Puritans

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.       An Open Letter to a Suffering Christian: David Powlison with simple, but powerful words, " Suffering must be walked through one step at a time. Be honest. Don’t take any shortcuts. Let each day’s trouble be sufficient for that day. Seek your Father. If you seek him, you will find him."

2.       Don't Settle for Artificial Intimacy: One of my favorite author on marriage, Gary Thomas, with an insightful look into artificial intimacy, "Every season of life tempts us to stop building our marriages. Rather than grow together in true intimacy, far too many couples exist only on what I call "artificial intimacy." They've never intentionally built intimacy but rather were trapped by an infatuation that felt like it fell from heaven. They never had to work at it; it just was. Once it died, their intimacy died with it. An artificial intimacy can be sustained for a time by the common events of life, but usually it comes to a huge crash..."

3.       Moms Have Always Worked: Hannah Nation's study of the Puritans reveals a deficiency in the way we typically think about work. I wholeheartedly agree with Nation's thesis, "Although these divides still haunt us to this day, our economy is changing once again. As more and more work goes online and we transition to an information economy, the options available to women are also changing, making the demarcation between “working mom” and “stay-at-home mom” less visible. Arguably, then, we are shifting (even if slowly) back toward the more holistic and unified world of Puritan New England."

4.       A Father's Memoir of Miscarriage: Powerful reflection by Eric Schumacher, "We discussed it and chose silence. We told no one. We feared drawing attention away from their loss onto ours. Others were suffering “worse” than we were. After all, how did the uncomplicated and almost unnoticed loss of an unexpected and unannounced pregnancy compare to their painful and public suffering? They “deserved” the sympathy and the support more than we did. And there it was, that first little fox in the vineyard of grief—comparison. A ruthless enemy, comparison is quick to use your family, your wife, your children, and your friends against you. Comparison sunk its teeth in deeper with each of the three subsequent miscarriages, further stifling my grief... The gospel speaks a better word than the bark of comparison. It speaks of a Father who notices and values the minutia of his world—even the parts that others deem worthless by comparison."

5.       It's Not You: How our Phones are Designed to Be Addicting:  The 3 design elements that make smartphones more like slot machines than tools, explained by Google’s former design ethicist.

Look and Live by Matt Papa

Look and Live by Matt Papa

Ironically, for a group caricatured as being strict and unfeeling, the Puritan's greatest legacy is the insight that we are worshiping creatures whose beliefs and actions flow from our affections, not our minds. It is our desires, not our intellect that direct us.

Matt Papa takes this key insight and unpacks it beautifully in his book Look and Live. We are worshipers, created for worship from the womb. If we want to fight the grip of sin in our lives, Papa argues, we need only look at the greatest and most glorious object of our worship: God, who most powerfully reveals his glory on the cross. As Papa says, "we worship our way into sin. We must worship our way out."

The glory of God is no trivial thing. "The glory of God is the reason why every person in the Bible who encounters God nearly falls dead. It changes you. When we see God, we get small." Papa looks at God's glory in redemptive history and in nature, stoking the awe of our hearts.