|Photo Credit: Richard Bromley|
How Billy Graham Mainstreamed Evangelicals by Frances Fitzgerald (The Daily Beast)
"Graham was, as he himself said, still a country boy. Tall and awkward, he had a rough-hewn voice and was given to flailing his arms and stabbing the air with a raised finger. When he told Bible stories, he used slangy vernacular and acted out the parts—preening and strutting in the role of Belshazzar, or prancing around like an uppity pig in the story of the Prodigal Son. Calling for revival, he would stalk the platform, assaulting the audience with vivid descriptions of the horrors that came from man’s rebellion against God. According to his Youth for Christ peers, Graham had a kind of incandescence on the platform that came from his passionate sincerity."Practicing Privilege in the Local Church by Michelle Van Loon (Patheos)
"Most of us are occupied trying to get our needs met for belonging and significance. Those needs are really important! God himself wired us that way. When a church staff, each holding positions of social privilege within that small community, are focused on their own “interpersonal dynamics and church politics”, it communicates that they might be focused on getting their needs for belonging and significance met. The experience B. had in the church gave him a new way to think about how he’d functioned in his previous role as pastor. Though he was a very others-focused, servant-hearted guy, he recognized he’d succumbed to the temptation to form and hoard a clique around himself so he could get those needs of his met."The Number One Reason Missionaries Go Home by Paul Akin (The Gospel Coalition)
I have heard it often communicated that the primary reason why missionaries leave the field is because of difficulties with other team members. Here, Paul Akin suggests five common reasons why this happens: 1) Unmet expectations, 2) Conflict, 3) Stress 4) Comparison/Jealousy and 5) Sin. He briefly offers a few suggestions as solutions.
If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists by Margarita Mayo
"Charismatic leaders can be prone to extreme narcissism that leads them to promote highly self-serving and grandiose aims.” A clinical study illustrates that when charisma overlaps with narcissism, leaders tend to abuse their power and take advantage of their followers. Another study indicates that narcissistic leaders tend to present a bold vision of the future, and this makes them more charismatic in the eyes of others. Why are such leaders more likely to rise to the top? One study suggests that despite being perceived as arrogant, narcissistic individuals radiate “an image of a prototypically effective leader.” Narcissistic leaders know how to draw attention toward themselves. They enjoy the visibility. It takes time for people to see that these early signals of competence are not later realized, and that a leader’s narcissism reduces the exchange of information among team members and often negatively affects group performance."The Uniqueness of University Evangelism by Tim Keller & Michael Keller (The Gospel Coalition)
"Universities create environments that encourage students to rethink the beliefs of their upbringing, including their meaning in life, values, and identity. That, of course, is a challenge to students who come into undergraduate courses with a Christian faith. But it also means students from other backgrounds and communities are dislodged from them and are freer to consider the claims of Christianity than they would’ve been at home. Also, while it may be considered impolite in much of society to try to convert people to your belief system, on university campuses this is essentially what everyone’s trying to do to everyone else, with vigor. The free market of ideas and the discussions that ensue inside and outside the lecture room aren’t value-neutral exchanges, but rather places of persuasion where individuals debate and accept differing explanations of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Evangelism fits right in."Why Parents Need To Limit Screens And Make Boredom Great Again by Brooke Shannon (The Federalist)
"Unfortunately, the increasing ubiquity of screens diminishes opportunities for children’s brains to wander, create, and imagine. From carpools to the classroom to big sister’s sporting events to the dinner table, screens are destroying boredom. Why would a six-year-old stare out the car window or talk to a friend on the way to school when the latest episode of “Paw Patrol” is on? If a three-year-old can play a game on a tablet, why would he watch his big brother’s soccer game? Many waiting rooms have become quieter, and some dinner tables have gone silent. But at what cost? Too much screen time—and not enough boredom—can lead to poor social skills, shorter attention spans, and a need for instant gratification. How many future inventors will be lost without experiencing boredom? Where will the great orators and writers of this generation come from if imagination is not nurtured today?"Why We Argue Best with Our Mouths Shut by Christine Herman (Christianity Today)
"The problem with persuasion is not just that people are stubborn; people change their minds all the time about all sorts of things. The real challenge arises when someone’s beliefs are tied to their identity. If changing your belief means changing your identity, it comes at the risk of rejection from the community of people with whom you share that identity. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that people tend to seek out information that confirms a belief and outright reject anything that conflicts with it, says Dan Kahan, a psychology professor at Yale Law School.
“They might not perceive it that way consciously,” he says. But research has shown that this phenomenon—known to psychologists as confirmation bias—is real. Kahan illustrates with a sports analogy: “Fans of opposing teams tend to see different things when there’s a close call,” he says. “And it wouldn’t be good if you stood up on your side of the stadium and said, ‘I think the guy really was out of bounds.’ ” Being rejected by the group around which we have formed our identity can be painful. Thus, in the face of evidence that runs contrary to our beliefs, it only makes sense that we put up our guard."What Apple Thought the iPhone Might Look Like in 1995 by Adrienne LaFrance (The Atlantic)
"To those who had been watching Apple since the 1980s, however, shrinking computers and videophones seemed to be always just tantalizingly out of reach, emblems of a future that would, fingers crossed, eventually arrive. But when? By 1995, even though Apple’s laptops had dipped to a svelte six pounds, and the transformative power of the internet was becoming apparent, the next great iteration of the web was barely imaginable. Today’s mobile web, the one that would be ushered in by smartphones, was still out of reach. But there were hints of what was to come."Stuff Dads Never Say
I had the privilege of visiting my home church in Michigan - Colonial Woods Missionary Church - this past Sunday, Father's Day. This video was shown during the service and I got a big kick out of it.