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8520610Over at Christ and Pop Culture, you can read my latest review. It’s just a brief overview of Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Not mentioned in the review, but worth checking out is the part where she compares and contrasts a Tony Robbins workshop and a church service at Saddleback.

To help further the conversation, I thought I’d point you along to several other posts at Christ and Pop Culture that interact with the book and introversion in general:

The Kiddy Pool: Ins and Outs—Reading Susan Cain’s Quiet

The prevailing mainstream mentality is that wanting to be by oneself sometimes (or a lot) is selfish, anti-social, and ultimately broken. Yet Cain’s Quiet argues precisely the opposite. Throughout her text, Cain asserts that critical traits like creativity, exceptional achievement in any field (from technology to the arts to athletics), and ethical-decision making require working alone. It is in the intensely thoughtful, sometimes obsessive ruminations of introverts that the brightest ideas often occur—not in the ubiquitous group work that Cain says produces lots of ideas but few brilliant ones. Introverts and extroverts alike need to balance group interactions with time alone, a dualism known throughout monastic history as the active and contemplative lives.

The Persecution Complex of the Modern Introvert

The last few years have been pretty good for introverts. Researchers have found that activities usually regarded as “extraverted”—meetings, brainstorming, group work—are not nearly as effective or productive as people think they are, and that better results occur if you just leave people alone and let them work. A host of books, including Susan Cain’s acclaimed Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, have been published in recent years that proclaim the value that introverts bring to the world, and offer advice to introverts on how to be better and happier. There’s even a book—Adam S. McHugh’s Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture—on ministering to introverts in the Church and recognizing their unique gifts.

I’ve detected an underlying theme in these things: It’s an extravert’s world out there, and we introverts are just passing through as best we can, and hoping nobody talks to us along the way. Extraverts rule the world because, well, they’re extraverts, and they put themselves out there more often. What’s more, many of the economic, social, and power structures in place reward extraversion. Meanwhile, because introverts prefer to sit on the sidelines and in the shadows, we are marginalized and forgotten along with any gifts and contributions that we might bring to the table.

Introverts, Unite! Stop Calling Us Shy!

I immediately clicked on Jessica Lahey’s article “Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School” because I am both a teacher and an introvert. As far as the headline goes, I agree with Lahey’s argument as well as her premise—that the outside world demands dialogue and discussion, and educators who coddle children and never require them to speak ultimately do the children a disservice.

What Memes Mean: A Disheartening Meme On Introversion

God created each of us with certain attributes, according to a sovereign plan and with a certain vocation, “[making] from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him” (Acts 17:26-27).  Temperament is an integral part of this calling, a fascinating divine ordainment.  It is something to be praised, properly understood, and developed, and never an excuse to avoid personal growth.

This meme illustrates a frustrating misunderstanding of many of the qualities of introversion, painting them with a level of neediness that is much more aligned with base immaturity than the particular personality type in question. I was hoping that our culture was getting over some of its stigmas.  But then a meme like this pops up, and I’m disheartened once again.

Top Links

Together For The Gospel Main Sessions

All the audio for the main sessions of Together For The Gospel are online now. I’d really recommend Kevin DeYoung’s and John Piper’s messages.

Holy Week Day 1: Palm Sunday (Justin Taylor)

This series of videos will run all week corresponding with the book The Final Days of Jesus (see my review Tuesday)

Hollywood, Movies, and The Bible: Should We Rewind on How We View? (Darrell Bock)

I have watched with great interest the thumbs up or thumbs down on the host of recent Hollywood movies. I have seen those opinions raised often with a sense that if you think otherwise, the Holy Spirit must have departed your soul while you were at the movie or departed from it before you made the decision to go.

As one tasked to discuss cultural engagement at a seminary, I’m interested to see how church leaders respond to these films. And I am worried we are missing the boat on Noahand other movies, whether made by those inside or outside of the church. The questions we are asking about their content are important, but the tone and how we are reacting may be missing the mark. We may need to push rewind and rethink how we review what Hollywood produces for us.

Is Mental Illness Actually Biblical? (Stephen Altrogge)

I recently read two articles by a well known Christian author who is also closely connected to a Christian counseling foundation. The articles essentially argued that mental illness was a social construct created by secular doctors and psychiatrists, and therefore, is not biblical. So, when a person is depressed, he is really just experiencing sadness, and to try to treat it medically is to short circuit the power of God. When a person is anxious, she is really just experiencing worry, and to treat it medically is a secular answer to a spiritual problem. You get the idea.

The desire behind the article was good: the author was trying to demonstrate that Jesus is sufficient for every facet of life. However, I believe that treating mental illness as only (or even primarily) a spiritual problem is both profoundly unbiblical and incredibly hurtful to those who struggle with mental illness.

This List Reveals The Heartbleed Affected Passwords to Change Now (Lifehacker)

By now you’ve probably heard about the massive Heartbleed security bug that may have compromised the majority of the world’s web sites. Everyone should change their passwords on the affected sites—but only after those sites have patched the issue. Mashable is maintaining and updating a list of the most popular sites you should change your passwords for ASAP.

Random Thoughts

  • I had a great time in Louisville last week. It was good to actually hang out in person with several friends I know through blogging and Twitter. Also, I was able to meet my Ph.D adviser and talk with the director of doctoral studies about some independent study options. It more less sealed the deal since I found out I could have my cake and eat it too (more on that later).
  • I will probably have some book giveaways in the near future. For one, I need to reduce, but also, I got about 30 free books at Together For The Gospel and now I have duplicates. Some of those I have reviewed, so I’m thinking I’ll add a giveaway to the existing review and then post about it on Twitter/Facebook.
  • With the prospect of doctoral studies on the horizon, I’m trying to decide how to spend my free time the next few months. Do I get a head start? Do I just pleasure read? Do I start working on French/Latin/German? Do I just not read at all for a while? (No). Probably will do some planning this next week since, because of testing, functions like a second spring break.
  • They just opened a new Panera literally across the street from our neighborhood. Though I am Starbucks loyalist, I am more of a “nice outdoor patio” loyalist, so I think I found a new hang out and study spot. Also, I see many discipleship meetings on the horizon, and potentially an apologetics or theology group. We’ll see.

From My YouTube History

A History of Pizza

Nan’s First Roller Coaster Ride

I’ve been toying with the idea of having a weekly roundup post. Today, I finally decided to pull the trigger. It’s kind of like a #FollowFriday, but instead of just telling you a random list of people to follow, I offer you what I considered the “Tweets of The Week” (hence the post title) from the various people I follow on Twitter. Without further delay, here they are:

You may or may not have noticed, but there is a link in my blog menu for my Tumblr. It’s been active for a few years now, but I’ve been more or less inconsistent in using it. I’ve decided that I want to start doing more occasional blogging, and decided that Tumblr is the venue I want to post things at. It is more or less a commonplace book for quotes, links, pictures and videos (usually humorous as you’ll see). I may even journal some there, who knows?

It is replacing a WordPress.com site (nateclaiborne.wordpress.com) that I was using semi-frequently. I decided to use the domain to point to my Tumblr because I like that interface better for micro-blogging. Really, my roots are in micro-blogging since that I was doing on Myspace and Xanga before I had self-hosted blogs. You can expect mostly light-hearted fare and I’ll keep longer and more intensive posts for this blog. You can also expect the posts here to be less frequent, but still semi-regular. I’ve got several book reviews scheduled out over the rest of the month and I’ll post more essay-like writings here as well.

I’m debating coming up with a better name, but for now I’m thinking with the old name that was once attached to this blog will work just fine. If you’ve got some better ideas, definitely let me know!

 

A Collection of Challies’ Visual Theology Infographics

I’ve linked to some of these before, but since Tim Challies offered a roundup post, I thought you should have this link.

aquinasbanner1

Over at The Gospel Coalition yesterday, they posted two essays on Thomas Aquinas.

The first (that I saw), was by K. Scott Oliphint and suggested Aquinas is a shaky foundation:

Thomas Aquinas is among the top philosophical theologians in the history of the church. His genius cannot be doubted. His significant influence extends, not simply to the Roman Catholic Church, but into many aspects of the Reformation as well. Like so many in church history, Thomas wears neither a black hat nor a white hat, but a grey hat. How dark or light the grey is depends on a complex multitude of factors.

As a counterpoint, Gerald R. McDermott suggested Aquinas could be very helpful to evangelicals:

There are many, many other ways in which a deep reading of Aquinas can be of immense help to evangelicals. He speaks with strange depth and insight to current questions of how to talk about God, what we can and cannot know about God, what virtues are peculiarly Christian and which are not, what it means to be holy and happy, the meaning of the Incarnation, and much, much more.

I’ve wanted to get into Aquinas a bit more myself, and if you’re looking for a good introduction, Peter Kreeft’s A Summa of The Summa is a good place to start. If you’re interested in the essential philosophical passages in Aquinas’ magisterial Summa Theologica, then this eBook (also courtesy Peter Kreeft and a shortened version of the previous link) is for you: A Shorter Summa.

If I do any reading, you can be sure I’ll have thoughts to share!

A Round Up of Election Reflections

I thought about making one of these myself, but then I saw Thabiti’s and figured I’d just send you his way.

A Charitable, Yet Critical Review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood

I think this is the best I’ve read, both in terms of charity toward Evans, and in terms of critical insight. It’s nice to read a review that doesn’t a) fawn over the book like its the best thing ever or b) demonize Evans as the worst author ever.

A Charitable, Yet Critical Review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood

9 Things You Should Know About Halloween and Reformation Day

9 Things You Should Know About Halloween and Reformation Day

Porn-Free Church: Sex, God, and The Gospel

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