Archive for April, 2014

Millennials

April 30, 2014

A couple of essays on millennials in the last few weeks.

First, on the false gospel of nice. The author (Daniel Darling) questions the apocalyptic future for evangelicalism some see. Youth are not leaving, at least not in ways that threaten the future. Moreover, he suggests faithfulness to Jesus might involve taking some tough positions. I think tone has been a problem with this second issue. Too often we’ve been culture warriors who seem to like the battle. But still, I don’t think popularity is a certain path to a faithful future.

And here, Rolling Stone explores the millennials sexual revolution. Evangelicals should take note and think about what this cultural setting means, especially for those who grow up in this culture. Warning: some tough and fairly graphic discussions.

Not Christian Enough

April 30, 2014

An interesting take on the fear that we might not be Christian enough, especially in a culture that seems to often be intent on setting bright and clear boundaries, even in areas where the Bible is less than clear.

Cultural Appropriation as Learning

April 30, 2014

We’ve had a number of recent spats condemning cultural appropriation. To be sure, there are probably occasional things that might be problematic for very specific historical or cultural reasons. But generally, I think this essay has it right. Most of this is just learning, and often the results  are very good results, and are dependent precisely on taking elements of one culture and mixing it with another. So let’s keep learning.

Silicon Valley Bubble?

April 30, 2014

This article on the possibility of another high tech bubble is generally interesting. But I especially focused on the problem of groupthink. Here’s a sample:

It turns out that insider-ness provides little protection against delusional thinking. “A fundamental observation about human society is that people who communicate with one another regularly think similarly,” the Nobel-Prize winning economist Robert Shiller writes in Irrational Exuberance, his book on the late ‘90s. This is as true of venture capitalists and tech executives as it is of lowly clock-punchers. Indeed, Shiller cites several experiments showing that people will often accept an observation that is self-evidently bonkers merely because seven or eight peersabout the size of a typical Silicon-Valley board meetinginsist it’s right. “People simply thought all the other people could not be wrong,” Shiller explains.

There are some important issues to think about here.

 

Non-traditional students

April 30, 2014

Asking the hard questions. Do we spend too much on non-traditional students? Obviously, the metrics matter here.

Reading on electronic devices

April 30, 2014

There are some unexpected effects

O Maryland…

April 30, 2014

My current home state continues to be a relatively hostile place for educational innovation. Long term it does not bode well.

God’s Not Dead

April 29, 2014

A thoughtful critique of an aspect of the God’s Not Dead movie. I think we deserve better story-telling. It’s too easy to have totally evil bad guys.

Jars of Clay

April 29, 2014

I’ve generally been a fan, and this last week’s dust-up doesn’t really change this. The reaction was vociferous and not especially kind or even attempting to understand what might the discussion was really about. In any event, here is an interesting analysis of the whole situation.

I’m not going to endorse all the analysis – the author has a bias and an agenda (as we all do). But sometimes the outside perspective sheds some light that might not be otherwise evident. Has a particular and singular approach to issues surrounding homosexuality become an evangelical essential? I doubt it (I know many libertarian leaning evangelicals, for example, who lean to something similar to position #3), but for at least a significant part of evangelical culture seems to think it is. And that’s the rub.

More thought required.

Some Affirmations

April 28, 2014

We can begin the week with some affirmations.