Early in 2009, we introduced some of you to veteran Christian cartoonist Kevin Frank as he launched the book Balaam’s Chicken. Then last year, we showed you just a portion of larger illustration of the Cornerstone Festival. (In an earlier lifetime, Kevin appeared regularly in Cornerstone Magazine.)
But this week, we heard from Kevin, and on the occasion of his website makeover, he allowed us to splash some new panels on the wall here at Thinking Out Loud. So we’ll definitely do one on next Wednesday’s link list, but I thought we’d also do something today.
When you arrive at the site you have eight choices, but my favorites are True North (a somewhat autobiographical story about an American transplanted in Canada that appears in Canadian newspapers) and Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop, a story about a… well, you get it. That’s where the one below is from, but honestly, there were so many to choose from. (If you’re in children’s ministry, this one was my runner up.)
I couldn’t decide whether my intro should tie in with Halloween or All Saints Day, so I decided to play it safe and just get to this week’s links…These links don’t actually link to anything other than today’s Out of Ur version of the list!
- The UK has become Biblically illiterate to the point where while watching the Monty Python movie, Life of Brian, viewers no longer get the humor.
- The Liberty Convocation videos on YouTube are a Who’s Who of Christians thinkers and leaders. Last week they welcomed National Community Church pastor Mark Batterson.
- Essay of the Week: This one will leave you speechless. A writer shares her heart in the middle of a marriage that seems like a giant mistake.
- Analogy Avenue: One more response to John MacArthur’s conference, this one invoking transportation (trains and the lunar rover) from author Mark Rutland.
- So here is possibly the last word on that kid who was given the name Messiah, and the challenges that could create.
- After Natalie Grant and Wow 2014, the number 3 position on the Billboard Christian music chart goes to Bryan and Katie Torwalt. “Who,” you ask? They’re part of Jesus Culture, and sound like this.
- Randy Alcorn engages the subject of pro-life organizations that use explicit photographs to reinforce their anti-abortion message.
- The authors of the non-Canonical gospel texts hoped that they would be taken seriously. It’s our job, however, to eliminate the late stories and isolate the early eyewitness accounts, even though we’re tempted to do otherwise.
- The only thing noteworthy about an article that advocates for Christians to enjoy dancing, is when you find it at the website of Associated Baptist Press.
- When your kids have a question, do they ask you, or do they automatically take all their questions to a search engine?
- If you get struck by lightning twice in the same day, you may be correct in assuming that God is trying to get your attention.
- When you read the Bible, do you follow the Flyover Route, the Direct Route, or the Scenic Route? David Kenney reviews a new NLT edition I’ve had my eye on for awhile: The Wayfinding Bible. (Tyndale Publishing, you have my address!)
- Resource of the Week: You’ll want to bookmark (or share) Sam Storms’ eleven factors that can destroy objectivity in Bible hermeneutics, along with his basic rules for Bible interpretation.
- Passionate Teaching: I always love it when Wheaton College’s Dr. Gary Burge drops in for a midweek service at Willow.
- In Detroit a female Bishop in a Baptist denomination informed her congregation that for more than six months she has been married to another woman. And then she resigned.
- After a week of focus on Steven Furtick’s house and John MacArthur’s conference, who would guess our attention on the weekend would be on Mark Driscoll, as evidenced here, here and here?
- Meanwhile, Furtick debriefed his church on all the attention they’ve been getting.
- Here’s another article suggesting you take an Internet hiatus. What makes this different is that it spells out exactly how to keep important messages coming. (Don’t all of you do this however, or nobody will be here next week!)
- Here’s a link that gets you eight more links…to eight short newsletter articles the National Association of Evangelicals published on the subject of Holy Humor. (Includes some writers you know well.)
- …And speaking of links to other links, here’s what an Academic edition of the Wednesday Link List might look like. (Brian LePort publishes one of these each week.)
- 48% of teenagers have received a sexually explicit message on their smartphones. A mobile monitoring system offers some advice applicable to youth workers.
- Get Religion is a media analysis site which last week looked at the coverage of the baptism of England’s Prince George from two different perspectives on what wasn’t mentioned.
- Got 3 minutes? Turns out Eric Niequist, the brother of Willow Creek’s Aaron Niequist has a film company which recently completed this very short film.
- That wraps up this week’s list. If we could end with a cartoon, it would be this one.
The Wednesday Link List is produced in our studios just east of Toronto, Canada where, for the record, we don’t have snow yet. Any rebroadcast, retransmission, or account of this link list, without the express written consent of Major League Baseball, is prohibited.
Today’s graphics were located at Matthew Paul Turner’s blog.
Insert Image is the continuing story of Miles and JP from Paper City Church, as created by Wes Molebash. There’s a new comic panel every Monday.
having trouble viewing the complete image? Click here.
Another brilliant post from the UK website ASBO Jesus.
The problem in the church isn’t to be found studying the churches that are seeker sensitive; the problem is dealing with the churches that are seeker hostile.~ source unknown
How God Made the Clouds
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
~ Phil 4:8 & 9 – The Message
Yesterday we celebrated my birthday, though thankfully not one of those of ‘0’ or ‘5’ birthdays that make you feel old, today I simply feel older. Summer is much shorter here in the frozen north, but I was able to take a brief swim in two different lakes, though it would be tough to call those short dips swimming. I also spent about six hours of my birthday in the car, though thankfully I didn’t have to drive a single mile of it. Helps having three licensed drivers in the family, even if two of them are only semi-licensed.
So nothing original today, you’ll have to settle for a few links:
That will have to satisfy for today, and I hope you don’t mind some repeat cartoons. Incidentally, you may note that some of the blogspot links here are blogspot.ca not blogspot.com; if your blog is one of them, yes you have a different address in Canada, though we’re not sure why; nobody else does this. But then, can anyone fathom anything Google does? Let me know if ever any of those links don’t work. Also don’t forget, there’s always more happening on my Twitter page.
Wednesday List Lynx
Atoning every Wednesday for stealing content the other six days a week; since 2008.
- Is the Pope Catholic? Pope Francis sure shook things up with a statement this week that was perhaps as traditional as it was radical.
- Philip Yancey, in The Jesus I Never Knew quotes Walter Wink: “If Jesus had never lived, we never would have been able to invent him.” Here’s a tribute to Wink, an author many of us don’t know, who passed away last year.
- Huffington Post says Joel Osteen’s extensive use of social media makes him a Digivangelist. Except for those nights when email prayer requests are returned to senders.
- The Roman Catholic Church in Venezuela is running out of wine for mass, and the wafers for communion are facing a price increase. Shortages in the country are affecting everything including toilet paper.
- There’s been a resolution in the conflict between New York City schools, and religious groups wanting to rent space in schools on weekends.
- If your statement of faith is crafted with such precision that it really only applies to your church, you might be bound by theological legalism.
- Brian Zahnd writes, “I have more in common with the Egyptian Muslim who prays five times a day than with the European secularist who never prays.” You are what you pray.
- Found a great article this week on Genesis 1, which wasn’t written to counter Darwinism, but was written that people might believe.
- The cartoon at the top was sourced at Greg Boyd’s blog, where it is credited to Jay Sidebotham.
- Here’s a great church snapshot: “…25% of St. Jude’s adults have a PhD. Another 25% have done or have a family member who is doing prison time. PhD’s and prisoners. That is St. Jude’s in a nutshell.” Read more
- Sorry to learn of the passing of Chris Daniel, the force behind the Old Christian Music blog, a great source of information about the Christian rock of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Someone new may be taking over the site.
- When your Mormon friend says “Jesus,” and you say “Jesus,” you’re talking about two entirely different people.
- Nick Vujicic does the impossible and talks about his faith in a stadium rally in Vietnam, a country highly restrictive in terms of religious freedom.
- A Texas couple are giving away their $4 billion fortune rather than leaving it for their three children.
- Video clip of the week: Larissa Heatley pays tribute to her grandfather, Dallas Willard.
- The Christian school at the center of the 4th grade dinosaur test — now ubiquitous online — is dealing with the subsequent publicity.
- Artists to watch: From season 11 of American Idol, Colton Dixon. Here’s a sample from YouTube.
- As much as 30% of all internet activity may be porn-related; and it seems that it doesn’t matter where your city rates on the religiosity scale.
- On June 3rd, one of the all-time original Christian bloggers, Tall Skinny Kiwi is preparing to move on to a new social media platform.
- And lastly, there’s this book…
Try to have your link suggestions in by 6:00 PM on Monday, since we start preparing The Feast of Linkage ahead of time.
This is oh so very realistic. Sourced at Cake or Death in case you want to contact Alex Baker about using it.
Last week I was trying to explain the basics of grace to someone who is searching through a number of spiritual options. I alluded to the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery, and also the story of the lost (prodigal) son, and realized in both cases that the person I was speaking with was not conversant with either story, so I had to backtrack and fill in the details.
Honestly, it felt strange to have to go back and say, “So there was this woman who was caught in the very act of adultery;” or “A man had two sons and the younger wanted his share of the father’s estate without having to wait around for his father to die;” especially in the environment that I was in sharing the story. I was cutting directly to the punchline as it were, but the person on the other end of the discussion had no idea who these characters were.
Link and the world links with you… The cartoon? See item 4 below:
- First and foremost here this week: Pray for blogger Keith Brenton and family.
- Here’s an obscure 2009 blog post that proves that pastors do indeed get asked the toughest questions. Betcha never heard this one.
- So that everyone gets a fair start to the race, here’s a five minute video as to how to become a Pope.
- Peter Enns notes that the bloggers are again off and running, criticizing the Rob Bell book they haven’t read.
- Save Saeed: Over 333,000 individuals have signed the petition to save American Pastor Saeed Abedini; imprisoned in Iran. He is cut off from contact from his wife and young children; he has no voice. Yet, each time someone signs the petition for his freedom, they lend their voice to the fight for his freedom.
- Essay of the Week: Jenny Rae Armstrong — The Missionaries Brought the Bread of Life But We Choked on the Packaging.
- Not every day I click over to the religion page at Canada’s National Post and see a giant picture of Larry Norman.
- The Amish are buying power tools. Sort of. This a link to a five-minute NPR (audio) story recorded at an Amish trade show. There’s also a written report on Amish computers.
- A researcher discovers a classic 19th century hymnal with “social justice themes … reflected in hymns protesting against child labour and slavery.” And hymns lamenting “unrighteous taxes.”
- A Florida student is forced to change out of a t-shirt that encouraged abstinence into one that raised its own moral questions.
- While these articles abound online, someone reading this right now may need to look at these six warning signs of depression.
- Anabaptist theology is becoming… well… trendy. Here’s one blogger’s list of those who he considers either recent or long-term members of the Anabaptist camp. (Some of them unofficially…)
- You might never find this on an album, so enjoy Steve Bell’s song to his wife on their 30th anniversary.
- We mentioned professor John Walton here a while back, here’s a 30-minute video of him teaching on the book of Job.
- Not sure if I’ve linked to this before or not: In its third year, the online Dictionary of Christianese. Here’s an example of the detail they get into with the phrase red-letter Christian.
- BibleGateway.com has added The Voice — a translation using dramatic script style — to its list of available Bible versions. Users of the online service get instructions in how to use this unique text.
- Know a worship leader looking for ideas? You can’t do better than clicking all the links in the comments section of this week’s Sunday Setlists.
- Also worship related: A New Zealander analyzes the CCLI Top 25 list for his country to see where popular worship songs originate.
- Or how about a written response to that currently popular video on writing a worship song.
- And now, courtesy of Ron Edmondson, we pause for a word to the small town pastor.
- Got a question about Satan aka Lucifer aka The Devil? Michael Patton provides some answers that I 98% agree with. Okay 99.
- Here’s a very detailed album review of Zion, the newest from Hillsong United.
- Our cartoon is a favorite around here, Mike Morgan’s For Heaven’s Sake. If you don’t get the punchline click this.