Travel in the 21st Century | The Human Side of North Korea |

You know what always strikes me about the weather? No one's ever happy about it. Like right now—it's springtime in Chicago, complete with occasional flurries, ice on the windshield, and numb extremities. Brrr. We feel like we're being gypped because the crocuses didn't pop up for Easter like we expected.

My boss went to Winnipeg last month. I hear that it is a frozen land. He said that even though it was about 1000 below, there were people out everywhere: skating, ice fishing, walking, and having festivals and stuff. He asked his friend how they handled such bad weather. He replied "There's no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothing."

I hear a lot of Christians lament the future of humanity. They wring their hands, and don't go "outside" because they don't like the "weather." That's pretty much the same as people who don't go outside because it's wet, or hot, or frozen, or humid, or whatever. It may be a bit nippy out. But that's no reason to not go snowshoeing. There's no bad weather. Only bad clothing. There's no bad culture, only unprepared Christians.

I hope this edition of PARSE inspires us to bundle up and get outside, even if its snowing in springtime.

My fellow humans, thanks for reading.

Digital portrait courtesy of artist Tom DesLongchamp. Check him out at

Paul J. Pastor
Online Editor, Leadership Journal

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Stepping out
Travel in the 21st Century
Globalization impacts every aspect of our lives. Travel and recreation are no exception. BBC's Fast Track picks a cultural theorist's brain on how travel is changing. Bottom line? "The future of travel… is not about venturing further and further afield, ticking boxes and collecting famous monuments… it's about engaging with people and cultures…The future of travel is about having conversations with strangers."

Watch it at the BBC.
Peace, be still
Our Not so Great Debates
If you want to read the nastiest comments available in the blogosphere, scroll down the page of most Christian blogs. Few people know how to toss barbs like believers. Kyle Rohane asks us all to consider the culture and motives behind this behavior—and all our quarrels—in light of the Easter season. Be sure to comment with your thoughts. (We know that you'll be nice.)

Read it at Out of Ur
We don't need no education
Do We Still Need Seminaries?
Skye Jethani asks what the decline in theological education means for the future of the American Church. "I think it's interesting that we've been moaning about the declining biblical literacy of evangelicals, while at the same time the demand for theological education by church leaders is softening…"

Read it at Out of Ur
Dear followers
The Human Side of North Korea
The DPRK has been in the news a lot lately because of "dear leader" Kim Jong-Un's escalating threats to South Korea and the U.S. But it's still a nation of everyday people; folks with families, jobs, and hobbies. Here's a photo essay that shows the human side of a mad nation. American Joseph Ferris landed a job as (of all things) a tour guide in North Korea, and used his camera to document his life and neighbors.

See it at Business Insider.
Never the twain shall meet
Is the Church Sewing Up Her Schisms?
Well, probably not all the way. But Pope Francis certainly seems to be bringing people together. This striking image shows the first time an Eastern Orthodox Patriarch came to a papal enthronement since the Great Schism of 1054. That's a start. New era of ecumenicism? What do you think?

Read it at Out of Ur.
The Ultimate Easter Egg Hunt: "Ivy League couple" seek donor with "Highest Scores."
Melinda Henneberger shares this excellent brief essay on the smiling, blue-eyed face of modern eugenics (her term for selective genetic engineering, not mine). While the "superbaby" is still a myth (at least for now), the preening of a child's characteristics isn't… and it's a brave new world.

Swiper, no swiping!
The Touch-Screen Generation
What will it mean for kids to have never known a world without iPads? For all our guessing and predictions, we have no idea. But it's probably not good. Be sure to watch the video on "How Children Use iPads."

Read and watch it at The Atlantic.
Read 'em and weep
Why It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Google Reader
Alastair Roberts mourns the passing of Google Reader in this poignant essay/obituary for the beloved feed aggregator. As one of the few "quiet" spaces on the web goes away, it's worth considering how we engage with digital content. Be sure to toss a flower on Reader's grave if you're mourning.

Read it at Christianity Today.

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