Worth Reading - 3/3

1. Bruce Ashford shares 11 books that are helpful for understanding Christian perspectives on cultural engagement:

If ever in history there were a non-event, this is it: my top eleven books on cultural engagement for an American Christian to own (and read). A few weeks ago, a friend of mine requested that I recommend a list of five books on Christian cultural engagement and it “got me to thinking.” Although I tried to limit myself to a list of five, I failed miserably, and thus you have before your eyes a list of eleven. So here’s the list, but before we proceed, allow me to make several comments.

First, “cultural engagement” is a very broad term, encompassing many things, and a short list like I am providing only scrapes the surface. Second, I’ve tried to include a mixture of beginning, intermediate, and advanced books in order to provide recommendations for every type of reader. Third, although I don’t agree with everything that is said in any of the books I recommend, I do think each of the books I recommend provide helpful guidance in how to engage our 21st century Western context.

2. Anne Bradley asks whether everything needed for human flourishing was contained in the Garden of Eden:

We were given all of the resources we need in the Garden of Eden. We were placed into an environment with just the resources we needed and a mind designed to mirror the creativity of our God.

Only he can create something out of nothing, but we reflect his creative capacity through our ability and responsibility to create something out of something.

As we use our resources and our minds, we are called also to help those around us to do the same. When we are unable to work and exercise creativity, we suffer, and those around us suffer. When we do exercise creativity and produce valuable items, we flourish and so do our neighbors.

If we truly want to help the least of these, let’s reflect on the Garden and revel in the ways that God is making new what was broken by the Fall.

3. Using his characteristically irreverent humor, Dave Barry writes about how previous generations had more fun because they didn't worry so much about being parents:

My mom, like my dad, and millions of other members of the Greatest Generation, had to contend with real adversity: the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, hunger, poverty, disease, World War II, extremely low-fi 78 r.p.m. records and telephones that—incredible as it sounds today—could not even shoot video.

They managed to overcome those hardships and take America to unprecedented levels of productivity and power, which is why they truly are a great generation. But they aren’t generally considered to be a fun generation. That was supposed to be their children—my generation, the baby boomers.