1. Partnership and solidarity in Guatemala
Lemonade International, the organization that hosted us in Guatemala in April, has published its 2012 Donor Impact Report, and for anyone who’s taken an interest in what they’re up to in La Limonada, it’ll be encouraging to peruse. Plus, Katie and I make a cameo – and our sponsored child Cristian can be seen elsewhere blowing bubbles like it’s his job.
2. Unfazed and unsettled in Kabul
With the specter of civic and political disintegration looming after U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan next year, many wonder what’s in store for the beleaguered nation. Jeffrey Stern writes about the future of its capital city in The Atlantic:
Kabul is still a segregated city, but it is also a city squeezed together by mountains, and even as squatter houses creep higher and higher up the hillsides like they’re trying to escape, it’s harder for people to isolate themselves. A leader of one ethnic group once told me I should not write too much about ethnic conflict here, because his country wasn’t ready, those wounds had to heal before they could be examined. “It took ten years, didn’t it,” he said, “for people to begin calling what the Nazis did the Holocaust?” I found that troubling, but coded in his admonishment was the notion that someday his country would be ready, and that that day was in the imaginable future. There are signs now that unevenly, haltingly, the day may be approaching.
3. Loving Leviticus
I know that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” but I admit I don’t find it easy to love books like Leviticus. In the current cover story for CT, Old Testament scholar Chris Wright sets out to convince people like me it’s a love worth cultivating:
The point is that on one hand, all of these kinds of laws were intended for Israel’s society and not directly for us. They are culturally specific and limited. Yet at the same time, as Paul says, all of the laws were “written for our instruction” and are “useful” for us. So we should not find ourselves asking, “Which of these laws do I have to obey, and which can I ignore?” Rather, we should ask, “What can I learn from all of these laws about how God wants me to live and how he wants his people and society at large to live?” Not, “What rules do I have to keep?” but rather, “What kind of relationship do I need to cultivate with God and live out among others?”
4. Public theology reading list
Gideon Strauss (@gideonstrauss) has compiled a great “introductory list” of books and articles to read for those interested in public theology. On Twitter he’s also been soliciting additional suggestions, so if you have any to add, go for it!
5. Changing the paradigm
I really like what the folks at The Paradigm Project are up to.
[Photo: Clothesline in La Limonada, Guatemala via Scott Bennett, photographer extraordinaire]