Weekend Reading: May 14, 2016

Good morning to you all!  I apologize for this being later than usual, but I’m under the weather. If you’re new to this email/blog post, then what you’re reading is a summary of my favorite articles, books, videos, blogs and more from this past week. Let’s face it, I’m a nerd who reads a lot so you don’t have to. The way to read this is to scan the whole thing and just pick out what you find most interesting. Okay? Let’s go…

BATHROOMS! There was more heated debate over the North Carolina bathroom bill, and the King…errr…President decided to issue a decree throughout the land re: the bathrooms in schools. From the post above:

In 1972 when Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments, no one thought that “sex” meant “gender identity.” It didn’t mean it then, and it doesn’t mean it now. The Obama administration is unlawfully rewriting federal law. The term “sex” is not ambiguous, and is not subject to executive branch agencies redefining to now mean “gender identity.”

Furthermore, there was this headline: ‘Justice Dept. to N.C. universities: Break transgender bathroom law or lose millions in funding’  And…here’s the target CEO saying he’s standing by his decision. I’m not a huge fan of boycotting stuff. It usually doesn’t seem to work.  But in this case I’m seriously thinking about it because these people don’t ever seem to learn – maybe they’ll learn from the pocketbook…By the way – here’s the Gov. of North Carolina on FoxNews Sunday discussing the issue…

Shocking Stuff: ‘An Indian teen was raped by her father. Village elders had her whipped.’ – this is a longer story, and it doesn’t just involve the one situation from the headline, but gives some interesting perspective into the nature of the government structures, and the local battle for control over decision making on disputes and legal/social matters. In America, where culturally we have a history of understanding Christian morality (until recently), local control of social issues (schools, taxes, judicial disputes etc) has been seen as a good thing – a guard against government tyranny (see the story above!). But here, you start to see how superstition actually makes that a dangerous thing for individuals who are weaker in their society.  I’m not making generalizations – just find it interesting how topsy-turvey this is.

On a more encouraging note…A fellow named  has a thoughtful post on Ligonier this week called ‘Growing in Humility’. There wasn’t a lot of gospel application in here, but what I did like was the awe and wonder factor – lots to contemplate about what Christ has done.

NERD ALERT: I was enjoying this summary of N.T. Wright’s latest book on Paul – this time the book focuses on the landscape of thought…what my buddy Jay knows we call “a commentary on the commentaries!”

Best News of the Week!!!  Benny Hinn Miraculously Removes Lump From Woman’s Purse

I don’t care if you like the NBA or not, this was saaweeet: Stephen Curry’s ultimate career mixtape – I really couldn’t look away. In fact, I got interrupted by a call or something in the middle, and I found myself angry that I had to pause the video!

Perhaps the biggest stories of the week on the GOP side of politics were 1. The meeting of Trump with Speaker Ryan (too boring to link to) and 2. The back and forth between Russell Moore and Donald Trump. Time captured the back and forth here. NewsMax Headline: Russell Moore on Trumpism: It’s an Embrace of ‘Reality TV Moral Sewage’….some of the twitter back and forth here.  And below is the tweet from Trump that I saved from earlier in the week…

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One of the things that struck me this week about Trump was how revolting some of my non-Christian friends found him. In other words, they don’t even have the Spirit of God living within them, but were brought up by good parents, had certain ethical standards etc. and they can’t vote for him in good conscience. To you Christians who are over the moon for him – that ought to shame you a bit. What is missing in the discussion since Sen. Cruz dropped out of the race is whether or not voting/supporting trump can be morally defensible as a pragmatic way to try and keep the Supreme Court in the hands of (hopefully more) reasonable people and not activist judges. To me, that is the thing conservatives need to grapple with more than anything else….of course Russell Moore might disagree. My perspective is a little different, and its not firmly set, but I think there are likely moral ways to engage in the general election as a political operative or activist, without saying (in affect) “I agree with what Trump says and does”.  Some of you might disagree – some of you don’t work in politics. Admittedly, I’m still working through the matter mentally…

Some levity…The Simpsons on Two Party Systems!  (h/t Alex W.).

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Speaking of Trump, I am willing to bet my libertarian friends were a little peeved at this monetary policy revelation. 

On the Democratic Side, the top headline came from the Wall Street Journal: Clinton Charity Aided Clinton Friends. When people refer to the “corruption” of the Clintons, this is the kind of thing they’re talking about (in case you were wondering haha!). One friend called this the ‘Clinton Crime Syndicate’ on his Facebook wall.

Also, on the Presidential front, and also from the WSJ, there’s an article about how Trump might be polling better in the key swing states than folks originally had thought. (h/t David B.) It’s still really early to bank on these numbers, but they are at least a little encouraging to those who’d rather elect anyone but Hillary.

Worth Considering: Carl Trueman has some thought-provoking items over at First Things. What really hit home to me was this line, “Thus democracy still exists—we thankfully still live in a democracy—but it is clear that we no longer have a democratic culture.” (emphasis mine)

This could be a thriller movie someday: The day we discovered our parents were Russian spies

Also for consideration, from WaPo: Unlike alcohol, it’s tough to set DUI limits for marijuana

This made the rounds on every social media platform BUT Facebook (I jest, I jest): Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News

What I didn’t get to read but will (hopefully) todayA Black Man’s Hope for Complementarians – big props to Taelor for making it to the big time with a post on DG!  Also, ‘What we know about the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails‘. And for you counselors and just normal peeps out there, Challies linked to this (hopefully helpful) post, ‘Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity?’

From the Islands: Manny Pacquiao all but locks up seat in Philippines senate

Seriously??? category: VIDEO: Bernie Sanders Praising Bread Lines and Food Rationing. Dude…move to Russia or something.  And then there’s this pearl, ‘Serena Williams got really sick after sampling her dog’s food‘…are people really THIS bored? Oh – also there’s this gem from the NY Times, ‘Hillary Clinton Gives U.F.O. Buffs Hope She Will Open the X-Files’.  And then there…is this…‘Deputies: Deltona man finds bullet hole 3 days after shooting himself’ I bet that Deltona man was relieved to learn that at least Serena Williams doesn’t have his IQ – but what surprised me most about this story was how long it took him to CHANGE HIS CLOTHES!!!

Cool Stuff here: The Bible Project has a new video – this one’s on Proverbs. 

FANTASTIC:  Say Hard Things…from the blog…

Sometimes the most loving thing someone can do for us is point out an error or inconsistency in the way we think or live

One of my Favorite Articles of the Week:  Multitasking and Stewardship of the Mind – I really enjoy any article or book on how to get things done more effectively and efficiently.

Also from Desiring God (they had a lot of good ones this week): Do You Think About Your Death?  —- This is probably Francis Chan at his best. From the article, “The wise man doesn’t quickly move past funerals. His heart lingers in a state of mourning. The fool tells jokes as soon as the funeral ends, not realizing the damage it does to his soul. Fools do whatever is easiest.”

Last but not least, I want to thank many of you who read what I post, then engage (and correct and sharpen) me thoughtfully on the issues. To that end, I wanted to revisit an article I posted a week or so ago: In an Age of Privilege, Not Everyone Is in the Same Boat

The topic was income inequality. My good friend Ben F. pointed out that when it comes to income inequality, we are asking the wrong questions. He responded to the article I posted by saying that we need to approach this issue by asking the following questions (and I am paraphrasing some of his wording):

  1. Does an American in this day and age, have opportunity to freely pursue and acquire wealth?  (It’s all about opportunity) 
  2.  Does our system keep people down or enable them to move up, without regard to their birth situation (abroad, race, socioeconomics of their parents, school district and so forth) And what he’s getting at here is this: Are the rich wealthy at the expense of the poor?  Are they to blame?
  3. What does “good” look like in terms of optimum income distribution? We have to ask, “Would it ever really look more ‘equal’?”
  4. Are we hoping to attain an outcome of equal opportunities or equal outcomes?

And finally, he sent a helpful link to an interview with Thomas Sowell on the matter, which I commend to you now.

What an amazing privilege to learn from people who have thought these issues through, and can offer constructive and thoughtful responses to the articles I post!

That’s it – I hope you have a great weekend!



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