I'm going to start a new label category called "shuffle". When I find interesting articles that I think might get people thinking, I'll collect the links and post a list of them from time to time. They will be a real mixture of subjects, so the term "shuffle" reminds me of the setting on an i-pod where you don't know what might come up next, Vivaldi or the Bare Naked Ladies.
I'm not going to avoid controversy either. These will be articles that made me think, and I hope they will make you think, too. That doesn't mean that I agree with the writers, only that I thought the discussion was worthwhile.
"Gracious, self-forgetful humility should be one of the primary things that distinguishes Christian believers from the many other types of moral, decent people in the world. But I think it is fair to say that humility, which is a key differentiating mark of the Christian, is largely missing in the church. Nonbelievers, detecting the stench of sanctimony, turn away."
Tim Keller gives one of the clearest definitions of humility I've read, and discusses why we struggle to attain humility, and how important it is for the church to re-emphasize it if we are to have a voice in the culture we live in.
The Advent of Humility by Tim Keller
"Now a confirmed atheist, I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do."
As An Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God, by Matthew Parris
"If you are anything like me, you are about to embark on a post-holiday, welcome the New Year, pre-spring cleaning purge. My key to surviving it without a bulging garbage can is to be organized. If you give everything a place, you are more likely to reuse instead of lose it."
A seasonally timely article on how to deal with clutter in a way that doesn't just fill the landfill.
Reuse It or Lose It, by Green Bean
"The pastor giving the reflection, not a homily, began by saying, "We are gathered here to honor tradition." I bit my lip, hard. "We are gathered here to sing beloved songs and hear well-known stories." Bit it harder. We were not there to celebrate and contemplate the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity...evidently."
Interesting reflections of an Orthodox Christian blogger who had an opportunity to visit another church on Christmas Eve, and discusses the difference between worshipping and attending a concert. Whispers On Earth
"Both Iran and its Hamas proxy in Gaza have been busy this Christmas week showing Christendom just what they think of it. But no one seems to have noticed. "
Scary, scary article on the Israeli-Hamas showdown, and the Palestinian Christians that are caught in the middle, along with insights into the West's bungling in regards to Iran. Believe it or not, crucifixion is now back as a form of punishment. If this doesn't promt you to pray for wisdom for our new president, I don't know what would. Caroline Glick's column in the Jerusalem Post
Here's a video I saw on the blog of a friend who is in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. If children are our future, this is worth looking at.