An eleven year old wheelchair athlete asks Hollywood, “Why do you want me dead?” One of the best things I’ve read online in weeks.
I am super-excited about this new blog hosted by TGC and run by Thomas Kidd and Justin Taylor:
What do we mean by “evangelical history”? Justin and I both have broad interests in the history of evangelical Christianity, and the history of Christianity, so those will be a major focus here. But we’re also interested in a Christian view of all kinds of history: political, military, social, and other topics.
After more than twenty years of listening to daughters—and doling out antibiotics, anti-depressants, and stimulants to girls who have gone without a father’s love—I know just how important fathers are. I have listened hour after hour to young girls describe how they vomit in junior high bathrooms to keep their weight down. I have listened to fourteen-year-old girls tell me they have to provide sex acts that disgust them in order to keep their boyfriends. I’ve watched girls drop off varsity tennis teams, flunk out of school, and carve initials or tattoo cult figures onto their bodies—all to see if their dads will notice.
Whether or not the world is worse today than it once was is a matter for historians to debate, I suppose. What is clear enough to any observant Christian is that it is bad right now. Really bad. The world seems hell bent on bringing hell to earth. Millions of unborn children are viciously slaughtered in an infanticidal holocaust that now spans the globe. Marriage is being redefined so broadly that the very institution has nearly lost its meaning and significance. The good plan and purpose of God displayed in male and female is denied while transgenderism and androgyny are celebrated. The politicians we admire are belittled and beaten by ones who frighten and grieve us. Science proclaims that this world came into being without design or designer, that it exists without purpose, and that it will end with a meaningless fizzle. It’s hard to read it all and it’s agonizing to feel it all.
I follow the ongoing pastoral and missiological discussions about “faithfulness vs. fruitfulness” from a bemused distance. I do believe that a church’s faithfulness to the mission of God is itself success, regardless of the “results.” And I also believe that a faithful church will be a fruitful church. But when some begin defining fruitfulness in quantifiable ways — decisions, attendance, etc. — I see more pragmatism and less Bible.
Does this mean I don’t think we should look for results? No. It just means I think we should look differently for results. I think measuring a church’s fruitfulness is not as simple as how many hands get raised during an invitation or how many parking spots are filled.
I really appreciate photo-essays like this that connect the past and present in this way.
If you were on Facebook last month, you might have felt like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole when you noticed Facebook on its own “Trending” sidebar. Several former employees admitted to manipulating the Trending feed. They frequently introduced topics they thought deserved more coverage and occasionally suppressed conservative commentary by choosing different sources for topics that would appeal to conservatives.
Since the news went viral, Facebook has been doing damage control. They’ve issued statements, invited well-known conservatives to the conversation, and made changes to minimize the human element and ensure that the Facebook Trending sidebar will live up to the ideal of being objective and fair.