Each Friday I try to provide a few articles that are worth the time of parents and youth workers. These articles span a number of issues, and not all are written by Christians, but they are all “worth your time.” Here’s the latest edition:
Don’t Follow Your Heart, by Jon Bloom (Desiring God)
“The truth is, no one lies to us more than our own hearts. No one. If our hearts are compasses, they are Jack Sparrow compasses. They don’t tell us the truth, they just tell us what we want. If our hearts are guides, they are Gothels. They are not benevolent, they are pathologically selfish. In fact, if we do what our hearts tell us to do we will pervert and impoverish every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and every joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence.”
Parenting Well in a Digital World, by Tim Challies (Challies.com)
“We tend to think that no one has ever endured what we are enduring today. The truth is, this is a recurring pattern. Time and time again the world has witnessed technological explosions that have changed everything. Today we are at a new frontier, and we—you and I—have to do the difficult work of learning to use these things well. Instead of choosing fear, we need to choose familiarity. Instead of fearing new technologies, let’s investigate them and look for ways we can use them to advance God’s cause. Let’s investigate the benefits and the risks, and learn how to use these things to carry out God’s calling. And then let’s put them to work in doing good for others and bringing glory to God.”
The Cost of Relativism, by David Brooks (New York Times)
“….We now have multiple generations of people caught in recurring feedback loops of economic stress and family breakdown, often leading to something approaching an anarchy of the intimate life.
“But it’s increasingly clear that sympathy is not enough. It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms. The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.”
Is Your Gospel Too Small?, by Amy L. Sherman (The Gospel Coalition)
“With a theology that’s all about getting a ticket to heaven for when I die, it’s not surprising that many Christians don’t show much interest in the question of how to live life now, inthis world. When our churches teach a salvation that is only from (from sin and death), it’s not hard to understand why so many believers don’t seem to know what salvation is for. And if we preach a gospel that is only, or mainly, about “saving souls,” we shouldn’t be shocked if we end up with congregations that are not very motivated to care for bodies and material needs.”
Canadian Parents Forced to Talk About Sex, by Jonathan McKee (JonathanMcKeeWrites.com
“Last week I flew to Toronto for a timely interview about my new book More Than Just the Talk on the Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street (airing late March). This new book asserts, ‘parents need to create a comfortable climate of continual conversations about sex’ … a sore subject for Canadian parents right now, who feel their hand is being forced by this new curriculum.
“The interview was intriguing. I can’t say I disagreed with their frustration with ‘Big Brother’ stepping in and saying, ‘We’re going to teach your kids about sex because you don’t!’
“But it really raises the question: How come so many parents ‘don’t’?”
6 Reasons Why Sexual Predators Target Churches, by Tim Challies (Challies.com)
“It is terrible but true—sexual predators target churches. In the mind of a predator, a church offers a compelling target and, too often, an easy target. I recently worked my way through On Guard by Deepak Reju and learned that there are at least 6 reasons why sexual predators specifically target churches.”