Weekly Meanderings, 31 August 2013

Weekly Meanderings, 31 August 2013 August 31, 2013

Jack Levison on sending kids back to school: “My mother used to say, without fail, that she hated to see autumn come around. She always felt melancholy when the kids went back to school. Us too. We’ve never wanted them back in the drudgery of yellow buses and seven hours of sitting. So much of school seems to consist of teaching kids to listen for hours on end. Instructing them in the art of large group compliance. Training them to relent. Kids should be relentless–not behaviorally modified to relent, to give ground, to concede and cave. Education should train them to be insistent, curious, inquisitive.”

Do women really make 77 cents on the dollar men make? Just hold on.

Stories of conversions from Brian Chilton, including three atheists-now-apologists: “One of the amazing things about God is how God is able to transform a person from one pathway to a completely different pathway…a better pathway.  I recently spoke to an individual who told me of an inspirational pastor.  This pastor was originally from California and was actively involved in gangs.  However, the one-day pastor would have an experience with God through Jesus Christ and would experience a complete turn-around.  The individual now ministers in West Virginia and has adopted children born in tough circumstances to give them a better life.  This should not be surprising, because God has an amazing capacity of turning something good out of something bad. It should not be surprising to hear when someone is transformed to a different mind-set either.  There are in fact many individuals who are now Christians who once were agnostic or of an atheist mind-set.  There are three examples that we offer to show how God can transform the mind, as well as the heart….I close with this thought: it could be that many who are angry atheists now will become the leaders of the church tomorrow.  This is well within the realm of possibility.  God can transform a heart that is bitter and fill it with forgiveness.  God can transform a heart that knows only hate to a heart that is open to love.  This is well within the power of God.  So for the Christian, I would simply say: don’t become angry with those who are antagonists to the faith.  Pray for them.  They may very well be your colleagues in the faith very soon.  It could be that the next great evangelist, like Billy Graham, has not come to faith yet.”

Kittens are the culprits: “Two kittens ran onto subway tracks in Brooklyn Thursday, and the MTA halted trains on two lines for about an hour as workers in reflective vests tried to corral the felines, witnesses and officials said.  But as it turns out, NBC 4 New York can confirm that herding cats is a difficult feat. Video obtained by NBC 4 New York shows the kittens — one black, one white with gray stripes — racing up and down the tracks near the third rail, darting around empty bottles and other debris, at the B/Q Church Avenue station in Prospect Lefferts Gardens around midday.” (HT: LEMB)

A good sketch of the rise of evangelical progressivism: “During the first decade of the twenty-first century, scholars of American religious history showed an increasing interest in the evangelical left–particularly younger scholars with some affinity for that brand of evangelicalism.  Brantley Gasaway, for example, recently completed a dissertation on contemporary progressive evangelicalism that will soon be published by UNC Press.  Further, fellow Anxious Bench blogger, David Swartz, has penned Moral Minority (2012), the best work on the topic to date.”

How much does it cost for our soldiers’ health?

America’s food flag — hot dogs!

A good sketch of American evangelicalism’s eschatologies.

Puffer fish pastors: “When a predator approaches, a puffer fish can expand to several times their normal size.  It’s a defense mechanism to keep him safe. In 1 Corinthians 8:1, Paul warns a group of Christians that knowledge puffs up.  Today, it’s not just knowledge that cause pastors to puff up.  We puff out our chests about the size of our church, the number of baptisms, the health of our team, the model of ministry we’ve chosen, and the list goes on.  Too many of us are like puffer fish, blowing up to keep ourselves safe, when other pastors come near. We are puffer fish pastors.”

Need to delete some account? Find it difficult? “It was after marveling at some fed-up users’ tweets about how incredibly difficult it is to delete a Skype account that a U.K. developer named Robb Lewis decided to lend a hand. So he built a website that takes the adventure out of account-deletion. It’s called “Just Delete Me,” and it’s as simple as Skype’s account-deletion procedure is convoluted.

  1. Go to justdelete.me and find the service from which you want to delete your account.
  2. Click on the service’s name and follow the instructions on the screen to delete your account.

Step three is optional: If the instructions on the site itself aren’t clear, you can click “show info” on the Just Delete Me page to learn in plain English exactly how to delete your account. Never again will you be forced to wonder, after 20 minutes of clicking around fruitlessly in your Evernote app, whether it’s even possible to delete your Evernote account. (It isn’t, though Just Delete Me will take you to a page where you can at least deactivate it.)”

Italy’s food flag:

Starts with a “bang” but the immensity boggles. “The farther away we’re able to look, the more galaxies we’re able to see. As far as our instruments have ever taken us, we’ve always found more and more galaxies filling up the darkest depths we’ve ever been able to peer into. Even the darkest, most devoid-of-light areas we can find, if we look for long enough, will eventually reveal these island Universes to our telescopes….”

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  • Some great links. Thanks! Anxious Bench is particularly good; I subscribed.

  • With the continued graduation rates of women rising above men we will likely see the pay inequity margin shrink and, perhaps in another generation, reverse. The generational ambivalence so many Millennial males have towards education, work, and society could easily see this trend reverse sooner than later.

    Thanks for the links as always.

  • mlukaszewski

    Scott – thanks for linking to my post. Grateful for you and your encouragement to the Church.

  • So much good stuff here this week! Thanks!

  • D L

    Thanks again for starting off a weekend with great information and fun reading!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    About the atheits turned apologists: The opposite also occurs. De Waal calls them “serial dogmatists”. Is this not maybe a character trait, much more than a comment on the truth?