Week on the Web – 18 October 2019

An assortment of links gathered from the far reaches of the internet for your clicking pleasure over the weekend. This week includes preacher’s wives, a very loud world, virtue through dissociation, getting goodness done, and the rise of the nones or just the end of the pretense of a Christian nation.

The Perilous Power of the Preacher’s Wife

A jarringly phenomenal read from Kate Bowler.

My research shows that conservative women gain considerable influence without institutional power, and liberal women gain institutional power without considerable influence.

This piece struck me as an indictment on Evangelical celebrity culture and what it uniquely demands of its female celebrities. Of particular interest was her observation that the key to success is a tale of suffering, and a form of faux vulnerability that doesn’t go too deep. Worth your time.

Why is the World So Loud?

The world is getting louder and louder and it isn’t at all good for us.

“Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience,” former U.S. Surgeon General William Stewart said in 1978. In the years since, numerous studies have only underscored his assertion that noise “must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.”

The Power of Not Belonging to a Particular Group

It turns out that being excluded is as powerful a social force as being included. Samuel James explores CS Lewis’ thoughts on the “inner ring” and the “outer ring” in the context of our internet age. Disassociation is as powerful a force as association.

Doing What Anyone Can Do

Short, simple, but profound reminder. So much good gets done by people who just get it done.

It’s true that there are times when we find ourselves in need of specialists – surgeons, counsellors, architects and pilots and such – and in those moments, it’s a good thing for all of us that people have developed these skills. It’s also true that the world is always in need of the non-specialised abilities that all of us are capable of using: Love. Friendship. Shared time. A listening ear. A hard day’s work. Loyalty. Respect. 

The End of US Cultural Christianity?

The latest research showing how quickly the numbers are changing in US data of religious affiliation and church attendance. This is pronounced and seismically advanced amongst millennials. While I am no data analyst, this looks like it is actually an ending to cultural Christianity in the US. People are no longer pretending to be Christians, and I am not sure that is an altogether bad thing.


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