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Posts tagged "WSJ"

Knocked Unconscious, Part I

Knocked Unconscious, Part I

When things begin to get real, accurate diagnosis and a true acknowledgment of the situation are typically forthcoming… at least, earnestly desired. This is unswervingly true when one’s own self-interest is at stake.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled “What’s in Your Blind Spot”, one’s own financial future and legacy are at stake with respect to “blind spots” and their potential impediment to advancement. The article encourages people with “great expectations” of leadership to utilize tools that enable greater self-knowledge… especially self-knowledge with respect to faults. Implied here is the idea that these business leaders possess unconscious faults that…

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Little Lies and Not-So-Little Lies (We Can't Disguise)

Little Lies and Not-So-Little Lies (We Can’t Disguise)

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely hit an anthropological home run in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend with “Why We Lie,” a preview of his ridiculously well-titled upcoming book, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves. (You can watch the Predicatably Irrational author’s wonderful TED talk here). What Ariely and his team of researchers have uncovered will come as no surprise to those familiar with the New Testament: everyone lies, everyone is both perpetrator and victim in this respect, lying is primarily an emotional phenomenon (as opposed to a rational one), the basis of which is…

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We (Don't) Need To Talk About Pierre: The Benefits of French Parenting?

We (Don’t) Need To Talk About Pierre: The Benefits of French Parenting?

Judging from the amount of forwards to my inbox, Pamela Druckerman’s “Why French Parents Are Superior” has some relevant things to say. The article is another in a line of Wall Street Journal humdingers about parenting, and also the first time I’ve come across the brilliant new term, ‘kindergarchy.’ The gist of Druckerman’s argument is that French parents produce more well-behaved kids (or at least more self-controlled ones) because they are less worried about saying No to their children, that they believe that one of the parents’ primary tasks to teach the child about patience, and that temperament is not…

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And a Depressive Shall Lead Them: Famous Statesmen and the Inverse Law of Sanity

And a Depressive Shall Lead Them: Famous Statesmen and the Inverse Law of Sanity

A worthy article in The Wall Street Journal by Nassir Ghaemi entitled “Depression in Command,” exploring the mental-health proclivities of great world leaders. Essentially, many of the men who’ve proven particularly adept at leading in/through times of crisis suffered from depression. The two main case studies he cites are Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. Like most such attempts to discuss the “upside” of depression, Ghaemi flirts with redemptive language, something I’m hesitant to do out of sensitivity to those of us who deal with the condition, i.e. not to diminish their/our pain by suggesting that it’s “for the best.” The…

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"Cathedral" Part One: An Alien Logic (Or "He Was No One I Knew")

"Cathedral" Part One: An Alien Logic (Or "He Was No One I Knew")

For anybody who hasn’t read it, “Cathedral” (1982) is probably Raymond Carver’s most famous short story, and provides an endearing picture of what could be called a modern-day, suburban visitation from the upside-down world of grace. It begins, though, through the narrator’s lovable perspective, with the blatant understandability of such a thing to feel, well, “upside-down,” alien, creepy.

An unnamed narrator and his wife are expecting a visitor from out of town, a friend of the wife’s. Robert, the visitor, a blind, recent widower, has had a history of correspondence with the narrator’s wife, who had worked as Robert’s…

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Man-Children and the Women That (Don't) Love Them

Man-Children and the Women That (Don’t) Love Them

When did The Wall Street Journal become the go-to place for provocative social commentary? An editorial by Kay Hymowitz entitled “Where Have All The Good Men Gone?” has been raising plenty of eyebrows this past week, doubling as a gender specific follow-up to this past summer’s landmark NY Times article about “The Age 30 Deadline” (not to mention last week’s conversation about high-school wrestling). Both articles explore the identity politics of “extended adolescence”/”pre-adulthood” in fascinating ways, and both hit on the various contradictions involved in the culture of self-definition. There might be a slight note of “woe-are-they” buried in here,…

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Casuistry, Business trips, Rationalization, and other Barriers to the Gospel

Casuistry, Business trips, Rationalization, and other Barriers to the Gospel

A recent article from the WSJ described how Resorts and Hotels are dropping the word ‘resort’ from their names in order to attract business. As tolerance for corporate excess becomes less fashionable, companies want to ‘appear’ to be scaling back on business trips and conferences.

This does not mean anything about the hotel or the business trip has changed at all. It just looks better to the public. It is also another example of ‘casuistry.’ Casuistry is “resolving of specific cases of conscience… through interpretation of ethical principles or religious doctrine,” (m-w.com). The…

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Joel Osteen: Great Smile, Crushing Theology

Joel Osteen: Great Smile, Crushing Theology

Pastor Joel Osteen is, in the words of (fake) fashion icon Mugatu (played by Will Ferrell in Zoolander), “so hot right now.” The 46-year-old pastor heads America’s largest church, the Houston-based Lakewood Church, with 43,000 people in attendance per week. His 2004 book, Your Best Life Now, was a New York Times bestseller, as was his 2007 Become a Better You. He is hugely popular and hugely influential. Many people at the church where I work read his books, watch his shows, and listen to his sermons. He’s a really likable guy.

Steven Waldman, the founder and editor of Beliefnet.com, the…

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Second Hand News

Second Hand News

Some recent cyber-items of note from around the World-Wide-Web.

An interesting article in First Things called Proclaiming the Good News, that talks about the descriptive/proscriptive hermeneutic from a Catholic perspective–this will probably fuel the urge in many to “swim the Tiber.”
A discussion between Italian Philosopher Paolo Flores d’Arcais and Jürgen Habermas on the question of Religion and the Public Sphere
Here, here and here are few of the many (and varied) responses to the article entitled “On the Coming Evangelical Disaster” that Aaron reviewed in his recent post. . . .but be sure to check out (regularly) “Adventures in Mormonism,” for…

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America Becoming Less Christian, Less Religious

America Becoming Less Christian, Less Religious

From a CNN article this morning:

‘Seventy-five percent of Americans call themselves Christian, according to the American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1990, the figure was 86 percent.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League said he thinks a radical shift towards individualism over the last quarter-century has a lot to do it.

“The three most dreaded words are thou shalt not,” he told Lou Dobbs. “Notice they are not atheists — they are saying I don’t want to be told what to do with my life.”‘

Perhaps if American Christianity was more about Grace for sinners and less…

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CONFERENCE UPDATE

The full schedule is now online! You can find it over at our new website (PC users – bear with us…). Two quick highlights:

1. We’ve finalized Friday’s breakout sessions. They are “Grace In Addiction”, “Grace In Romantic Relationships/ Marriage” and “Grace And The Self”.

2. On Saturday morning, we are offering a double-secret optional bonus talk entitled “Grace In Literature: Abreaction In Art”. One clue as to the speaker: his name rhymes with “wall ball”…

So spread the word and pre-register now!

The Curse In All Its Beauty!

Today, I received this video and I think it is beautiful. However, at the same time I can’t help but think of the curse:

“The Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field on your belly shall you go and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.

To the woman he said, I…

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