There's some fun and a LOT of heavy stuff this week. Because that's how I roll.
Messages I Like
Kai and I went to the Reconciliation and Justice Conference in St. Louis last week. We heard a lot of solid, challenging teaching from a variety of pastors and speakers.
Our Struggle Is Not Against Flesh & Blood: Forgiveness as Spiritual Warfare
Pastor Tony Myles speaks powerfully to the nature of Christian forgiveness in the context of relationships. I was challenged and encouraged by this message (and it's only 20 minutes)!
Defeating Injustice in the Church through Forgiveness
Suzanne Bates is a Christian counselor and professor at Covenant Theological Seminary. Her talk is long but chalk full of brilliant content.
Books I Like
Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis - This is one of my all-time favorites. Lewis takes the sci-fi genre and puts a brilliant Christian twist on it. Interplanetary travel becomes the vehicle for unique spiritual encounter. Angels long to look into these things—so will you!
Music I Like
Sufjan Stevens: Tanya Harding (Single)
Only Sufjan get away with writing a song about Tanya Harding that is beautiful, funny, empathetic and true.
LCD Soundsystem: American Dream
They supposedly called it quits in 2011. So glad they didn't. This record is full of 80s electronic rhythm, catchy hooks, and amusing (and sometimes poignant) insight.
Articles I Like
Turns Out Sex Is Still a Big Deal, by Sarah Condon
The #MeToo movement has thrust sexual harassment and abuse into the cultural limelight. The case of Aziz Ansari's regrettable encounter with "Grace," has been the subject of much debate and led many to ask "where is the line" between consent and abuse. As a man who has never suffered anything close to what so many women have, I'm reticent to even have an opinion. (Kind of like them:)
That's why I appreciate this article. It takes a great big step back from the particular event and gets back to the nature of sex, sin, and what it means to be humans created in God's image. I don't agree with everything the author writes, but it is a helpful conversation starter to help us get thinking Christianly about sex.
Movies I Like
Mudbound (a Netflix film)
This movie takes on so many issues—race, gender, White supremacy, the brokenness of war veterans, the healing power of friendship—and weaves them into a beautifully told story of 1940s life in the Mississippi Delta post-WWII. It was a tough watch for me on a number of levels. But it is a compelling story of our nation's past and raises issues that are very relevant to our nation's future.