Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Articles of the Week

The Beginner’s Guide to Conflict Resolution, Tim Challies. Scripture makes it clear that Christians are going to clash. Scripture also makes it clear that we should resolve those clashes. Challies offers a helpful way forward for interpersonal conflict within the church. It begins with two basic questions: What kind of conflict are we in? And, What do we need to do to resolve this kind of conflict? Three cheers for good triage!

How to Say “No” to Friends Who Want You to Work for Free, Jon Acuff. As Acuff puts it, “If you’re a photographer, designer, developer, writer, personal trainer, doctor, mechanic, hair stylist, lawyer, illustrator or a billion other professions, friends are going to ask you to work for free.” While you can certainly provide your valuable services pro bono if you choose, it’s best not to be shamed into doing a costly favor you don’t actually want to do. So how do you say “no” while still preserving the relationship?

The Political Magic of C.S. Lewis, Peter Wehner, New York Times. For a man without a formal theological education, C.S. Lewis has had a profound theological impact on generations of Christians. Wehner commends Lewis’ “political magic,” the way he was able to apply Christianity to all of life (politics included) without making Christianity merely a pawn in a political game. We could use more of the spirit of Lewis this year.

How to Care for Victims of Racism, Jerome Gay Jr. & James Roberson. For many of us in the majority culture, the past few years have raised awareness about the continued presence of racism in the US. This summer particularly has made those questions ever more pressing. One of the biggest questions is, Once we agree that racism still exists, how do we care for racism’s victims? Pastors Gay and Roberson offer wise reflections from their experience.

11 Principles for Those Who Plan to Protest, Carl F. Ellis Jr. We’ve seen far too many protests recently become violent riots, which has led some to wonder whether Christians should be doing much public protesting at all. Ellis, Jr. has decades of experience as a Christian activist, so he both sees the value in protest as well as the potential dangers. If you plan to protest—or know someone who plans to—let these 11 principles shape your engagement.

On The Lighter Side

This Boy Can’t Wait to Get Baptized. A theological question I’m glad I don’t have to answer: does it count if you get antsy and baptize yourself? (Gotta love his enthusiasm, though!)

Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. 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.”