Ah…Facile Friday. How welcome you are… For those new to GVL: the general idea here is to give others a voice by presenting a summary of the things that I stopped to wonder at this week. Here goes…
1. “First cab off the rank” is Theinkslinger with an impressive book review of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’. His analysis is real and his argument is convincing. Here, my friend takes on the long held presumption that Rand, who is also co-author of ‘The virtue of selfishness’, is somehow a benevolent, guiding force for conservative convictions….hmmm?…
2. An Alan Noble article, which blogger Sis linked on Twitter, caught my attention. It is a response to Eric Metaxas’ new book, ‘Seven Men’. If you are a gamer Noble’s article is worth a read. Also the reference he makes about Mark Driscoll relates to a sermon he gave on ”video games” and real men. My take on this is as follows: I agree with Noble about being careful to not overgeneralise. However I agree with the warning found within Metaxas’ message, which is that video games, such as “massively multi-player online role-play gaming” (MMORGs), present a danger to men who find their identity in the game and communities they form or join.
Speaking as an EVE online veteran of six years, I know that MMORGs can provide a false sense of achievement and also a false sense of self worth. Having said this, by not finding room for balance between a game becoming an extension of ourselves, and a game being something that we do in order to just have fun, I think that Driscoll and Metaxas overstate their case . My question here is: Are they overlooking the fact that the online video-gaming-community is a mission field? (hmm…your thoughts?)
3. Clive James is releasing a translation of Dante’s Inferno (and Divine comedy). It turns out that his release ends up being in competition with Dan Brown’s new release of the same name. In a recent interview author/critic Clive James made some interesting quip’s about Dan Brown, this one in particular caught my attention :
“Dan Brown has spent his lifetime learning to write the kind of prose that has earned him nothing except millions of dollars. I pity him deeply.” read more…
4. Like so many Christian bloggers I have encountered on my pilgrimage through the blogosphere’s shadowlands. I think Ex religious Christian has written some important reflections for Christians on a relevant issue. This particular blog post is poignant and has a lot of depth to it. Kudos to the author, it takes courage to write about ‘what we learn from Church Sabbaticals’.
5. I forget how I stumbled across this one. It is a positive article written for the BBC on child sponsorship. I am a fan of Compassion Australia so to read such a glowing report, backed up by research was to say the least, encouraging. Stand out comment:
“Compassion has often been criticised for proselytising, with its sponsored children being selected by local churches and given an evangelical Christian education. But Dr Wydick found the spiritual aspect of sponsorship might be intrinsic to transforming children’s lives” (Emily Buchanan)..read more.
6. A few days back I posted a prayer from Thomas Merton. I was directed towards this because of a discussion on uncertainty, vocation and calling. Katie Kiesler’s recent blog post was directly related to these themes. One of the high points that came out of reading this was how Katie related her subject material (Exodus 13:21-22) to the song by JJ Heller called ‘Who You Are’. For example: Katie points to Psalm 23:3 bringing emphasis to Heller’s lyric, ‘I don’t know what you’re doing, but I know who You are’. Katie concludes with: ‘I pray that we would let God take us through the desert – not just so that we can arrive in the Promised Land, but so that we can talk, or simply listen, to Him along the way‘ (and everybody said…..Amen).
Katie has also written a book called ‘My problem with Grace’. This is an insightful book that just falls within the genre of ‘macro theological reflection’. One comment which substantiates this is Katie’s assertion : ‘I have never been more convinced that I am a product of a fierce God’s fierce grace’ (Loc.115). Overall the content covers a range of issues most of us struggle with from season to season. Her work is conversational and insightful. Both my wife and I recommend checking it out.
7. Scrounging highlight of the week: this really needs no words added to it other than @Crowdermusic #JOY
That’s all folks…have a great weekend.