A History of Loneliness, Reflections on the Sexual Revolution, & Overcoming Decision Fatigue
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 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.” While we do not always agree with everything these authors post, we share these resources because we find them challenging and enriching. As we often say around the Summit, when it comes to reading, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”
Articles of the Week
Conservatism After Christianity, Ross Douthat. For some decades now, conservative American politics has had a sort of strategic alliance with conservative Christianity. Of the benefits and drawbacks of such an alliance, much ink has been spilled. But recent trends within political conservatism seem to point towards a post-Christian version of the Republican Party. As Douthat points out, that’s bad news for both politics and Christianity.
The Gift of Becoming a Woman Who Reads, Sarah Clarkson. True for men as well as women, this reflection reveals one of the thousand benefits to the reading of fiction—hope in the midst of grief.
The Science of Decision Fatigue: Four Ways to Make Fewer, Better Choices, Erin Wildermuth. The research here is pretty unanimous: You’ve only got so much “decision-making juice” in your daily tank. The more you use that energy for mundane or unimportant decisions (Pants or shorts? Chicken or beef? “Jack Ryan” or “The Great British Baking Show”?), the less decision-making energy you’ll have for weightier decisions. But other than eating chicken at every meal, what can we do to lessen this “decision fatigue”?
One Is the Loneliest Number: The History of a Western Problem, Fay Bound Alberti. The word loneliness isn’t terribly old because the experience of loneliness is a relatively modern phenomenon. People have always had the experience of solitude, of course, but there’s something about our current society that makes this solitude nearly unbearable—and that makes people feel alone even when they’re surrounded by people. To understand how we might fix this, a quick glance at how things used to be is in order.
Reflections On the Revolution, Deborah Savage. This is a haunting recounting of the history of the sexual revolution by one of the women who experienced it. When we, as a society, cast aside old and “puritanical” sexual restrictions, we thought we were pursuing freedom for men and women. In the end, this turn has been bad for both sexes, but particularly pernicious for women. One of my favorite lines (among the many excellent ones): “Are we really hoping that women will finally accept that isolation is the goal, that commitment is for fools, and that children are merely a burden or a commodity?”
On the Lighter Side
I Wished I Lived in J.D.’s World, COE22. You gotta hand it to ‘em. They knew their pro-1980s audience. This is one of the finer speaker introductions I’ve seen, and shows Pastor J.D. more honor than a litany of overt praise.