Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Weekly Smorgasbord

Once again, I'm terribly behind on this. I thought I just wasn't doing a lot of reading, but then I saw all my links and whoa! It was actually too much for one post, so I'll have to share the rest next week!

On Faith
Posted: 10 Dec 2012 08:51 PM PST
"Another way of getting at this is to ask whether the issue in question is an adiaphoron, in the classic Reformation sense—an essential of the faith, or a mere question of outward order?  To say it is adiaphorous is not to say it doesn’t matter, or that the Bible has nothing to say on the subject, only that disagreement about it does not affect the essentials, and hence should be tolerated for the time being.  Of course, people will here pull out the slippery-slope argument that while not in itself essential, it is so clearly in Scripture that the authority of Scripture is at stake, and so it is essential.  But the problem is that that argument can be made on any issue whatsoever where we are convinced of our own reading of Scripture. The response to it is fairly simple—do one’s opponents happily acknowledge and submit themselves to the authority of Scripture as well? There are plenty of times nowadays when they do not.  But in the case of Wright and other evangelical advocates of women’s ordination, they do.  If we’re going to claim that this is all just part of a ploy to subvert the Gospel, we will soon find ourselves isolated indeed."

"In the end, Wilson suffers from the same problem as the blustering politicians in the House of Commons—he cannot fathom that a rational and morally upright person could hold contrary views on this subject. This disease of incomprehension afflicts many conservatives in the Church as much as it does their progressive counterparts. "The Bible says, and the Bible is clear, darn it, so get with the program," seems the basic posture. But this is not going to get us very far. What we need instead is to cultivate the habit of "intellectual empathy'..."

Great thoughts here.

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 09:16 PM PST
I thought this was a great explanation of infant baptism and David articulates himself so well. Although he and Carrie have a different denominational background than Peyton and I do, this is something we agree on. One thing I especially like that he focuses on is that it is a sacrament, and thus the Spirit is present in a special way.

On Family:
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:00 PM PST
Great post. Such good advice on both sides.

On Living Rightly
Posted: 11 Dec 2012 09:17 AM PST
"One way to cultivate such common ground in our own local communities is through what some of called "intellectual empathy," or the decision to enter into a person's way of the seeing the world and look along with them... Intellectual empathy is a form of seeing how. As in, "Oh, I see how you could think that. It's wrong, but I can see how it might make sense." It is an act that is aimed, first and foremost, toward the good of understanding, a good that persuasion may flow from but can never precede."

I love the idea of "intellectual empathy".

Posted: 07 Dec 2012 01:19 PM PST
"What I need is practical takeaway. Rather than tell myself I am beautiful — especially when that is something I am not even particularly interested in believing as a grossly oversimplified statement about a complex and far-reaching attribute — it is much more effective to go out and do something beautiful, give to the world."

 Interesting piece.

On Irony and Sincerity 

Posted: 04 Dec 2012 08:55 PM PST
"FROM this vantage, the ironic clique appears simply too comfortable, too brainlessly compliant. Ironic living is a first-world problem. For the relatively well educated and financially secure, irony functions as a kind of credit card you never have to pay back. In other words, the hipster can frivolously invest in sham social capital without ever paying back one sincere dime. He doesn't own anything he possesses." "It means undertaking the cultivation of sincerity, humility and self-effacement, and demoting the frivolous and the kitschy on our collective scale of values. It might also consist of an honest self-inventory." Thought provoking, but I'm not sure I agree with it (probably partly because I'm a bit attracted to and identify with "hipsters"). Comments are good also.
Posted: 10 Dec 2012 09:13 PM PST
"All across the pop culture spectrum, the emphasis on sincerity and authenticity that has arisen has made it un-ironically cool to care about spirituality, family, neighbors, the environment, and the country. And pollsters find this same trend in the up-and-coming generation from which Wampole culls her hipsters, Millennials. A recent Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll survey found that among Millennials, six out of 10 prioritized being close to God and having a good family life above anything else. For those in Generation X, family was still important, but the second priority was not spirituality—it was making a lot of money. Clearly, a change has been underway."

More interesting stuff on irony vs. sincerity.

On Christmas and the Culture
Posted: 09 Dec 2012 02:07 PM PST
I thought all ten were really good points. Actually, I loved this.
Posted: 09 Dec 2012 01:54 PM PST
"It is Ginny I's firm belief that our default settings- no matter how well intentioned and even within the arena of parenting- are programmed by the world around us- the water in which we swim. If we want our children to not reflect the world around us- the world surrounding them- then we must take the wheel and swerve off the usual paths at pointed times on the journey. Without choosing how and what we will do different, we are choosing to follow, which ultimately leads our children nowhere near where we intended to take them. There is resistance when you swerve; it is harder when you swerve. It is inconvenient; it is work; it is weird. We're swerving. Sorry for the inconvenience."

We just told our parents our preferences about this, but I thought this was a good resources and it pretty well sums up a lot of my ideas (though, there is, of course, some stuff I disagree with).
Posted: 04 Dec 2012 12:41 PM PST
"I'll confess that A Christmas Story has become one of my favorite movies. The nostalgia of the time, and the way it reveals how Christmas often "works," runs deep and familiar...But when I watch it, along with millions of others, I remind myself that while it is a Christmas story,…it is not the Christmas story.For a taste of that, I need to go back to Bedford Falls.For a full-course meal, I need to go all the way back to Bethlehem." AMEN.
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:22 PM PST
"What I mean is that I think sometimes traditions can equal PRESSURE if we aren't careful. And taking it even further, they can also equal a form of idolatry. I'm NOT meaning to be a downer, and looking at those opening sentences, that probably wasn't the most uplifting?! Ha! All I'm meaning to say is that this is a constant process for me in figuring out how to adjust to different chapters in your life, and not holding onto something so tightly that it begins to cause more stress than it's worth. Another thing I've dealt with is the pressure to start traditions while my kids are young, otherwise they don't "count" or if you don't have a picture doing it EVERY SINGLE YEAR, it's a failure. We're a unique generation in that we have an over abundance of resources and ideas, and I think generally speaking, we're a creative parenting set. I think a good many of us want to be intentional and do things that are memory-makers. Which is great! But the difficult part is sifting. Sifting through it all and figuring out what works for us, what we need to let go of, and what is really important.

Really good words from a really good friend.
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:20 PM PST
Love this list of organizations that give back! We actually used one of the organizations (Raven + Lily) for several gifts!
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:03 PM PST
"That's 40 bucks for a bowl of cranberry sauce that everyone will pass up because we all prefer the shit that costs two bucks and comes plopping out of the can in the shape of the can. The second ingredient is LEAD. For 40 bucks, you should get the bourbon on its own." Whole thing is hilare. Language warning, obs.

On the Horror at Sandy Hook:
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:40 PM PST
"We need pragmatists. And we need prophets.We need policy makers. And we need poets. We need silence. And we need anger... In the night, we are the borderless chorus of mamas, we need a song, and so we hum old lullabies for empty beds with old Tinkerbell sheets.We're watching with those who weep and wait for morning dawn relief, it will not come and our marrow weeps underneath the tragic optimism of our routine.We want to snatch our tinies up and run away somewhere, anywhere surely there is a place we can hide from this horror, the terrors of death." Beautiful.
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 01:38 PM PST
Great tips for analyzing if your kids are reading for these discussions.

Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:10 PM PST
"A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan -- they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me...No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, "Something must be done.""

 So heartbreaking. We must find a way to help these people.
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:22 PM PST
Another interesting response to "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother".
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:14 PM PST
"When we talk about "the mentally ill" in a way that takes for granted the connection between illness and violence, we actually contribute to the systemic problems that prevent people from getting adequate mental health care."

Interesting analysis.
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:48 PM PST
"So I will make their lives richer. I will show them where they live in my heart by putting that heart on my sleeve for them to wipe their noses on. I will do this every day for as long as I can...I am more than aware of how fragile Life is, and how beautiful it can be...I am more than aware of how much I have to lose, and how lucky I am to have it while I can."

On Various Other Topics of Little or Great Importance:
The Integrity of Offline Practices « The Frailest Thing
Posted: 07 Dec 2012 01:22 PM PST
"These practices and the pleasures they yield have an integrity of their own that are not necessarily coupled with digital technology (although they may sometimes be justly contrasted to digital technology). What they offer are goods in themselves irrespective of their relationship (or non-relationship) to digital technologies. We should, in other words, engage in these sorts of practices for their own sake, not merely as antidotes or countermeasures to digital mediation." Kind of weird, but interesting thoughts.




1 comment:

Maralee Bradley said...

Thanks for reading my blog and including it in your list! And I love your post on what you wore through the week. Very inspirational for this jeans and a t-shirt mama :)