In Praise of the Ordinary Life, the Failure of the American Family, & the World as 100 Christians

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, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”

Infographic of the Week

The World as 100 Christians, Gina A. Zurlo. “There are 2.5 billion Christians in the world – that’s a big number. So big, it can be hard to conceptualize. But 100 is different. You’ve probably been in a room with 100 people. You can probably list 100 people by name. What if those 100 people represented all the beauty and diversity of World Christianity?”

Articles of the Week

How Your Laptop Ruined Your Life, Amanda Mull. “It’s a common existential crisis among American office workers that virtually nowhere is now safe from the pull of their jobs. This inescapability is usually attributed to the proliferation of smartphones … But that blame is often applied solely to the wrong piece of take-home technology. If staying home with a cold still requires a full day of work or you can’t find a seat at your local coffee shop on a Tuesday afternoon, iPhones are not responsible for ruining your life. The novelty and early popularity of smartphones seem to have distracted America from how quickly its laptops were also dissolving much of the boundary between work and home.”

How the Failure of the American Family Formed Identity Politics, Hannah Anderson. “If Eberstadt is correct in her assessment of the weakness of modern familial bonds, the church must become a place for those who find themselves alone in the world. For it is here in the family of God that we find true, deep connection and remember that we’re not alone. It is here in the family of God that we learn how to seek the common good. And it is here in the family of God that we learn to care for our brothers and sisters, even as our Heavenly Father cares for us.”

The Pastor as Counselor: Eight TED-Talk-Style Lessons, Brad Hambrick. “In this brief, eight-lesson series you will be equipped with the basic categories, processes, and skills of serving as a pastoral counselor. The intent is to equip you to utilize your current level of awareness regarding particular life struggles to your fullest pastoral potential.”

An Ordinary Life, Noël Valis. “Addicts probably don’t read books outlining strategies of self-care; dissatisfied souls yearning to escape an ordinary life do. Celebrity culture feeds into discontent with what is common. It’s no accident that Oprah’s book is filled with the advice and commonplaces of celebrities, from Deepak Chopra, Ellen DeGeneres, Joe Biden, and Jon Bon Jovi to Cindy Crawford, Jay-Z, Stephen Colbert, Tim ­Storey, and Marianne Williamson.”

On the Lighter Side

Justin Bieber Toddlerography, The Late Late Show With James Corden. Can Justin Bieber and James Corden keep up with the choreography of toddlers? (More of this on the internet, please.)