Providing a valuable public service here, folks. That’s what I’m doing with these links posts. How could you continue to function in your everyday life without my links. There is simply no way. Not in the age of Trump, or the age of Millennials, or the age of Terror, or whatever age we are in these days. Have I already made the joke where I call these ‘gourmet links’? If not, that’s what this week’s links are. Gourmet. Make sure to read the first one, the one about teens and mental health, and the one on Workism.
• Being Biblical™: When the Bible Becomes a Brand:
Many people have been horribly scarred by biblical™ culture. Countless young people, hurt by the failed promises of the biblical™ ideology, with its attendant practices and unhealthy communities, of their upbringing, have abandoned Christian faith for non-Christian worldviews. These have often merely damaged them in other ways, offering alternative ideologies, rather than genuine engagement with reality. We need to abandon the biblical™ trademark and to recover the challenge of discerning and applying Scripture to our lives and worlds. We need to grow in a scripturally oriented wisdom in the pursuit of the great human project, which we have in common with all who are wrestling with the concrete reality in which God addresses us.
• Worst headline (and concept piece) of the week: The Best Combs a Presidential Candidate Could Use to Eat a Salad. Remember that the next election isn’t for another 21 months. An excerpt:
Still, the alleged comb use itself is hilariously absurd. Did Klobuchar wash the comb before eating? Don’t all airplanes have forks on board? Is it even possible to eat a salad with a comb?
Klobuchar’s purported choice of replacement utensil might not have been as uncommon as it sounds. As a high-school swimmer rushing through the locker room, I too once found myself hungry and forkless, and resorted to eating a cup of Greek yogurt with a comb. But a salad is a different textural animal entirely. It’s layered and varied, and sometimes there are croutons.
• Critiquing Nadia Bolz-Weber’s new book on sexuality, we have, from Mere Orthodoxy, A Christian Ethic of Sex in a Pornographic Age:
Those who are ‘in Christ’ are called to not only cultivate but traverse the limits and possibilities of human desire, and arguably more than any humans on earth. By striving to be pure in heart – however unfashionable or prudish that might sound in Late Modernity – we so prepare for the beatific vision, a sight our exhausted age of restless searching pines after, even if unknowingly.
We need scripts that form us “to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4), and that cultivate habits, appetites, and dispositions that comport with the fidelity requisite for a life of celibacy, or, for instance, where we or our spouses are persons with disabilities in our fragile, mortal bodies.
• Brian Tallerico (from RogerEbert.com) gives his ranking of Oscar Best Picture winners from 2000-on. Take special note of the film in last place.
• On teens and mental health from The Atlantic.
• Also from The Atlantic, a piece that continues the theme from last month’s Millennials: The Burnout Generation. Enjoy Workism is Making Americans Miserable.
• From Marissa Voytenko, a collection titled Examen. See the full set here.
• Brett McCracken on The Favourite and Roma:
The radical self-denial and service of Cleo in Roma, like the feet-washing posture of Jesus (John 13:1–17), provides a picture of power in vivid contrast to that in The Favourite. The latter captures power as pre- and post-Christian societies construe it: self-interest, self-preservation, winner take all, only the strong survive. The former presents power through weakness, through self-denial and sacrificial love.
Good points all around here. But I also wonder about the way that McCracken tries to distance himself from The Favourite. Can’t we just acknowledge that it represents an opposing viewpoint, and then enjoy it as a creative presentation of that viewpoint? This reminds me of the controversy over the professor who assigned a blasphemous book at a Catholic college. In short, he said, yeah it was a terrible book, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t read it? That we can’t grow from seeing where the author goes wrong? Seems simple to me but this way of thinking gets steamrolled in Christian circles, for the reasons in the Being Biblical™ essay.
• Jared Wilson with 3 Principles for Christian Political Engagement.