Laudable Linkage

A collection of good reading online

Here are some of the most noteworthy reads discovered recently:

We Are All Cultists On the Inside. “Yet a little honest self-examination will probably reveal that we all have a cultist lurking within ourselves. We may pay lip service to diversity, but when it comes down to it we find that our natural instinct is toward uniformity—a uniformity to our own emphases, our own convictions, our own preferences.”

How to Prepare for the Metaverse, HT to Challies. The first time I encountered the term “metaverse” was in the animated film Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse. But lately I’ve caught snatches of news that indicates the metaverse is, or will be, a real-world thing. This article explains what it is and what its impacts might be.

5 Takeaways from the Facebook Papers, HT to Challies. One of them: “A 2018 presentation from internal Facebook researchers, as revealed by the WSJ, showed that divisiveness and polarization increased the time people spent on Facebook, which in turn generates more money for Facebook.” It’s not just our imaginations that FB has turned into a place for arguing rather than socializing.

Does It Really Matter Whether Adam Was the First Man? HT to Challies. “The simple aim of this article is to show that, far from being a peripheral matter for fussy literalists, it is biblically and theologically necessary for Christians to believe in Adam as a historical person who fathered the entire human race.”

Loving the God of Little Things, HT to The Story Warren. “It’s troubling, this idea that one should be cut off from joys of all kinds if one hasn’t achieved the joy of having a family. It suggests both a lack of trust in God to have every person’s best interests at heart, and a lack of the imagination to comprehend all the different kinds of joys God offers us.”

I’m not sure who alerted me to the artistry of Tanaka_Tatsuya on Instagram, but I’ve enjoyed his creations quite a lot. He takes everyday objects and reimagines them in miniatures. He usually shares an overview photo and then one or two zoomed in to the intricate detail. Here’s one of my favorites:

Happy Saturday!

Book Review: The Medallion

In The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke, Sophie Kumiega is a Brit living in her husband’s city of Warsaw, Poland, in 1939. He’s a fighter pilot, in the air during the German attack on Warsaw. He can’t get back into the country after Germany’s occupation. Sophie first tries to work, until the library where she is employed is bombed and taken over. Then she helps the underground in various ways, still unsure whether her husband lives.

In the same city, Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich are a Jewish couple dealing with the increasing encroachment of German occupation. They welcome their first child into the Jewish ghetto. Itzhak worries about his family in another town. He devises a way to go to them to see if they’re safe or bring them back to Warsaw if they’re not.

But Itzhak doesn’t return. Food becomes even more scarce, atrocities increase. Rosa makes a heart-wrenching decision. The only way to protect her daughter is to send her with an underground nurse who finds places to hide Jewish children. Rosa cuts in half the tree of life medallion Itzhak gave her on her wedding day and places it on a chain around her daughter’s neck. When the war is over, hopefully she will be able to match her half of the medallion to her child’s and reclaim her.

I can’t imagine living through what either Sophie or Rosa did. Both saw loved ones die and conditions grow worse. Sophie had to constantly be aware of who was around and who might see and report her. Rosa dealt with the effects of deprivation and starvation.

I had an idea how the plot might end, but it took quite a different route there than I had guessed.

In the afterword. Cathy told how she became intrigued with two different true stories—one of a woman who posed as a nurse and hid Jewish children in convent schools or with Gentile helpers, and another involving searching for a child with half a medallion given up during the war. She wove them together in this story.

Somehow I happened to have both the Kindle and Audible versions of this book. It was nice to be able to pick up either one where I left off from the other. Normally the audiobook narration enhances the story, but this one felt a little overdone to me.

But all in all, an excellent, touching book.

(Sharing with Booknificent Thursday, Carole’s Books You Loved)

Laudable Linkage

Here are some noteworthy reads from the last couple of weeks:

Two pieces on the historicity of the first Adam, a current hot topic: Our Make-Believe Parents: When Adam Becomes More Fiction Than Fact and 19 Resources on the Historicity of Adam.

Grace Incognito. “I may like the idea of portraying the strong Christian woman weathering adversity with a brave face, but I don’t get to choose the scene of my martyrdom that will show off my good side. But what if the point isn’t sprinting across the finish line in record time, but knowing God in every halting, baby step along the way?”

One Step. “One step — one cross-shaped, trusting step of faith in a loving, good, and sovereign God — gives purpose to pain, turns mourning into dancing, and transforms everything (yes, everything) into a gift…And I have a visual of grace that I will never, ever forget.”

Savor “Every” Moment? This humorous piece reminds us that young moms in the trenches need more from us than the admonition to savor every moment because it all passes so quickly. They need to know we remember the trenches and survived them.

How to Criticize a Preacher.

Distinguishing Between Truth and the Bearer of Truth. This kind of goes along with the one above. I’ve had a possible blog post percolating in the back of my mind along these lines, but no time to write it out.

A Concerned Mother’s Letter to Teen-age Girls.

Thinking Evangelically About Tim Tebow. “I fear that the Tebow-mania is just another manifestation of the way evangelicals think cultural cache and celebrity influence is vital to the cause of Christ. When I read the Bible, I see the opposite, actually, how God uses the low, the weak, the despised, the cultural cast-offs to further his kingdom. I am not against Christians in the entertainment or athletic spotlights, of course, but I am against the idolization of these people, which I think much of our fandom becomes. To be clear: The cause of Christ is not dependent on Tim Tebow’s success in the NFL. And, by the way, neither is his witness!”

Can Oyster, the “Netflix For Books,” Be Successful?

Hope you have a great Saturday!