Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.
Chart of the Week
Six Areas of Christian Growth, Jason Gaston. The Christian life is a long process of becoming like Christ. That process—what theologians call sanctification—can often be hard to quantify. How can we know if we’re actually growing? Gaston, one of the Summit’s pastors, offers a tidy little chart, summarizing all of the ways that the Bible talks about our growth in Christ. It’s a helpful way to visualize how the gospel affects our everyday life.
Articles of the Week
Do You Trust Disney with Your Kids? Jasmine Holmes. The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast hits theaters today. I (Chris) freely admit that I was giddy with excitement when I heard about the project several months ago. After all, the original Beauty and the Beast is, undeniably, the best Disney film to date. (Sorry, Simba. You were a close second.) But then the director announced that the movie contains an “exclusively gay moment” which he promised would be “delicious.” This is a bit unnerving, and has rightly touched off a debate about the overall message of the movie. But Holmes makes an excellent point here: Disney didn’t suddenly jump into a secular worldview. They’ve been coaxing us along that line for years.
Should We Give Money to the Poor (Even When There’s Risk of Waste)? Randy Alcorn. What does it mean for us to be wise stewards of our money, but generous ones as well? God calls us to use what we have to bless others, particularly those who are in need. That call, however, carries with it a responsibility to ensure that we aren’t exacerbating the problem. Alcorn’s advice here is thorough and balanced, urging us to open up both our eyes and our wallets. (For more on this, check out the excellent book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Wihout Hurting the Poor … and Yourself.)
The Local Church Is More Awkward Than Your Facebook Wall … Embrace It Anyway, Richard Clark. Technology now provides us with ways to connect with more and more people just like us. This brings with it exciting new connections, but it also carries the temptation to abandon the local body. After all, the “random” people in your small group or Sunday School class will be so unlike you in so many ways. It’s a noble temptation to prioritize the e-community over the flesh-and-blood local one, but as Clark describes here, the awkwardness of your local church is also the richest community you can possibly have. Embrace the weird.
No, Stay-At-Home Moms Don’t “Waste” Their Education, Anna Mussmann. Liberals often argue that women should have equal access to education and opportunity. Conservatives often argue that mothers should prioritize their families. These claims are generally pitted against each other. Both sides seem to assume that if a woman is smart and well-educated, then it’s a waste for her to remain at home raising children. One side solves the problem by saying, “Don’t stay at home; work and be useful.” The other side says, “Don’t bother with an education; just stay home.” But as Mussmann points out here, that kind of dichotomy reduces humans to the level of machines, and it completely misunderstands the purpose of education. And, as you might imagine, it turns out poorly for women, to boot. Let’s ditch the dichotomy, and praise good moms, whether they’re bringing in a salary or not. To paraphrase Jesus, a woman’s worth does not consist in the abundance of her income.
On the Lighter Side
Why is a dollar called a “buck?” Today I Found Out. It’s hard to tell if this sounds so intelligent because of the content or the accent. Either way, go ahead and nerd out with a little etymological history here.
Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. 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.”