What Made the Early Church Unique, Love is the Foundation of Knowledge, & Our Predictions About the Internet Are (Probably) Wrong

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.”

Video of the Week

Loving to Know, N.T. Wright. Every year, in October, First Things presents the “Erasmus Lecture,” bringing world-renowned speakers to New York to address current issues of theology and culture. Past speakers include Pope Benedict XVI, ERLC president Russell Moore, New York Times writer Ross Douthat, and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

This year, First Things invited Bible scholar N.T. Wright, who spoke on an “epistemology of love.” This is an insightful critique of Enlightenment assumptions, most of which are still prominent today—both outside and inside the church. Tolerance doesn’t lead us to truth or freedom. Christian love does.

If you’d like to read the article adaptation of this lecture, it’s available at the First Things website: “Loving to Know.”

Articles of the Week

Our Predictions About the Internet Are Probably Wrong, Cullen Murphy. The last time a technology as seismic as the internet came into the world? The 15th century, with the advent of the Gutenberg press. When it comes to technology—from Gutenberg to Zuckerberg—unintended consequences often outweigh intended ones. We’re only beginning to learn what that means for the internet. (In fact, we may not have even explored many of the unintended consequences of the 580-year-old Gutenberg press!)

Five Features That Made the Early Church Unique, Tim Keller. Christianity was founded in the midst of a hostile environment, and yet the first three centuries were a period of enormous growth. Keller argues that much of that growth was the result of the early church’s unique counterculture. So what was it about the early church that was so unique—and so compelling to a hostile society? And can we recover that unique counterculture today?

Eleven Commandments for Long-winded Preachers, Colin Adams. Sound advice here, from someone who (it seems) has had to endure at least a few sermons of mammoth length. If you preach regularly, you must come back to these guidelines often. But if you don’t preach at all … well, use these guidelines gently.

What Do We Do When We Don’t Want to Read the Bible? Jairo Namnún. For the seven of you out there who don’t know what Namnún is talking about, you have our permission to continue on with your flawless life. For the rest of us mortals, this is an important and personal question. It’s normal to have our motivation for Bible reading wane. Namnún shows you five ways to stoke the Bible-reading fire.

On the Lighter Side

The Princess Bride (According to Kids), Jenna Bryson. This is grossly inaccurate. But it’s also much better than I could do.