Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week 10.25.2013

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On Television and Books and Being a Better Human

Here’s an interesting mash-up of two articles popular on my newsfeed this week, discussing how reading books and watching television can change us.  First up, a Christ and Pop Culture snippet noting that reading fiction teaches us to empathize with others, better enabling us to love our neighbors.  And going in the opposite direction, see this list of ten reasons to stop watching so much television from Becoming Minimalist.  Specifically, numbers 1, 3, and 6, argue that watching a character go through situations that are not “real” would negatively impact your worldview.

Personally, I find the television-watching article a bit distorted.  Good television shows, like good books, offer complexity, conflict, and character development.  To be honest, it is probably more likely that blog posts offering “a simple, clear solution that can be implemented in 60 minutes [600 words] or less” will reduce our “capacity for rational thought” than the same result from television shows that challenge our preconceptions and allow us to look at the world through a different lens for a few hours each week.

On Teacher School

An Industry of Mediocrity, written by The New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Bill Keller, describing the state of teacher preparation schooling in America.  Such an interesting read.

On Catholic Hospitals and Healthcare for Women

Stephanie Mencimer from Mother Jones in Do Bishops Run Your Hospital?  If the information provided on the way some Catholic hospitals treat ectopic pregnancies and some other life-threatening conditions is true, it’s some pretty scary stuff.

On Women and Leadership in the Church and Everywhere Else

Richard Beck’s two posts this week on complementarians and evangelical Christianity are very interesting, but most of all they are well spoken.  I love knowing that there really are smart people out there thinking these things through even though a lot of times I just want to throw my hands in the air and give up on humanity.  Start with Let’s Stop Calling It Complementarianism.  The comments on that post inspired a great follow-up, Hierarchical Complementarianism Implies Ontological Ineptitude.

And on that note, the comment section on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s What Keeps Women from Showing Up? is really good, full of the tension that comes from cultural expectations on women even when they have the opportunity to speak.  And my friend Abby Norman’s beautiful post, Let’s Just Be Us.

On Being a Successful Writer

A beautiful post by Karen Swallow Prior on How to Succeed as a Writer, where she is guest-posting over at Preston Yancey’s blog.

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