The Warren & the World is Story Warren's weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We're glad you're here!
Around the Web:
The Danger of 'Measurable Outcomes'
Os Guiness writes at the Gospel Coalition about the dangers of obsessing over numbers. I feel this.
The pursuit of truth, beauty, excellence—whether in art, science, or spiritual growth—has rarely taken its cue from John Q. Public or from Mr. and Mrs. Average. It aspires to the standards of the few and the exceptional—the great masters, the inspiring heroes, and the extraordinary saints. Generous patrons have often been a fruitful part of the story, but grand masters, great models, and generous patrons were seldom found in the crowds in their day. Lovers of truth, beauty, excellence, and spiritual growth do not bother to curry favor with great numbers or any majority, and their accomplishments defy all quantifying. Too often, as Søren Kierkegaard declared, the crowd is “untruth” and “the public is chimera.” Or as the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote even more bluntly, seconded later by the great Polish scientist Copernicus, “I never wanted to please the people. What the people want, I ignore, and what I know, the people do not realize.”
If the danger of the tyranny of numbers was evident in the 19th century, how much more so is it today? We are in the age of gargantuan numbers, truly instant information, ceaselessly hyperactive social media, when the worldwide web has become a flood-driven Niagara of raw, uninterpreted information and emotion
I wonder how many likes this will get on Facebook. Read More.
A Novel Every Christian Should Consider Reading
Justin Taylor is launching a new series: reviews of books that are worth your time. Kathy Keller presents the first one, and it's a book (or a series, rather) some of us around here love. (Note: It’s definitely aimed at a grown-up audience.)
Patrick O’Brian, the author of the 20-book series of Aubrey-Maturin stories set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars, was famously reticent about his personal life. Judging by the competing narratives that came to light shortly before and after his death, it was a complex one. Following C. S. Lewis in The Personal Heresy, I do not care a whit. The man could write a story.
If it would not be a breach of contract, I would stop writing here and re-direct any reader to David Mamet’s piece in the New York Times along with George Will’s retrospective in the Washington Post and consider my duty done.
Mamet’s and Will’s admiration was reserved for a writer who could tell a good story, and in this they regard Patrick O’Brian as one of the masters.
Worth the read! Read more.
Recognize the Spirituality of Your Work
Don Whitney writes about work and Christianity.
- Bill often wonders whether he is a second-class Christian because of the less-than-Christian atmosphere where he works. His occupation is good and necessary for society, but it’s also one in which liars, cheats, and thieves seem to flourish. Vulgar and blasphemous language typically fills the air of Bill’s workplace.
For other believers, the problem at work is not a godless environment; it’s the gnawing lack of meaning to their labor. They trudge through tedious days on a job that often feels intolerably unimportant.
Can followers of Jesus work in these conditions and still maintain a close relationship with Him? Or is the Lord somewhat disappointed in them because of where they work or what they do?
Love, love, love. Read more.
Meet the World's First Bookless LIbrary
Over at the billfold, they're covering the launch of a bookless library.
- The Commons does have librarians and Internet connections to all the standard electronic resources of a university library. It provides access to a digital catalog that launched with 135,000 e-books. But take a look around the room, and it’s completely bookless.
That is, unless a student happens to bring an old-style hardcover or paperback to school.
They might; like most university systems, Florida State makes all of its books available to students through interlibrary loans, giving them access to 6 million volumes.
I'm not sure how to feel. Read more.
Around the Warren:
He Loves the Unlovely
James Witmer brings us a reflection on God's love for us.
- Voltaire was a French writer/philosopher whose mockery of human nature is uncomfortably incisive.
Here Voltaire shows why God told the Israelites, over and over, that he is holy. God is set apart (the literal meaning of holy) from us, but we are more comfortable with gods who resemble us.
We imagine – sometimes we pretend – that he really is like us. But the result is not comfort.
Because, and let’s be honest; if God is like us, then he is not gracious. There is no mercy. If he is like us, he does not, can not, love the unlovely.
But he does!
The New Testament shows a God who welcomes sinners like a father welcomes wayward sons; who even in the smitings of the old covenant was moving his people toward redemption and reconciliation with himself.
A beautiful truth to help your children grab a hold of. Read more
Deprive Children of Stories and You Leave Them…
Powerful words from Alasdair MacIntyre. Beautiful art from Paul Boekell.
For the Adventurous Among Us
Liz Cottrill introduces us to more great books.
- If you are a young boy, or know any, you know that you do not wake up on a Saturday morning with no intentions for the day. This is especially true if you are like Henry and have been concocting schemes to go where no one else has been. You don’t know what you will find there, or even where you are going, but you do know that it will be exciting.
Adventure always is.
These look good for the whole family, boys particularly. Helping boys to read is good work! Read more.
Slugs & Bugs & Bible Book Songs
Randall Goodgame creates great music. These songs can help your kids learn the books of the Bible in a fun way.
- If you are looking to help your kids memorize the books of the Bible, let me suggest these songs from Randall’s Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. The entire record is excellent, and I’ll share 5 reasons why our family loves it below, after the videos. But for now, here’s a couple of songs for your Friday SW Shorts from Randall and his family and Randall and Buddy Greene. Enjoy! –Sam
Go to it, read more.
Something to Do with Your Kids:
I was a super-asthmatic kid. My mom used syringes and eye droppers to keep me busy, and it was super fun. I didn't know it was good for my fine motor skills. These are fun, colorful activities with those very tools. Check it out!
And Something Cute to Watch
Sometimes you just need a chance to say "Aww!"
Thank you for reading. We're on your side.