Welcome to this week’s installment of Weekend Compilations, a blog post where I share links to my favorite blog posts from the previous week.

Sunday: Carson T. Clark explains “The Reason Why I Tend Not to Casually Throw Out Biblical Quotations or References.” He writes, “Meanwhile, my experiences growing up within fundamentalist Pentecostalism could hardly have been more different. Scripture loomed large over everything. Not a Sunday went by in which we weren’t exhorted to do our daily devotions and quite often the pastor and Sunday School teachers encouraged Bible memorization. Virtually every conversation ranging from politics to the economy, football to the weather, contained biblical allusions, quotations, and references. Far from having a pastor who’d never read the whole Bible, it was almost unfathomable that a student in the youth group wouldn’t at least have been trying to maintain a good habit of Bible reading. The trouble is, our church did an extraordinarily poor job of teaching hermeneutics and basic christian theology. There was this overwhelming cultural expectation that virtually every thought be baptized by Scripture, i.e. proof-texted, but no one cared about reading it in an accurate, responsible way.”

Monday: Sarah Bessey offers “a Christian response to #IdleNoMore.” She writes, “I’m a white Canadian woman from the prairies, now living in the south coast of British Columbia. I have zero Aboriginal blood, zero personal connections to the struggle and realities of Aboriginal rights. The most time I’ve spent on the rez is driving through quickly. Growing up in Regina, I had a few “native” friends (as we called First Nations in those days), but as I grew up and moved further and further west, Aboriginals disappeared from my circles of work and schooling. Now, I find myself in the position of unintentional isolation from our First Nations community. I heard about Idle No More two months ago, and as the days have gone by, and more and more of our First Nations are participating in this protest movement, I’ve been compelled to frankly recognize both my privilege and my ignorance. I needed to learn about this movement, not only as a Canadian, but particularly as a follower of Jesus. I believe Jesus meant all that stuff he said in the Bible, and so the whole “caring for my neighbour” thing needs to show up in my real life. I wanted to know how to best love and support First Nations in this current climate.”

Tuesday: Wendell Berry, as quoted by Bob Allen, shares his views about gay marriage. He writes, “Christians of a certain disposition have found several ways to categorize homosexuals as different as themselves, who are in the category of heterosexual and therefore normal and therefore good. What is unclear is why they single out homosexuality as a perversion. The Bible, as I pointed out to the writers of National Review, has a lot more to say against fornication and adultery than against homosexuality. If one accepts the 24th and 104th Psalms as scriptural norms, then surface mining and other forms of earth destruction are perversions. If we take the Gospels seriously, how can we not see industrial warfare — with its inevitable massacre of innocents — as a most shocking perversion? By the standard of all scriptures, neglect of the poor, of widows and orphans, of the sick, the homeless, the insane, is an abominable perversion. Jesus talked of hating your neighbor as tantamount to hating God, and yet some Christians hate their neighbors by policy and are busy hunting biblical justifications for doing so. Are they not perverts in the fullest and fairest sense of that term? And yet none of these offenses — not all of them together — has made as much political/religious noise as homosexual marriage.”

Wednesday: Roger Olson provides his “Confessions of an Ecumenical, Eclectic, Baptist Christian.” He writes, “I proudly identify myself as an “eclectic” and “ecumenical” Baptist. By that I mean that my Baptist faith soaks in and is enriched by distinctives of other Christian traditions. That shouldn’t shock anyone who knows Baptist history. The earliest Baptists were influenced by Mennonites and Congregationalist Puritans. History tells us that in the eighteenth century many Baptist congregations in Great Britain and America were awakened by the Wesleyan revivals and by the preaching of George Whitefield—a Calvinist Methodist. Over the centuries all Baptist groups and individuals have been influenced by other traditions. However, we Baptists still often live by the myth of Baptist completeness which, unfortunately, often leads to complacency.”

Thursday: Grace Biskie shares her toddler’s words: “Be Careful With Me.” She writes, “Now, he’s a strong-willed, fiery, passionate toddler who sometimes struggles to have compassion and deliberately does things to hurt or annoy others.  Sometimes, he won’t listen.  Sometimes, he refuses to be corrected through timeouts or other last ditch attempts to discipline him.  He is only the 2nd person on the planet who can make me angry to tears, ill with questions and discouraged under piles of self-doubt.  At times, I have wanted to throw my hands up. I cannot do this.  I cannot do this. I cannot do this with this child.  He is too difficult.  He is much too much, and I much too weak. But something gave. He started using his voice to articulate deep truths in such ordinary moments. And for the first time, I heard him.”

Friday: David Hancock Turner expounds on “Les Misérables and Its Critics.” He writes, “How do we explain this popularity in the face of critical disapproval? Over the years critics often object to the work’s technical or formal flaws — a thousand page novel with hundred-page historical digressions on the history of the Parisian sewer system; the plot is melodramatic; the music is cloyingly bad; the mega-musical is an empty spectacle; the closeups are awkward and embarrassing. A handful of the top film critics today mockingly write of the show as if it were dandruff to be brushed off their sweater. But this focus on form or outright dismissal avoids the necessary work of explaining what is so compelling in the story itself.”

Saturday: Chaplain Mike shares a post from the Michael Spencer archives explaining that “I Have My Doubts.” He writes, “I’m terrified by the possibility that I might have wasted my entire life on the proposition that Christianity was true, when in fact it wasn’t even close. I wonder if I have been mentally honest with myself or with others, or have I compromised my own integrity in order to collect a paycheck and have a roof over my head? Have I acted as if the case for faith was clear when it was a muddled mess in my own mind? What’s really frightening is that these doubts persist and get stronger the longer I live. They aren’t childish doubts; they are serious, grown-up fears. I don’t have the kind of faith that looks forward to death. The prospect terrifies me, sometimes to the point I am afraid to close my eyes at night. I have more questions about the Bible and Christianity than ever, even as I am more skilled at giving answers to the questions of others. I can proclaim the truth with zeal and fervor, but I can be riddled with doubts at the same time.”

My favorite post on the blog this week was Thursday’s “The Blood of the Martyrs.” I write, “I guess I could say all of the normal things here. I was convicted of my complicity in the murder of Jews. I realized that the SS were human, just as I am human. That I very well could have been complicit in the atrocities committed if I had been a German during World War Two. I comprehended, however distantly and minutely, the vow of never again. But that’s not really the point here, I suppose. Because what is curious, what strikes me as odd, was that this was the first time. This was the first time that I cried, or really even cared. This was the first time I felt the weight of systemic murder at the hands of a “civilized” people. A “Christian” people. Why? I had read about the Holocaust, heard lectures about it, and had even been to Houston’s Holocaust Museum. Why now? Because the sacred blood of those who died had literally soaked the ground beneath my feet. And I knew it.”