Owl Post 2-21-13

Owl Post: 2-3-2012

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Warning: Flannery O’Connor Ahead:

c479Flannery O’Connor’s short stories have been described as grotesque, shocking, and perverse. They’ve also been described as brilliant, witty, and deeply Christian. They have taken their place in the generally recognized treasury of modern American classics. Christians should come to know this remarkable fiction writer who saw the world through the lens of her faith.

Putting Your Spouse First Actually Puts Your Kids First:

In the movie Cars, Doc Hudson tells Lightning McQueen when he rides in dirt, he has to turn right to go left. McQueen initially laughs off this brilliant, yet counter-intuitive advice, but when he grasps it, the advice ends up making him a hero.

If you prioritize your relationship with your spouse, it will end up giving you the result that you desire: Your kids will feel secure, safe, and in the end, will feel like they are the most important thing in your life.

Classic sci-fi novel The Sparrow may finally be out of development hell:

200px-TheSparrow(1stEd)After more than 15 years of new scripts, false starts and two different Hollywood options, it looks like one of the most acclaimed science fiction novels of the last two decades may finally get filmed.

Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow was released back in 1996 to huge acclaim, both as a work of science fiction and as a work of literary significance. It garnered, among other honors, the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. It’s the story of first contact with an alien planet in the year 2019, and the failed mission by the Jesuit Order to travel to that planet, and it’s still praised for its big ideas and philosphical depth.

The Good News: We Cannot Do Anything We Set Our Minds To:

Christianity is the only religion or way of life that obligates and calls people to do the impossible. It is the antithesis of the cultural message most children and adults hear, that “you can do anything you put your mind to if you just believe in yourself.”

When thinking of what “the impossible” might be, many think of very difficult feats like earning a college degree, playing professional ball, or building a large sum of wealth. Some may think of overcoming impossible obstacles such as a severe illness, disability or socioeconomic condition.

But that’s not what Christ has in mind when he calls us to do the impossible. If it is, then Christianity is no different from any other world belief system. As a matter of fact, humans have historically accomplished and overcome great feats without believing, trusting, and following Christ.

Book Review: Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart

stop-asking-jesus-into-your-heartIn Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, J. D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, provides for the reader a balanced and theologically informed response to the “Sinner’s Prayer” as well as pastoral wisdom and insight on the topic of assurance.

Greear’s book consists of eight chapters and two appendices. “Baptized Four Times” (chapter 1) uncovers the problem of false assurance that can arise from “asking Jesus into your heart.” “Does God Even Want Us to Have Assurance?” (chapter 2) answers with a resounding yes. “Jesus in My Place” (chapter 3) provides the rationale for God’s righteousness imputed to sinners through Christ alone. “What Is Belief?” (chapter 4) sketches a brief New Testament description of true belief. “What Is Repentance?” (chapter 5) helpfully explains what true repentance is and is not. “If ‘Once Saved, Always Saved,’ Why Does the Bible Seem to Warn Us So Often about Losing Our Salvation?” (chapter 6) attempts to answer why such language isn’t as helpful as it initially appears. “The Evidence You Have Believed” (chapter 7) demonstrates three fruits of salvation that should be present for assurance. Finally, “When You Continue to Doubt” (chapter 8) assists those who, when all is said and done, still doubt.

The Wake and the Wound: J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

13497818Though there was a lot of buzz amongst Potter fans about the release of a new J.K. Rowling book—one written exclusively for adults—there has been a sobering lack of electricity for The Casual Vacancy since its release this past September. Back in the fall, the Huffington Post ran an early survey of worldwide news critics, and concluded with: “meh.” The loudest naysayer was surely the NYT Book Review who called it a story about the worst kinds of muggles, “self-absorbed, small-minded, snobbish and judgmental folks, whose stories neither engage nor transport us.”

Michael Jordan’s Top 50 Plays:

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