Interesting article on the differences between men and women in “absorption” and the exercise of imagination, and how it might explain the differences in their prayer lives:
That’s because men of our time are—generally speaking—less comfortable with their imaginations than women are. Early on, when I noticed these differences between those who heard God easily and those who did not, I began to interview people carefully about their experience of God and of prayer. I also gave them a psychological scale for “absorption,” which measures a person’s capacity and interest in being caught up in the imagination. Those who experienced God more intimately and interactively were more likely to score more highly on absorption. They were also more likely to be women. On average, whether you look at Christians or at secular undergraduates, women score more highly on the absorption scale than men. My research suggests that this affects their ability to experience God intimately in prayer.
If cruel critiques are the first things we, as the church, offer to our younger sisters trying to navigate the entrance to adulthood, though, we are missing our calling. My younger sister moved to New York at 18 and has lived there for nine years. I asked her if “Girls” rang true to her experience. “The way Hannah talked to her parents in the opening scene reminded me of the way it felt with Mom and Dad when I was 17 — I’m such a good kid, don’t you want me to be happy?” she said. But she was blessed in New York to find one church, and then another, that nurtured her as she entered her twenties, graduated from college (pre-recession), and found a job. This is where the church should be – not trying to revert to some earlier era’s “simpler” definition of femininity, nor busily attempting to create a new prescribed path for “biblical womanhood.” The church’s place is to be present in the daily lives of individual young women seeking to negotiate this transition, walking with them, challenging them, engaging them in the real world they are encountering.
Tullian Tchividjian on the double-edged sword that is self-righteousness.
A funny, engaging, and honest post about those awkward things at church – especially for those of us who are introverts:
This post comes to you from Chelsey Doring. Chelsey posted a version of this on her blog last week and I asked if I could re-post it. It nicely and humorously captures some of the first issues that introverts have with church culture, especially in an evangelical culture that emphasizes sharing and transparency.
Thom Rainer on 10 signs of an inwardly obsessed church.
With Mother’s Day approaching, staff members of “Christ and Pop Culture” reflect on the impact their mothers have had on their own lives, and call for readers to donate to As Our Own to help rescue abandoned girls in India from exploitation and trafficking:
For many of us, a faithful lineage of women has been the source of strength for our families. This Mother’s Day, Christ and Pop Culture honors these women by lending our voices to help girls in India who have been robbed of this vital support system. We are partnering with As Our Own, an organization that rescues girls in danger of exploitation and slavery. As Our Own promises to parent these girls as their very own daughters—for the rest of their lives.
Celebrate the amazing women in your life this Mother’s Day with a gift in their honor to As Our Ownto support these young girls in India who have been rescued and will one day be moms themselves. Your donation will make a tremendous difference in the lives of these girls, their children, and their grandchildren.
An infograph on ways we can avoid burnout in our lives.
After writing about “Mr. Promised He Would Call” and “Mr. Inconsistent” last week, Ruthie Dean follows up today with her post on “Mr. Last Night” and “Mr. Last Minute”.
Molly Worthen, a Professor of Religious History at the University of Toronto, on why American evangelicals identify with and adore “Christian gurus of British extraction”, especially John Stott. It’s a bit of a long read, but a worthwhile one nonetheless.
In response to Worthen, Joe Carter from TGC believes the reason behind this “love affair” lies elsewhere:
Worthen raises an intriguing question—why do we American Evangelicals have such a fondness for the British?—but provides an unsatisfactory answer. Her claim that American Evangelicals have an “intellectual inferiority complex” isn’t completely unwarranted, but it’s a dated and clichéd critique. (Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind was published 17 years ago. A lot has changed since then.)
I suspect a more likely explanation for why American Evangelicals love the Brits is related to the reason we love the Jews: We believe that we share with these groups a historical and theological imagination. Modern Jews might sneer at the presumptuous nature of the connection, but it is a truism that we Evangelicals consider ourselves to be the other “People of the Book.” Because our theological history is traced back to the Old Testament, we view ourselves as the intellectual descendants of the Hebrew people. Similarly, to a lesser extent, our shared English language leads us to make a connection with the British that they might view as peculiar.
Few British Evangelicals would consider themselves to be Americans, but many English-speaking American Evangelicals think that we are, in an intellectual sense, from the U.K. This is likely not limited to the British, of course. I suspect that Evangelicals of Dutch ancestry have a simliar affinity for thinkers like Abraham Kuyper, German-American Evangelicals for Martin Luther, etc., because of the Old World connection. Because our country—and our brand of evangelicalism—is relatively young, we American Evangelicals must look to our cousins across the sea to help us find deeper soil for our religious roots.