Thinking Out Loud

March 20, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Hail Mary dogs

Wednesday List Lynx

Wednesday List Lynx

Insert skillfully written intro here.

Praying Dogs

November 16, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Wednesday List Lynx

Link lists are like snowflakes, no two are the same…

  • Lots of video links this week, starting off with the ten minute short film, Change for a Dollar.  Pour an extra coffee and sit back and enjoy this in full screen.
  • So how did all those witches end up in Salem in the first place?  Maybe they weren’t there at all.  Seems much of the story owes itself to a fired-up minister who believed he was doing God’s work.
  • CNN’s John King takes Bob Jones III to task for reopening the whole Obama religion question; and John’s got some fairly solid video clips on his side.  (It’s the video here you should see, not necessarily the article.)
  • Just in time to tie in with the release of his book, Indescribable, here’s a peak at Louie Giglio teaching about Planets and Stars and Whales, oh my!  Listen to the end to sing along with the stars.
  • An Arminian blogger reviews Bloodlines by John Piper, and despite his opposite theological perspective, finds reasons to recommend the book.
  • And then, on the lighter side, a malapropistic (it’s not in the dictionary) look at The Bear Truth About Calvinism.
  • And also at Matt Stone’s Glocal Christianity blog, a 30 second video embed  he subtitled, A Catholic Girl’s Worst Nightmare.
  • Two pastors issue a defense of Rick Warren who is not — repeat definitely not — promoting some kind of Christian/Islamic syncretism being referred to as Chrislam.
  • Also this week, several links to various Christianity Today sites, beginning with this article, John Ortberg is My Dad but Don’t Call Me a PK, by Laura Ortberg Turner.
  • So what about that verse in Matthew 27 stating that after Jesus’ resurrection, many other saints also rose from their graves?  It’s sure open to discussion, but not usually challenged by a Southern Baptist.
  • Because there’s so many of you, here’s another one of a similar list of articles giving five things to look for when choosing A New Church Home.
  • A. J. Swoboda — also the author of today’s closing comment — investigates what it’s like for Ryan Saari to do a church plant in a pub, especially when he’s also working at the pub.  Well, actually he’s ‘planting’ the pub as well.
  • Steve McCoy suggests the next step for some prominent pastors is to take their message and their reputation and hit the road as evangelists.
  • Remember the little word, “Selah” which appeared at the end of some Psalms?   Well, it’s missing from the new NIV.  Scholars aren’t sure what it means, but some think we should leave it in.  (This is an excerpt, the full article’s link wasn’t working at the time of preparing this.)
  • How about An Open Letter to Worship Songwriters detailing what types of songs we’ve been saturated with?  Sample:  #1 — STOP writing about things you haven’t experienced personally. Write out of your own experiences with the Lord and out of deep convictions of your faith.
  • Here’s a look at Jonathan Brink’s new project, the online magazine, Provoketive.  (And he’s looking for contributors!)
  • Another somewhat new blog, Alex Humprey’s former Alex Speaks is now Entreprelife.
  • If you’re a Wednesday-only reader here — and there are some — there’s still time to voice your opinion about a church telling a 30-something to remove his baseball cap during services.  Update: The family actually left the church over this.
  • A no-link item–To the proprietors of GodTube: How is it possible for a video to be both your “Featured Video” of the week, and also be “access denied”???
  • When Dan Kimball preached on the A/C doctrinal differences, he blogged the following T-shirt picture.  I’d seen this before, but didn’t realize that it’s actually the front and back prints of a single shirt. Just think of the implications.  Below it is the best of the comments he received:

I didn’t choose the shirt, but sadly, I was the one who made choices that determined the size I needed ;) “

June 14, 2011

Choosing a Church in a Vacuum

Here’s how this works:  You have to write a comment based on the very limited information you have.  There are no prizes. 

  1. You are just married, no kids, and have moved to a rather small-ish town with very limited church choices within the type of church you’re familiar with; in fact, there is only real possibility according to the information you were given before you moved.
  2. You make contact with someone to get the address and time only to discover that this particular church has had some kind of split with half the congregation staying and half going to a new location.
  3. The person you’re talking with is very helpful and informative, but doesn’t attend either and really can’t offer you a thing as to why the church split and what the particular issues were.
  4. You have to choose between the two; picking something else or staying home isn’t an option in this particular scenario.

So which one do you choose and why?

There is actually a good reason to choose one over the other.  But it might be a different choice for different people.

I’ll be back on Thursday — after Wednesday’s Link List — with what my choice would be and why I would make it.

March 25, 2011

Accidental Anglican

I realized yesterday morning that I’ve accidentally become an Anglican.

Well, sort of.

You see, as an Evangelical, we base everything on the sermon.  As the sermon goes, so goes the service.  As the sermon went, so went the service.  And you could say, as the sermon will go, so will go the service.  That’s why, for example, people don’t say, “I go to North Point;” they say, “I go to Andy Stanley’s Church;” as if he owns it or something.

We like good preaching.

We also like good worship, but that’s not really a biggie since its now been proven that the Top 100 Churches in America — as selected by Outreach Magazine — are all using the same MIDI loops of Majesty, I Will Follow, and (for less cutting edge congregations) Revelation Song.

So given the choice, we choose on the basis of a good sermon.

I have three choices this weekend.

The preaching will be great at all three.

So I’m making my choice based on some advance information on the worship.  As it turns out, I have in my computer the exact worship setlists from two of my three choices for the weekend services.  This the worship-nerd equivalent of insider-trading information.

In other words, I’m choosing based on the liturgy.  I’m prioritizing the liturgy. And as every good mainline Protestant knows, as the liturgy goes so goes the service.  As the liturgy went, so went the service.  And you could say, as the liturgy will go, so will go the service.

I can’t decide if I’m being discriminating, or if I’m being shallow.

??

March 24, 2010

First Spring Wednesday Links

While New Mexico and Arizona had snow this winter, we here in Southern Ontario, Canada have hardly seen a flake of it.   But snow in May is not unheard of, especially out on the Canadian prairies.   Here’s the past seven days online as I saw it:

  • If you haven’t seen it already, Peter Hitchens, brother of noted atheist Christopher Hitchens details his conversion in this Daily Mail (UK) article
  • Kent Shaffer has once again dusted off his calculator and slide rule and using a mathematical formula known only to NASA, brings a list of the Top 100 Christian Blogs plus 30 bonus blogs.   (I’m pretty sure the one you’re reading now was # 131.)
  • Speaking of charts and lists, the blog Floating Sheep offers a map showing the dominance of different forms of Christianity around the world, although, maybe it’s just me, but the North American map and the world map seem somewhat conflicted.  See for yourself.
  • Because I don’t watch the animated TV show, King of the Hill, I had never seen this incredibly accurate, must-see bit from two years back where Hank Hill and family decide it’s time for choosing a new church.
  • On a more serious look at the same subject, J.D. Greear — whose goal is to plant 1,000 churches in 40 years (it’s true) — discusses the thorny topic, “On What Grounds Should You Move to Another Church?”  He sees this as finding a balance between two truths.
  • The graphic at the right is apparently page eight of a coloring book, Jesus and the Dinosaurs as posted online by David Kirk at the blog Frogtown.  Love the line, “He probably did.”
  • We talk a lot about the “un-churched,” but Skye Jethani asks the musical question, “Who are the de-churched?” in Part one of a two-part post at Out of Ur.
  • John Stackhouse discusses what happens when pastors — or any of us for that matter — get asked to offer a prayer at an academic, civic or sports gathering, and comes up with an answer you might not expect.
  • Jim Lehmer adds up all things he’s looking for in an ideal church, and finds them in a completely different kind of place.
  • Ever wonder what kind of books pastors are reading?  Greg Boyd — who may not be 100% representative! — shares his list and they’re not titles most of us are familiar with.
  • C.S. Lewis may no longer be with us, but he seems most contemporary when he discusses the where our focus should be in worship.
  • Internal links:  If you missed the two-part series on the weekend, my wife Ruth grieves the loss of our church (again) on Friday, while I look at the issues of who gets to serve — and who decides — on Saturday.
  • The website Fast Company summarizes the implications of Google’s pullout from China, including how it might affect a similar situation in Australia.
  • From The Online Discernmentalist Mafia site; first there was Build-a-Bear, and now…



And before I started this blog, I remember happening on the Prayer Pups. After a two year run, there haven’t been any new strips posted since August, but the archives are worth visiting.


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