Hugh Hefner, Good Small Group Questions, & Heroes of the Reformation

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.”

Articles of the Week

One Man’s Dream Destroyed Millions: The Pitiful Legacy of Hugh Hefner, Jon Bloom. Hugh Hefner passed away on Monday. Hefner’s dream of Playboy was an ambitious one—to normalize and popularize pornography. But the more his dream became reality, the more obvious it was that his dream was actually a nightmare. When we objectify women (and Bloom argues that the temptation is there for all of us), real lives are destroyed.

Liturgy for the Non-Liturgical Christian, Stephen McAlpine. I (Chris) was recently pondering a question like this recently, so I’m glad to see McAlpine pick it up. If we evangelicals wanted to learn from the liturgical churches of the world—generally from the Anglican, Catholic, or Orthodox traditions—what might that look like? Is it even desirable? McAlpine makes an important point: There aren’t churches with liturgy and churches without liturgy; there are only churches with intentional liturgy and churches with unintentional, sloppy, weak liturgy. The more our society pummels Christianity with its liturgy, the more we need to indwell our own. Good stuff here.

Asking Better Questions in Small-Group Discussions, Melissa Kruger. A few weeks back we highlighted Kruger’s stinging—but accurate—attack against some of our worst small group questions (check that post out here). Thankfully, she hasn’t simply left us to imagine the solution. Post #1 was the diagnosis, and Post #2 is the cure. If you lead a small group, you need this article.

Will a Happy Marriage Prevent an Affair? Russell Moore. The sentiment may not be as explicit as this, but often in the wake of an affair, people will imply that there must have been something wrong with the marriage. Good marriages, so the implication goes, disarm the allure of an extra-marital affair. There’s an entire bundle of unhelpful assumptions in that line of reasoning—about what makes marriages “happy,” about what makes affairs appealing, and about what role sex plays in all of this. Moore sweeps the floor clean of wrong-headed assumptions and offers a warning we all should find relevant.

Semper Reformanda

Here We Stand: A 31-Day Journey with Heroes of the Reformation, Desiring God. In case you’ve forgotten, we’re here to remind you: This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. When it comes to the Reformation, we make a lot of Martin Luther (hence our hullabaloo about October 31, 1517, when Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door). But Luther didn’t stand alone. The Reformation wasn’t Luther against the world; it was a movement of the church awakening to its biblical roots. Check out these short bios over the next month to learn about the often unknown heroes of the Reformation.

On the Lighter Side

John Crist with yet another variation on the awkwardness of side hugs. Awkward is the new cool.