Transformed into a means to an end, reading has stopped being an act of sacrificial listening, of letting go of control, of pure delight, of humility and openness for the sake of relationship. I no longer read for love.
I believe we cannot speak definitively to the origin of same-sex attraction. We can, however, live a life in which the powerful and grace-filled work of God is displayed and lovingly encourage others to do the same.
While our technologies can apparently empower us to become more of ourselves, they can also permit us to become less, diminishing us even as they purport to deliver “more” and “better,” “faster” and “easier.” A large and growing body of evidence suggests that the impact of modern technology—in particular, the impact of automatic machine technology—upon us is not altogether beneficial. The trajectory of modern machine development appears now to be diverging away from and not toward the enrichment of ordinary embodied human being.
My concern is that we are allowing ourselves to be diminished by our own technologies. This, I will argue, is something that we should resist.
Even a spiritual luminary and scholar like J.I. Packer wrote that “we are all…poor strugglers in our experience of praying.” So if you’re new to prayer, or have crashed and burned many times over in your attempts at meaningful prayer, be of good cheer. You certainly are not alone. And just in case you think that because I am writing an upbeat book on prayer that I don’t struggle, that would not be true. I struggle along with the rest. It just comes with the territory. The occasional struggle, though, is well worth it.
What does the Bible say [about predatory friends]?
Someone who joyfully pursues Christ has good, discernible fruit. Someone who consistently harms people, although they use all the correct Christian language and attend church like the rest of us, does not produce good fruit. Maybe it’s time we stop giving people who say all the right words a hall pass for predatory behavior. Instead, let’s be cautious when we meet someone with big words accompanied by bad actions.
I used to look away. I used to see the pain and avert my gaze. But not anymore. Now when I see a difficult image of a child impacted by terror, I take it in. I allow myself to feel the emotions. I often cry, or sit in breathless sadness, or grit my teeth in anger. When I allow myself to do that, it does a work in me that is hard to explain.