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Friday, July 26, 2019

Tease Your Neighbor as Yourself with Mark Galli


Tease Your Neighbor as Yourself

Apparently, “teasing is good for society and for the soul,” according to this article on The Art of Manliness website. Some who know me well will think I’m posting this to justify my habit of teasing, and they are probably right. At any rate, the author makes some counterintuitive claims that strike me as true:
… teasing has in fact long functioned to bring people together—especially in honor cultures, and especially among men. It is an act full of paradoxes: at its best, it both stings, and strengthens; affirms hierarchy, and levels it; promotes conformity, and autonomy; it makes a man sensitive to shame, but not too sensitive. Indeed, as Carlin Barton writes in Roman Honor: “Teasing and mild shaming are among the most important socializing mechanisms of society.”
The Elusive ‘Elusive Presence’
As the introduction to this week’s offering explains, I will be saving the rest of the chapters of my forthcoming book, When Did We Forget God? (Tyndale, spring 2020) for its publication. But the column will continue on an occasional basis. The last book chapter to go online is about our ambivalence toward God, and why it’s important to frankly admit this:
Any believer worth his or her salt is deeply ambivalent about God. Yes, we yearn to be ruled by Unfailing Wisdom—and yet we resent having to submit to anyone or anything. We crave intimacy with Pure Benevolence—but we fear the loss of independence. We resent the one we long for, and we are afraid of the One we desire. In short, we love God and we hate God.
The Life and Times of One Refugee
Last week I linked to a story by Durmomo Gary, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Sudan in 2006. We were able to get him to come on our podcast, Quick to Listen, this week. If you thought the newspaper story was engaging, listen to the podcast. Someone should make a movie out of his story. And more importantly what comes through is his calm yet joyous confidence in the gospel. If you’re like me—I rarely listen to podcasts!—this would nonetheless be well worth your time.
Classic Book on a Classic Writer
This week’s highlighted author is George Orwell, whom I’ve read and admired. Most famous for Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, his essay, “The Politics of the English Language,” still makes the rounds in editorial circles for criticizing “the ugly and inaccurate” written English of his time. Here’s a review of a classic analysis of Orwell, which begins:
Some books are classics and deserve to remain in print. Such is the case with Christopher Hollis’s A Study of George Orwell: The Man and His Works, one of the first serious examinations of that seminal figure of twentieth-century English literature. Hollis’s book appeared just six years after Orwell’s death, in January 1956, and played a major role in the evolution of Orwell’s reputation. It also made a major contribution to defining Orwell as a man of decency and morality.
Accidental Criminals
If you want to become a federal criminal, apparently it’s not hard, according to Mike Chase, who has written a book on how to do so. In his review of the satirical book, Scott Beauchamp notes,
As Chase writes in the book, it isn’t difficult to commit a federal crime: Far from it, actually. Congress has passed thousands of federal criminal statutes and has allowed federal agencies like the IRS and FDA to make thousands upon thousands of rules that carry criminal penalties. These criminally enforceable rules cover everything from how runny ketchup can be, to what you’re allowed to do if a bird of prey takes up residence in your house. Federal law even sets limits on just how friendly you can get with a pirate.
Grace and peace,
Mark GalliMark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

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