It currently feels like we’re in the midst of a whirlwind. This last week has largely been focused on finishing up getting the minor cosmetic repairs done to the house we’re buying so we can get our loan. When that was finished we focused on packing and getting ready to move after we close on the house (which is hopefully this Friday). So it’s pretty easy to say that we’ve been busy and that the house has been eating up a lot of our time and what energy we have left after we put the kids to bed.
So we’re doing this and also trying to buy Christmas presents. Which as of now we’re probably about 75% done or so. So we only have a handful of people to buy for, but then of course we have to wrap the presents and all that good stuff. It wouldn’t be too bad if we weren’t moving, but that will make things interesting.
We also went to visit my Grandmother who is now home from the hospital yesterday. It’s nice to have her back at home, but it’s not an ideal situation. She didn’t exactly get sent home because she was all recovered, but rather that the insurance decided to no longer cover her stay at the hospital. So while it is nice to have her back in normal circumstances, she is now in the situation of being in a normal environment without being able to do everything she would like to do.
So with all these things going on, I didn’t get any posts out this week. As I write this, I’m not even through my blog reading for the week. However, I figured I would start on this post and start with the posts I’ve found interesting this week (and there are already a number of them) and then read some more if time allows afterwards. So here are what I’ve read from the past week:
My View on Women’s Roles by Nicole Cottrell
In a world that loves labels and easy forms of identification, I find that I identify with those who don’t really know what labels to use on themselves. Nicole’s thoughts on egalitarianism and complimentarianism and the search for a third way probably describe a lot of where my wife and I are at this time. We both find we appreciate things from both “sides” of the debate, but don’t really know what that means for us. So I appreciated the honesty here of where she is and not trying to fall into a label.
Does Attending Church Mean You Must Carry “Buckets of Shame?” by Donald Miller
Do we do everything we’re told to do even if we don’t know the reason or it doesn’t help us? That’s a question raised by a story from one of Donald’s therapy sessions and one that he in turn asks about the church. Do we have to carry around buckets of guilt and shame about everything? Now I don’t think that he’s talking about never feeling guilty and never seeking repentance, but simply that there can be a lot of unnecessarily expectations that get presented in churches and how do we deal with those?
These two posts are about how some schools are becoming more interesting in exterior rule keeping than character development in schools. This leads to ridiculous policies that really fail to develop children in any meaningful ways. As news stories about rules like this pile up, I have to agree. I don’t think these external rules that are typically very silly are really doing much to help and could even be causing or contributing to more problems than they solve.
Sex is Not Arithmetic by Chaplin Mike
A wonderful, thoughtful post on how sex can be presented in the church. So often the formula goes something like this. If you wait to have sex until you’re married, then your sex life will be better than those who have sex outside of marriage or with multiple partners. I’m pretty sure that formula doesn’t work and Chaplin Mike’s treatment of the subject is very real and does a good job looking at this including the whole human picture and not some idealized marketing ploy to encourage morality.
NT Wright, Empire Criticism, and a Brief Response by Scot McKnight
Alright, I’ll admit this may be a bit dense for some people, but I found it quite interesting. Trying to get a basic idea of what this is about is it is debating the question of whether or not Paul was particularly anti-Rome, and thus critiquing the empire, in his ministry and message or not. I enjoyed the read, but my wife thought it sounded boring.
When Coincidence Isn’t Coincidental by Tim Fall
I can’t say that I haven’t heard most of this before, but I’ve always liked the parallels regarding Peter’s denials of Jesus and Jesus asking Peter if he loved him after his resurrection. Tim even points out some parallels I hadn’t thought of or heard before. It is funny how God works like this sometimes, and I imagine he still does.
12 Grief Cliches and the Reasons They Suck by Leanne Penny
Have I mentioned I have a weakness for numbered lists? Yeah I do. I know that talking negatively about cliches has pretty much become cliche at this point and know that they can be useful for some people. With all that in mind I’m still a big fan of thinking about why we say what we do and making sure that we aren’t just entering a sort of auto-pilot of sayings that we aren’t putting any thought into. Some on the list are worse than others, in my opinion anyways. It is a good list to get us thinking about the phrases we use to those who are experiencing sorrow and grief.
Christianity and the Spiral of Silence by Jayson D. Bradley
This post perhaps hit me a bit harder than I expected. It is about how dissenting opinions in the church can be dismissed and silenced and how people area constantly afraid of saying what they actually believe. They are afraid because they think they will be rejected and cast aside if people knew what they really thought. I’ve had some experience in this whole process, but not as much as others. Even in my minor experiences of it, it has hurt and maybe even left a minor scar or two.
On Demonizing the Devil by Sebastian Faust at On Pop Theology
I found this little post quite interesting. It talks about how a monk from the 4th century who preached a message of reconciliation to Satan. When is the last time we’ve ever heard anything like that? I’ve certainly never thought about things like that. It is quite intriguing though.
That was quite a few right? Seems everyone was holding off last week to bring the deluge this week. Some good stuff though to read through if you like. Hopefully see you next week, if not it will be because we don’t have internet and are stuck in moving limbo. We’ll see what happens though.