N.D. Wilson (via Trevin Wax) on why he thinks the Hunger Games series is “flawed to its core”:
…That said, Collins stumbles badly in her understanding of some pretty fundamental elements of human story, and the whole thing is flawed to its core as a result.
The best authors are students of humanity, both as individuals and grouped in societies (big and small).
- C.S. Lewis’ profound insight into human motivation and relationships is on display in Narnia, and even more intricately in his Space Trilogy. He paints honest and accurate portraits, leading readers through darkness toward wisdom.
- Think about Mark Twain’s ability to see and image the motivations of boys, and the entire society in which those boys lived.
- Tom Wolfe’s sharp clear vision is on display in both his essays and his fiction. He sees into the hearts and minds of men; he sees which of their choices and follies will set fire to the world around them, and how exactly that fire will progress and grow. (And, like the greatest writers, he manages to maintain an affection and sympathy for his characters and for humanity in general despite this insight.)
When an author profoundly misunderstands human societies, arbitrarily forcing a group or a character into decisions and actions that they would never choose for themselves given the preceding narrative, it drives me bonkers. I once threw The Fountainhead across the room for exactly that crime, and I’ve never read anything by Rand since. And Collins bundles clumsy offenses like this in Costco bulk…
Mike Leake (not the pitcher), by way of a baseball metaphor, on how we view the world and the gospel:
This made me realize there are two ways to watch baseball. One way is to view Jarrod Dyson with numbers over top his head. This is the kid that liked the back of the baseball card better than the front. He could tell you that Rollie Fingers had 37 saves in 1978 but he never stopped to marvel at Rollie’s amazing handle-bar mustache.
The other way to watch baseball is to simply sit back and marvel. Instead of numbers over Dyson’s head you simply say, “Dude, can haul”. (That is if you talk like a frat boy, otherwise you’ll say something white and lame like “Homey sure is fast”). This is the kid that memorized the front of the baseball card and rarely looked at the back. He marveled at every curve of Rollie’s beautiful masterpiece—this of course referring to both his mustache and his pitching greatness.
Aaron Armstrong on “restorative niches” and how he thrives as an introvert in his extroverted surroundings:
The prevailing attitude seems to treat introversion—and along with it sensitivity, shyness and seriousness—as “a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.” I’ve personally experienced this attitude on numerous occasions. The work culture I’m a part of places a very high demand on “face-time,” physical availability, and being seen as bright, cheery and nice. These are not bad things in and of themselves. We should certainly be kind (even if we can’t do that super-out-there kind of personality) and willing to meet with people when they need to talk. But how do those of us for whom high degrees of personal interaction do not come naturally survive and even thrive in such cultures?
“Paradoxically, the best way to act out of character is to stay as true to yourself as you possibly can—starting by creating as many “restorative niches” as possible in your daily life,” Cain explains. The best way to get through the day, the best way to thrive, is to develop a series of helps—restorative niches— that allow you to be who you are.
Eric McKiddie on the importance of being direct, avoiding “they” sermons at the cost of “you” sermons, and doing all this with the right heart. For a long time, I’ve been of the school of thought that it’s important that any Pastor stick with using “us” rather than “you” so that, if nothing else, they can maintain a stance of vulnerability and humility. McKiddie’s post illuminated several thoughts/points that I never really considered before. Very thoughtful and interesting read:
Saying “you” in sermons has become uncomfortable for preachers. Like third grade teachers who switch from red to green pens, many preachers are afraid of coming across too strong.
What I mean by saying “you” in a sermon is that the preacher uses “you” to make it obvious that his exhortation is aimed directly at his people.
The postmodern values of acceptance and tolerance have saturated the worldviews of churchgoers and pastors. This has caused saying “you” to feel abrasive to preachers and listeners alike…
My response: lolwut
A more eloquent response.