Loon’s linkage (September ’11)

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  • NPR interviews Rachel Held Evans on her year of “biblical womanhood.”
  • Donald Miller shares the best writing advice he’s ever received.
  • Jacob from St. Thomas the Doubter Church renders a humorous chart depicting how different Christian denominations perceive each other. (HT: Ed Stezer)
  • 29-year-old Sarah Churman hears her own voice for the first time. (HT: Eugene Cho)
  • Roger Olson is apparently (still) fiercely unwilling to surrender the word “evangelical.”
  • Michael Gerson critiques the libertarian tendency to place “an unbalanced emphasis on autonomy above all else.”
  • Scot McKnight contrasts “salvation culture” with the gospel Jesus preached.
  • David Gushee: “Ten years after 9/11, the space for a constrained and critical Christian patriotism that is neither idolatrous nor contemptuous of the country of one’s earthly citizenship appears smaller than ever.”
  • Karen Swallow Prior explores the role of doubt in distinguishing between education and indoctrination.
  • Samir Goswami wonders when ‘real men’ will stand up to the exploitation of women.
  • CT defends the updated NIV translation against recent criticism from Southern Baptists.
  • Herman Keizer Jr. makes his case for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Grief journal (10 months)

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[Insert profound grief quote here. Translation: Nothing impressed me this month.]

If grieving were easy, it wouldn’t be grief. But if it’s supposed to be a rotten experience, then I guess we’re right on track. I feel a self-absorbed rant coming on, but those are so unoriginal these days.

What’s the payoff for this blog-my-grief-once-a-month ritual? Answer: Not much when there’s so little to say. Numerous pastimes are more enjoyable than probing my emotions and memories for the words to describe what losing Vincent means to me. Sitting in traffic or paying bills, for instance. At least those activities don’t involve a futile search for words that don’t exist.

And that’s exactly the trouble with grief—the words. You can’t make it with ’em or without ’em. The only thing worse than suffering in silent, unspoken grief is trying to manufacture phrases and sentences that will do it justice. Pick your poison. It’s not that I regret the time I’ve spent journaling, processing, counseling, praying and support grouping through grief. But those activities can become painfully wordy after a while. There’s too much pressure to summarize, theorize, draw conclusions and resolve the tension. Maybe that’s why I can barely blog about this once a month, yet still find myself attempting it often enough to document the difficulty.

There’s only so much to say, and I’ve already said plenty. I don’t want more words, just more Vincent. He was super.

Summer reading recap

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The most lazily enriching summer of my life has come to an end.

But oh what a summer it was; rejoicing after graduation, reconnecting with family, relaxing internationally, recuperating from busyness via recreation outdoors, realigning the soul through reflective prayer and preaching.

And let’s not forget the signature diversion of summertime bliss: reading. No summer is complete without a stack of good pages (paper or digital) within reach at all times. It’s taken me over a year to finally polish off some titles from last summer’s list, but I’ve enjoyed finishing up the following books in recent months:

Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck, Why We Love the Church: In praise of institutions and organized religion (Moody, 2009)

Michael Gerson & Peter Wehner, City of Man: Religion and politics in a new era (Moody, 2010)

Tim Keller, King’s Cross: The story of the world in the life of Jesus (Dutton, 2011)

Martin Luther King, Jr. & Clayborne Carson (ed.), The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Warner, 2008)

Grant McClung (ed.), Azusa Street and Beyond: 100 years of commentary on the global pentecostal/charismatic movement (Bridge-Logos, 2006)

Brenda Salter McNeil, A Credible Witness: Reflections on power, evangelism and race (IVP, 2008)

Richard Mouw, Abraham Kuyper: A short and personal introduction (Eerdmans, 2011)

Rich Nathan & Ken Wilson, Empowered Evangelicals: Bringing together the best of the evangelical and charismatic worlds (Ampelon, 2009)

Brandon O’BrienThe Strategically Small Church: Intimate, nimble, authentic, effective (Bethany, 2010)

Jenell Williams Paris, The End of Sexual Identity: Why sex is too important to define who we are (IVP, 2011)

Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles: The shape of pastoral integrity (Eerdmans, 1987)

Ed Stetzer, Planting Missional Churches (B&H, 2006)

Gregory Wolfe, Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the human in an ideological age (ISI, 2011)

[image by ginnerobot]

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