system & solitary confinement: When Prisoners Protest

“There aren’t many protests in prison. In a world where authorities exercise absolute power and demand abject obedience, prisoners are almost always going to be on the losing side, and they know it. … And yet, sometimes things get so bad that prisoners feel compelled to protest, with work stoppages, riots or hunger strikes. On July 8, some 30,000 inmates in the custody of the California Department of Corrections went on a hunger strike to demand improvements in prison conditions. Their biggest complaint was the runaway use of solitary confinement, the fact that thousands of prisoners are consigned to this cruelty indefinitely, some for decades.”