Recent Reading Recs – 2018/01/09

Here’s a collection of blog posts, articles, podcasts, and books that I have recently found interesting, helpful, challenging, important, or funny. I don’t endorse everything I post, but I only post content I think is worth taking the time to consider. We all have to make choices about what content we “consume,” so I hope I can point you in directions that are worth your time.

Blog Posts & Online Journals

Online Newspapers & Magazines

  • The Atlantic, “Low-Income Communities Are Struggling to Support Churches” – Patton Dodd profiles a pastor in a low-income community in San Antonio to demonstrate a steep decline of churches in distressed communities due to the economics of funding.
  • World Magazine, “Guilt Offerings” – Sophia Lee explores the Buddhist practice of guilt offerings by Japanese parents of stillborn, aborted, or miscarried children and profiles an American missionary in Nagoya offering true healing and hope.
  • Comment Magazine, “Choosing Church” – Marilyn McEntyre acknowledges there are lots of reasons to avoid church, but offers several reasons to look again.

Podcast Episodes

  • Scene on Radio, “Seeing White: Parts 1-14” – Host and producer John Biewen takes a deep dive into questions about whiteness, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this fourteen-part documentary series, released between February and August 2017.
  • Waking Up with Sam Harris, “The Intellectual Dark Web” – Host Sam Harris speaks with Eric Weinstein and Ben Shapiro about the breakdown of shared values, the problem with identity politics, religion, free will, the primacy of reason, and many other topics.

Books

  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky – often considered the greatest novel ever written, the classic Russian novel about three brothers explores the biggest theological and philosophical questions of life with penetrating psychological insight
  • How (Not) to Be Secular by James K.A. Smith – a summary and application of philosopher Charles Taylor’s tome A Secular Age
  • Divided by Faith by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith – a groundbreaking book from 2000 exploring Evangelicalism and the problem of race in America
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