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Friday, January 16, 2015

The Galli Report - Friday, January 16, 2015

The Galli Report newsletter 

Friday, January 16, 2015    

From the author of "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" and the book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, now comes The Glass Cage: Automation and Us. Reviewer Alan Jacobs says author Nicholas Carr is "among the shrewdest and most thoughtful critics of our current technological regime."
[Carr's] primary goal is to exhort us to develop strategies of resistance. It cannot be stressed too strongly that resistance does not entail rejection. Carr makes this point repeatedly.
I had to make that clear, too. Otherwise, you could never enjoy this newsletter.

Only 12 men have done it. For some, like Neil Armstrong, life afterward took the shape of a quiet academic refusing publicity. Others let their Christian faith inform their postlunar life. James Irwin, of the 1971 Apollo 15 voyage, began a ministry, High Flight Foundation. He spoke at a church at which I was associate pastor in the early 1980s. The tagline for his talk and the autographs he signed (usually pictures of him standing on the moon) was "It is more important that God walked on the earth than man walked on the moon."
This week's long read is about the poignant postlunar life of Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. It has been anything but steady.
"Returning to earth, that was the challenging part," he says. That was and remains the insane part. He fulfilled a goal for humanity and then humanity required only that he remain its proud symbol. Adored, obsolete, stuck in time. "In my history book," he says, "when the pilgrims got to Plymouth Rock, it wasn't to get a return trip home."

It is sadly clear that some Muslims are outraged when a publication features an image of Muhammad. What is less clear is the history of such images in Islam itself. As one Muslim scholar put it:
It's really important for audiences that have never seen the pietistic images of Muhammad to make a radical distinction between the mystical and beautiful images that have been produced over the last 1,000 years by Muslims and for Muslims, and the offensive and sometimes pornographic images [currently in the news].

You'll want to be aware that one of our bloggers, Peter Chin, has just published Blindsided by God: Disappointment, Suffering, and the Untamable Goodness of God. Peter's article about how his family touched on this theme resonated deeply with readers. Anyone who has read Peter's blog will know that the book has keen insights into a perennial concern.

Okay, I admit I'm a sucker for article titles like "You Won't Believe These Incredible Drawings Were Done on Napkins." I clicked because I didn't think such a thing was unbelievable. But they are incredible.

Grace and peace,

Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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