Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup (5/20/17)

Photo Credit: sheldon0531
Here is a collection of items from around the web that caught my attention this past week:

A conversation with Andy Crouch about family and technology from Russell Moore

In this episode of the Signposts podcast, Dr. Moore offers an enlightening conversation with author Andy Crouch. They discuss how parents can create healthy boundaries with their children regarding technology use.

Standing Rock changed how I see America by W. Kamau Bell (CNN)
"I can't imagine what it must be like to be one of the indigenous people of the United States of America. I can't imagine watching the news every day -- as people debate whose country this is and who should be in charge of it and how to make it great again -- and hardly ever see your people brought into the discussion. As a black person in this country, I am always frustrated by the lack of attention my people's issues get. But at least the news and politicians are talking about not talking about our issues. Native issues are basically ignored."
Jesus, the Frybread of Life by Deborah Pardo-Kaplan (Christianity Today)

Here's a great profile of the work of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IV) as it pertains to Native American college students. Cru's Native ministry -- Nations -- partners closely with IV and is mentioned in the article.

My Family’s Slave by Alex Tizon (The Atlantic)
"She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been. So many nights, on my way to the bathroom, I’d spot her sleeping in a corner, slumped against a mound of laundry, her fingers clutching a garment she was in the middle of folding."
Why People Fight Online (The Barna Group)
"“Our most fraught conversations seem to have moved from the dinner table to the screen,” says Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group. “However there are very few rules of etiquette in place for the internet yet. Where once family members could put a stop to an argument with a cry of ‘no religion or politics at the table!’ the digital world does everything to encourage such debates. And, of course, it’s a lot easier to be an anonymous jerk to a stranger than it is to yell at your mom. “Yet, there is a real person on the other end of that comment and online bullying has proven to be a truly destructive force,” says Stone. “The number of teen suicides attributed to it is but one extreme and horrifying example of its potency. Our level of civility and straight-up kindness should not be dependent on whether we are physically with a person or whether we know them. It’s easy to disembody the messages we read online and imagine our own posts are simply going out into an indifferent void. But real people are really hurt by the things said about and against them online."
The Blessing of Conflict by Chanequa Walker-Barnes (Collegeville Institute)
"The therapeutic definition of conflict is simple: a difference of opinion between two or more people. In this sense, conflict was not inherently bad; in fact, it was evidence of the family’s capacity to allow and cope with self-differentiation among its members. In a healthy family system, members have both a strong sense of group cohesion as well as clearly developed individual identities. The way in which families managed the dinner exercise told us something about that. On this task, a healthy family was one in which people offered different ideas about what they wanted, and then they worked through it to agree upon a menu that accommodated some, although not necessarily all, of those differences."
This Is All of Us - Mandy, Milo, Sterling and Chrissy Surprise Fans

NBC's "This is Us" became one of my favorite shows this past year. This video shows the stars of the show unexpectedly surprising fans of the show.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup (5/13/17)

Photo Credit: aka Quique
Here is a collection of items from around the web that caught my attention the past couple of weeks:

How to Raise an American Adult by Ben Sasse (The Wall Street Journal)
"We all know the noun adult. But I was perplexed last year to hear the new verb to adult. In social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram, it birthed a new hashtag: #adulting. As in: “Just paid this month’s bills on time #adulting,” or “Decided I couldn’t watch Netflix 8 hours straight and went to the grocery store instead #adulting.” It even got a nomination from the American Dialect Society for the most creative word of 2015. “Adulting” is an ironic way to describe engaging in adult behaviors, like paying taxes or doing chores—the sort of mundane tasks that responsibility demands. To a growing number of Americans, acting like a grown-up seems like a kind of role-playing, a mode of behavior requiring humorous detachment. Let me be clear: This isn’t an old man’s harrumph about “kids these days.” I still remember Doc Anderson standing in the street in 1988, yelling at me to slow down as I drove through his neighborhood in our small Nebraska town. I was 16 and couldn’t stand that guy. Years later, when I had children of my own, I returned to thank him. Maturation."
Teams in Mission: Are They Worth It? by David Sedlacek (The Exchange: Christianity Today)
"Teamwork has been a popular concept in missions theory and practice for decades, but there is a persistent sense among missionaries that teams may be more work than they are worth. Working alongside others, especially those of different cultures, is no easy task. It takes time, effort, and energy to work in a team, and it doesn’t always produce the fruit we look for. We’ve all heard this comment: our younger generation values teamwork, but the older generation doesn’t get it. Twenty-five years ago, as a member of the new generation of missionaries, I nodded my head in agreement. I thought, Yes, we value teamwork and the older generation doesn’t get it. Today, I am a member of the “older” generation. When I hear the familiar refrain, I’m tempted to respond, “Yes, the younger generation values teamwork, and we don’t get it.”"
Don’t Let Facebook Make You Miserable by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (The New York Times)
"Friends have always showed off to friends. People have always struggled to remind themselves that other people don’t have it as easy as they claim. Think of the aphorism quoted by members of Alcoholics Anonymous: “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” Of course, this advice is difficult to follow. We never see other people’s insides. I have actually spent the past five years peeking into people’s insides. I have been studying aggregate Google search data. Alone with a screen and anonymous, people tend to tell Google things they don’t reveal to social media; they even tell Google things they don’t tell to anybody else. Google offers digital truth serum. The words we type there are more honest than the pictures we present on Facebook or Instagram."
Reflections on the Meaning of Home by Scott Sauls
"Recently, our oldest daughter graduated from high school. To commemorate her accomplishment, Patti and I wrote her long Letters from Mom and Dad. In those letters, we walked down memory lane reflecting upon and getting nostalgic about her eighteen years of life. As we reminisced, it dawned on both of us that, while we gave the girl opportunities, we never gave the girl roots…at least not with respect to place. To date, she has lived in seven different homes and attended eight different schools in five different cities. Contemplating the quasi-nomadic upbringing that we imposed on our daughter, Patti wrote in her Letter from Mom, “I am so so so sorry…and you’re welcome.” 
The “I’m sorry” part makes good sense. Moving of any kind is disorienting, especially in childhood. It uproots a child from friends, teachers, neighborhoods and familiar spaces. It digs a hole in the heart, uprooting and re-rooting like that. For better or for worse, our daughter’s story has become the same as mine. It’s a story with no lifelong friends or neighbors or houses from childhood. Instead, it’s the story of a traveler. What good could come from seven homes and eight schools and five cities in eighteen years? Why on earth would my wife feel compelled to say “You’re welcome” right after saying “I’m so so so sorry” to our daughter? I believe it’s because regret and hope don’t have to be mutually exclusive."
A Theology of Race

Here's a helpful video from Jemar Tisby on what the Bible means when it refers to race or, more appropriately, ethnicity.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup (4/29/17)

Photo Credit:
US Department of Education
Here is a collection of items from around the web that caught my attention the past couple of weeks:

Sorry Weber, Durkheim, and Marx: Educated Evangelicals Are More Religious by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra (Christianity Today)
"Evangelicals who graduated from college are more likely than those who didn’t enroll to attend religious services at least weekly (68% vs. 55%), to pray daily (83% vs. 77%), and to believe in God with absolute certainty (90% vs. 87%). They’re also more likely to say religion is very important to them (81% vs. 79%). Those numbers aren’t a fluke; when Pew broke the categories down further, the trend continued. Evangelicals who earned a graduate degree after college are the most committed to their faith; those who dropped out of high school are the least committed."
The Missing Piece in American International Missions by Courtlandt Perkins (Reformed African American Network)
"In many places, ethnicity and faith are deeply connected to a people group’s identity, so to only see people with white skin representing Christ speaks volumes about what Christians look like. The human heart naturally doesn’t want to receive Christ due to depravity, but what if the dark skin of a missionary helps them be received into an African village, simply because they look familiar? The unreached will physically see that Jesus changes the lives of people who look like them. African American missionaries could inspire a generation of African missionaries to receive Christ, and take His message to places AA’s could never go. In the same way, sending Hispanic-American missionaries to Latin American countries, we could help deconstruct the notions of white superiority, and point to the reality that white Christians do not have the copyright of international missions. It is obvious the issues run deeper than just numbers. The reality is often rooted in inherit racial bias and historical discrimination. But my friend’s words resound deeply with me: “Diversity is a powerful (and much needed) tool for witness.”"
6 Tech Habits Changing the American Home (Barna Group)
"Technology is literally everywhere in our homes—not only the devices in our pockets but the invisible electromagnetic waves that flood our homes,” writes Andy Crouch in his new book The Tech-Wise Family, written in partnership with original Barna research. “This change has come about overnight, in the blink of an eye in terms of human history and culture. When previous generations confronted the perplexing challenges of parenting and family life, they could fall back on wisdom, or at least old wives’ tales, that had been handed down for generations. But the pace of technological change has surpassed anyone’s capacity to develop enough wisdom to handle it. We are stuffing our lives with technology’s new promises, with no clear sense of whether technology will help us keep the promises we’ve already made."
The Legitimacy of Ethnic Churches in Multi-Ethnic Contexts by Andrew Ong (Reformed Margins)
"While pursuing a church demographic that proportionally matches the community’s might be a helpful and wise benchmark for certain churches, to impose any particular vision of unity and diversity upon a local church strikes me as mechanistic. This is especially true since the automobile has fundamentally altered our conception of communities’ bounds. How many of us worship at the closest Christian church to our home? Binding local churches to the norm of multi-ethnicity is mechanistic if our conception of church unity is absolutely bound by spatial-location. Is a church less faithful if it’s attended by more people who live ten minutes away by car than people who live ten minutes away by foot? Didn’t Jesus just say that his sheep would hear his voice?"
One Teenager's (Supremely Brilliant) Perspective on Social Media (Scott Sauls)
"When I finally spent a week “unplugging” from my phone, I realized that the withdrawals I experienced from disengaging from the app were a sign of the control it had over me. This control scared me and made me angry because I had willingly put myself in an unnecessary position to compare my insides to others’ outsides, to be controlled by my appearance and people’s opinions, and to hurt others and myself with my comments, posts, or digital footprint. This unnerved me because it was a dangerous trap that had been disguised by an attractive, socially acceptable, and necessary staple of popularity. After I deleted my social media accounts, I began to notice how other teenagers my age were trapped in the same digital world that I was. I wanted to understand why this was happening. What exactly are we as a society risking with the constant attachment to our screens?"
Why a racially insensitive photo of Southern Baptist seminary professors matters by Jemar Tisby (The Washington Post)
"But the biggest problem doesn’t show up in the picture. The presence of any person of color would have reduced the chances of this photo ever happening. But a photo like this evolves in an environment that lacks meaningful interaction with people from other cultures, especially on the leadership level. The seminary’s website appears to picture all white men in an administration and an entire preaching faculty. Even if a school has diversity in the student body, if the decision-makers all come from a similar racial and cultural background, then they will remain oblivious to their own racial blind spots."
The Guide to Being a Detroit Sports Fan by Dan Holmes (Detroit Athletic Blog)
"What does it mean to be a Detroit sports fan? What should we all know? What do we need to know? Not everyone has the answers to these questions, so I wrote them all down in one place. Enjoy."