Around the Horn : 11.17.11

November 17, 2011

Child Abuse: Why People So Often Look the Other Way
From Yahoo! News: Of all the missed chances outlined in the grand jury report regarding the allegations of child sexual abuse by former Pennsylvania State University assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, two moments stand out: One, a 2000 incident when a janitor allegedly witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on a middle school-age boy, and the other, a 2002 incident in which a graduate assistant, now a coach at the school, allegedly saw Sandusky anally raping a boy of about age 10 in the university locker room.

The Tragic Lessons of Penn State – A Call to Action
From Al Mohler:  The detonation of the Penn State scandal must shake the entire nation into a new moral awareness. Any failure to report and to stop the sexual abuse of children must be made inconceivable. The moral irresponsibility that Penn State officials demonstrated in this tragedy may well be criminal. There can be no doubt that all of these officials bear responsibility for allowing a sexual predator to continue his attacks.

William Cowper’s Letters
Cowper lived a very complex and tragic life. He went insane four times, attempted suicide on several occasions, and was debilitated by depression for long periods of time, including his final ten years of life. He was also a profound Christian and extremely gifted poet and writer. His “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” is one of my favorite hymns. It was fascinating to get to know Cowper through his personal letters and learn about his daily life in 18th century England, as well as his friendships with people like John Newton, his views of the Revolutionary War in America, the Slave Trade, marriage, wealth, literature, God’s sovereignty, his own eccentricity, and a variety of other things. He kind of reminds of Kierkegaard, but as a poet rather than philosopher.

How to Follow Jesus Without Being Shane Claiborne
So I’ve recently discovered that my Christian faith tends to fall into a sad and predictable cycle, complete with five phases:

Why We Need Doctrine
From Josh Harris: For different reasons a lot of Christians in my generation and older generations are leery of too much emphasis on doctrine. They have come to equate doctrine with church splits, hate mail, arrogance, and angry diatribes. They have seen how easy it is for life-giving truths to get reduced to empty formulas. No wonder that for them Christian doctrine can seem more hindrance than help when it comes to cultivating a vibrant relationship with Jesus.

Man In The Arena
I hope I‘m not the only person whose life circles back to different versions of the same question: Should I sink my energy into tackling new ambitious projects? Into chasing some noble goal?  Or … should my ambition be to relax off the hero button for a while; to settle into a more natural, less-stressful life rhythm? Could the simple acts of living and loving somehow be just as noble?  To top it all off, I face this question without the infamously Christian “life verse” (I have a life Bible, does that count?).