Web gems from this week…
+ I am a sucker for bookstores-and the weirder and more off-beat, the better-especially of they are used bookstores. It’s one of the first things I look for when I visit a new town or city. It’s the way I spend at least one afternoon of most vacations. So, now I’ve got to figure out a way to visit rural Wisconsin to what may be the world’s largest book store. Lloyd and Lenore Dickmann may have as many as 1 million books in 9 separate buildings on their farm. The largest is Castle Arkdale is a converted slurry (cow manure) tank. They are open ” every Saturday 9-5, anytime by chance, any time by appointment. It’s also a great love story about how Lloyd and Lenore helped each other live their dreams. I love their slogan: “you can never have enough books.”
+ How close are you and your spouse? How much can you share? One American Buddhist couple is never more than 15 fee apart, eating from the same plate, reading the same book, etc. David Plotz of Slate and his wife decided to try it for one day. Their experience is fascinating-and will make you think about your definition of marital intimacy.
+ Christine Wicker is author of a new book, The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, in which she asserts that we are in the midst of the ‘great evangelical decline” . She uses Southern Baptists as her primary example, connecting recent revelations about shrinking membership, with shrinking societal clout by observing, “Every year, their [evangelicals’] core values are violated more flagrantly by the media, scientific discovery and mainstream behavior. Every election, politicians promise to serve them and then don’t because evangelicals lack the power to make them. What all this means is that we were duped. All the hype proclaiming an evangelical resurgence was merely that – hype, a furious shout from a faith losing its grip, manipulation by a relatively small group of dedicated, focused, political power-seekers.” She responds to the desperate attempts of churches and evangelical leaders to deal with the problem by stating “… none of these ideas will halt the increasing irrelevance of evangelical faith to the great majority of the U.S. population.” Ouch. Even when you know a bit of her background as a disaffected Southern Baptist, it may be worth reading and interacting with.
+The Lord is doing some really neat things among college students and young adults around the world, stirring their hearts in remarkable ways. One key component of that movement is the Passion Conferences, led by Louie Giglio, along with worship leaders like Chris Tomlin. You can follow the movement here and here. If you’ve never heard Louie speak, check this out: