I thought it might be good for a season to post links to things I think are edifying, with minimal commentary on my part. As you might imagine, I have a healthy stash of them.
I have mixed feelings about the phenomenon of TED talks, but among them there are some real gems, clear and blessedly brief introductions to a thinker’s substantial work. Here are two good examples, in which Brené Brown presents two vital truths she learned in her work:
- Vulnerability is the key to living wholeheartedly
- Shame is what keeps us from being vulnerable
As with many such secular talks, excellent as they might be on their own they leave the Christian viewer to recognize and fill in important gaps. To my mind neither of the talks explained why these truths should be true—what is it about vulnerability that makes it vital? how do we overcome shame? I have my own answers. Briefly stated:
- We can’t live for others without being vulnerable
- Following Rene Girard, Jesus through his death made it possible “to found human community on a nonsacrificial principle: solidarity with the victim.” Put another way, shame was once an essential principle for structuring community, but after Jesus it no longer needs to be.