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:
This review of Popcultured by Steve Turner shows it to be a book that meets us where we have needs.
The weekend I wrote this review included two activities so regular in our household they are almost liturgical. On Saturday, my wife and I ordered takeout from our usual Chinese restaurant and settled down to watch the finale of X-Factor, the British version of American Idol. On Sunday, we passed through the door of our local Baptist church where we are members. This pattern is so typical that our two-month-old daughter knows of no other kind of weekend.
I imagine that for many Christians such a combination is not unusual. The kind of takeout may differ. The choice of entertainment may vary, and be less embarrassing. But that our lives involve us both in church and popular culture is almost inevitable for 21st-century Christians.
But this pattern raises some questions: are these two areas of life—popular culture and Christian living—related? Does one affect the other in any way? Is watching lightweight TV tantamount to sin, a waste of the precious time that God has given us? Or is popular culture simply a nothing, like an inert, colorless gas, unable to affect anything or change anything due to its inherent weightlessness; harmless but unworthy of serious attention from the Christian?
Added to my to-read list based on this review. Read More.
What It Means to See and Think About the World as a Christian
The folks at Lionheart Academy did a great job casting a vision for a Christian World View:
Wonder provides the motivating energy of education.
That is an incredibly important insight, and as Christians, it should give us great encouragement. Why? Because the world really is wonderful.
To help a child develop a Christian worldview we must begin from a place of wonder. We do this by teaching them, in the words of the great hymn, to see the world–with its rocks and trees, skies and seas–as wonders his hand has wrought.
Really well said. Read more.
No Time to Think
This, from the New York Times Sunday Review, is about busyness. The suggestion? Maybe we're doing it on purpose.
- ONE of the biggest complaints in modern society is being overscheduled, overcommitted and overextended. Ask people at a social gathering how they are and the stock answer is “super busy,” “crazy busy” or “insanely busy.” Nobody is just “fine” anymore.
When people aren’t super busy at work, they are crazy busy exercising, entertaining or taking their kids to Chinese lessons. Or maybe they are insanely busy playing fantasy football, tracing their genealogy or churning their own butter.
And if there is ever a still moment for reflective thought — say, while waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in traffic — out comes the mobile device. So it’s worth noting a study published last month in the journal Science, which shows how far people will go to avoid introspection.
That's a kick in the gut. Worth the read. Read more.
How Do I Keep My Children Safe Online
The folks at the Guardian interviewed a large number of internet security experts about what they teach their kids about the internet.
- “The advice I give my own family and friends is encapsulated in: “If you wouldn’t do it face to face – Don’t do it online” For example, would you go up to a complete stranger and start a conversation? Would you be abusive to friends or strangers in a pub or bar?
Just because you feel protected by the apparent distance a screen gives between you and the person you’re talking to, you must remember that online is still the real world.
Mid to late teens need to remember that everything they do over the web is captured forever and could come back to haunt them. Many employers and university admissions offices look at social media profiles when researching candidates.
My husband and I actually used to ask random questions based on what the younger family members had put online just to remind them that they should lock down their profiles! If they didn’t want their dad, uncles and aunts or future employers asking about exactly what was in that fifteenth drink on Saturday night, they needed to check their privacy settings!”
I learned a lot from this, and I'm a nerd. Read more.
Around the Warren:
And God Rested
Helena Sorensen checks in with some insight drawn from the Infinite God being also the God-Who-Rested.
- It was brought to my attention recently that God is infinite. (Here, I’ll pause while you laugh or roll your eyes.) The idea that God is infinite is not new to me, of course. Many times I have tried and failed to imagine a being for whom time is a mere plaything, for whom strength is meaningless because he has no weakness to overcome, for whom the concept of resources is irrelevant because He, himself is resource enough.
What was brought to my attention was the rather surprising fact that an infinite God created the universe in six days and then stopped.
He was not fatigued. His creativity had not run dry. There was no shortage of resources. And yet, God looked at all He had done and said that it was “very good.” And he sat down and rested.
Tremendous post. Read more!
I Sing Over Them
Beautiful quote from Helena Sorensen, with imagery by Paul Boekell.
Ming-Wai Ng reviews Helena Sorensen's Shiloh, freshly back in print:
- If you love fantasy and adventure stories, you should dive into Shiloh. In Shiloh, Helena Sorensen weaves a story full of compelling, dynamic characters and beautiful descriptions.
On the first two pages, she spins a story of a world born from joy. A world spun from the thoughts of its great and wild creator. A world abounding with life, spilling over with beauty, and echoing with the endless laughter of all good things.
Until the Shadow is born.
Another good book to check out. Read more.
And, finishing off our mini-Helena Sorensen week, an excerpt from the aforementioned Shiloh, geared toward a young-adult crowd. It's a good one:
- “Hush, Sim! Wait.” Abner hissed. He stopped, and the three stood silent, their eyes searching for some break in the impenetrable darkness. Behind them there was a sound, a low, heavy rolling. It rose gradually, growing and spreading, until they were surrounded by the insatiable thundering growls of many Wolves. They had been marked.
The air grew colder and, suddenly, their lights were snuffed out. They stood in almost total darkness, isolated for an instant from everything but their own thoughts.
For Abner, that moment was like the coming of doom. His darkest fears had come upon him. They would surely be devoured by the Shadow. He had failed to protect his son and Simeon, and his wife and daughter would be alone, vulnerable. He was overcome with a sinking despair.
Go to it, read more.
Something to Do with Your Kids:
You know what time of year it is? It's football time of year, that's what. Play Dr. Mom has a whole round-up of football themed activities. You know, so that I can engage my kids while I watch 16 hours of live NFL coverage. #Can'tMissASecond #ActuallyYouCanAndItDoesn'tEvenMatter Check it out!
And Something Pretty Neat to Watch
This video is neat, even if the gentleman's conclusions don't necessarily match my own.
Thank you for reading. We're on your side.