1. I saw several Keller articles linked somewhere this week and wanted to share them with you. The series is a few years old (don’t let that in any way deter you from reading) and is called “Advancing the Gospel into the Twenty-First Century.” Parts one, two, three, and four all make for exceptionally provocative reading and thinking.
2. This week, the New York Times ran a disturbing story on the use of antipsychotic drugs with children. Here’s a frightening section: “From 1993 through the first three months of 2008, 1,207 children given Risperdal suffered serious problems, including 31 who died. Among the deaths was a 9-year-old with attention deficit problems who suffered a fatal stroke 12 days after starting therapy with Risperdal.”
There are serious psychological problems that can develop in children and adults. But in general, we seem to see a pattern in our day: weak parenting due to loss of Judeo-Christian cultural influence, strong children with bad behavior, hapless parents who turn to psychology and drugs for help, children who suffer and may even die. The adoption of unChristian modes of thought by adults leads to suffering for children. A sad and twisted world, this.
3. Recently read through Harry L. Reeder III’s The Leadership Dynamic. I can’t say that the text is itself unusually dynamic, but it is a solid walkthrough of Christian leadership by a faithful pastor with a great mind for military history. Quite readable, and full of good anecdotes.
4. Also picked up a book called Total Church with some good ideas about holding truth and community in balance in a day when churches can fall off on either side. The authors, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, make the case for a house church model. I didn’t come away from the text certain that I had to start a house church, but the book did make me think hard about how we Americans can unhelpfully idealize the institutional church. I would recommend Total Church–it will make you think about the church.
5. If you live in the Chicagoland area, you should make it out to Newport Coffee in Bannockburn (right near Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) at least once. Best coffee I’ve had up here, and I’ve researched mochas intensively since I came. If you want a great burger, go to Norton’s in Highland Park. Unbelievably good.
–Have a spiritually nourishing weekend, all.