Good Reads 09.23.15 (on: the arts, manhood and character, killing sin, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On Christians and the arts: Why Christians Should Paint, Dance, Quilt, Act, Compose Music, Write Stories, Decorate Cookies, and Participate in the Arts by Mark Altrogge

But when Jesus saved me in my early 20s, I began to wonder if art was a waste of time. I could be evangelizing or praying or doing something spiritual instead of dabbing oil paint on a canvas. And besides that, everything is going to burn up anyway at the end, so what’s the use of creating things? Or if I do paint a painting does it have to be a Christian theme? Does it have to have a cross in it or be a scene from the Gospels? Here are a few reasons why Christians should play banjo and decorate cakes, knit sweaters and make movies, do photography and write poems… (click here to read more)

On consumerism: Consumerism Keeps Us Fed and Starving by Gloria Furman

Like all of the other idols, consumerism is just an empty, useless facade. Consumerism is starving, and because we emulate the characteristics of what we worship, its worshipers are unsatisfied and never filled. The idolatrous pursuit of pleasure through stuff works against the way God designed us. So, of course, it leaves us miserable. (click here to read more)

On growing in Christ-likeness: Narnia, Sanctification, and the Hardest Prayer by Jake Rainwater

And it hurts. Oh, does it hurt. To have who you are, with all your shortcomings, ripped from your bones. To have your every flaw exposed in the light of holiness. But as Eustace exclaims later in the scene, “It became perfectly delicious.” When my sin is exposed in light of the vast expanse of God’s holiness, I begin to understand just how grace works. The pain of that tearing pales in comparison to the “perfectly delicious” grace that we are given from God. (click here to read more)

On manhood and character: Fight Yourself by Darrin Patrick

Good character is hard to achieve because it requires looking at our weaknesses and addressing them accordingly. It is one thing for a man to acknowledge that he has told a lie. It is another to acknowledge that lying is habitual and that he is a liar. It is hard to look closely at the mirror of repentance and easy to look through the window of avoidance. The man who humbly faces up to the reality that he is the problem passes through one of the central steps every man must take to enter true manhood. Men who never humble themselves dance around the ring instead of planting their feet and throwing a punch. (click here to read more)

On battling sin by beholding God: The Gospel Cycle that Kills Sin by Casey Lewis

As we set our minds on the things above, we are reminded of our freedom from and power over sin, as well as of our future sinless reality. That reminder should motivate us to kill sin in our lives. Killing sin in our lives allows us to experience the blessings and joy of the life to come. As we are experiencing a taste of our life to come, we should be motivated once again to set our minds on the things above, which will start the cycle over again. In this way, we enter into a cycle of sanctification, which is driven by our understanding of the gospel, instead of shame, guilt, or legalism. (click here to read more)

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