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Resources

Page history last edited by Paul Hazelden 1 year, 5 months ago

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Resources

 

Introduction

This is intended, initially at least, to act as a 'dumping ground' for links to resources which we may want to transfer to the real website when it is produced.  My aim is that any link will be provided alongside a review which should include details such as the following.

  • What.  A short factual description of what the link points to.
  • Why.  A description of why you might want to follow the link - what the benefit may be.
  • However.  Any points to bear in mind - limits, weaknesses, other options and points of view. 
  • Who.  Who is making this recommendation; other people can add their support. 

 

 

General

 

Connecting Belief and Action

Or, perhaps, connecting the inner life with the outer life?

 

The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values for a World Living on the Surface, by Rich Villodas

  • What.  A book, 240 pages, published in September 2020.
  • Why.  This comes highly recommended by Don Baker. "The world is faster and busier than it's ever been, with more noise and distraction unsettling our already restless souls." Villodas offers five 'values' to help Christians find "balance, focus, and meaning in today's relentlessly paced world": monastic, multiracial, emotional health, healthy sexuality and mission.  Which sounds like an interesting selection, as a starting point.
  • However.  I have not read it yet. 
  • Who.  Paul, recommended by Don. 

 

Diversity

 

Open: The Story Of Human Progress, by Johan Norberg

  • What.  A book, 448 pages, published September 2020.
  • Why.  The Amazon blurb:  Humanity's embrace of openness is the key to our success. The freedom to explore and exchange - whether it's goods, ideas or people - has led to stunning achievements in science, technology and culture. As a result, we live at a time of unprecedented wealth and opportunity. So why are we so intent on ruining it?  From Stone Age hunter-gatherers to contemporary Chinese-American relations, Open explores how across time and cultures, we have struggled with a constant tension between our yearning for co-operation and our profound need for belonging. Providing a bold new framework for understanding human history, bestselling author and thinker Johan Norberg examines why we're often uncomfortable with openness - but also why it is essential for progress. Part sweeping history and part polemic, this urgent book makes a compelling case for why an open world with an open economy is worth fighting for more than ever.
  • However.  I have only read the first half of this book so far - it is quite long.  But it makes a compelling case for creating the open culture we want to build.  At times he chooses to focus on the most convenient target, so he only sees Christianity as it is encountered in Christendom, so he misses the open foundation, but the specific criticisms he makes are fair.
  • Who.  Paul. 

 

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, by Adam Grant

  • What.  A book, 297 pages, published February 2021. 
  • Why.  The Amazon blurb: "In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval - and too little like scientists searching for truth."  To which, I would add that scholars and saints often search for truth also, using the tools at their disposal.
  • However.  Again, I have not read this yet, so it may prove to be a disappointment.
  • Who.  Paul.

 

 

Community

 

Theory of Mind

We need other people, and we need to function alongside other people, which requires a functioning 'theory of mind' to enable us to interpret other peoples' words and actions.

 

I Tracked Down The Girls Who Bullied Me As A Kid. Here’s What They Had To Say.

  • What.  A personal article from Huffpost, describing the author's experience of asking school friends about the way they treated each other back then.
  • Why.  One major source of confusion and conflict between people is the confidence we place in the accuracy of our perception of what is going on in the minds of other people.  Anyone who has done relationship counselling will recognise the barriers caused by our certainty that we know the intended meaning of the other person's words and actions.  Many of us need to learn to be less certain in our judgements about others, and this article describes very clearly how the author came to see some experiences in her past very differently - how some of her memories and perceptions were confirmed by others, and some were completely changed.
  • However.  It's very American: it may be difficult for people outside the culture to relate as strongly to some of the specific examples.
  • Who.  Paul. 

 

 

Technology

 

Online Communities

 

h2g2 The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition

  • What.  One of the very first online communities, inspired and created by the author Douglas Adams.
  • Why.  This is a paradigmatic example of what an online community might be - and also one of the earliest.   Remarkably, it is still going, it is much loved, and is well over 20 years old - started back in 1999 and definitely preceeds the start of Wikipedia in 2001.   Think of h2g2 as an alternative, less po-faced, version of Wikipedia!

 

h2g2 is an example of an online community organised along similar lines to those proposed for JustHuman?  and is a tremendously encouraging proof-point for online community models like ours.   It was originally developed by the BBC and is now operated by Not Panicking Ltd.   The h2g2 Terms & Conditions are here.   The Foundation is here.   

 

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H2g2

The h2g2 website is a British-based collaborative online encyclopedia project. It describes itself as "an unconventional guide to life, the universe, and everything", in the spirit of the fictional publication The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy from the science fiction comedy series of the same name by Douglas Adams.[1] It was founded by Adams in 1999 and was run by the BBC between 2001 and 2011.[2][3][4]

 

The intent is to create an Earth-focused guide that allows members to share information about their geographic area and the local sites, activities and businesses, to help people decide where they want to go and what they may find when they get there. It has grown to contain subjects from restaurants and recipes, to quantum theory and history. Explicit advertising of businesses was forbidden when the site was run by the BBC, but customer reviews were permitted.[5]

 

The content of the project is written by registered "Researchers" on its website.[6] Articles written by Researchers form the "Guide" as a whole, with an "Edited Guide" being steadily created out of factual articles that have been peer reviewed via the "Peer Review" system. The Edited Guide includes both traditional encyclopaedic subjects and more idiosyncratic offerings, and articles in the Edited Guide sometimes aim for a slightly humorous style.[7] 

 

  • However.  There are many other "online communities" now such as:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on - these are organised along radically different line to h2g2 (and JustHuman?) that are far more commercial e.g. involving advertising.   In some sense, h2g2 is not "up-to-date" and is far too eclectic and broad-spectrum for its own good, with a tendency to encourage the irreverent and offbeat.   Unlike Facebook and other more mainstream social media sites, h2g2  generally doesn't have explicit trolling, because the style of contribution consists of "articles", rather than personal commentary. 
  • Who.  Brian

 

Issues

 

Science and Faith

 

BibleProject: Exploring My Strange Bible, Episode 2, Science & Faith

  • What.  A podcast, 55 minutes, by Tim Mackie, August 16, 2017, looking at the apparent tension between science and faith.
  • Why. Absolutely brilliant, grounded presentation, full of useful, interesting historical understanding and well worth a listen.
  • However.  It is quite long (55 minutes) but the first five minutes gives you a good idea of the content, and you can take the rest in smaller chunks.
  • Who.  Brian.

 

 

Please give 30 mins to learn what the Bible, Jesus and Christianity are actually all about.

  • What.  YouTube video excerpt by Tim Mackie, founder of The Bible Project.   Here is what a supporter, Andy Blackmore had to say about this excerpt:

I love the clarity that Tim Mackie gives in this presentation. So many people incorrectly assume what Christians believe; that we are trying to live a good life so that hopefully our good outweighs our bad and God will let us go to Heaven rather than Hell. 

 

Tim Mackie started up 'The Bible Project' which provides great animated teaching clips on Biblical concepts and also covers every book in the Bible. These have helped millions of people understand the Bible better. https://thebibleproject.com/

Full video can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwNfH_SOWKA

  • Why.  This will be deeply challenging for many and, at the same time, deeply compelling for some.   It avoids the standard Evangelical/Calvinistic tropes entirely and stays resolutely centrist in its approach.
  • However.  Its quite long (28 mins) and is focused on Biblical understanding (but is that a disadvantage?).   The video has been criticised by those who follow a conservative Reformed philosophy to Christianity.
  • Who.  Brian.

 

Isn't the Idea of Hell Just Plain Mean? "Rotten Tomatoes" Tim Mackie (The Bible Project) 11/22/2009

  • What. Yet another YouTube video of Tim Mackie, founder of The Bible Project, this time speaking about the concept of Hell.   Hint:  Its not what you (probably) think!   Follow-on discussion:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jccd2D2Chxc
  • Why.  Tim brilliantly explains that many of the popular and commonplace ideas of Hell have, over time, been derived from a mixture of Greek mythology, Biblical literalism and medieval art (Dante).   This topic is super-important for many people, so much so that these popular tropes about Hell are often cited as reasons that Christianity must be thoroughly wrong.
  • However. Quite long at 40 mins. 
  • Who.  Brian

 

On the Radar

Please can someone review these?  Feel free to suggest others.

 

Books

Faith after Doubt: Why Your Beliefs Stopped Working and What to Do About It, by Brian McLaren

Jews Don’t Count, by David Baddiel

 

 

I love the clarity that Tim Mackie gives in this presentation. So many people incorrectly assume what Christians believe; that we are trying to live a good life so that hopefully our good outweighs our bad and God will let us go to Heaven rather than Hell. Tim Mackie started up 'The Bible Project' which provides great animated teaching clips on Biblical concepts and also covers every book in the Bible. These have helped millions of people understand the Bible better. https://thebibleproject.com/

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