Week in Links, August 1, 2011

There have been some really interesting discussions and post around the interwebs this week. Here are those that I found most interesting…

The NIV and the Southern Baptists

Scot McKnight explores the resolution passed at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention regarding the NIV 2011 translation. He says,

Southern Baptists have done something that I hope can be reversed. Not being a part of the SBC and knowing how old boy it can get, but also knowing that it has so many fine, fine leaders and scholars and pastors I have hopes that the following motion can be reversed, that LifeWay will sell the NIV 2011 (with no warnings attached) and that we can get back to what we are called to do – preaching and teaching and living the gospel, seeking for peace among all Christians, and all sorts of good and wholesome things.

We Can’t Teach Students to Love Reading

Alan Jacobs explores issues in trying to teach students to love to read. He says,

While virtually anyone who wants to do so can train his or her brain to the habits of long-form reading, in any given culture, few people will want to. And that’s to be expected. Serious “deep attention” reading has always been and will always be a minority pursuit, a fact that has been obscured in the past half-century, especially in the United States, by the dramatic increase in the percentage of the population attending college, and by the idea (only about 150 years old) that modern literature in vernacular languages should be taught at the university level.

Who and What Is an Entrepreneur?

Grant McCracken is a research affiliate at MIT and the author of Chief Culture Officer. He critics Marc Ventresca’s recent presentation at TEDx Oxford which asks us to rethink the idea of the entrepreneur. He says,

Real acts of innovation are something more than acts of combination. They oblige the entrepreneur to leave the space capsule of prevailing theory and practice – and then return. It isn’t easy. Often, it isn’t fun. And when the entrepreneur is forced to suffer what Thorstein Veblen called the “penalty of taking the lead,” it isn’t even profitable…The way we think about the world, about the realm of the possible, the structure of a marketplace, the wants and needs of the consumer, all of these are formed by our culture. To invent new things, we are obliged to leave this culture and investigate a world that is relatively formless and strange.

This is strangley what we as pastors have to do – leave our culture, hear the real God and bring him back to play into culture. What does that look like? What does that sound like?

Why Being Certain Means Being Wrong

Ted Cadsby is a corporate director, principal of TRC Consulting, former executive vice-president of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and author of two books on investing. He explores our need for certainty. He notes that our need for certainty in a complex world is not always as easy as we would like to think. Complexity requires that we experiment and explore, rather than hastily determine a certainty so that we can “feel” certain and have a sense of stability and safety.

This applies to ministry, particularly ministry decisions in a complex world as well as some aspects of theology in a complex world. We need to explore cautiously, be humble about our conclusions. Our God is a multi-faceted God and brings a diverse group of people together. The beauty of God’s work is that through diversity unity around Him, and Christ can be found. And it can be a model for our culture.

Why Leaders Play Chicken

Ron Ashkenas describes the game of chicken that is beign played with the debt ceiling. He explains the problems with this approach to negotiation and compromise.

When problems are solved in this manner, the outcome is rarely optimal. Without a spirit of compromise and willingness to engage in collaborative dialogue, it is difficult for leaders and their teams to explore the full range of options and to be creative about alternative approaches. So instead of innovative solutions, we end up with negotiated bargains that often just defer many of the tough disagreements until some unidentified time in the future. In other words, don’t expect the various budgeting and borrowing problems to go away in either the U.S. or Europe; most likely they will just be put off until the next round of “the game.”

What’s even more disturbing about games of chicken is that they tend to polarize competing groups and therefore diminish leadership. The longer the game goes on, the more people harden their positions and blame the other side for not being willing to sacrifice. And when a “compromise” is finally struck, both sides usually feel that their leader was too weak and should not have given up so much. So no one actually “wins” in the short-term; and no incentive for improvement in the long-term is created.

Open Invitations

Earnest Goodman tells the story of using the web to meet up with people, build relationships with them, and talk about Jesus. A great idea!

The Nature of Doctrine: Protestantism

David Opderbeck is working on an adult curriculum titled “The Beauty of the Christian Faith.” It explores the basic elements of Christian faith as expressed in the Nicene Creed. One of the issues he is exploring is the the relationship between scripture and tradition and also to the nature of scripture in relation to doctrinal propositions. In this post, he looks at the varieties offered by protestants to this dilema.

Why Twitter is obsolete

This article argues that Twitter has been rendered obsolete by Google’s new Google+ service, and also by the company’s failure to capitalize on its five-year window of opportunity to innovate its way to indispensability. It’s only a matter of time before Twitter becomes a ghost town.

David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.

He has also pastored 3 churches and loves to think about, write about and podcast about scripture, theology, and leadership.

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