Wednesday, July 9, 2014

All Around the Web - July 9, 2014

Business Insider - Half Of The United States Lives In These Counties

Tullian Tchividjian - Is Your Life Defined By A Ladder Or A Cross?
In a very real way, our lives are defined by how we answer that question. Specifically, our lives are defined either by a cross or by a ladder. The ladder symbolizes our ascension—our effort to “go up.” The cross symbolizes God’s descension—his coming down.
There is no better story in the Old Testament, or perhaps the whole Bible, for depicting the difference between the ladder-defined life and the cross-defined life than that of the Tower of Babel.

In Genesis 11:4, the people make a decision. “Come, let us build ourselves a city,” they said, “with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves.” This is humanity in a nutshell. We want desperately to be known, appreciated, lauded, and extolled. We want to secure our own meaning, significance, and worth. We give our all to these objectives.

But then something funny happens.

The Gospel Coalition - When the Transgender Issue Comes Home
A close friend called to tell me that I had a new brother. After nearly 20 years as four sons and one daughter, my family scratched another tally mark in the ledger column already chock-full of boys. “Have you heard about Jessah?” she asked. “She just announced on Facebook that she’s transgender.”
My new brother, it would seem, is my sister.

Jessah is 19 years old, 12 years younger than I am. I was in the hospital when she was born. I spent my middle-school years changing her diapers. She beamed with pride and excitement when my then-fiancée Becca asked her to be a bridesmaid at our wedding, and during the ceremony she looked just as beautiful and twice as proud as the older girls. Becca offered advice when she was learning to put on makeup, when puberty arrived, when she first started noticing and crushing on boys.

Today, though, Jessah identifies as a man. “I am not female,” she declared in her coming out announcement. She is legally changing her name to Jace and plans to undergo hormone treatment therapy and gender reassignment surgery as soon as possible. In the meantime, she is presenting herself as a male.

Justin Taylor - Why Is There Only One Way to God?

Ross Douthat - A Company Liberals Could Love
FOR a generation now, liberals have bemoaned the disappearance of the socially conscious corporation, the boardroom devoted to the common good. Once, the story goes, America’s C.E.O.s recognized that they shared interests with workers and customers; once wages and working hours reflected more than just a zeal for profits. But then came Reagan, deregulation, hostile takeovers, and an era of solidarity gave way to the age of Gordon Gekko, from which there’s been no subsequent escape.

There are, however, exceptions: companies that still have a sense of business as a moral calling, which can be held up as examples to shame the bottom-liners. 

One such company was hailed last year by the left-wing policy website Demos “for thumbing its nose at the conventional wisdom that success in the retail industry” requires paying “bargain-basement wages.” A retail chain with nearly 600 stores and 13,000 workers, this business sets its lowest full-time wage at $15 an hour, and raised wages steadily through the stagnant postrecession years. (Its do-gooder policies also include donating 10 percent of its profits to charity and giving all employees Sunday off.) And the chain is thriving commercially — offering, as Demos put it, a clear example of how “doing good for workers can also mean doing good for business.”

David Schrock - Twelve ‘Old Books’ Every Christian Should Read
On the Incarnation by Athanasius (ca. 298-373). 
The Confessions by Augustine (354-430).
Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (1509-64).
The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes (1577-1635).
Paradise Lost by John Milton (1608-1674).
Pensees by Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1628-1688).
The Sermons of John Wesley (1703-91), Jonathan Edwards (1703-58), or Charles Spurgeon (1834-92).
The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation by Andrew Fuller (1754-1815).
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963). .
Knowing God by J. I. Packer (1926- ).

Denny Burk - 9 Terrible Habits You Need to Stop Immediately
A productivity expert at Time magazine offers “9 Terrible Habits You Need to Stop Immediately.” This is not written from a biblical point of view, but there are nevertheless some wise, adaptable things to consider in this not-to-do list. The “terrible habits” are listed below. Click here to read the explanation for each one.

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