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
The Time J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Went to See Snow White Together . . . And Hated It, Eric Grundhauser. I (Chris) am not a thorough-going hater of Disney. True, the themes and morals of most Disney films reflect the vapidness of our surrounding culture. But I’ve long respected Walt Disney himself as a creative, story-telling genius. Sure, his stories said the wrong things; but it seemed that he told them so well. It turns out that Tolkien and Lewis had their own opinions of Disney, too—namely, that Disney was a “vulgar cheat” and a “poor boob.” This is a fascinating piece of history, and makes me wish that Tolkien and Lewis were still around to offer (colorful) commentary on more recent films.
Eight Lies We Tell Unmarried Women, Jasmine Holmes. There’s a common and disheartening thread running through all of these lies. It’s the notion that if you’re single, it’s because you aren’t good enough to get married. Hardly any of us would put it so bluntly, but we need to beware lest our well-intentioned “advice” pummels unmarried women into feelings of inferiority. Worse still, that advice may belie an attitude that doesn’t think the gospel is actually sufficient for all people.
Google Knows Who We Really Are (And It’s Not What You Might Think), Russell Moore. People don’t like to admit certain truths about themselves—or even to themselves. But you don’t need a magic truth serum to unveil what’s lurking beneath the surface of our picture-perfect lives. That truth serum already exists: Its name is Google, and we confess far more to this online therapist than to any other soul in the universe. Moore reflects on a recent book that dives into the nitty gritty of what Google has learned. Some of it is surprisingly positive (depression doesn’t actually spike around Christmas). Some of it is unsurprisingly negative (people are looking for a lot of porn). What struck Moore, though, was the surprisingly negative window that Google has given us into issues of race.
Why “Listening to Millennials” Is So Darned Complicated, Derek Rishmawy. One of the millennial mantras is the request that church leaders listen to what we have to say. As Rishmawy points out, that can either be a legitimate demand or a thinly veiled attempt at blackmail. Church leaders do, in fact, have a responsibility to listen. But listening is a messy affair, and it’s only a sliver of real pastoral work. (As a reminder, did you download your Chrome plugin that turns “millennials” into “snake people” yet? I cannot emphasize how much better articles like these become.)
What If Unbelievers Aren’t Miserable? Mike Leake. Francis Schaeffer was once asked how he would share the gospel with a modern man, sight unseen, if given an hour. Schaeffer responded that he would spend the first 45-50 minutes trying to convince him that he was a sinner in need of grace, and only the last 10 minutes or so on the gospel proper. Leake is onto the same track here. If all we know how to say is that “Jesus is the answer,” we’re not going to be well equipped to help all of the people who are perfectly content (and hopelessly lost) in their godless luxury.
On the Lighter Side
Six Ways to Make Yourself Cry, Rhett & Link (Good Mythical Morning). Method #7 is to watch this video, in which case you’ll cry because you’ve laughed so hard. That’s how it went with me, anyway.