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Friday, April 26, 2019

The Myth of Self-Control?

The Myth of Self-Control?

“Studies have found that trying to teach people to resist temptation either only has short-term gains or can be an outright failure. ‘We don’t seem to be all that good at [self-control],’ Brian Galla, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh, says.”
Well, duh. The church has been saying this for 2,000 years. Even though it is a “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22), it is listed last, which may suggest that it may be the last to really bear fruit. That being said, this article on self-control has some interesting observations about the science of self-control that might be helpful for GR readers (e.g., setting up systems that push off the need for self-control are a big help. Of course, you then need the self-control to set up the systems. …)
Does America Need a Big God?
Here’s an interesting piece looking at religion from a sociological perspective. It’s interesting to think about such things alongside the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, which came to us, as the Bible notes, when the time was ripe.
Learning to Fall in Love
One thing about a shrinking world is that it helps us see how different cultures do things—like finding an appropriate spouse. Marriages are still arranged in some parts of the world, and some people with very modern sensibilities still happen to think they are a good idea.
When you ask someone who has had an arranged marriage about love, the first thing they say is that the love will come naturally once the couple is married. As a child, I always found this thought strange. As I grew older, though, I noticed the truth of this in the stories my mother told me about her relationship early on with my father.
How Did Jesus Face Opposition?
In light of some recent opposition I and CT faced on Twitter (a not-unusual occurrence for journalists today!), I found this piece both insightful and encouraging: “Christ’s Confident Resolve: What Jesus’ arrest and trial can teach us about facing opposition.”
Jesus was betrayed by one of his own. He was examined about his identity by the Jewish leadership. He faced Pilate with his life hanging in the balance, depending upon what he would say. The stakes were high as he stood before the Roman governor. As we contemplate Christ during his trial, what can we learn?
Baptisms Can Be Funny
Those from a liturgical tradition enjoyed watching baptisms during Easter Vigil or Easter morning—one of the traditional times to celebrate the sacrament. This brought to mind a video my wife pointed me to about baptisms that, uh, go awry. Enjoy!
Grace and peace,

Mark GalliMark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

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