Weekly Roundup

UPDATE:  In case you missed it, Vladimir Putin recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he offers counsel to the United States.  Yesterday “President Obama” responded with his own op-ed for the Huffington Post


Katelyn Beaty writes at Christianity Today about our Hunger for Outrage (specifically on the internet):

Outrage begins to eat us alive when it is not channeled into creative love. It does not produce the righteousness we rightly seek (James 1:20). And there is only so much love you can demonstrate in 140 characters on a glowing screen.


Wednesday was the twelfth anniversary of 9/11.  Here are 9 Things You Should Know About the 9/11 Attack Aftermath.


From National Journal:  Syria Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Barack Obama.


Peggy Noonan at The Wall Street Journal on Syria and Why America is Saying ‘No’:  “There is something going on here, a new distance between DC and America that the Syria debate has forced into focus.”


Our fearless leader James Arnold has written an article for Biola University’s Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts on Giving Grace to “Crossover” Artists.


John Mark Reynolds responds to a friend’s question about Vocation and Money.


Digital Times argues that Part 2 of the Hobbit trilogy will be better than part 1 (but not by much).  The article is short, snarky and repetitive, so here’s the only paragraph you really need to read:

No, seriously. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is going to be the best part because hello, all the best stuff happens in it. “The Hobbit” Part Three-ie (out on December 17, 2014) is going to be the worst snooze cruise since Helm’s Deep. That’s because certain dragons are going to get whacked in the first of many hours and the rest is just going to be a big battle and then a long walk home.


Speaking of The Hobbit, here is JRR Tolkien singing “Chip The Glasses And Crack The Plates”:


One should always be careful about giving too much weight to “scientific journalism.”  Still, these developments are worth noting:  Global warming? No, actually we’re cooling, claim scientists.


Love it or hate it, the very colorful (and very plastic) new iPhone 5c is probably here to stay:  Forget “Cheap”, The iPhone 5c Is Clearly The iPhone Jony Ive Wanted For iOS 7.


Book nerds, time to geek out!  “Harry Potter” Gets Seven New Illustrated Covers.


From The Atlantic:  Why Sequels Will Never Die: Hollywood’s Summer of ‘Flops’ Was Actually Its Best Year Ever.


Mali, Syria, Obamacare, Detroit;  2013 has seen many debacles…all of which Mitt Romney warned us about during his 2012 presidential campaign.  This recently prompted Buzzfeed to ask:  Was Mitt Romney Right About Everything?  (The truth, of course, is that this is not about Romney.  He was not a visionary or a genius.  He was just saying what conservatives have been saying since long before 2012).


If World War One Was a Bar Fight…


Help Kickstart World War III!  Why?  Because Obama:

Weekly Roundup

Apparently, pornography is the new normal. Iceland brought the idea to our attention earlier this year, but now the UK is forcing us all to ask questions about liberty, personal freedom, and harmful dispositions of the soul.

Fred Sanders argues at Christianity Today that anyone who suggests that the Trinity has a lot to do with gender probably doesn’t understand either too well. Actually, he’s a lot more charitable than that, but no one is surprised.

Speaking of the Trinity, this video by The Lutheran Satire is brilliant.  You should watch it now.  Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Brett McCracken has a new book out, called Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism and Liberty. We’ll be reviewing the book pretty soon, but in the mean time, you can read a sample chapter here; he’s even got a way for you to get his first book for free.

Poetry can be beautiful, but it can also be scathing. There’s even a poet you can hire on Craigslist to write poems about you. See one such experience here.

Matthew Tuininga thinks that America’s abortion laws are quickly becoming more liberal.  And that’s a good thing!

It’s a strange new world we live in when Russian leader Vladimir Putin is calling on the US and Europe to unite to end anti-Christian persecution.  More than that, he thinks the Russian church and state must unite to show moral leadership in the face of a secularizing West.  Is this good for Russia, or just a sad commentary on the state of the US and Europe?

At last, that fateful moment in world history has arrived.  Meet the Twelfth Doctor!

Contraception, Encouragement, and Affirmation

Last week, Matthew Lee Anderson published an article through Christianity Today arguing that Churches Shouldn’t Push Contraceptives to Their Singles. I thought the post was thoughtful and interesting, and shared it with a few friends. It helped start a couple of helpful conversations, so there was merit at least in that outcome, if not the article itself. Continue reading Contraception, Encouragement, and Affirmation

Bodies, Dating and Modesty: Misunderstood but Important

A friend of mine posted a link to this blog over at Christianity Today’s blog for women. The blog responds to the common phrase that “modest is hottest” which seems to run around in many Christian circles, particularly youth groups. The response is a good one, pointing out that the phrase actually objectifies women by making the female body a thing to be feared rather than an expression of God’s beauty. Continue reading Bodies, Dating and Modesty: Misunderstood but Important

Starbucks CEO Pulls a Mycoskie, Cancels Willow Creek

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has withdrawn his name from the speaking schedule at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit thanks to an online petition at Change.org—the same site credited with convincing TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie to issue his puzzling apology to the anti-Focus of the Family crowd last month.

Starbucks officials have reportedly denied that the petition had anything to do with Schultz’s decision to withdraw, but circumstances suggest otherwise. In June a customer’s open letter to Starbucks regarding “one of the most brazen and unapologetic displays of homophobia I have ever witnessed in my entire life” went viral when the customer blogged about seeing a Starbucks manager reprimand a gay employee. In 2008 Joseph Hooks and Dorothy Baker sued the coffee company, claiming they had been fired for being gay.

While Mycoskie’s response to the outcry over his appearance at a Focus on the Family event was clumsy given the shoe company has no history of activism or controversy, Schultz’s withdrawal is at least predictable.

Ironically, this comes just as Willow Creek is rumored to be rethinking its views on homosexuality:

Willow Creek Community Church says it cut ties with Exodus in 2009…

Church spokeswoman Susan DeLay told the paper that Willow’s views on homosexuality had evolved.

“They were one of the few Christian organizations having conversations with people who struggle with being gay,” she said.

Of course, these rumors may really be just rumors:

Willow Creek Community Church, a trend-setting megachurch in suburban Chicago, has quietly ended its partnership with Exodus International, an “ex-gay” organization.

Willow Creek decided to sever ties with the Florida-based ministry in 2009, Christianity Today reported, but the decision only became public in June.

Church officials described the move as a shift in approach rather than a change in belief. Susan DeLay, a spokeswoman for Willow Creek, said the church continues to welcome those who are attracted to people of the same sex.

“Willow Creek has a whole host of ministries for people dealing with these issues, and we would never intend for them to feel sidelined,” she told Christianity Today.

Either way, Starbucks’ and TOMS Shoes’ hesitation to be linked even indirectly to those who minister to homosexuals make it clear that other ministries should expect to be increasingly undermined by both business and political interests—even if those interests are unrelated to the ministry’s work.

image via flickr