1. Lionel Messi and his hometown
ESPN has a really long and really interesting look at Leo Messi’s hometown, written by Wright Thompson who traveled to Rosario, Argentina to see how the soccer star is revered — or isn’t — in his old stomping ground. Here’s how it begins:
In the imagination of guidebook writers, who see places as they should be but rarely as they are, there is a passionate love affair between the city of Rosario and its famous progeny, global soccer star Leo Messi. I know this because it said so, right there on page 179 of the “Lonely Planet,” which I thumbed through during the three hours of countryside between Buenos Aires and Messi’s hometown.
Our world is better because of Sharon’s organization, but they are not who I thought they were. And they are not who they set out to be. In our pluralist culture, the gravitational pull of secularism can feel irresistible. But there is fresh momentum building among many faith-based organizations that believe it’s not. This fresh momentum surfaces in surprising places. Even an adamant atheist pleaded for faith-based organizations to remain anchored to our faith. To hold fast to our foundation. Though many disagree with the message of Jesus, we all agree that a light under a basket is no light at all.
3. Evangelical-Islamist encounters in a changing Middle East
Chris Seiple, president of the Institute for Global Engagement, has started a series for Capital Commentary on the relationship between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa:
I would rather risk being called politically and theologically naïve now, by engaging and building relationships with Islamists and Salafis, than ask “what if” later. Even more importantly, God commands me to love my neighbor and my enemy—whether that enemy is real, imagined, or potential. In other words, engaging Islamists and Salafis is not only the right thing to do, it’s in our self-interest. If we can develop and then maintain a seat at the table with them, we can cooperate without compromise. Such influence begins with the basic understanding that they are better positioned than Christian Americans to condemn and constrain terrorism committed in the name of Islam.
4. Reading fiction as a Christian discipline
Deborah Smith Douglas writes for The Christian Century:
Over the course of my life, I have taken on all manner of spiritual practices, from now-I-lay-me-down-to-sleep to centering prayer. I have prayed with the Psalms, with the rosary, with icons. I have picked up practices and put them down. Some still discipline and nourish my praying life. But of all the spiritual disciplines I have ever attempted, the habit of steady reading has helped me most and carried me farthest. Of course, reading scripture has been indispensable. But reading fiction—classics of world literature, fairy tales and Greek myths, science fiction and detective novels—has done more to baptize my imagination, inform my faith and strengthen my courage than all the prayer techniques in the world.
5. Chicken buses in Guatemala
Any who have visited Guatemala know about the “chicken buses” seen throughout the country. Here’s a photo gallery of them, which in some odd way warms my heart. Thanks to Mike for the link.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: dessinsmignonsfazo.blogspot.com]