Posts tagged "Parenting"
Another Week Ends: New Atheism and the Church, Jonah Lehrer on Redemption, Empathy with Batman, Wiman’s Incarnational Faith, End-of-School-Year Mothers, Billy Joel, and Eurovision

Another Week Ends: New Atheism and the Church, Jonah Lehrer on Redemption, Empathy with Batman, Wiman’s Incarnational Faith, End-of-School-Year Mothers, Billy Joel, and Eurovision

1. First off, Larry Taunton at The Atlantic has spent the last few years working through the whole “New Atheist” thing from the perspective of traditional Christianity, in particular listening (!) expansively to many committed, thought-through atheists. A nice round-up of his observations appeared this past week, with lots of food for thought, ht EB:

Slowly, a composite sketch of American college-aged atheists began to emerge and it would challenge all that we thought we knew about this demographic. Here is what we learned:

They had attended church

Most of our participants had not chosen their worldview from ideologically neutral positions at all, but in reaction to…

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Another Week Ends: Techno-Fasting, Google Glass, Tiger Babies, Missional Burnouts, Serrano’s Backfire, Powell’s Joy, and Family Tree

Another Week Ends: Techno-Fasting, Google Glass, Tiger Babies, Missional Burnouts, Serrano’s Backfire, Powell’s Joy, and Family Tree

1. First off, a timely rejoinder to our many social-media-is-making-us-lonely posts from Paul Miller on The Verge, entitled “I’m Still Here: Back Online After A Year Without Internet”. As the title suggests, Miller unplugged for a solid year, partly as an assignment to try to discover how technology, and the Internet in particular, had affected him (and us) over time. He reports that while the experience was initially incredibly freeing, he eventually found himself right back where he started, i.e. his new habits became just as constraining as the old ones. In theological terms, you might say that Paul’s story…

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Thou Art My Beloved Child: Parenthood for Prodigals

Changing things up a little, here’s one of the breakout sessions from the NYC conference, Matthew Schneider’s discussion of grace as it relates parenting and adoption in the fourth season of NBC’s Parenthood. Highly recommended, regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the show. Just be sure to have some tissues handy. Quick note: the first three clips can be heard but not seen. All the others should be fine. You can view the missing footage in episode two of the fourth season, “Left Field” (22:51-24:40, 27:20-18:05, 34:40-36:25).

You may download the audio of this recording by clicking here.

Dad Is Fat: Jim Gaffigan’s Refreshingly Honest New Book on Parenting

Dad Is Fat: Jim Gaffigan’s Refreshingly Honest New Book on Parenting

Comedian Jim Gaffigan just wrote a book: Dad Is Fat. It’s a not-so-serious (but therefore very serious) book on parenting, and the publisher actually sent me an advanced copy to review here on Mockingbird—hence this post. (Can I just take second to revel in the fact that this is the first advanced copy I have received to review. Thanks.) The book will be released for sale tomorrow, May 7th. You can read my previous ruminations and some helpful background on Gaffigan and his comedic talents here, but you might already know him as “the Hot Pockets guy.”

My overall response is that…

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Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

1. Forgiveness and apology seems to be a theme in the news as of late, or at least it was prior to Monday’s heartbreaking news from Boston. CNN’s belief blog highlighted the story of one man’s quest to forgive and restore the man who killed his brother when they were teens. I found the story enlightening as it ping-ponged between the two poles of forgiveness by grace (the victim’s brother) and forgiveness by works righteousness (the recently released killer). Quote: “I think for me, forgiveness will come in doing good works, trying to help others. But as far as forgiving…

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Previously on Parenthood: Another Breakout Session

Previously on Parenthood: Another Breakout Session

For the session I’m hosting—“Thou Art my Beloved Child: Parenthood for Prodigals”—we look at instances of surprisingly unconditional grace, mercy, and compassion (i.e., love) in the family context as seen in the TV show Parenthood. My emphasis is more on parenthood-the-topic than Parenthood-the-show so that anyone, whether a regular Parenthood viewer or someone who has never even heard of it, can follow and enjoy the discussion. That said, I use Parenthood for my illustrations because I myself am obsessed. If you’re uninitiated, it is one of the most honest and psychologically in-touch shows currently out there, which is no…

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Short Story Wednesdays: “A Father’s Story” by Andre Dubus

Short Story Wednesdays: “A Father’s Story” by Andre Dubus

This week, we turn to Andre Dubus’s “A Father’s Story”, available here.

“Ethics demands an infinite movement, it demands disclosure. The aesthetic hero, then, can speak but will not.”

-S. Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

On July 23, 1986, Andre Dubus pulled over onto the side of the road to help a couple of strangers, male and female, having car trouble. An oncoming car swerved and was about to hit them; Dubus pushed the woman out of the way and, as a result, was hit himself and remained confined to a wheelchair for final thirteen years of his life.

As we saw with O’Connor’s lupus…

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Another Week Ends: Townes Van Zandt, Hyper-Parents and Filial Competence, Jane Austen, Visible Signs (That You Were A Youth Group Kid), Girls, Christian Athletes, Jonah Lehrer Proves Himself, More Ash Wednesday, St. Paul, and Beck

Another Week Ends: Townes Van Zandt, Hyper-Parents and Filial Competence, Jane Austen, Visible Signs (That You Were A Youth Group Kid), Girls, Christian Athletes, Jonah Lehrer Proves Himself, More Ash Wednesday, St. Paul, and Beck

1. Over at Internet Monk, a thoughtful Ash Wednesday article explores singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt’s legacy in relation to the way Americans process death, depression, powerlessness, or other ‘negative’ emotions:

Of course we live in a culture of death — because we are human, and human beings die, and human beings often choose ways that lead to death rather than life. My question is how we deal with this fact.

…We the people will watch violence and death on our TV screens and computer monitors, but we continue to hide our dying ones away in hospitals and nursing homes. We spend the vast…

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Inner Police and the Message of Grace to/with/for Children

Inner Police and the Message of Grace to/with/for Children

Bravo to The NY Times for including Mark Galli’s wonderful and irenic “Focus on Grace, Not Control” in their new Room for Debate on the question “With Children, When Does Religion Go Too Far?” It’s a clear, brief and even exciting reminder of what Christianity has to offer to men and women–children and parents–who are living under the burden of control, whether it be in its religious or non-religious form, namely, the exact opposite of what most people perceive/experience it as offering (for good reason, as the comments depressingly bear out). It’s a little ironic that Galli–whose byline might suggest…

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“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Six Favorite Moments of 2012

“Excuse Me, Ma’am, But That’s TMI”: Six Favorite Moments of 2012

I’m not an avid enough moviegoer to give you a list of my favorite films of the year. I’m nowhere near up to speed on current music enough to talk about the best artists of 2012. The only books I’ve read are theological ones, mostly Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther, so books of 2012? I haven’t got a clue. What I can give you as a year-in-review a la LRE Larkin, is, well, me. So what follows are some of the moments this past year when I was reminded that I don’t have my act together, that I’m not in…

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Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

1. An uncommonly insightful piece by John Dickerson appeared in The NY Times about “The Decline of Evangelical America.” Writing as an evangelical himself, Dickerson recites some jarring statistics before launching into a sympathetic and genuinely hopeful conclusion, ht SZ:

In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college professors, found that 3 percent held “unfavorable feelings” toward Jews, 22 percent toward Muslims and 53 percent toward evangelical Christians…

The core evangelical belief is that love and forgiveness are freely available to all who trust in Jesus Christ. This is the “good news” from which the…

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Grace with Daughters and Sons: A Breakout Session

Father-son and father-daughter relationships are among the most influential and emotionally fraught relationships for just about everybody. When it comes to their relationship with their father, no one is emotionally neutral. In this breakout session we’ll look at these relationships through the two lenses of law and gospel with examples and illustrations from movies, life and ministry experience, with some scripture as well.

What this session is not is “10 Principles to be an Effective Father” or “5 Ways to Fix Your Kids.” What it is instead is a look at the effects of law-based relationships with daughters and sons versus the effects of grace-based relationships with daughters and sons.  Even though it’s a pretty heavy topic, we have a lot of fun with it.

Here’s the audio recording from the session.


Click here for a copy of the handout used.

Or, if you prefer, you can download it by right clicking here and selecting “Save link as…”

From The Onion: Teen Unaware He’s Locked in Heated Ongoing Competition With Parents’ Friend’s Son

From The Onion: Teen Unaware He’s Locked in Heated Ongoing Competition With Parents’ Friend’s Son

Pretty hilarious one just appeared over at America’s Finest News Source. A few choice paragraphs include:

CHEYENNE, WY—Sources confirmed Wednesday that local high school sophomore Jeffrey Levine, 16, is oblivious to the fact that he is currently engaged in an intense and continuous no-holds-barred competition with classmate Eric Nelson, the son of his parents’ friends.

Unbeknownst to Levine, he has reportedly been embroiled in the cutthroat rivalry since 2005, when his parents met Nelson’s parents at a PTA meeting, and the two families became friendly. According to sources, the relentless struggle has grown slowly over the years, gradually encompassing all areas of…

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Parenting FAIL

Teach Your Children Not-So-Well: When Success Means Failure

Teach Your Children Not-So-Well: When Success Means Failure

A couple of weeks ago on Slate, Allison Benedikt lamented, “Parenting Hate-Reads: When Will They End?”. She recalled a friend of hers who had become so turned off by the ever-escalating online ‘mommy wars’ that it made her not want to have children, period. And Benedikt realized that she couldn’t blame her friend for her hesitancy to wade into such outrageously judgmental waters: on top of the real and perceived exhaustion of bringing up little ones, parents are subjected to the inescapable voice of condemnation and criticism wherever they go on the Interwebs these days. In fact, all this talk…

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