From DailyEncouragement.net — “…It is a camp for displaced Christian refugees in Iraq (Click to enlarge). Note the English writing on the center tent proclaiming in a very dark place, ‘Jesus Is The Light Of The World’.”
This week we celebrate the ellipsis, its utility as connective device, and its overuse. In other words, many of this week’s links were related.
- In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, enumerating various suicide-related issues that clergy will face.
- From either a conservative or orthodox perspective, Gungor keeps digging the hole deeper.
- Essay of the Week: Honestly, I wondered when someone would do a comparison between Mars Hill Grand Rapids and Mars Hill Seattle…
- …Another I’d like to read would be a comparison of two men who were upfront about their faith while selling fried chicken, KFC’s Colonel Harland Sanders and Truett Cathy. The latter, founder of Chick-fil-A passed away on Monday at age 93.
- Persecution: It took a New York Times columnist to say this.
- Perspective: Your weekend worship environment may not be a physical building in Ethiopia; it might involve having a service under a tree…
- …But perhaps many of us put too much emphasis on having a church building.
- I’m surprised we don’t hear more about this August story about 1,400 children being raped and trafficked.
- Just as I have to pick and choose what gets in this list, a popular Christian news site defends their story choices.
- Preaching: “There has been a natural disaster of extraordinary proportions in a nation whose sinfulness is well known. Do you stand up Sunday morning and declare that God has divinely judged that nation?”
- Youth Ministry: Five ways to make sure they hear your message…
- … which was written by a recently displaced Mars Hill pastor whose work visa is now voided, which means leaving the country…
- …while at GoFundMe, people are donating to three other displaced MH staffers.
- Time Travel (1): A 1,500 year-old document that was holed up in a university library references the Last Supper and manna from heaven…
- Time Travel (2): Imagine attending a Puritan worship service. “…the shuffling of the congregation as they settle down to listen comfortably to a lengthy sermon, while the minister adjusted the hour-glass.”
- Sabbath on Steroids: Every seven weeks this Prince Edward Island church basically shuts down all programming…
- …Meanwhile, on Canada’s opposite coast, a church’s annual report includes a page at the end for you to write your own story. (Opens a 40-page .pdf file)
- Two high-profile U.S. missionaries survived Ebola, but the disease has taken four national pastors in the Assemblies of God denomination alone.
- Ann Voskamp tells the kids why they should wait: “Your naked body deserves the honor of being shared only with someone who is covenanted to never stop loving your naked soul.” …
- …On the other hand, when the wedding date is set, should a Christian sign a prenup? Sample: “…a prenup is a bad indicator that not everything is being relinquished for the sake of this marriage.” …
- …Or a girl’s father could just start early on in the relationship asking the guy these twelve questions.
- Tomorrow (9/11) night, Trinity Broadcasting Network unveils its new Chicago studio with an open house…
- …Also in the windy city, a local church’s use of social media has caught some mainstream media attention.
- Last week’s Happy Rant Podcast got our family talking about chewing tobacco to the glory of God.
- A Lutheran mobile ministry is half church, half food truck.
- Sadly, there’s no such thing as “a good divorce.”
- A second Essay of the Week: Save those church bulletins. They might end up in a museum somewhere as artifacts of 20th Century church culture.
- Worship Leaders’ Corner: Five tips for those times you’re working without the band.
- Victoria Osteen stands by her words. Well, sort of. Sample: “Every Lakewood member knows what I was talking about…” Membership has its privileges…
- …to which the Rev. Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. replies, “America deserves the Osteens…”
- …Meanwhile, hubby Joel announces Joel Osteen Radio, broadcasting 24/7 on SiriusXM.
- Gladys Knight (sans Pips) released a gospel album yesterday. (Be sure to click through to hear the song.)
- Jamie the Very Worst Email Responder recently deleted her inbox, and thinks you should, too.
- A well known Jewish charity is nominating Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a Nobel Peace Prize for his support of Israel.
- A video link for the tweens and teens at your house.
- Finally, across the pond, a man who volunteers his services to umpire an interdenominational cricket match is disqualified because he is not “theologically neutral.“
Each week we scour the web for stories of interest to Leadership Journal readers, however several of our “usual suspects” have put up pay-walls or added pop-ups that can only be described as obnoxious. The goal is to deliver news and opinion pieces with a minimum of interruption and solicitation. Suggestions are always welcomed, you can contact me on Twitter, or at Thinking Out Loud before 6 PM EST Mondays.
Paul Wilkinson is considered Canada’s foremost authority on writing a Wednesday Link List, and he doesn’t just say that because he writes his own footer for this weekly piece.
You know, that thing where you take a bucket of links and pour them over your head…
- On July 21st of last year, Ken Brantly gave this message to his home church in Indianapolis.
- What police in Ferguson, Missouri couldn’t accomplish, clergy did.
- Another perspective on Ferguson: After eight years in the Cayman Islands, a pastor in Washington, DC is justifiably concerned for his son…
- …While another parent has an entirely different perspective, but similar fears.
- The pastor of one of Charlotte, NC’s largest churches who also hosts an iconic radio ministry program is being investigated.
- What happens when the ‘regular’ editions of Christian books aren’t good enough for people who prefer the ESV?
- Communion complications: “…[W]hen a bridal couple partakes without the whole assembly, they have inadvertently disqualified some believers on the spurious grounds that they are not getting married that day.”
- Historical artifacts: A video interview with people who were actually there for the 1906 Azusa Street revival that launched North American Pentecostalism.
- Essay of the Week: These days everybody does it, but should sermons be published or posted online?
- Personality Profile: You got your Myers Briggs, your Strength Finders, and your DISC, but for leadership development Nancy Beach favors the classic Enneagram.
- Founded only in 2012, a new conservative Presbyterian denom has “…grown from 30 churches and 10,000 covenant partners at our first Synod gathering in 2013 to now having 149 churches and 60,000 covenant partners…”
- With over 8,300 views, this InterVarsity Press book excerpt by Sean Gladding is IVP’s most downloaded.
- Essay of Another Kind: Everything lost in a fire, then, a shattering medical diagnosis. The article is simply titled, “Loss.”
- Parenting the College-bound: “[T]he only freshmen who will be completely “safe” in college are the ones with completely pure hearts. And the last time I checked my Bible, that’s none of us.”
- Question of the Week: How do events involving ISIS shake things on both ends of the continuum between pacifism and ‘just war’ theory?
- What the–Yes! It’s an article on the vulgar and obscene parts of the Bible. (We’re checking to see if you click on this one!)
- Games Christian Play: You can rewrite this for your own denom, but to get the game going here’s 5 ways to sabotage a Mennonite Church committee meeting.
- Francis Chan and Lisa Chan rap their way through their book promotional video for You and Me Forever, which released yesterday. If the book doesn’t sell, they might have a future in music.
- We interrupt this sermon series: Andy Stanley rewrote the playbook on his “In The Meantime” series last Sunday (part two) when it became apparent people wanted to go deep.
- Links to articles on marriage and parenting are easy to come by, but items tailored for blended families are harder to find.
- Pete Wilson notes that increasingly, individuals and couples have ‘revolving door’ best friends.
- A survey sample of 500 UK teens found nearly three-quarters saying it’s too easy to stumble on stuff online you shouldn’t be seeing.
- A short article arguing that every denomination that takes a liberal position on sexual issues sees a drop in attendance.
- Podcast Place: Canada’s long-haired pastor Bruxy Cavey spent the summer teaching his congregation systematic theology. (Audio or video)
- They keep their purity pledge and meeting with their accountability partner, but then, once married, the support structures vanish.
- Tim Keller consolidates much of his sermon audio on a new website, though you need to be prepared to pay.
- Ladies’ Link (a new category we’re testing out): If you missed Lysa TerKeurst’s live book launch webcast for The Best Yes, here’s another chance to watch.
- Christians who aren’t part of a local church. You know some. I know some. Did the early church know any?
- Twitter Curiosity of the Week: Michael Patton wrote, “‘Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love . . .’ Did you know the writer of this song left the faith?” As Wikipedia might say, ‘Citation needed’ or at least wanted, which led me to this article.
- Also at P&P: 21 Things Christians Say That Hurt Their Credibility. (Warning: Each is a link to a detailed article. You may get lost in these for an hour or more.)
- A singer from a legendary gospel music family is suing an Atlanta festival promoter for $75,000.
- Your Facebook post or email forward for today: The Blue Letter Bible, a list of ten things it doesn’t say.
- Another arrangement of the popular song, Oceans. So why is that some songs connect and some don’t? (It was rhetorical…)
- Finally, if you live in Hawaii, keep an eye out for a white male jogger carrying a cross.
- Oh, and a personal statement: Realizing the need for repentance and restoration, I will be stepping down from link listing for a period of six days.
So there you have it! Not a single link about the social media story of the week, unless you count the sideways reference in that last item. To submit a link, send it by noon on Monday, except for next week, which is a holiday Monday.
Time for your midweek break and some news and opinion pieces you may have missed:
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.