It’s Friday again friends! There has been plenty in the news world this week both good and bad. Here are a few items you may not have seen. Enjoy!
Contentment in an Age of Discontent – Chris Grace and Tim Muehlhoff, The Art of Relationships
For those of you unfamiliar with The Art of Relationships podcast, consider this a gift…you’re welcome! This is a fantastic podcast with two very smart, very funny guys. This episode focused on how many are experiencing discontentment and which social, cultural and technological influences are feeding it. I found this an encouraging episode as there are areas of my life where I feel discontent and it was a good reminder to stop myself and evaluate whether those feelings are justified.
Here is a small excerpt to whet your appetite:
“We’ve all sat in these auditoriums and churches where people get up and say, “My child is a five-point-something and started a non-profit in sex trafficking,’ and we’re like, ‘Good Lord, I’m just trying to get my child to find his other shoe to have matching shoes.’ But that kind of stuff, you listen to it enough it’s like, okay, we’re living a life that I can’t point to anything extraordinary about it. We go to work each day, I think our kids are doing well, I think we’re doing well, but man, I can’t look at my marriage or family and say we’re changing the world.”
In the News: The share of Americans who leave Islam is offset by those who become Muslim – Keelan Cook, The Peoples Next Door
Refugees and immigrants seem to be all over the news these days. One topic that is rarely touched on is what affect being immersed in American culture has on the religious beliefs of our new neighbors. Keelan Cook highlights interesting research from Pew Research indicating that roughly 25% of Muslims in America leave Islam. Before Christians become too encouraged by this, the study notes that of those who leave, only 22% become Christians with the majority (55%) professing no religion at all. As Cook puts it, “For Muslims in America, Humanism is currently a better evangelist than the church.”
Cook highlights other aspects of the research and provides some commentary and a challenge to the church to do a better job reaching out to and sharing the Gospel with Muslims as well as grounding those already in the pews with a deeper understanding of the Christian faith.
Behind the Screens of the Selfie World of Teens – Kristen Hatton, ByFaith
Those of you in your 30s or older, like me, probably have some fond memories of the good old days before smartphones, social media, and the internet. Not that I don’t enjoy the benefits of these technologies but those days seemed simpler and freer in many ways. It makes me sad that many of today’s youth go through their teen years worried about how many “likes” a particular photo gets or the fact that other kids look like they are having more fun based on their Instagram photos. Hatton highlights some of the challenges and discouragement facing our youth, challenges we never had to go through. She also offers hope and encouragement for parents to keep speaking God’s truth to teens: that their worth and identity is grounded in Jesus and his love for them is never failing.