Worth Reading - 4/10

1. In the mind of some, all that is lacking from people is opportunity, thus if resources were provided, everyone would be successful. Here is a story that seems to provide evidence against that assumption:

The fact that Grand already possessed a valuable skill should have been a hint that his homelessness was not going to be “cured” by learning to code. As McConlogue later acknowledges, “Homelessness is not a feature of someone, or a condition.” If homelessness was a “feature or condition” it’d likely make the problem easier to solve. Unfortunately, though, the reasons people are homeless are complex and often rooted in the specific context of the individual.

What then should we take away from this failed experiment? I think there are two things we can learn.

First, this example should make us more humble about thinking that we can solve the problem, even the problem of a single individual’s homelessness, by our own efforts. Sometimes we can, and when we can, we should do what is possible to help the homeless find safety and shelter. But we shouldn’t think that we are going to make much of a difference unless we are able to address the real problems (like mental illness) that often lead to homelessness.

Second, as Christians there is something we can do to help people in this condition: share the gospel with them. While this may seem obvious, it seems we too often think that sharing the good news about Jesus is something that should be done only after we solve their “temporary” problem of chronic homelessness. But as in the case of Leo Grand, we see that the problem isn’t something we can fix and isn’t likely to end anytime soon. If we tarry in proclaiming to them the good news until they have an earthly shelter, they may miss out on finding an eternal home in God’s Kingdom.

2. What is deism? Thomas Kidd gives some background:

The fact that Grand already possessed a valuable skill should have been a hint that his homelessness was not going to be “cured” by learning to code. As McConlogue later acknowledges, “Homelessness is not a feature of someone, or a condition.” If homelessness was a “feature or condition” it’d likely make the problem easier to solve. Unfortunately, though, the reasons people are homeless are complex and often rooted in the specific context of the individual.

What then should we take away from this failed experiment? I think there are two things we can learn.

First, this example should make us more humble about thinking that we can solve the problem, even the problem of a single individual’s homelessness, by our own efforts. Sometimes we can, and when we can, we should do what is possible to help the homeless find safety and shelter. But we shouldn’t think that we are going to make much of a difference unless we are able to address the real problems (like mental illness) that often lead to homelessness.

Second, as Christians there is something we can do to help people in this condition: share the gospel with them. While this may seem obvious, it seems we too often think that sharing the good news about Jesus is something that should be done only after we solve their “temporary” problem of chronic homelessness. But as in the case of Leo Grand, we see that the problem isn’t something we can fix and isn’t likely to end anytime soon. If we tarry in proclaiming to them the good news until they have an earthly shelter, they may miss out on finding an eternal home in God’s Kingdom.
Perhaps one of the most iconic plantation homes of the South, Boone Hall is not famous for its stately brick home or elegant column-lined porch.

What makes the home a landmark is the iconic driveway lined with live oak trees.

The branches of the grand trees, originally planted in 1743, meet over the drive to form a magnificent leafy canopy dripping with Spanish moss. Soft sunlight streaming through leaves at the end of the day makes the scene especially magical.

Of course what visitors do not see is the massive system of roots tangled beneath the ground. These roots have nourished and supported the trees above ground for over 200 years and yet are hidden from sight.

I think there is an important parallel to be drawn here between the roots and trees of Boone Hall Plantation and the way the human heart operates.

4. The Irish Twins from Lutheran Satire are at it again. This time, instead of arguing about the Trinity with St. Patrick, they are undermining Richard Dawkins' critique of Christianity.