1. Learning about our faith from atheists
Larry Alex Taunton writes for The Atlantic about the reasons college students walk away from religion. As he talked with members of campus atheistic groups about their journeys away from faith, he got some surprises responses about what pushed them away (and what didn’t). Interestingly, he found that these young atheists had a tremendous amount of respect for those who, in their estimation, actually believed what they claimed to believe and who stood by their convictions.
So how realistic is it to think the world can end extreme poverty in a generation? To meet its target would mean maintaining the annual one-percentage-point cut in the poverty rate achieved in 1990-2010 for another 20 years. That would be hard. It will be more difficult to rescue the second billion from poverty than it was the first. Yet it can be done. The world has not only cut poverty a lot but also learned much about how to do it. Poverty can be reduced, albeit not to zero. But a lot will have to go right if that is to happen.
3. Christianity in its Global Context
While it may not make for particularly riveting reading cover-to-cover, there’s a lot of helpful and interesting stuff in this new report from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Seminary.
4. Common Good Edinburgh
I had a great Skype conversation yesterday with Duncan McFadzean (@DuncanMcFadzean), comparing notes about what we’re trying to do with Common Good PHX and Common Good Edinburgh, respectively. Here’s a bit about what’s happening in Scotland:
We are a group of people who care about Edinburgh. We believe that our city has very great potential for good, both as a place to live together, and in its wider effects on the world. We appreciate that lots of people are working hard to keep the city running, to solve its problems, to try to ensure everyone is cared for, and to develop new ventures. And we recognise that it is often these people, all across our communities, who are best placed to imagine and see this potential and to increasingly see it realised. We want to encourage, provoke and facilitate conversations around the ‘common good’ of the city. What would the city look like if it fulfilled its potential for good?
[Photo: Edinburgh, Scotland via gdefon.com]