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Month: October 2012

You Almost Lost Me!

I just finished reading You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church…and┬áRethinking Faith by David Kinnaman. While I enjoyed the book, I always find it hard to digest a book that distills the experience of millions of people into a few categories. The world is just too complex. But now that a few days have passed since finishing the book, one point the author makes continues to stay with me. The big idea is that the church and Christian parents are overprotective of young people, too concerned with safety and not allowing of risk. Of course, this mirrors the general culture in many ways. We are really, really protective of our children. We don’t want them to get hurt. But as kids get older we often try to keep protections in place that while appropriate for young children are stifling for older kids. Then, many helicopter parent through college and beyond.

Like all good parents, we don’t want our kids to suffer, but this desire often masks that fact that we really don’t want our kids to fail and therefore suffer ourselves. Whether it’s about quality control, fear of failure, living vicariously though our kids, or just following what everyone else is doing, we don’t like risk when it comes to our kids. However, our kids need to experience some amount of risk and some amount of failure in order to develop into healthy, mature adults. Do we want to raise safety-conscious kids, or young people who will jump into their lives and perhaps change the world?

In The Land of Blood and Honey

I watched the movie, In The Land of Blood and Honey, with my wife a couple of nights ago. Having been to Serbia and nearby countries I’m interested in the history of the area. Written and directed by Angelina Jolie, the film follows the tragic lives of two people during the civil war in Bosnia from 1992-1995. The movie shows ethnic cleansing, rape, murder – it’s a brutal on-screen depiction of a horrific war. After watching the film, and replaying it in my mind (it’s hard to forget), I’ve been reminded of a couple of things. First, old wounds heal slowly, if at all. This area of the Balkans has seen warfare and fighting among the various people groups living there for generations. As the former nation of Yugoslavia unraveled, it only took a spark to reignite hatreds simmering below the surface. Second, brutality exists everywhere. It seems to be just below the surface of people. Certainly not everyone, but present in every society and in every culture. It seems a condition of mankind, which the scriptures would affirm. It takes active resistance on both a personal and societal level to oppose such actions. I recommend the film, but with the warning that it’s more Schindler’s List than anything I’ve seen since.

Poster showing aftermath of a NATO bombing in Novi Sad, Serbia

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My name is Dave Dishman and this is my new blog. You will find my thoughts on culture, leadership, travel, global missions, books, trivial matters and a host of other things.

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