Weekend Reading: June 18, 2016

Good morning!  After a week on the road, and a little break from the weekend reading, I’m back with a few articles for you this week.

But before I go much further, I want to honor a fellow weekend reader who unexpectedly passed away this week. Andy Frank and I were not especially close, but I know his brother Ben, a great man of integrity who I admire and who is grieving for his brother. Please lift him up in your prayers. Even though Andy and I weren’t especially close, I appreciated his inquisitive mind, his good natured emails, and his kind words. Andy, you will be missed.

One of the stories I saw a few weeks back and wanted to make sure people saw was this one: Ancient teeth and bone point to the origin of our mysterious ‘hobbit’ cousins.  Now, everyone who knows me well knows I’m a HUGE fan of J.R.R. Tolkein, however, the ‘Hobbit’ moniker is not why I wanted to post this story.  Archeologists are struggling to put together the timeline of when this creature/human lived and how it came to be so small. They think it lived just thousands of years ago, but similar skeleton diggings in Africa are labeled at 2million years ago. As they say “the facts just don’t add up.”  But what is particularly instructive is the conclusion of the WaPo journalist, which goes like this:

And for all of us, it is a reminder that human evolution is not a linear march toward bigger bodies and brains. We exist as we are because that’s what turned out to be advantageous; under different conditions, we might be entirely different creatures.

The comment springs forth from certain underlying assumptions – assumptions shaped by a worldview that believes in survival of the fittest, random selection, large scale macro-environmental evolution, and especially a lack of a larger guiding hand behind the metanarrative of life (this last point would be a non-starter). Hence the comment, “We exist as we are because that’s what turned out to be advantageous.” This worldview allows for now outside direction, no God in heaven directing the symphony of life, no specific reason why anything would happen. I’m not saying that nature and environment don’t shape micro-adaptations, but I am saying that when you refuse to acknowledge the main actor behind life, then you will never find the right answers to your scientific inquiry on a macro-level.

My thoughts…Stories like this remind me of the issue with scientists today: they aren’t even intellectually honest enough to ask the right questions! This is sad, but also it is exasperating. True intellectuals would question everything, and then throw out assumptions that do not lead to viable answers. The science of observation and honest analysis has long since been abandoned for the illogical religion of Darwinism. Every discovery is checked up against the dogma of this religion, and when the “facts don’t add up” no one bothers to question the underlying assumptions. Even though the tenets of Darwinism have long since been disproven, it lives on as pure fideism in today’s scientific community and our children’s textbooks. Reading stories like this that has led me to believe that today’s scientists are the most intellectually dishonest in a generation.

Maybe you heard about this, but I found it one of the biggest stories of the year: Theft of Trump files raises eyebrows.  I’m not sure how to even add commentary to this because it really speaks for itself. We live in a dangerous world, and not much seems to have changed in our relationship with Russia since the days of the cold war.

If you’re desiring to watch the U.S. Open this weekend, its at Oakmont, and the live video can be found here. 

Eyebrows Raised: Starbucks has more customer money on cards than many banks have in deposits

I found this piece by fellow weekend reader Gregg Keller insightful: How the Insurance Market Is Responding to Obamacare.

This little ditty was making its way around social media: Canada’s Supreme Court Issues INSANE Ruling On Sex With Animals.  It might be slightly alarmist…but then again…

Post Orlando Fallout: Reddit Bans Users, Deletes Comments That Say Orlando Terrorist Was Muslim

Roger Cohen takes some stabs in the dark about the affects of Orlando on the political landscape.  I don’t totally agree, but he might be on the right track with a few items.

Blogger Stephanie Gray takes on the new movie ‘Me Before You’ and does it well (h/t my Kate).  Here’s a key quote:

 When someone is despairing so much that they can’t see they can choose their attitude, it’s the job of people who care to help them see this, not to feed into despair.

As I mentioned earlier, this week I was on the road.  I spent the week at Yale Divinity School taking a class (with my mom – we had a great time!) on Jonathan Edwards. If you’re into Edwards, or simply want to learn more, check out some of the links from our class material here.

During the week away, and in between assigned readings, I finished a few books. The first was Nathaniel Philbrik’s ‘Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex.‘  The second was C.S. Lewis’ classic allegorical work ‘The Great Divorce’.  I learned a lot about Nantucket history and whaling in the first – it was especially helpful that the my kids and I had already read about Nathaniel Bowditch.  In the second, I got new insight into people in a way only Lewis can draw out. This man knew the human mind and its’ tendency toward a works-based theology VERY well.

The ‘Read Scripture’ guys have a new video (that I haven’t watched yet), this one is on Ecclesiastes. 

Al Mohler has his summer reading list posted now. I found it a little heavy on military history. But I won’t complain too much because the last time I read a book he recommended it was REALLY good. 

Speaking of books, several people liked this article from a few days back: Read Like a Reader. Doubtless you’ve seen me post articles like this in the past, where the art of reading is extolled, and some handy tips are given. I will keep posting them because I think so many of us (at least this goes for me and others I’ve spoken to) get bogged down in our reading and need reminded of truths like this one: 

This practice also brings liberty. Not every book is a textbook. Some works are best skimmed, sampled, or (GASP) abandoned.

Finally, on the book front, my mom introduced me to P.G. Wodehouse this week and I couldn’t help by sharing the link to what we were listening to. This was hilarious…and I mean…really funny stuff. Turn of the century (the last one) English slang is pretty awesome. Someone should compile a small dictionary just for all the nonsense this guy is spitting out.

I found this fascinating: The app boom is over: Your phone is full of apps, and you’re done downloading new ones — unless they’re Snapchat or Uber.  And the more I got to think of it, the more I agreed by jove!

I don’t think I already posted this, but its really good: Humility is Not Always Nice.  Check this part out:

Humble people view other people as God’s marvelous image-bearers, windows to God’s glory, not as mirrors that enhance or diminish their own self-image. But this also means they aren’t absorbed by how others view them. So they aren’t worried about reading the “right” books, seeing the “right” movies, listening to the “right” music, living in the “right” home, having the “right” job, being seen with the “right” people, etc. That’s a mirror mindset. They view these things as windows to see and savor God’s glory.

Along with all these links, there were a few that looked really fascinating, but because I was traveling, reading them just didn’t happen. They include:

I DID watch this, and enjoyed it: Pixar – What Makes a Story Relatable 

This was interesting…‘A Bearish George Soros is Trading Again’ 

Uh Oh….Priebus probes state GOP leaders over anti-Trump push

….and finally…I know this isn’t a brand new album, but I’ve been enjoying it nonetheless and maybe you will also!

That’s it!  Have a great weekend!

PJ

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