Jordan Peterson, More Rituals (Please!), & Grown-ups Talking Like Kids

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.”

Articles of the Week

Why Grown-ups Keep Talking Like Little Kids, John McWhorter. This is a tad on the linguist-nerd side, but it’s also more fun than anything else you’ll read today. McWhorter notes embracing your inner child—yes, even speaking like a child—is not only comforting and fun; it might just revitalize the English language. And a little child shall lead them…

Christian Life Is Paradoxical. Embrace It, Jen Pollock Michel. With features from G.K. Chesterton, Blaise Pascal, Athanasius, and Rosaria Butterfield, this little teaser is enough to make me want the full version, Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of “And” in an Either-or World. “It would seem, at least to me, that God has a kind of preference for paradox—that given the choice between either and or, God would often choose and. Paradox is, of course, the way we can rightly reckon, not just with our nature, but God’s: that he is immanent and transcendent; merciful and just; mysterious and knowable.”

Three Subtle Ways We Dehumanize the Most Vulnerable, Dan Darling. This is as beautiful as it is needed. “In God’s economy, there are no disposable, throwaway people because every human being—from Baltimore to Burundi, from London to Laos, from Richmond to Rwanda—is created in God’s image. … The redeemed people of God are called to come alongside the most vulnerable, bearing the message that God has reconciled them to their Creator and embodying God’s kingdom by meeting physical human needs.” Amen.

Jordan Peterson: High Priest for a Secular Age, Bruce Ashford. Jordan Peterson has become something of a celebrity, which is odd considering his profession as a psychologist. (Go ahead, name another famous psychologist. And no, Nietzsche doesn’t count: He’s dead.) Ashford argues that Peterson’s appeal lies in his ability to see through the lies our secular age continues to hurl at us. But Ashford also notes that Peterson makes for a better critic than priest.

There Should Be More Rituals! David Brooks. As our society becomes more uncomfortable with religion, we are losing many of the rituals that used to mark life transitions. This is no small loss, as Brooks notes: “Rituals often mark doorway moments, when we pass from one stage of life to another. They acknowledge that these passages are not just external changes but involve internal transformation.” Join with Brooks in playing the counter-cultural game, “There should be a ritual for …” And if you’re feeling really gutsy, go ahead and make it happen!

On the Lighter Side

Family on the Way to Church, John Crist. Is it funny because it’s true? Or sad because it’s true?