Time for your midweek break and some news and opinion pieces you may have missed:
- As a New York state couple refuses to rent their facility for a lesbian wedding, we flash all the way back to July, where a blogger asks if people are overreacting.
- Don’t tweet these: 25 Things You’ll Never Hear God Say.
- Why the Robin Williams death is hitting so hard.
- If you were one of the two SIM workers who contracted Ebola, would you even consider going back to Africa? The two are now immune; can’t spread the disease or contract it.
- Straining at a gnat? You decide. An argument against communion by intincture.
- Christian faith and depression medication: An article at Patheos turns up at Time Magazine.
Essay of the Week: Five Ways to be a Better Atheist.
You can also read today’s link list at Leadership Journal by clicking this image.
- We know that women outnumber men in most churches. Here are five ways leadership can get men on board.
- Interesting topic, especially online: How to Give and Receive Criticism. (It’s a terrible article.)(Just kidding!)
- The responsibilities of a worship leader include a teaching ministry that goes far beyond just teaching songs.
- With 20 locations, is LifeChurch.tv still the multi-site leader? The 20th opened on the weekend in Wichita, KS.
- For one writer, in the U.S. Christian Twitterverse, some things create much internet heat, while other current events rarely get mentioned.
- While written with mainline UK churches in view, this article on personnel and human resources issues in multi-staff churches applies here as well.
- Bahamas pastor (hey, someone has to do it) Thabiti Anyabwile on secular psychology versus Biblical counseling.
- A look at the guiding principles which shape sexual morality in 2014…
- …and from the same author, some stats on what that morality looks like.
- With the school year not yet underway, a serious security breach at a Canadian Bible college.
- The wife of a former-policeman turned missionary reflects on events in Missouri last week.
- As if there aren’t enough forums for poking fun at Christianity, now there are irreverent board games and card games.
- Deconstructing overused Christian clichés.
- We seem to have a new Christian movie announcement every week, though in this particular case, with a name director (Last Temptation of Christ) the drama mixes with church history…
- …Then there’s the documentary Holy Ghost, opening September 6th and shot with no script. Watch the trailer.
- Protect your brand: You’ll soon be able to get a .church domain for your church website.
- Who says they never come back? John Ortberg does his annual return to Willow Creek. (Choose audio or video.)
- Also at Willow, founding pastor Bill Hybels still amazes me. This summer sermon was the setup for a Baptismal Service which followed. (Choose audio or video.)
- It must be one of those military exercises you hear so much about: First you remove all the Bibles from the guest rooms, and then you put them all back…
- …Meanwhile, in England, Travelodge has removed all Bibles to respect diversity.
- Rev. Cindy Kent springs to the defense of Cliff Richard in the latest wave of allegations of past impropriety.
- Well, I rather expected this: “Please note that Pastor Mark Driscoll is generally unavailable for interviews through the end of 2014.”
- Another volley in the worship wars: Apparently modern worship “declared itself a viable choice.”
- Increasingly in the UK, families cannot afford funerals.
- Bulldozers readying the site for the Answers-In-Genesis (Ken Ham) Noah’s Ark attraction inadvertently uncover evidence proving that the earth is billions of years old. (Okay, I totally made that one up. Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Won’t happen again.)
- Pastors, your people do really miss you when you’re gone, but there are reasons for taking a breather.
- Canada’s Christian-owned, family-friendly network, CTS is being re-branded as YES-TV.
- Tabloid-style-link: Justin Bieber: Is he reconnecting with Selena, with church?
- Another exciting episode in the life of Isaac Wotts, Church Custodian. (Actually, there are no other episodes.)
- A group consisting of Ray Boltz and Jennifer Knapp (among others) grows with an announcement by Vicky Beeching.
- Hey, it’s okay to be in ministry and be living with someone because, “Paul wasn’t married…Many significant Bible characters were not married. Marriage is not a prerequisite for being in the pulpit.” (You gotta admire the logic, or the chutzpa.)
- Finally, has anyone else noticed that the Mormons have all the cool baptism songs.
Paul Wilkinson is available to speak or sing on any dates you had previously booked with Mark Driscoll, Vicky Beeching or Gungor and may be contacted through his blogs, Thinking Out Loud and Christianity 201.
By the look of it, this “internet” thing could be really big someday. Here’s this week’s highlights:
- Christian groups are asking a top rated cable network to call off the series Black Jesus, scheduled to debut a week tomorrow.
- When an evangelism team blitzes nursing homes, residents know they can’t defer the decision for ten years.
- In Canada’s French-language province, a church closes every week.
- You thought the comment sections of Christian blogs were heated, but that’s nothing compared the writing and rewriting that goes on at Wikipedia pages for Jesus, Christianity, The Catholic Church, etc.
Worst case scenario: When dissent at a local church, in this case Mars Hill Seattle, appears in mainstream media.
You can also read today’s links at PARSE, a Christianity Today website; click this image
- The members of Protect Portland Children bought a full-page ad in the local alternative weekly to warn parents about Child Evangelism Fellowship’s conversion tactics.
- Nine suggestions for pastors entering a new church, or first time pastors. (Sample: #1 — “You have only four jobs…”)
- Chad Estes reviews Matthew Paul Turner’s Our Great Big American God. From the review, “America was the land of opportunity and God needed a fresh start from His messy history in Europe.” Now I want to read it, too.
- On Martin Luther: “What can we learn from a man so greatly used of God…yet so prone to the sins that beset us all?” Like all of us, Luther had a dark side.
- As Calvinism becomes a default doctrinal position for many Southern Baptists, sometimes the language gets heated.
- Not sure what to do with their backlot, an Austin, Texas church turned it into a disc golf course (aka Frisbee golf).
- An insider look at a PCUSA church’s decision to leave the denomination. (The headline incorrectly says ‘church split;’ the vote was in fact almost unanimous.)
- Most quoted and Tweeted religion article this week: Cindy Brandt on the trend toward irreverence.
- The Children’s Church option: Should they stay or should they go.
- Christians, culture and taste: “We go to the movies and read books with a pre-approved ideology and plot already in mind. It’s like going to a get-together hoping to meet only ourselves.”
- This article gets four Zs: A Biblical theology of sleep.
- Maybe you didn’t get the memo: Holding to a position that was common a few years back may today be considered bigotry.
- Thinking twice before packing up the hymnbooks.
- Ken Ham’s outspoken statement on life on other planets, and a time-frame for locating our new friends.
- The new BibleGateway.com site reminds me of my old Logos Bible software. Many available resources, but you have to pay to unlock them.
- That Bible project we mentioned here a few weeks ago went way past its $37K goal. Try $1.44M as in million! And you can still order the 4-volume ASV edition…
- …Michael Hyatt sees this as a significant moment in publishing…
- …also, there might be ways you can use the crowd-funding approach for church projects…
- …and also at Church Tech Today, important rules for preachers to remember if you’re using video in other venues.
- Essay of the Week: Zondervan author Nish Weiseth on her generation’s exodus from the suburbs.
- No less than Warner Bros. Pictures is behind the making of a movie documenting the rise of the band Hillsong United.
- A newspaper editor who criticized the Queen James Bible in his private blog is appealing the termination of his employment.
- The members of the Amish sect that were imprisoned in 2012 found themselves immersed in a different world while in prison.
- There seems to be no shortage of articles suggesting why people don’t sing during the worship times anymore. Either the problem is huge, or churches aren’t getting the message.
- Another recurring article theme is the eternal destiny of the unevangelized.
- Just two days to go! CT’s own Skye Jethani launches With God, a daily devotional subscription especially for mobile users.
- A Happy Birthday shoutout to the Assemblies of God denomination which turns 100, and the band Jars of Clay, which turns 20.
- Canadian author and retired missionary Eric Wright has released his tenth book, his third foray into suspense and mystery fiction.
- Quotation of the Week: “Minecraft is essentially online Lego with infinite bricks.” A look at what players derive from the popular game.
- On my own blog this week, getting over Evangelism-phobia; and when worship leaders should stop singing.
- The movie When God Left The Building continues one-night showings this fall from California to Ohio. (If you haven’t yet, watch the trailer and this recently posted excerpt.)
- And the faith-oriented movies keep on coming. The Green Prince is based on Son of Hamas a Tyndale House memoir published in 2010 and releases this fall.
- Finally, creating a welcoming place for visitors.
Remember, every time you share the link list on Twitter or Facebook, an angel gets its wings.
Paul Wilkinson hunts for devotional writing each day at C201, rants at Thinking Out Loud and tweets to a vast army of followers. (They keep leaving the “K” out after the number.)
Post something amazing online and you could find yourself here next week! Click anything below and you end up at PARSE, the blog of Leadership Journal, a division of Christianity Today; from there, click the story you want to read.
- Taping has begun for The Rob Bell Show to air on OWN, Oprah’s network. There’s one a week today (5/14) but audience members must make a six hour commitment (and provide a picture of themselves; no kidding!)
- From home-schooled kid to co-director of Moms’ Night Out, a director’s take on the movie opening just in time for Mother’s Day weekend.
- Essay of the Week: Perhaps we’ve put the church growth/megachurch model on a pedestal when the model we should be idolizing is much smaller communities.
- When the seminar from a featured speaker at a UK spring festival draws less than 100 people, does that say something about his name recognition or churches not prioritizing outreach?
- “Let’s give the Lord a clap offering” is the latest phrase under the microscope at Dictionary of Christianese.
- HarperCollins Christian Publishing group will now include Olive Tree, a Bible software app that’s probably on your phone right now.
- No matter how much energy the band generates and no matter how great the precision of the flashing lights, some megachurch Evangelicals find their way back to the hymnbook.
- With many church activities being ‘a young man’s game,’ what does leadership look like when you enter your mature years?
- Cornerstone Television in Pennsylvania has been doing some cool things for 35 years now. (His Place is approaching 200 episodes.) Their latest new show is Sister 2 Sister.
- A young teen, Molly Kate Kestner finds out what happens if you don’t strive to be a star. (Now closing in on 4,000,000 views!)
- The opener to this one had me hooked: “In Catholic circles, the joke goes that if you want to quote from the Bible, find a good Protestant to help you.”
- Publisher’s Weekly interviews theologian Miroslav Volf.
- Modern Hymn of the Week: Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery. (Thanks, Zach!)
- Pastors and Depression: A quick list of the top ten triggers.
- Barnabas Piper doesn’t think people should write about writing. Nicholas McDonald disagrees.
- Pope Francis joins Catholic scholarship in espousing an economic view that is neither Capitalism nor Communism, but rather ‘Distributism.’
- Four Blood Moons sold enough copies to land on Tim Challies’ radar. Don’t be expecting a positive review.
- Is China really declaring war on megachurches or was this bulldozing truly just an over-the-top response to a building code issue?
- The issue that won’t go away: The Voice Bible blog with more on its translation choice for God’s name.
- Social media continually proves itself to be the wrong place for certain kinds of conversations.
- HarperCollins arranged to have a team of evangelical scholars write a rebuttal to Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God. The latter will release through Zondervan.
- The “Jesus had a wife” document turns out to be a forgery after all.
- The parents of an 18-year old TV star in the UK produced and acted in porn. Their son speaks out about how that genre is warping his generation’s view of sex.
- Author Emily Wierenga on why she doesn’t immediately launch Facebook first thing in the morning.
- Skye Jethani thinks your pastor’s sermon last Sunday might have run a bit long.
- The daughter of singer Ray Boltz on women’s reproductive rights.
- FOX-TV explores the life of Jesus at 13 — oh, those awkward teenage years — and other apocryphal stories in the new series Nazareth, now filming.
- An IVP author makes a solid case on video for meeting homelessness with affordable housing.
- All those pocket-sized Love Inspired inspirational fiction books have been bought by HarperCollins, along with the rest of Harlequin.
- Is a Christian lyric makeover considered parody? Either way, this is based on the popular song Royals by Lorde. (If you like the band Apologetix…)
- I love it when the visual layout of a blog matches the writer’s goal. (And check out the Sidewalk Prophets song posted on March 3rd.)
- …time to get back to work reviewing the curriculum that goes with AHA by Kyle Idleman, clearly the best yet from City on a Hill productions.
That’s it for this week. Between now and next Wednesday, join me at Thinking Out Loud, Christianity 201 and on Twitter.
Congratulations to Phil Vischer, Skye Jethani and Christian Taylor on Episode 100 of the Phil Vischer Podcast! Click the image, sent in by listener Kyle Frisch to listen/watch.
|Songs with substance: Enduring worship
If you check the right hand margin over at Christianity 201, you’ll see that all of the various music resources that have appeared there are listed and linked alphabetically. Take a moment to discover — or re-discover — some worship songs and modern hymns from different genres.
This paradigm-shifting “chunky” cross necklace is sold on Etsy. I’ve seen the “inline” cross on bracelets, but never necklaces. Click the image to purchase.
It’s the last day of the month and also the income tax deadline in Canada. Having 15 more days than my U.S. friends in no way implies that I’ve got my tax return complete, or even started; but hey, we’ve got links.
Walking out to the tip of the hand was the highlight of my recent trip to Rio. Okay, actually I found this on the blog Launch Clarity; click to read (and check out the April 24th post on church signs.)
Clicking anything below is going to redirect you to PARSE, the link list’s owners for the past ten months. Happy linking!
- So who you do you see as the most influential people to your life and faith? Time Magazine has their Top 100, and one blogger has his.
- Can I share something with you in confidence? Actually, there are things for pastors to consider before answering.
- Links to more links: Ten talking points concerning Paul’s words, “I do not permit a woman to teach…”
- The Rest of the Story: As Heaven is for Real (Thomas Nelson book) becomes a box office success, the mother of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven (Tyndale House book) reveals serious concerns about the latter book’s veracity.
- Not on Twitter? Here’s 25 things that might change your mind about joining (and 25 peeks at Tweets you’re missing.)
- A Pro-Choice organization has successfully forced Google to take down advertising for crisis pregnancy centers.
- Breaking up is hard to do: Especially in a smaller church, it really hurts when individuals and families leave.
- I am so challenged by everything Shane Claiborne writes, especially stories like this one.
- Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts has passed the one million copies sold mark.
- Another Christian film project: Check out For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles.
- It’s hard to know how to process this, but just days before the service canonizing Pope John Paul II, a giant cross dedicated to his memory collapsed, crushing a man to death…
- …Also at The Telegraph, China is on target to be be the world’s most Christian nation in about 15 years.
- If you missed out on becoming a saint this weekend — most likely because you’re alive and reading this — here are your next steps to sainthood.
- 31 speakers at this year’s Wild Goose Festival. How many of these names do you recognize?
- This one’s about six weeks old now, but like The Bible Answer Man I’m voting for Osteenification to be one of the new words of 2014; at least in Evangelicalism, if not a great title for a Christian rap song.
- American Bible Challenge, seen on the Game Show Network, is returning for a third season with host Jeff Foxworthy.
- Holy genealogy, Batman; this woman claims to be the Virgin Mary’s 65th cousin.
- Move over, Charlton Heston; Ben-Hur will be the next project for Mark Burnett and Rona Downey.
- North Point Church probably has more internet domains registered than any other church, so they’ve created a central focal point for their online activity.
- Via Skype, this weekend, Greg Boyd was a guest on Premier Radio’s Unbelievable broadcast/podcast in the UK.
- These Easter kisses weren’t candy or chocolate…
- …And if your Easter attendance wasn’t all it could have been, maybe it’s because you missed this article.
- This isn’t one of the major annual book lists, but smaller, independent Christian publishers have their awards, too…
- …Also on the topic of size, a small church pastor apologizes to his kids for all the things they had to do without…
- …While at Parchment and Pen, a half-hour podcast about megachurches also offers many insights into smaller churches.
- Though Trinity Western University’s law school won the battle in their home province, British Columbia; the same didn’t happen in more populous Ontario.
- When Thom Rainer was asked if he would officiate at their wedding, first, the couple always got this letter…
- …Which brings us to this picture; it makes a point in a creepy way.
- Despite having 7,000 daily blog readers, she decided it was time to drop out of the race.
- Devotions from the headlines: On Ukraine and the sovereignty of God.
- As youth culture dominates, the elderly have lost their place at the table, both in broader society and in the church.
- A member of the band Jars of Clay is the latest get caught in the middle of the gay marriage issue.
- The company that helped Mark Driscoll reach bestseller status, is currently laying low.
- At my own blog this week: Faith-focused movies in perspective, and pastor homes in gated communities.
- Getting in touch with my feminine side: Sandra Stanley’s recipe for strawberry pizza.
- Finally, we also leave our female readers with this: Church would be a safer place for men if hot women would dress a little frumpy. (For balance: some advice for men.)
Paul Wilkinson can be read daily at Thinking Out Loud, Christianity 201 and Twitter. Below: A Baptism cake (source unknown).