Best of the Week for January 16

In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.

National Geographic‘s “Gender Revolution”: Bad Argument and Biased Ideology

“Henig offers no substantive argument for why one’s internal, self-perception of his or her “gender identity” ought to determine one’s gender or have authority greater than one’s biological sex. The essay offers testimonies of people who say that their gender identity is at odds with their biological sex. But testimony is not sufficient. Asserting a claim does not demonstrate the authenticity of that claim.”

This one gets a few levels deep into critiquing another article, but the critiques they make give us a good view into the problems with the “gender revolution” and how we can both think and talk about it thoughtfully. Like it or not, sooner or later we are all going to have to learn how to interact with the ideals of this movement.

Build a Rescue Ship, Not a Luxury Liner

“Yes, we want to have warm, inviting, well-kept environments, done excellently for the glory of God. But we do it with the understanding that our resources weren’t given to us to create a cruise liner for Christians; they were given to build a rescue station for the broken.”

The longer we are around as a church, it’s SO easy for us to trend into creating programs and systems that cater to us, and some of those things are well-intentioned. But if “in” becomes the focus, and “out” loses its urgency and weightiness, we completely miss the mission and the heart of God.

Why Do We Give Up on Bible Reading?

“The main engine that moves you through life is not what you know, but what you love. We are always moving irresistibly (often, even unnoticeably) in the direction of our affections — the deepest inclinations, desires, and loves that hold our hearts captive.”

We all struggle with consistency in Bible reading at some time or another. If we will is not the question, but when and why? Often the name of the game is consistency and endurance, not emotional engagement. As in many things, quantity time leads to quality time.

Some Slavery Feels Like Freedom

“We walk away and do our own thing, leaving hard-to-reach corners of our lives untouched by Jesus, unwilling to part with what feels good and comfortable in order to follow him. It often looks like “Christian” freedom, but without Christ. And whenever we choose to live for something more than Christ, or instead of Christ, that thing begins to wrap its steel chains around our heart and cool any warmth in it for Jesus.”

This is a good one in light of our current series on killing sin. Many of our idols, we would not call idols. But if we could get an objective look into our lives, that’s exactly what they are. Let’s together take close stock of what is growing in our hearts, and cut the cord.

Recharging the Body Without Neglecting the Soul

“The world is filled with managerial experts in ministry. They create seasons of excitement in the life of the church, but they are shallow. And sooner or later, the human soul grows weary of such technical expertise…The soul longs for a deep man of God…Have you been with God?”

This is both an encouragement in how to recharge both body and soul and a sharp reminder that many of the things we allow into our lives in the name of “relaxation” actually damage our souls.

6 Deadly Enemies of Marriage

“God was good to provide that strange and mysterious gift of sex in order to bind a husband and wife together in a unique way. Sex is the superglue of a healthy marriage, and yet most couples are never far from neglecting it or from replacing it with pornography or something, anything else.”

These are six very practical ways we do unintentional damage to our marriages. Intentionality is probably the name of the game here, and putting energy in these six areas will do all of us well, not to mention the health of the church. Ground lost will not be easy to regain, but it can be done, and it is SO worth the fight.

Have a good week.