I was impressed with Susan Cain’s book on the unrecognised importance of introverts (undemonstratively entitled “Quiet“), who flourish with space and silence but whose contribution is gagged by “brainstorming” and groupwork. I think it’s a vital read for churches. For the summary version, watch her TED talk on this topic. As someone who loves team meetings but also needs quiet to think and write, I also welcomed this report from TLNT into the problems of “open plan” offices for workers and their productivity. I am still working out what this introvert/extrovert difference means for how we conduct public worship in church, and for our philosophy of “small groups”. There must be a way of enabling introverts to engage in Christian community deeply without having to enthuse, verbalise and self-disclose in a group setting.
There are also implications here for leadership models. The article above mentions the issue of managers/leaders having an “open door” policy for their people, but needing to find “code” by which those who want to see them are aware that “he/she would value some uninterrupted time right now”. It got me thinking about how I, or any of us, balance the “I’m always available for you” message with the “I need some space for prayer/planning/study/sermon preparation”. I’m not sure I’d do this by donning a baseball cap when “busy” (the solution cited above) but I do find myself shaping my daily routine more and more into “available to all” and “less available” blocks of days which I communicate to our staff team. Comments?
I’ve been immersed in, and loving, Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” with its Christian take on the romanticism which gave birth to twentieth-century existentialism. Peter Kreeft did an essay on Jean-Paul Sartre which has been summarised brilliantly by Justin Taylor – go here for “dummies” overviews of Machiavelli, Kant, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche, too.
Did you see the viral video about a different response to the beheading of 21 Coptic Egyptian Christians by ISIS two weeks ago, Christian forgiveness? It’s very powerful and a great gospel antidote to the defaults of fear and revenge.
It can be argued that the theory of continental plates drifting apart is as important to understanding life and humanity on earth as the discovery of DNA. The fiftieth anniversary of a compelling Atlantic-centred theory is celebrated here and the original 1965 article is here.
Christians in Sport have put together a great new website PrayPlaySay.com with some fabulous video interview-based Bible studies on themes of disappointment, opponents and purity. Should be looked-at by everyone who follows Christ and plays in a team of some kind.