Your Midlife Crisis, Black Reformers, & Evangelicalism After Billy Graham
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.”
Podcast of the Week
My Midlife Crisis—and Counsel for Yours, John Piper. Some time ago (never mind precisely how long) our fearless leader, Pastor J.D., passed the 40-year barrier. This is a natural moment for many people to pause and take stock of their lives. Unfortunately, far too many people—especially men—hit this midlife point and spiral into depression or despair. What causes this downward spiral, and how can we escape it? Pastor John, as always, speaks with the combination of life knowledge and biblical wisdom. (Also, for those of you keeping score, Pastor J.D. indicated that hitting 40 was not his “halftime,” as you might expect, but rather his “first quarter.” So for those of you at the Summit, know that J.D. will be blessing us with his ministry until he is 160 years old.)
Articles of the Week
Thoughts from a Black Reformer, Alyssa Miller. Last week we shared an article describing the “quiet exodus” of many African American believers from predominantly white churches. But that trend, while important, doesn’t reflect the entire picture. Many believers of color have chosen to remain in these churches, despite the discomfort and ongoing challenges. Miller sheds light on their experience, showing how many minorities have pushed through “ethnic exhaustion,” finding encouragement and surprising allies along the way.
Listen: It’s a Ministry, Dane Ortlund. This is excellent: “The gospel opens our mouths. But the gospel also closes our mouths, and opens up our ears. Loved, we listen.” Dozens of times today someone will start speaking to you—a child wanting to eat, a spouse reflecting on the day, a boss offering correction. Will you love them by listening?
Why Mister Rogers (Still) Matters, Russell Moore. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood hit the air fifty years ago, and while it’s been nearly two decades since the show’s finale, it still towers over most other children’s programming, past or present. (I can attest. Its spinoff, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” is a staple in the Pappalardo household. Usually my kids are watching it with me, but not always.) Moore points out that what made Mister Rogers so compelling, surprisingly, was how grown up he was. Kids didn’t relate to Mister Rogers because he was like them, but because he was “a diplomat from the world of grown-ups” who reminded us that we are not alone.
Evangelicalism After Billy Graham, Thomas Kidd. After news of Billy Graham’s death broke a few weeks ago, many voices within evangelicalism began to ask, “Will there ever be another Billy Graham?” The consensus seemed to be “no.” And while it’s rather certain that we’ll never see another televangelist capture America’s attention like Graham, the space for Graham’s successor remains. A “future Billy Graham,” if we are blessed enough to see him or her, would take cues from the example of one whose devotion to Christ changed not only a nation, but an empire—the Apostle Paul.
On the Lighter Side
Inflationary Language, Victor Borge. If you love puns and hate inflation, this two-derful video is five you.