Beyond the Black-White Binary, Responding to Sexual Abuse, & Empathizing with Your Political Foes
Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”
Video of the Week
Jordan Peterson on the Crisis of Masculinity and the Gender Pay Gap, Rod Dreher. Peterson, a conservative psychologist and professor, was recently a guest on Britain’s Channel 4 news. His interviewer, Cathy Newman, takes little time in letting Peterson know that she isn’t terribly impressed with his ideas. Her disagreement is perfectly allowable. But what is startling—to the point of humorous—is how consistently she refuses to hear what Peterson says. Peterson squeezes in enough repetitions of “That’s not what I said” for a lifetime.
Wherever you are on the political spectrum (more on this in Brooks’ piece below), please listen to your opponents. You lend your own argument credence when you summarize their arguments best.
Articles of the Week
The Church Needs a Masterclass in How to Apologize for Sexual Assault, Abby Perry. “As Christians navigating a culture that has long repressed the stories of the abused, our primary motivation must be to ‘proclaim liberty to the captives’ by bearing witness to their stories and holding space for their healing processes. … The idea that restoration means putting a sexual predator back in the pulpit is a notion of the empire, which tells us that power is the highest good and, in order to be whole, we must regain any power we’ve lost. This is not the way of God’s kingdom.”
Former Gymnast Confronts Her Sexual Abuser in Court, Justin Taylor. This is an incredibly powerful example of gospel forgiveness. Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast and one of the victims of Larry Nasser’s sexual abuse, had the chance to address Nasser during his sentencing this week. Her words show a better understanding of Nasser’s horrible actions than he himself has expressed, while simultaneously extending the scandalous mercy of God. Every sentence of her statement is worth reading.
Beyond the Black-White Binary, Jimmy Roh. Conversations about race relations in the United States tend to follow black-white lines. There’s some sense to this, of course, as our American history makes black-white relations particularly volatile and important to reconcile. But if we assume that “multi-ethnic” just means “black and white,” we’re unintentionally dismissing other minority groups. White evangelicals need to clue in to a few more non-black minority voices to get a more robust picture of our current ethnic landscape.
Empathize with Your Political Foe, Arthur Brooks. We may assume that the current hostility between political left and right is so indelible that there’s no way to bridge the divide. But a recent clash of rallies—pro-Trumpers on one side and Black Lives Matter on the other—shows that empathy is still possible. The secret, as mundane as it might sound, is to see our political opponents as real people. How do we do that? “Reject the homogeneity and anonymity of social networks” and invite opposing viewpoints onto your stage.
On the Lighter Side
I Wish the Olympics Were This Good. The Winter Olympics are just around the corner. And while there will be no shortage of excitement, we guarantee you won’t be seeing much of this.