The Secret Hunt for Bin Laden and 4 Other Things I Read This Week

An important ten year anniversary, a fascinating new book on Genesis, the future of world religions, John Piper on conspiracy theories, and other fascinating reads.

So I’m gonna do a short version of my newsletter every week with some interesting things I’ve read. Here goes:

Bin Laden Captured - A Ten Year Anniversary

This month will mark the tenth anniversary of the capture of Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attack on the United States. Side note: I shared this with one of my kids and they said, “He was the guy who planned 9/11 right? I think I just learned that.” What was news for me is history for my kids." At any rate, this oral history with the people who planned and witnessed the raid on that Pakastanic compound that weekend in May in 2011 is absolutely riveting.

The Changing Shape of World Religions

The Pew Forum recently released a study of world religion. Some fascinating tidbits:

  • The world is becoming more religious and not less.

  • Christianity as a share of world religion is holding steady, but Islam is poised to catch up by the middle of the 20th century.

  • 4/10 Christians will live in sub-Saharan Africa by the middle of the 20th century.

John Piper on Conspiracy Theories

John Piper had a warning for Christians constantly chasing after marginalia instead of focusing on the heart of Christianity:

there’s a certain kind of personality — or, more seriously, we could call it a certain kind of spiritual condition — that seems unable to be profoundly engaged with, unable to be deeply moved by, unable to rejoice in the great, central, glorious realities of the Christian faith. They’re always on the margins. It’s as though their minds and hearts are like magnets that are constantly attracting little iron fragments from the edges instead of the big, massive thing at the center. And ultimately, the things of greatest importance get neglected. The glory, the wonder, the beauty of the Christian faith is passed over, and they’re always fascinated with marginal things that are not preeminent.

Which Group of Christians Are More Political?

I found this article fascinating. A Baylor professor did research on which group of Christians, progressive or conservative, are more political. George Yancey’s research is part of a new book project to be released later this year. I’m not going to give away the answer. So you’ll have to click on this link.

Great Book on Genesis

I’m working on The Characters of Creation, due to release from Moody next summer. Part of my work is to read all I can about the text of Genesis. I’m finding The Epic of Eden by Sandra Richter, an OT prof at Asbury Seminary, a fantastic read. One thing I didn’t see before: the way the days of creation line up as ascending spheres of rulership culminating in the seventh day with Christ as supreme ruler. I also love how she ties Eden and Genesis to the entire storyline of Scripture in such a redemptive way. It’s insightful scholarship written in such an easy-to-read manner. Highly recommend.

Bonus link: A fascinating interview with George W. Bush about leadership, painting, and immigration.

Lastly, here is a piece I wrote for NRB on the five people every leader needs.

As always, if you are interested in my latest books, you can order here:

The Characters of Christmas
The Characters of Easter
A Way With Words
The Dignity Revolution

Here’s my latest podcast, this time with Vaneetha Risner who has quite a compelling story of enduring suffering, including the loss of her marriage, a child, and her health:

photo credit: Pete Souza (here’s a fun little backstory to this photo)