On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes posts on football and institutions, what we can learn from surfers, and C.S. Lewis on individualism and community.

1. Football and the Gift of Institutions: At the Q Ideas blog, Andy Crouch writes on the importance of institutions for human flourishing.

Institution is the name that sociologists have given to any deeply and persistently organized pattern of human behavior. “A football” is a cultural artifact, but “football” is a cultural institution: a rich and complex system of behaviors, beliefs, patterns and possibilities that can be handed on from one generation to the next. And it is within institutions, in this broad sense of the word, that our most significant human experiences take place. Institutions are at the heart of culture making, which means they are at the heart of human flourishing and the comprehensive flourishing of creation that we call shalom. 

2. How Putin and Obama miss the mark on American exceptionalism: Values & Capitalism’s Josh Good writes a response to the President’s speech this week and Vladimir Putin’s recent remarks on American exceptionalism:

Murray writes that American exceptionalism does not imply superiority. Instead, it reflects our unique history:  the country’s frontier and our growing appeal for formerly persecuted immigrants wanting to work hard and begin a better life; our constitutional system of government, rooted in the conviction that natural rights come from God; the rule of law, rather than men; and our distinct civic culture.

3. What surfing can teach you about ownership: Professor Dan Russell helps us understand why ownership isn’t selfish, but necessary for fairness and civil society.

4. Why Has the Economic Recovery Bypassed Young People? Over at the Acton Institute’s PowerBlog, Joseph Sunde writes on the current employment landscape for young adults.

I understand that many young folks, myself included, have the privilege and subsequent means to pursue the frontier differently, whether by risking it all on a new technology company or going back to school for a fifth or sixth Master’s degree. But our approach mustn’t be detached from the reality that a foundation was, at one point, built for us, too.

5. C.S. Lewis and Community: At the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics blog, Kristie Eshelman channels C.S. Lewis as she writes on the tension between individuality and community.

In his essay, C.S. Lewis described the Church as a community which requires and celebrates individuality, even as each person becomes more unified with the Body of Christ. Though this model for community is most complete in the Church, we can use it to redeem all areas of life, including our daily work and our interactions with society at large.