1. Latino roundtable with President Obama
The president hosted a roundtable the other day where he fielded questions from Latino journalists and citizens about the issues that matter most to their communities. He tackles questions about illegal immigration on a national level, relations with Cuba, the 11% unemployment rate among Latinos, and the ongoing investigation into Arizona’s treatment of immigrants. The White House website has the full video, which is almost an hour.
2. Bill Easterly: Aid grump?
During grad school we read development economist Bill Easterly’s book White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good and had some lively discussions about it, to say the least. If you’re not familiar with Easterly, this recent interview by Tom Paulson at the Humanosphere blog is a great introduction.
3. John Piper on his own racism and the gospel
This is a two-minute trailer for a 20-minute documentary coming soon, supplementing Piper’s new book Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian. A bold book about the evils of racism isn’t necessarily the sort of book you might expect from Piper, but it looks really good.
4. A word to hymn writers from Fernando Ortega
Last Friday evening I went with Katie and my parents to a Keith & Kristyn Getty concert in Lancaster. The Gettys have been writing and composing songs for the Church for only a decade but they have already contributed so many songs that really transcend the so-called worship wars (and I suspect many of these songs will stand the test of time). Here, Fernando Ortega, a New Mexico-based singer/songwriter and worship leader, has a word to those who would write songs for worship in churches:
Be specific when you write songs about God. Avoid cliché. Avoid convenience. Avoid an obsession with the consumer. Avoid the temptation to make commercial success your central goal. Write with intelligence, employing all the craft, skill, and experience with which God has endowed you.
5. Gospel or justice, which?
Russell Moore from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writes that despite assumptions to the contrary within evangelicalism, evangelism and public justice are not mutually exclusive:
The short answer to how churches should “balance” such things is simple: follow Jesus. We are Christians. This means that as we grow in Christlikeness, we are concerned about the things that concern him. Jesus is the king of his kingdom, and he loves whole persons, bodies as well as souls.
6. Know Shelter
The Two Futures Project is a movement to abolish nuclear weapons. I know some people love their nukes, but I’m generally agreeable to the abolition idea. Here’s a video on preparing for a nuclear attack, which will hopefully never happen, but unfortunately isn’t outside the realm of possibility.