A Week of Groceries in Different Countries – I love resources that allow us to look at aspects of the daily life and routines of people around the world. This is an interesting collection at some of the representative grocery selections around the world. (Though I am pretty sure there is a great deal of variance within each countries that is impossible to fully represent here, as is reflected by the USA picture and others.)
The ‘New Legalism:’ How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God – I appreciate Anthony Bradley’s article on what’s come to be labeled as “Radical Christianity,” though this type of legalism is certainly not new. I spent over 25 years of my life hearing a very similar message and the past few need to constantly be reminded that my identity is not what “what are you doing for Jesus?” but what Jesus has done for me.
What he doesn’t specifically address in this article, though, is that it seems a robust Christianity will made up of those who are doing what we see as the “more radical” and the radically mundane (and everything in between); it will be made up of those who give all their goods to the poor and of those who are blessed with immense earthly riches. In fact, for many of us, one lifetime may place us in a variety of places within spectrum of radical to radically mundane. (Emphasis mine.)
“I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and young adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not be doing something unique and special. Today’s millennial generation is being fed the message that if they don’t do something extraordinary in this life they are wasting their gifts and potential. The sad result is that many young adults feel ashamed if they “settle” into ordinary jobs, get married early and start families, live in small towns, or as 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “aspire to live quietly, and to mind [their] affairs, and to work with [their] hands.” For too many millennials their greatest fear in this life is being an ordinary person with a non-glamorous job, living in the suburbs, and having nothing spectacular to boast about.”
“A few decades ago, an entire generation of baby boomers walked away from traditional churches to escape the legalistic moralism of “being good,” but what their millennial children received in exchange, in an individualistic American Christian culture, was shamed-driven pressure to be awesome and extraordinary young adults expected to tangibly make a difference in the world immediately. But this cycle of reaction and counter-reaction, inaugurated by the baby boomers, does not seem to be producing faithful young adults. Instead, many are simply burning out.”
“Perhaps the best antidote to these pendulum swings and fads is simply to recover an mature understanding of vocation so that youth and young adults understand that they can make important contributions to human flourishing in any sphere of life because there are no little people or insignificant callings in the Kingdom.”
How We Became Classical Unschoolers, and the Books We Use in Our School Every Day – I love Anne Bogel’s description of her family’s educational philosophy. Although our children are still younger in their ages and the actual bookwork part of our schooling is not as much yet, I feel like her title is descriptive of where we are right now on educational thoughts. (Though how it gets played out in her home and the texts she use will not necessarily be descriptive of our situation.)
“Back when we first started homeschooling, we bought boxed grade-level curriculum from Memoria Press. We chose this route because it was easy: my son had been using the same books at the private school, so we all knew what to expect from school-in-a-box. (I felt validated when I later heard Susan Wise Bauer recommend boxed curriculum for the first year of homeschooling.) I tried to follow all the directions to the letter.
That lasted for about a month.
It turns out that the boxed curriculum called for a whole lot of things that didn’t suit our little homeschool very well. It required enormous amounts of writing, and I had a boy who could only write one page of anything before freaking out. It was highly structured, and structure is tough to maintain when your 3-year-old is trying to feed legos to the baby. who won’t nap. again. And it turned out that everybody–me, student 1, student 2–hated worksheets. And there were a lot of worksheets.
I felt guilty about deviating from the lesson plans for the better part of that year, but I eventually got over it, and we settled into a style that worked for us. For all of us. And eventually, we gave it a name: classical unschooling. (Hat tip to my friend Jessica for the turn of phrase.)
I came to depend on the lesson plans less and less. Eventually, I stopped looking at them. I finally came to believe what I’d always heard about homeschooling: that you really can tailor your school to meet the needs of your students.”
New Wave Complementarianism, Wendy Alsup and Kevin DeYoung – In a post two weeks ago, I shared a link to Wendy Alsup’s article, “A New Wave of Complementarianism.” There have been several articles written in response to Wendy’s article. This article links to some of the main ones and then offers some commentary.
“[T]here are so many people who have been asking legitimate questions and raising the warning flags for years now. The response has been to minimize, ignore or (in the most extreme cases) demonize those who ask questions.
I think perhaps finally over the past six to twelve months I’m starting to see the realization dawn amongst some of them that perhaps they really do have to listen to people who are asking questions.”
“The cognitive dissonance is a huge deal. I think this may especially be true of younger women who are in healthy marriages with men who are their best friends. Marriage is very different for recent generations than it was previous ones. Women are constantly told from the pulpit that they are subversive usurpers and that everything wrong in a marriage can be traced back to the woman not submitting. Then they look at their own marriages and they see NOTHING of this. The incessant and unrelenting focus on women submitting or else they will destroy their marriage (and the church and civilization as we know it) makes no sense to them (or me).
Lastly, the internet has opened dialog in ways never possible before. It’s really hard to demonize the egalitarians when you interact with them online and have pleasant discussions with them. When you realize that many of them are deeply committed to the Scriptures and long to follow Christ faithfully so they can hear “Well done, good and faithful servant,” all of the sudden you realize that maybe the questions they are asking are honest and come from a heart deeply committed to Christ. Making all egalitarians out as the enemy to be appeased (as DeYoung put it) is truly an insult to the brothers and sisters in Christ who take this view.”