The church as recovery group

D.L. Mayfield’s new book, The Myth of the American Dream, is timely. There is a lot of gold in this book and I will do a review later on. But this quote is incredible:

My husband likes to say that we need the church to be our recovery group; we need it to be a place where we can share how tempted we are by the values of our world: upward mobility, progress, success, programs, achievements, individuality.

We need the Church, and the Kingdom of God, to remind us we are not in control. This isn’t about our “liberty.” This is about our allegiance.

The Myth of the American Dream: Reflections on Affluence, Autonomy, Safety, and Power by [D. L. Mayfield]

The follow up on Christianity Today’s editorial

Last week Christianity Today posted an editorial calling for the removal of the president. Well, a lot has happened since then. It got Trump’s ire in some tweets and then some responses from the “right” and the “left.”

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We fear what we don’t know

It is so easy to pick on immigrants from a majority white congressional district. It is so easy to blame “the other” when you’ve never sat down with someone “in opposition” to you and had an actual conversation. These are the challenges… and too often we are not up to these challenges. (And social media makes it SO much easier to stay in opposition without getting to know someone else of a different status or opinion.) What we don’t know, or WHO we don’t know, we fear. Then, we create hyped up scenarios to then generate hyped up solutions.

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The Coddling of the American Mind: Is there any HOPE?

The picture painted in The Coddling of the American Mind is harsh. We’ve truly had a lot go wrong and we’ve put a lot of fear and anxiety into our lives, and much of it that is unnecessary. Is there any hope? They give some ideas, thankfully.

First, start with childhood. Colleges definitely need work (and these two university professors know those issues), but why not start kids off better?

Here are some quick points they offer:

  1. Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child. (Let them have some small risks early and grow the space for risk as they get older.)
  2. Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. (HINT: Quit watching “Criminal Minds” and “Law and Order: SVU”.)
  3. The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. (In other words, you can find good in a Republican AND a Democrat. Hard to believe, I know.)
  4. Help schools to oppose the great untruths. (Demand more recess!)
  5. Limit and refine device time. (Well… those first four seem doable!)
  6. Support a new national norm: service or work before college.
Image result for the coddling of the american mind

The balkanization of the United States

When the Soviet Union was collapsing in the last 1980s, I read an article in The Atlantic about a region I’d never heard of: the Balkans. In that article, the writer told a tale I found fantastic and almost unbelievable. His contention was that during the Cold War, it was good for the U.S. and the Soviet Union to be the big gorillas in Europe. It kept this Balkan region from exploding.

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