As I’ve started to blog more (I’ve posted 14 blogs in the last 2 months!) I’ve decided to adopt some of the practices associated with successful blog people that I read. One practice a lot of bloggers have is to post, once a week (usually on the weekend), a collection of articles written by others that have been important to them that particular week. I really love going through Rachel’s “Sunday Superlatives”, Internet Monks’s “Saturday Ramblings”, or Scott McKnight’s “Weekly Meanderings”.
So, welcome to my Weekend Compilation. I have picked a blog I read from each day this past week (including today) to share with you. These are my favorites from the week.
Sunday: Roger Olson asks, “Whatever Happened to the “Evangelical Left?” He writes: “I’ll never forget the day I was driving to a friend’s wedding in another state and listened to a public radio broadcast of two evangelical political demonstrations in Washington, D.C. I don’t remember exactly what year it was, but it was sometime in the later 1970s. Jerry Falwell was leading one “march” and Jim Wallis was leading the other one. The NPR reporter was playing up the fact that both were ‘evangelicals.’”
Monday: Richard Beck talks about “Shopping in the Walmart of Unbelief.” He writes, “What has happened in modernity, argue Berger and Zinderveld, is not secularization but plurality. What we see around us isn’t a binary choice between faith and unfaith. Rather, we face choices amongst faiths, unbelief being one choice amongst these. What characterizes modernity is the radical range of choices now in front of us, a marketplace of beliefs and ideologies. Modernity creates a Walmart of Belief where I can choose to be a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Muslim, or a Humanist, or an atheist. And I can change my mind. Faith hasn’t been eliminated. Rather, faith has become radically open. The options available to us are dizzying. We live in the wake of what Charles Taylor calls “the Nova Effect,” this explosive expansion of choices, worldviews and lifestyles.”
Tuesday: Rachel Held Evans hosts the thoughts of a Stay-At-Home-Dad. He writes, “The sad reality is that although I and other SAHDs try and drown out the naysayers who judge how we have chosen to serve our families, the constant barrage does chip away at your sense of worth. For example, when someone I went to high school with and had not spoken to in 20 years found out I was a SAHD, he took it upon himself to send me email after email about how I was acting outside of God’s will. No matter how secure I was and still am in my decision to stay home, being told I am wrong on a regular basis does tend to wear you down.”
Wednesday: Addie Zierman—who blogs here but also blogs at Deeper Story—wrote “In Defense Of The 4-Letter Word.” She writes, “When we say the easy thing instead of the true thing. When we slouch into Christian cliché instead of listening. When we give the easy answers, dismiss one another’s pain, idly make promises that we have no intention of keeping — all of that is language abused, defiled, tossed away. And upon hearing of a friend’s cancer diagnosis, I might go so far as to suggest that it’s more profane to say God never gives you more than you can handle than it is reach across the table, grab her hands, whisper the word fuck.”
Thursday: Brent Bailey talked about “Bullying the Bullies.” He writes, “Unfortunately, as much as I celebrate our culture’s gradual cool-ifying of bullying prevention, I’m uncomfortable with the way the anti-bullying narrative often takes the shape of retributive bully-shaming, whereby the victim of bullying receives support and encouragement while the perpetrator of bullying suddenly becomes the new victim of (seemingly deserved) negativity and scorn.”
Friday: Elizabeth Esther talks about “Cult-proofing your kids.” She writes, “There is a seductive gravitational pull into a cult environment. Whether you are an impressionable, college freshman from a broken family or a drug addict trying to stay sober, being “love-bombed” by a crowd of enthusiastic young people is damn near irresistible. You don’t even see the red-flags because you’re so blinded by the promise of a New Life! With all these cool people!”
Saturday: Drew Dixon talks about “The Awful Tension of Dreams and Reality.” He writes, “I think the weight of worry is one of the things that crushes dreams. It seems like kids usually think that adults are people with no dreams or imagination. I know that because Morgan and I read “The Little Prince” together. But I don’t think it’s true. I don’t think it’s true because I’m beginning to wade into the world of adulthood and yet there are still dreams somewhere inside of me, even though they might have been buried under a year or so of insecurity and the weight of coming responsibilities.
On my blog, I wrote on Tuesday about “Meaning.” I write, “We hope that the world fixes itself while we sleep, trusting that as the world spins it will shake things up just a bit, that it will tilt circumstances in our favor. But that rarely happens because the world has no objective interest in our wellbeing. Because the world is just a set of constructions, of circumstances. And all we have is to react to them. And even the choices we make everyday are drawn from a range of possible reactions, a range determined by a myriad of interlocking variables over which we have little control.”