Thursday, October 09, 2008

The wrap

Looking back, I think I had a pretty good week. A tiring one for sure, as I've had something going on every single night, and in some cases, had no break between the afternoon and the evening, but God was good in granting me enough energy and helping me to pace myself. Tuesday morning, for instance, I was simply peopled out and so I made sure I got some time to myself during lunchbreak, chomping on a wrap while walking along small, lonely alleyways, which really helped for that evening, where I would have been engaging lots of new faces.

So that's the personal update. Here's an internet roundup update of sorts! Here's some good stuff on the web:

Greg Gilbert at 9Marks has done some reflecting on what the gospel is. It's stimulating. Kingdom language gets thrown around a lot nowadays when it comes to defining the gospel, often over and against a "repentance of sin" gospel. And yet I think the two must hold together, and we must be clear on what we mean by "kingdom". But I accept it's quite hard to be able to articulate it clearly, simply because I guess the gospel is both simple and yet so comprehensive in scope it's hard to say everything in a short soundbite!

The Cruciform Life. I am grateful to those who first exposed me to worldviewish thinking, and how a Christian worldview has helped me in seeing the world with new glasses, as it were. But there is also a danger that the language of worldview devolves into an intellectual game with no corresponding desire to grow to be more like Jesus. But as Jimmy Davis points out in this article, ""my worldview was not biblical until it was also cruciform". (Cruciform simply means cross-shaped). One book that does a great job of showing us the entire shape of the Christian worldview is J. Mark Bertrand's (Re)Thinking Worldview.

I was really fascinated by English professor's Mark Edmundson's observations about my generation (though in an American context) in Dwelling in Possibilities. A snippet:
"They want to study, travel, make friends, make more friends, read everything (superfast), take in all the movies, listen to every hot band, keep up with everyone they've ever known. And there's something else, too, that distinguishes them: They live to multiply possibilities. They're enemies of closure. For as much as they want to do and actually manage to do, they always strive to keep their options open, never to shut possibilities down before they have to."
There are some other startling observations too, like the one about people going to parties only to whip their mobiles out, or the advent of the age of the iPod, which allows us all to have our own personal soundtracks. Well worth reading. I suspect that even non-American readers will be able to recognise hints of similar things in their own contexts.

Mission in the 21st Century. The title is indicative of its content! A survey of what the current mission situation looks like globally, and some brief reflections on how to adapt and engage new realities and challenges.

After Lehman Brothers: Desperate City wives. ("The City" in London refers to the central financial district like Wall Street does in New York). I know it's fashionable at the moment to treat all investment bankers with disdain and to rejoice at their comeuppance. And I don't doubt the fact that in many, many cases, they've been a showcase for greed. But they've also been a convenient mirror for many to project their moral superiority on. I thought this was a very well-done feature, simply getting us into the shoes of the spouses of the (formerly?) wealthy, and also perhaps giving us occasion to reflect on our own habits without being preachy.

Novelist Margaret Atwood looks at the cultural history of debt. A very interesting exploration and a model of how the tools of literary analysis could be applied!

A Conversation with Tan Twan Eng in the Far Eastern Economic Review on the state of Malaysian writing and other things. Tan Twan Eng's novel The Gift of Rain was longlisted for the Booker last year. Haven't read it, and not quite sure if I will. There's another novel by a Malaysian writer which has gotten good press this year - Preeta Samarasan's Evening is the Whole Day. I'm wondering too if I should tackle that one, looks like it would not be light reading though.

I think all the above have substance, so do go have a look! :)

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Anonymous Wynn said...

welcome to the joy of working life. keep well in the Lord.

7:13 pm  

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