Reading Searching for Sunday was a gentle, gracious, gorgeous reminder that I do believe in the sacraments. I do believe in the Body. Reading her chapters on Communion was one of the most sacred experiences I’ve ever had, and it gave me the nudge I needed to start reaching out again. I don’t know where this road will take me– maybe further away from church, from faith, I don’t know. But I want to hope. I want to believe. I want to try again, even if I get terribly burned.
The Church Needs to Stop Pandering to Trends by Eddie Kaufholz and Rachel Held Evans at Relevant
I go through this whole thing about the way our generation thinks is a little bit different, and how we feel about certain social issues is changing.
Our stages in life are different. We tend to spend more time being single. So if you marginalize single people in your church, you're going to have a hard time connecting with them.
Nine times out of 10 somebody in the back of the room raises their hand and says, “So what you’re saying is, we need to bring in a cooler worship band?” And I proceed to bang my head against the podium, because time and time again there’s this assumption that what will bring millennials back to church is if we add a fog machine, put a coffee shop in the lobby, have a pastor who wears skinny jeans that they’ll just come flooding back.Bearing Shame by Richard Beck at Experimental Theology
The hot burn of shame we feel in this exposure is what Brown calls the "excruciating vulnerability" we experience when we allow ourselves to be imperfect in front of each other. Shame, at least partly, is what makes vulnerability emotionally excruciating. Shame is the emotional threshold that must be crossed to get us to connection and intimacy.America is Not the Future of the Church by Bonnie Kristian at Relevant
As Jenkins has argued, in the West it makes sense to say, “These rules in the Bible are laid down for a totally different, alien society,” so we need to discover and apply their timeless meaning for our own context. “But for many modern Africans, the Bible describes a world they can see around them ... If you live in a society where the average age of death is in the mid-30s, then comments [in Psalms] about your life being a mist have a real power.” Southern Christians are culturally far closer to the world of the Bible than we American Christians will ever be, so we have much to learn from their increasingly independent theologies.What Not to Say to Someone Who Has Been Hurt By Church by Jonathan Hollingsworth at Relevant
The same way domestic abuse involves a whole family, spiritual abuse involves a whole church family. The abuse may have taken place in private, but that doesn’t make it a private matter.Jesus Wasn't Concerned With "Taking the Country Back" and Neither Should We by Benjamin L. Corey at Formerly Fundie
If there ever was a time to talk about “taking the country back” it was the time of Jesus– but that wasn’t anything he was concerned with. Jesus spent his time rejecting political power and instead, invested into building an other-worldly Kingdom where the power-rejectors are actually the greatest. Jesus saw his Kingdom, not political rule, as being the solution to all the ills of earth.How to Not Be Matt Walsh by Micah J. Murray at Redemption Pictures
Nobody expects you to know everything. Nobody expects all your views to be right. But if you’re going to write about a subject, take the time to really understand it. Don’t just dissect it so you can dismiss it. Don’t just listen to everything the people on TV say about it. Embrace it. Hold it. Understand it. Let it change you.
New ideas are scary. Explore them anyways.Why My Boys Wore Spider-Man Costumes to Church Today by Micah J. Murray at Redemption Pictures
I want them to know something different. I want them to know that church isn’t a place where they have to conform, fit in, dress up, or quiet down.
I want them to know that their hearts are good and their choices are awesome and their plan to catch the Joker with spiderwebs is a pretty good idea but even if it doesn’t work out that’s okay too.
The Introvert's Guide to Staying Alive by Donald Miller at Storyline
To be sure, introverts love people.
But to understand how an introvert works, imagine every time you find yourself in a conversation, you had to jog in place. So while an extrovert is sitting and having coffee and talking and sharing their life, an introvert is jogging in place right there at the table.
They can do it for a while, but not all day every day.
On Some Controversial Topics
I also found widespread confidence that a gun in the home increases the risk that a woman living in the home will be a victim of homicide (72% agree, 11% disagree) and that a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be (64%) rather than a safer place (5%). There is consensus that guns are not used in self-defense far more often than they are used in crime (73% vs. 8%) and that the change to more permissive gun carrying laws has not reduced crime rates (62% vs. 9%). Finally, there is consensus that strong gun laws reduce homicide (71% vs. 12%).The Patient Body: Choosing Childlessness by Ann Neumann at The Revealer
Support for women’s choices, no matter what they are, and the will to provide the resources necessary to make choice possible somehow get lost in the babble about lifestyle. It’s one thing to avoid the oppression of your kindly grandmother asking where the kids are; it’s an entire other thing to avoid the sexual and financial oppression of your government. Lack of basic family planning services, unequal pay for women, inadequate or nonexistent child care programs, and tax policies that favor “traditional” families all pressure women to conform to the mothering role that the likes of Daum and Heinlein have been lucky enough to avoid. Leavening the recent spate of “childless and proud” with a dose of activism is helpful.#BaltimoreRiots as the Baltimore Hunger Games by James F. McGrath at Exploring Our Matrix
I had students writing about dystopian fiction as social commentary this semester. When students mentioned the Hunger Games series (as many did), they often talked about how unrealistic it is, and how different from the society they live in.
I asked them pointedly whether that perception is because, in essence, they live in the Capitol.
You can find all of Cathy’s flaws in her words. Jamie’s wrong-doings are all visual. You can see him cheating on her. You can see him getting angry and frustrated. You can’t see Cathy’s sarcastic nature or her quite frankly selfish remarks about his career. It’s easy to look past her flaws and only see Jamie’s.Musical 52: My Fair Lady by Cinemanaut Bill at Cinema 52
It takes real acting chops for a character to suggest that people with Cockney accents shouldn’t be allowed to live and my response is: “Ha, this guy’s fun.”
You'd think borrowing The Great Dictator from the library might have been a direct response to the commenter who chided me about Keaton and Chaplin, but it was really just a coincidence. I'd been wanting to see Chaplin's first talkie for ages, understanding it to be a trenchant and biting satire of the Nazi regime in particular and dictatorships in general. I figured that if it were funny, it would be the kind of humor that produced knowing smiles rather than busted guts.
Well, I said surprise was a key to humor, and boy was I surprised by The Great Dictator.Films Summarized By Someone Who has Not Seen Them by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast
“This doesn’t seem like any place for the two of us,” he said. “This is no country for old men.”
“Should we turn around and go home?” his friend asked.
“Yes, let’s,” he said. “I think that would be a good idea.”
And it was. They went back to the country for old men.
– No Country For Old Men
The natural next step was to create a handful of avatars based on our favorite '90s cartoon characters. Surround your computer in a circle of salt for protection and check out the horrific results below. You're welcome.
She's much better at drawing cats now. About the same with Hitlers though. by Jenny Lawson at The Bloggess
Victor: So did you ask her if it was Hitler?A redraw of a troubling MJ picture by Noelle Stevenson on Twitter
Me: She said it was a man they read about in school but she couldn’t remember his name.
Victor: Why is there a cat glued on him?
Me: She said that he was lonely and that’s why he was so grumpy, so she made him a cat.
Victor: Well, that does sound like it could be Hitler.
This one is 99% picture, so just look at it.
What I've Learned About Heteroexual Female Desire from Decades of Reading by Mallory Ortberg at The Toast
It’s really good when a man could hurt you and maybe spends a lot of time hurting other people but makes an exception in his hurting-people schedule for at least one woman he doesn’t hurt, but he could if he wanted to, only he doesn’t, so it would be great if he murdered everybody except for you and didn’t murder you even a little bit
Weekend Watches, Presented Without Comment Because I'm Lazy and Tired
Funny 2 year old shouting at her mummy for laughing while she was singing Disney Frozen (make sure and turn on the captions!)