Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.


TOJ contributor D.L. Mayfield reflects on pain, loss, and the promises of God:

So, in that children’s hospital, I stared into the sun for a little bit.  I’ve been stripped and I need my shell to harden a little quicker, but I can’t rush the process. I am starting the next phase of my life pretty freaking burnt out, and there is nothing I can do to change this fact.

Another TOJ contributor, Richard Beck, writes on the importance of liturgy to the Christian experience:

This is the important bit: It is necessary to have the means for expressing an experience in order to have it. And the richer and more expressive our language, symbols, rituals and art the more subtle, varied, differentiated and deeper can be our experience. Because there are numberless thoughts we cannot think, feelings we cannot feel, and realities we cannot perceive until we learn to use this language with its rituals, symbols and art.

Fostering resilience, rather than adressing needs, holds nonprofits back:

I felt this training endorsed a morally appealing self-castigation, and when I was hired, I did away with it. We’d built what I thought was a lonely hearts club; parents attended their “resilience meeting” casually, waiting for the day to unfold. They’d do this with or without us, without this hovering idea of what they lacked. Rather, I thought it would be best to go out in the community and assess who lived there, ask where the children were, what their barriers were.

Could you watch all the Marvel films back to back? Should you?

Some backstory: I thought it would be fun to attend the Marvel movie marathon, and so I suggested that it might also make a fun thing to write about. I picked out a spiral-bound notebook with Iron Man on the cover, just for the occasion. However, Marvel only held screenings of the Ultimate Marvel Marathon in eight cities, none of which are particularly close to Chicago, where The A.V. Club is located. So I chose New York City, my old home, and bought a ticket, thinking, if nothing else, that it would make for a memorable experience. Of course, scabies is also a memorable experience, but volunteers are not so quick on the draw for that one.

Shaquille O’Neal may legitimately think that all Irish people are pirates:

Now, look. I don’t know, maybe Shaq came across an Irish person who said “Shiver me timbers!” all the time and just assumed. Or maybe he met an actual salty-ass pirate with an eye patch, who also happened to be Irish. We just don’t know. What we do know is that Shaquille O’Neal was jacked up that McGregor won and not once, but twice tweeted”Shiver me timbers” in a way that strongly suggested he thought it was some kind of Irish rallying cry. And he’s done it before, too!

Wesley Hill explores the potential honor inherent in gay Christian celibacy:

Consider, for instance, Jesus’s words about eunuchs in Matthew 19. He praises people who voluntarily commit to a life of celibacy for the sake of following him and participating in the newly arrived reign of God: “There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (verse 12, NRSV).

An interview with Kendrick Lamar explores the rapper’s views on money, home, and growth:

“My teachers always made Africa seem like this hellhole place,” he says. “It’s like they didn’t want you to go, so when I get out there and I see all these beautiful people, I see these kids living in tents and they still had these smiles on their faces. And then you have this whole other side, as far as scenery – it’s this paradise that nobody never spoke of at school. I got a whole new perspective on life from going out there, it was refreshing.”

Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week shines a spotlight on the sport and its endurance:

The All-Star Game is when the base comes out, but it’s also when everyone’s looking exclusively at baseball. That can be a harsh glare at some points. But it isn’t now. As a member of that base, I have to say: It feels safe to come out in the sun and play.

The work of liberal theologian Rudolf Bultmann speaks to an unlikely audience: conservative Christians.

In this way Bultmann is an adamant believer in the truth of the resurrection, which is not a proposition about Jesus walking around in the flesh after his crucifixion. To have faith in the resurrection means to believe that God actually speaks to us today in the gospel of Christ. But if God speaks to us today, this means that God can and does speak in terms that are meaningful to us. Since Bultmann understands the task of theology to be the interpretation of the biblical text in a way that facilitates an encounter with the word of God, it follows that theology must engage in cultural and linguistic translation so that the ancient text becomes the medium for God’s speech here and now.

Biblical scholar Richard Bauckham delivers a lecture on the progressive unity of God’s creation in Him, as made evident by the Gospel of John: