Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

1. A Promiscuously Permissive, User-Friendly Jesus

It is odd that we have made even Jesus into such a quivering mass of affirmation and oozing graciousness, considering how frequently, unguardedly, and gleefully Jesus told us that we were sinners. Anyone who thinks that Jesus was into inclusiveness, self-affirmation, and open-minded, heart-happy acceptance has then got to figure out why we responded to him by nailing him to a cross. He got there not for urging us to “consider the lilies” but for calling us “whitewashed tombs” and even worse.

Yet it is perhaps not such a mystery that we have attempted - Scripture be damned - to produce a promiscuously permissive, user-friendly Jesus. . . . Our situation is that we view our lives through a set of lies about ourselves, false stories of who we are and are meant to be, never getting an accurate picture of ourselves. Through the “lens” of the story of Jesus we are able to see ourselves truthfully and call things by their proper names. Only through the story of the cross of Christ do we see the utter depth and seriousness of our sin. Only through this story that combines cross and resurrection do we see the utter resourcefulness and love of God who is determined to save sinners (Romans 3:21-25).


2. Visual Aid For The Deep Mine Rescue In Chile


3. Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

We think of the scientific process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from what we merely wish to be true, but in fact it’s easy to manipulate results, even unintentionally or unconsciously. “At every step in the process, there is room to distort results, a way to make a stronger claim or to select what is going to be concluded,” says Ioannidis. “There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded.”


4. 7 Essential Skills You Didn’t Learn in College


5. Weird News of the Week: One Man’s Mile-Long Sewer Journey Ends at Golf Tournament

A 3,000 gallon surge of raw sewage sucked a Missouri construction worker one mile through a 27-inch wide sewer pipe before he was finally rescued at the 15th hole of a golf course yesterday. He’s recovering in the hospital.

According to the local police chief in Raymore, Missouri, 30-year-old construction worker Daniel Collins “was swept downstream after entering the sewer system to check and see if nearby construction had had any effect on the system, and was caught in the current and was swept downstream.” Daniels was able to brace himself just before being sucked under a golf course lake. The sewer system flushes 3,000 gallons of raw sewage every ten minutes.


6. 20 Questions to ask of Novels


7. Church forgives thief, thief joins church

A crook who broke into a Springfield church using a cross and stole thousands of dollars in equipment has been forgiven . . . .

At Sunday morning’s service, praise and music echoed as loud as ever.

That’s because the burglar returned for forgiveness.”He wanted prayer. He wanted help so they wouldn’t get him,” Scott said. “And ironically, the name of the church is The Embassy, so we protected him, and today he showed back up to church. We prayed for him. He cried and joined the church.”


8. Quote of the Week: “I am deeply convinced that modern civilization is making the same mistake as the Soviet Union. It doesn’t matter very much why you are removing faith from pubic life. The final result, as engineers say, is the same: you get dismantling of religious consciousness.” - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill


9. The Case For Breaking Up Over Email

Before you disagree with me, listen to my argument because it is a little more complicated than it first appears. To get to the point where the email breakup is a net positive, some major things will have to change. As it is, anything less than a face-to-face confrontation is considered an insult, making the heartbreak worse for the breakupee. But this is only because society has declared that this must be so. If the Advanced Genius Theory has taught me anything it is to challenge things that everyone believes without actually thinking about it. And the more I think I about it, the whole face-to-face thing is extremely overrated and maybe even downright stupid.

Almost anyone who has been in a long-term relationship knows how difficult it is to confront their partner when they realize that it is time to split. It is so difficult that we procrastinate, sometimes for years. In the meantime, we drink to avoid our feelings and, worse, take up a perfectly good apartment that some happy couple would enjoy. Plus we are cold and distant to our partner because we convince ourselves that this is less painful than just ending the relationship. When it becomes impossible to ignore we finally break it off. Only we don’t. We try to, but it’s hard to hurt someone face to face, so we cave in and give it another shot. And usually another, and sometimes another. This benefits no one.


10. Depressing Statistic of the Week: 1 in 22 blacks will get HIV


11. Dogs are either optimists or pessimists, claim scientists

Scientists have confirmed what many pet owners have long suspected: some dogs have a more gloomy outlook on life than others.

The unusual insight into canine psychology emerged from a study by Bristol University researchers into how dogs behave when separated from their owners.

Dogs that were generally calm when left alone were also found to have a “dog bowl half full” attitude to life, while those that barked, relieved themselves and destroyed furniture appeared to be more pessimistic, the study concluded.


12. Image of the Week: The $1 Billion Dollar House

India’s richest man, and Forbes’s fourth richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has built the world’s most expensive house in Mumbai. It is estimated to be worth $1 billion. The lavish building– named Antilia, after the mythical island– has 27 stories, is 173 meters high and has 37,000 square meters of floor space — more than the Palace of Versailles. It contains a health club with a gym and dance studio, at least one swimming pool, a ballroom, guestrooms, a variety of lounges and a 50-seater cinema. There are three helicopter pads on the roof and a car park for 160 vehicles on the ground floors. It’s obviously quite a job keeping all this running smoothly, so the house, if you can call it that, also boasts a staff of 600. And all this for just Ambani, his wife and their three children to enjoy.


13. 5 Things SpongeBob SquarePants Can Teach You About Business


14. War Can Make You Fat

There is something odd about this occupation when viewed from the perspective of those stationed at major bases in Afghanistan. It never quite ceases to amaze me that soldiers stationed in a war in South Asia boast of going to Tim Horton’s for an iced cappuccino or a bucket of chicken at KFC. Obviously, these features are designed to boost troop morale, but they also seem to make the Occupation surreal. While war tourists (i.e. journalists) seek out and focus on combat operations, many soldiers experience the war primarily from within the relatively secure confines of their base. It is well known that war is boring, however the idea that war can be comfortable and even fattening is still a bit peculiar.


15. Ballot Mistake of the Week (Part I): Candidate’s Name Misspelled as ‘Rich Whitey’ on Black-District Ballots


16. Ballot Mistake of the Week (Part II): Texas County Ballots Wrongly Have Flag Of Chile


17. Infographic of the Week: The Female Character Flowchart


18. 10 classic SF books that were originally considered failures


19. Restaurant high chairs harbor more bacteria than the average toilet seat

Baby high chairs found in restaurants have been found to harbour more bacteria than the average public toilet seat.

Teams took swabs from high chairs in 30 different restaurants and found that on average the number of bacteria on a high chair – including some which can lead to serious illness - was 147 per square centimetre.

By comparison the average public toilet seat has just eight per square centimetre.
The bacteria found included E-coli. Staph aureus and enterococcus faecalis which can cause upset stomachs - a serious illness for young children.


20. The 10 Most Valuable Blogs in America


21. Human Procreation in Space Could Be Dangerous

Microgravity apparently tampers with stem cells, which all other cells originate from. Stem cells normally act as a repair system for the body by replenishing its tissues.[ . . . ]

After this experiment, the cells showed vast differences on the molecular level, with 64 percent of their proteins differing from those grown under normal gravity. Specifically, these microgravity-exposed cells generated more proteins that degrade bone and fewer proteins with antioxidant effects. Antioxidants protect against reactive oxidants that can damage DNA.

(Via: Neatorama )


22. HistoricalLOL of the Week


23. The 50 Creepiest Baby Halloween Costumes


24. The platypus knows 80 different ways to poison you


25. Famous Crime Facts


26. Forget manic Monday, terrible Tuesday is really the most depressing day of the week

Mondays may have long been thought of as miserable, but we’re more likely to feel down in the dumps on a Tuesday.

According to researchers from the London School of Economics, our moods are at their brightest on Saturday, with the weekend feelgood factor continuing into Sunday.

But while levels of contentment drop when the working week begins on Monday, it is on Tuesday that we reach our lowest ebb.


27. How-To of the Week: Download YouTube Captions


28. The Rise and Fall of Woody Allen, as Experienced Through His Punctuation

One reason for this fandom has been Allen’s early mastery of the rules of punctuation in his titles. After the apprentice effort What’s New Pussycat? (missing, like the song it references, a direct-address comma), Allen redeemed himself and reached some measure of creative maturity with What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, a charming and, more to the point, brilliantly punctuated feature. From there, he was borne forward on a wave of good comma-ic energy. The year 1972 brought another direct-address victory in Play It Again, Sam, shortly followed by the creatively but rigorously punctuated Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex*/ *But Were Afraid To Ask. From there, the triumphs of Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Crimes and Misdemeanors, all beautifully and necessarily unpunctuated, seemed inevitable.

At some point in the mid-1990s, though, curious things began to happen. First, Allen made a musical film called Everyone Says I Love You, using a title that shifts, with no punctuation, from third-person citation to first-person direct quotation. It also required Julia Roberts to sing. By 2000, the director had inflicted on the world something called Small Time Crooks—not, in fact, a film about dwarf ne’er-do-wells who steal time, although Copy-Editing the Culture might have found that premise more rewarding. Soon, the comic auteur had turned his Gotham-loving lens to Europe; recent years have brought such Continentally styled, bafflingly mispunctuated works as Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The golden age of Allen—for the grammar-minded moviegoer, at least—was over.


29. Top 6 Life-Saving Designs for Clean Drinking Water


30. Scientists suggest that cancer is purely man-made

The study of remains and literature from ancient Egypt and Greece and earlier periods – carried out at Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology and published in Nature Reviews Cancer – includes the first histological diagnosis of cancer in an Egyptian mummy.

Finding only one case of the disease in the investigation of hundreds of Egyptian mummies, with few references to cancer in literary evidence, proves that cancer was extremely rare in antiquity. The disease rate has risen massively since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer – proving that the rise is not simply due to people living longer.


31. The Top 100 Jobs In America


32. Scientists Announce They’ve Wiped Out Centuries-Old Cattle Disease: Second Viral Disease Ever Eliminated

The planet is rid of rinderpest, a devastating livestock disease targeted for eradication in the mid-1990s.

“This is the first animal disease virus that’s been eradicated through a vaccination campaign,” and only the second viral disease, after smallpox, to have been wiped from the earth, says Chris Oura, a veterinary scientist at the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright, UK who was involved in the effort. “It is a major achievement.”

(Via: Geekosystem )


33. The 600 Years

Mapping during 600 years anniversary of the astrological tower clock situated at Old Town Square in center of Prague.

Additional Sources: Neatorama

00 Days
00 Hours
00 Minutes
00 Seconds
Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before the clock above hits zero.

First Things is proud to be a reader-supported enterprise, and the Spring Campaign is one of only two major reader giving drives each year. It ends on June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Your gift will fortify First Things to speak boldly on behalf of religious voices in the public square ahead of a pivotal season for our nation and the church.

Please give now.

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles