Saturday, September 24, 2016

Weekly Web Roundup (9/24/16)

Photo Credit: Victor Bj√∂rklund
Here are some interesting stories from around the web that I've seen during this past week:

Segregation Is Still Alive at These Christian Schools by Jonathan Merritt (The Daily Beast)
"While Catholic schools have existed throughout U.S. history, private Christian schools emerged en masse in the aftermath of the civil-rights movement. The Supreme Court declared public-school segregation unconstitutional in its unanimous Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. Many school systems, particularly across the South, resisted compliance while some families saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to act. Fearful at the thought of their children mingling with black students, many white Christian families founded private “segregation academies” to skirt the law. Many were “Christian” institutions, and fundamentalist evangelicals founded several of the most prominent ones. Non-Catholic Christian schools doubled their enrollments between 1961 and ’71."
I Used to Be a Human Being by Andrew Sullivan (Select/All)
"I tried reading books, but that skill now began to elude me. After a couple of pages, my fingers twitched for a keyboard. I tried meditation, but my mind bucked and bridled as I tried to still it. I got a steady workout routine, and it gave me the only relief I could measure for an hour or so a day. But over time in this pervasive virtual world, the online clamor grew louder and louder. Although I spent hours each day, alone and silent, attached to a laptop, it felt as if I were in a constant cacophonous crowd of words and images, sounds and ideas, emotions and tirades — a wind tunnel of deafening, deadening noise. So much of it was irresistible, as I fully understood. So much of the technology was irreversible, as I also knew. But I’d begun to fear that this new way of living was actually becoming a way of not-living."
How Apartheid Haunts a New Generation of South Africans by Kenichi Serino (The Atlantic)
"Over two decades after the end of apartheid, a vast gulf remains between the experiences of South Africa’s white students and black students, like Shikwambane, who’d managed to gain entry to Wits despite the poor facilities and shoddy resources at the public schools in the rural areas and townships where many of them grew up. Formerly all-white high schools, by contrast, are well-resourced and supplemented by contributions from parents and alumni. They also send students to South Africa’s best universities, and provide opportunities for black students from poor backgrounds. 
As a result, universities are now among the places that best represent the anger of the post-apartheid, or “born free” generation. This is a generation facing a grim irony: freer than their parents, but lacking the means and institutions to truly capitalize on that freedom. Many find themselves limited by what they’ve increasingly come to view as an incomplete social and political transformation, one that has simply entrenched the inequities of an age they’d been taught had long since passed."
The Origins of 25 Fall Traditions (Mental Floss)
"If your fall bucket list includes carving jack-o’-lanterns, sipping apple cider, and toasting s’mores over a bonfire, you’re in good company. But when you stop to think about it, many of our autumnal traditions—like scooping out pumpkin guts, asking strangers for sugar, and wandering aimlessly through cornfields—are pretty bizarre. Here are the reasons behind some of our favorite fall pastimes."
Today's Kids Don't Quite Know What to Make of the Atari 2600 (Mental Floss)
"Technology has changed a lot in the past four decades, which means that kids today sometimes don’t know what to make of the gadgets their parents grew up with. Video game fans might remember the Atari 2600 (originally called the Atari VCS), the retro home console that helped rec room gaming go mainstream after its initial release in 1977. At the time, the bulky Atari 2600 was the height of sophistication. Now, as YouTube channel Fine Brothers Entertainment captures in its latest “Kids React” video, it’s simply a puzzling relic from the past for Generation Z."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Weekly Web Roundup (9/17/16)

Photo Credit: Bradley Weber
Here are some interesting stories from around the web that I've seen during this past week:

‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’ by Garrett M. Graff (Politico)

This past Sunday saw the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. This oral history explains the decisions that President George W. Bush made in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks and the strange, harrowing journey of those aboard Air Force One that fateful day.

Did you know…? from Gilbert Kingsley

My friend and ministry colleague Gilbert recently asked a number of leaders, including myself, from The Campus Ministry of Cru to share interesting facts, information and resources about student ministry. Here is what he learned.

Taking the Easy Route in the Diversity Conversation by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson (A Sista's Journey)
"As a WOC (Woman of Color), I understand that whenever I enter a predominately white space, I am representing myself and I am representing other black women to an audience that might not have intimate relationships with black people. This is my responsibility. It is also my responsibility and privilege to use whatever access I have to create space and opportunities for others, especially those who are underrepresented, but needed, in a professional space. I understand that this is my responsibility to my fellow sistas on the journey, and it is also my commitment to the next generation of leaders."
The State of the Church 2016 (Barna Group)
"Even though a majority of Americans identify as Christian and say religious faith is very important in their life, these huge proportions belie the much smaller number of Americans who regularly practice their faith. When a variable like church attendance is added to the mix, a majority becomes the minority. When a self-identified Christian attends a religious service at least once a month and says their faith is very important in their life, Barna considers that person a “practicing Christian.” After applying this triangulation of affiliation, self-identification and practice, the numbers drop to around one in three U.S. adults (31%) who fall under this classification. Barna researchers argue this represents a more accurate picture of Christian faith in America, one that reflects the reality of a secularizing nation."
Spoken Word on the Life of Jesus

This video was created by the JESUS Film Project and features spoken word poet Shawn Welcome artistically explaining the life of Christ.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Brennan Manning On What It Means To Be A Christian

Photo Credit: Guppydas
Taken from Brennan Manning's The Furious Longing of God:
“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.”