Five Links: September Edition

Five links3

I’ve come across some outstanding inspirational reading over the past two weeks.

Here are a few of them.

1. Iraqi Christians Weigh Taking Up Arms Against the Islamic State

This is long. However, it is well worth the time you’ll spend reading through it. I was surprised to find this attached to National Geographic.

2. “Archaeologists in Jerusalem have identified the remains of the Siloam Pool, where the Bible says Jesus miraculously cured a man’s blindness, researchers said Thursday — underlining a stirring link between the works of Jesus and ancient Jewish rituals….” (Via NBCnews)

3. Kevin from (After Existentialism, Light) pointed out the blog Just Genesis yesterday.  Although I only had a very brief read of it I like the content. It may not be your cup of tea. Then again if you’re interested in the historicity of Genesis 1-11 from an anthropological perspective this might just be the place for you. An added bonus is that it may offset those neo-atheist reductio meme-by-degree graduates running the S.M news circuit.

4. Aim to bless, rather than impress – I’m big on this topic: ‘The Fine Line Between Gracious Hospitality and Entertaining to Impress’  – People pleasing is an issue for the church. Paul addressed it and I think we do well to discourage it as lovingly as possible. For me that makes Mrs.C’s rundown on the topic a welcome one.

5. Respecting Women The issues concerning gender roles in identity politics or women in leadership can be a tough one for theologians. I think that Jenny’s article is a fair response in two ways – First, freedom to lead and second, freedom to respect (very close to Barth’s man for the woman, woman for the man, God for both):

‘As a musician, I understand this leadership idea well. When you play music in a group, there has to be one leader. One person who says when to start, who sets the tempo, who decides the song and we all listen carefully throughout the song to follow along. If there are two leaders, things get confusing quickly, there is fighting with the tempo and the chords aren’t strummed at the same time, and the singing isn’t together anymore. It quickly ruins a song when there isn’t one leader.
God didn’t set up this leadership idea because women were inferior to men, He set it up to establish order and harmony….I used to think respecting women was a way to keep women safe, that it was a hope we could hold onto in a dark world. But slowly, I’ve figured out our hope is not in ourselves, it’s not in fighting for respect or equality, it’s not in our beauty, it’s not in our ability to be strong like men, it’s not in being a perfect wife, or making enough money, or in how much we don’t need men. Our only hope is in Christ…’

Considering the latest icloud hacking scandal involving celebrities, most of whom are women, Jenny’s piece is well timed. The scandal presents itself as a practical example of where Jenny’s main argument goes. Men cannot perfectly protect or respect women. But, in Christ men can, and some of us try, to do our best to raise women up by setting the example set for us. In the case of the icloud scandal the best way to actualise this would be to refuse to view any posts claiming to host the images or anything like them. Irrespective of whether women chose to make themselves vulnerable by having those photos taken or not.

CIVA facebook post and quote_grace

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