Hello everyone, it is time for another edition of Life Changers. I really did not think I could take on the pace of curating weekly content, but it has become one of my favorite blogg-y things to do. Because I love the internet!
First up, for my fellow Daily Show fans, a sobering look at racial injustice embedded in the US incarceration system. Interview with Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice & Redemption.
One of the best things I’ve read in a long time – this is a transcript of a speech David Brooks gave called “How to be Religious in the Public Square”, observing the ways Christianity puts up walls and builds ramps with secular society. It is profound and incisive.
Humility is having an accurate assessment of your own nature. It’s having an accurate assessment of your own place in the cosmos. It’s an awareness that you’re an underdog in the struggle against your own sins. It’s an awareness that individual talents are inadequate to the tasks that have been assigned to you. It’s understanding yourself in the context of a greater divine order. Knowing you’re not the center of the universe and you need redemptive assistance to complete your tasks.
Dr. Richard Mouw was the president of Fuller Theological Seminary when I attended. Thanks to the internet, I get to continue learning from him. This piece on addressing age-diverse congregations challenged and convicted me.
In his The Noise of Solemn Assemblies (1961), Berger observed that the calls to reform the structures of societal life have little relevance to “many of the aged and the sick and the emotionally crippled in our congregations.” Indeed, they can constitute “nothing but a threat to whatever spiritual solace the congregation has been able to give them.” To be sure, he argued, it is certainly appropriate to show concern for “the vocation of Christians in industrial society,” as long as we are aware of the fact that “there are some Christians whose one vocation remains to suffer and to face death in faith. It is certainly no minor accomplishment if a local congregation provides the communal support for such a vocation.”
Over at SheLoves, they are doing brave things by sharing stories of those who have been treated less than, or other-ed. The entire month has been filled with heartrending tales and prophetic calls to justice. Some of my favorite pieces from this week:
The Song of the Girls who Don’t Wear Dresses by Esther Emery
This is the song of the girls who don’t wear dresses, who are not on the attack, not trying to ruin your day, not trying to make you point and laugh, who are not trying to get beat up or raped. This is a song for the girls who are not girls, and the girls who are girls but don’t act like girls, and also the boys, and everybody in between. There is a note for everybody. Everybody sings.
I am a headless body seen in a
newscast in a story about — gasp –
I am the enemy in the war on obesity.
My body is a disease.
My body is your target and your cannon
One of my favorites authors, Kathy Escobar, writes 4 Reasons It’s Okay to Lose Your Faith:
Deep truths supersede a long list of doctrinal beliefs, and a little faith goes a long way.
For a little bit of fun:
Lastly but not leastly, I don’t know how Zack Hunt is doing it, but he’s cranking out thoughtful posts almost daily on his blog, the American Jesus. Some of my favorites include:
I believe the holes in his hands and the scars on his back persist on the body of the resurrected Jesus as an eternal testimony to the truth God does cares about our suffering.
That God does takes our pain seriously.
And that we don’t suffer alone.
there is a whole lot of faith going on in the in-between, beliefs that doesn’t rise to the standard of orthodoxy for the entire Church, but neither is it antithetical to the foundational confessions and creeds of the faith.
What changed your life this week? Please share your favorite finds this week in the comment section!