I thought we’d kick off with something timely for back-to-school from Zazzle.com:
Here are this week’s links, and one or two I accidentally left off last week’s list. As usual you need to scoot over to Out of Ur for the actual linking.
- Yeah, I know. Three links to Dictionary of Christianese in six weeks. But how I could pass when the word was narthex? Meet you in the narthex when you’re done reading the rest of the list.
- A trailer is out for a movie celebrating 40 years of England’s Greenbelt Music & Arts Festival.
- Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love is an all-time Christian fiction bestseller. Now, word that after many years, Bridge to Haven, a new title, will release in spring 2014.
- Essay of the Week: A Facebook fast isn’t fasting. Actress and writer Hannah Rivard guest posts at The Rebelution, the blog of Alex and Brett Harris.
- A Tennessee judge rules you can’t call a child Messiah.
- The above item reminds us of a story we did a few months ago: In New Zealand you can name a kid Faith, Hope or Charity, but not Justice. (They turned down two Messiah’s there also.)
- Because your kids’ picture Bible storybooks tend to be family friendly, odds are that these five stories didn’t make the final edit.
- Related: A serious management feasibility study on how Noah got all the animals to fit inside.
- At Stuff Christians Like, a few lines of dialog that even your adult Bible is missing.
- The best articles on Bible translation are always written by people who actually do Bible translation.
- Despite being on record as not wanting to speak to certain topics, it turns out that C. S. Lewis actually did address homosexuality.
- You’ve heard him on radio, now meet the face behind the voice: Christian financial planning expert Dave Ramsey takes to video.
- If we believe in the priesthood of all believers, does that by definition diminish the need for structured leadership?
- Another outdoor concert stage collapse, this time involving Christian bands MercyMe and The Afters at the Cleveland County fairgrounds.
- The names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty: A tale of two pastoral transitions.
- We may be on a journey to eternal life, but a Pew Research survey claims that only one in three of us want this life to last eternally.
- David Hayward aka The Naked Pastor is the latest Christian blogger to try the podcast thing.
- Confession isn’t just good for the soul, it’s necessary for taking steps toward a holy God.
- In the Assemblies of God denomination, growth is taking place, but their trademark distinctive, speaking in tongues, is on the decline.
- Is it blasphemous or just plain vulgar? A UK vicar claims the former Archbishop of Canterbury rode in her car and wasn’t disturbed by her edgy and controversial bumper sticker. [Content advisory]
- Related: Describing her book as “a messy profanity- and prayer-laden theological memoir,” the Sarcastic Lutheran aka Nadia Bolz-Weber introduces Pastrix. No wonder reviewers like myself aren’t being given advance copies. Here’s a video trailer. [Much stronger content advisory: NSFCO (Not safe for church offices)]
- In your local church, do you have the gift of diapers or the gift of chairs?
- Hoping to flee what they consider U.S. government interference in religion; a family ends up lost at sea.
- I never know how to end the list each week, but the Canadian in me is drawn to this.
The graphic below was located at The Master’s Table, where similar things can be found each Monday. (You’ll have to look up the verses.)
One thing I really miss with the new arrangement is the feedback from readers on particular links. So feel free to comment either here or at Out of Ur.
So, is Pope Francis a revivalist?
Now, on to the links…
Some very, very high profile Christian sites and at least one radio show get their news stories here. We know who you are…
- Jamie, The Very Worst Suburbanite reflects on life in the ‘burbs here vs. life in the ‘burbs in Honduras in The Color of Greige.
- With help from a Gordon College professor, the classic handicapped icon/logo/thing is getting an entirely new vitality.
- Knowing Nik Wallenda made it safely doesn’t make it any easier to watch, even in this 90 second summary video.
- Its been one year since Saeed Abedini said goodbye to his family to build orphanages in Iran. Help us bring him home.
- Got a son or daughter entering high school? It might be time to buy them a necklace.
- Publisher Thomas Nelson reports on Twitter that already six colleges have signed on to use Ken Wytsma’s Pursuing Justice as a textbook. But then, we predicted that.
- Find your pastor: Phillip Wilson invites you to play Top Twelve Preacher Styles. Hopefully your minister isn’t in this list at all.
- Critics have accused the Scottish Government of following the same failed approach of ever-more sex education at ever-younger ages to lower the teen pregnancy rate. Now they’re talking preschool.
- Essay of the week: Go deeper with Michah Murray on the concept of Love The Sinner Hate The Sin.
- Photo essay of the week: A visit to the abandoned Holy Land theme park in Connecticut, closed since ’84.
- This 2-minute video is the reason I part company with John MacArthur’s dispensationalism and anti-Charismatic rhetoric.
- The Dictionary of Christianese defines traveling mercies and the many variations on cradle Christian. Be sure to also see, bookmark and use their full index of terms defined so far.
- World awareness: Here are five quick facts on the problems caused by lack of access to safe drinking water.
- Author Max Lucado has formed a partnership with Thomas Nelson and The Salvation Army (SA), to produce a special SA edition of You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times
- Have you or someone you know been hurt by a local church? Here are things to remember and steps to take.
- Ever feel like God is ticked off with you right now? Here’s a take on the question, Does God get disappointed with us?
- Warning: You may disagree with this 3 1/2 minute video on debunking rapture doctrine.
- Jen Hatmaker’s end of school year parent confessional went viral and is closing in on 4,400 comments.
- The website of the Smithsonian Institute profiles the unique and often controversial ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson.
- A Baptist church in Georgia (the European country, not the US state) finds middle ground with its high orthodox neighbors by using robes and incense.
- With a new album ready to release, Andrew Schwab talks to Matt Greiner of the band August Burns Red.
- In other CCM news, usually the people who lead Holy Land tours are somewhat older authors, pastors or musicians. So… an Audio Adrenaline tour of Israel?
- After at least four years, Paul Baloche is releasing another worship album in French.
- Lamentable blog discovery of the week: Pimp Preacher, a collection of con artistry by minsters, from the Preacher Bureau of Investigation.
- Steven Furtick with a short piece on The Real Test of Worship, reblogged from 2010 for a new audience.
- Please note that if you have a blog and about 15 seconds after it opens it starts playing very loud music that you like but maybe nobody else likes, we will not link to it.
- That’s it for this link list; stay ‘linked’ during the week here and on Twitter.
The Wednesday List Lynx might be getting a new home as early as next week.
Stop the presses! Is this the last link list?
We’re cooking up a partnership that could mean more people than ever would get to share in what we’ve been doing here for five years. Just think of the larger number of people who would get saved just clicking on these same stories. They might not even have to click; conviction might come just by reading the teasers.
Really, why are we considering this? It’s about power and the ability to take bribes to promote various blogs and websites.
So stay tuned. Same bat time. Same bat channel. But maybe not actually same bat channel.
Welcome to yet another installment of “Let’s see what everybody else is doing online.” Actually there are some really strong links here this week, you won’t be disappointed, but I think both guys in the above cartoon are going to be.
- Our lead link this week isn’t lighter fare. The Dictionary of Christianese worked hard to provide you with the meaning of all things kairos, such as kairos time, kairos season, kairos opportunity and kairos moment.
- Todd Rhoades invites you to play: Who Said It? Oprah or Osteen? Before peeking at the answers, why not phone a friend or use this as a small group icebreaker.
- Jamie the Very Worst Fundraiser admits that some of the pictures — and descriptive language — you see in missionary letters may not be entirely representative of what is taking place on the mission field. Partner with someone to read this.
- The church once known as the Crystal Cathedral will be renamed Christ Cathedral, while the people who once worshiped at the Crystal Cathedral will gather under the name Shepherd’s Grove.
- The Christian teen whose song Clouds recently reached 3 million YouTube views, Zach Sobiech, died Monday surrounded by family at his home in Lakeland, Minnesota. He was 18.
- As of last night, Oklahoma pastor Craig Groeschel reported that 71 families from Lifechurch had lost their homes.
- At Parchment and Pen, perhaps the reason many adolescents and young adults have faith collapses is because they aren’t properly conditioned on dealing with doubts. Must reading for Christian parents.
- Also for parents: If you’re wondering what to do with your teens (or tweens) over the summer, you won’t be after reading this list.
- Catholic readers should note that there are some rosaries on the market that aren’t exactly kosher. William Tapley guides you to spotting the iffy prayer beads.
- This just in: “No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the Lord’s assembly.” Actually, it’s in Deuteronomy. A must-read for guys.
- A music therapist at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville gets kids to write songs, and then gets the songs recorded by the city’s best. A seven minute documentary; keep the tissues handy. (Love what the kid said who had a song covered by Amy Grant!)
- Pastors’ Corner: What if your weekend sermon was more like a TED Talk? Could you deliver the same content in 18 minutes or less?
- So in a debate of house churches over traditional churches who wins? This article includes discussion of The Meeting House in Canada which reflects the best of both. (Be sure to continue to page two.)
- Graphic of he week: A conversation at the atheist’s car garage.
- Top selling Christian music in the UK this week is the band Rend Collective Experiment, according to a new music chart service there.
- …And graphics for your Facebook or Tumblr each week at Happy Monday at The Master’s Table.
- The subject of the Soul Surfer book and movie after losing an arm to a shark while surfing, Bethany Hamilton is getting married.
- My video upload this week for Searchlight Books — sponsor of our Christian classics collection — was a scratchy 45-rpm single of Roger McDuff (the gospel music guy) doing Jesus is a Soul Man circa 1969. To get on this YouTube channel, the songs have to not be previously uploaded.
- Baptist book publisher Broadman and Holman aka B&H wants to stop publishing fiction in 2014 unless the book in question can have a tie-in with Lifeway curriculum product or other brand merchandise.
- Ron Fournier aka Tehophilus Monk has a short excerpt from the book Why Priests? by Gary Wills which calls into question the entire concept of priests in the ecclesiastic hierarchy.
- We can’t do it by ourselves. Sometimes we need Outside Help. Classic pop/rock some of you might remember from Johnny Rivers.
- Not enough links for ya this week? Dave Dunham’s got another 15 for you at Pastor Dave Online.
- During the week between link lists, I invite you to join my somewhat miniscule band of Twitter followers.
- The lower graphic this week is from an article at the youth ministry blog Learning My Lines.
Regular readers will know this already, but I’ve never quite come out and said it: I find it somewhat snobbish when bloggers publish link lists where anything older than 2-3 days is considered obsolete. A true link sleuth will unearth some great material and won’t be concerned if the post is dated 30 days ago. If it was true then…
- Essay of the week: Church Planting in Montreal. A somewhat typical couple has been living together for ten years but has never gotten close to having any kind of spiritual discussion. And that’s just one challenge. The Quebecois version of Hybels’ “unchurched Harry” is quite different from “Harry” in the rest of North America.
- Runner up: Remember that feeling when you were young and you came home from school only to find nobody home and you immediately thought everybody had been raptured? Well, it happens to not-so-young college students, too.
- Okay, so that video about how to write a worship song wasn’t the first time Jordan at BlimeyCow waded into Christian music criticism. Or church camp. And different types of churches.
- While everyone else on Sunday night was watching The Bible miniseries on History, one blogger was putting the final period on his review even as the credits rolled. I guess that way you get to say, “First!” (The cable channel show beat all the big networks in the ratings.)
- If you know people whose Christian faith is characterized by what they are against, may I suggest you copy and paste this article and email it to them.
- For people who don’t know how to use a “table of contents” in a book, The Alpha Bible presents the Bible books in… well you know.
- Given the success of The Book of Mormon, a Broadway production by The Foursquare Church denomination on the life of Aimee Semple McPherson probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
- The idea of gospel tracts probably seems somewhat archaic to most readers here, but the concision of these short presentations actual suits present attention spans. Now 31 Good News tracts are available on audio.
- Matt Hafer comes out of church leadership hibernation with five ways for pastors to tell if people are truly on board.
- I know I often link you over to Christianity 201, but I really want you all, if nothing else, to catch this video.
- In some ways connected to a link we had here last week, a Christianity Today women’s blog suggests a little bit of Christianese is OK.
- As someone whose entire wardrobe was purchased at Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, this is scary: Pat Robertson allows the possibility that those shirts and sweaters could have demonic spirits attached. (That’s why Pat buys professionally tailored suits, I guess.)
- Once we know the name of the new Pope, the new Pope has to choose a name. Past Pope picks included these. (You remember Pope Urban, right?)
- How is it possible that this great song by the Wheaton College Gospel Choir has had less than 2,500 views in two years? If this don’t bring a smile to your face, your mouth is broken. Watch, copy the link and share.
- Jon Acuff finds himself in a prayer meeting with someone who gives a whole new meaning to the phrase too much information.
- If you missed it January, Shaun Groves shares songwriting secrets for worship composers. But ultimately, “I think worship writers have parted with standard songwriting practices because they’re creating with the live experience in mind. So their priorities are much different from those of a traditional songwriter.”
- The people at Thomas Nelson flatly refused us a review copy of this, but I’ll be nice and tell you about it anyway. Jesus: A Theography is a new book by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola combining theology and biography with –[free review time expired]
- …Mind you, that was already better than this guy’s review. “After a while, I finally put the book down and said enough.” (When you accept a free book you do agree to finish reading it.)
- Remember Anne Jackson? Well she’s still kicking around, still writing, and apparently this Friday is a special day.
- Nadia Bolz-Weber, the Lutheran with attitude, shares her struggle preparing to preach on The Parable of the Vineyard. (Open the audio link in a new tab, then click back to follow the text; the whole sermon is about ten minutes.) Actual quote: “…you’d think that I’d totally remember a parable where poop is mentioned.”
- Meanwhile Steve McCoy’s kids, age 12 and 14, are taking sermon notes while he preaches.
- On our fifth birthday, we introduced you to Derek the Cleric. We had a tough time that day choosing between two cartoons and thought we’d stretch the written permission we received to do just one more.
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.
And you thought I would take the day off, didn’t you? Well, the link list crew worked all New Year’s Day to bring this to you.
- Russell D. Moore has a unique observation post from which to consider the decision by the Russian government to suspend adoptions of Russian children by Americans. I think his two Russian born children would agree with his summary.
- Hi readers. Meet Matt Rawlings. Matt read 134 books last year. How did you do?
- And here’s another Matt. Matt Appling has put together an amazing essay on why the concept of shame is ripe for a comeback.
- David Murrow has an interesting idea in which popular TV pastors are a brand that is a type of new denomination. He also has other ideas about what the church will look like in 50 years. (Or read the Todd Rhoades summary.)
- Some readers here also blog, and if that’s you, perhaps you do the “top posts” thing. (I don’t.) But if you had a post-of-the-year, I can almost guarantee it weren’t nothin’ like this must-read one.
- “This is the most egregious violation of religious liberty that I have ever seen.” Denny Burk on what is largely a U.S.-based story, but with justice issues anyone can appreciate: The case of Hobby Lobby.
- Can some of you see yourself in this story? “It’s really hard for me to read God’s word without dissecting it. I like to have commentaries and cross references. I like to take notes. I like to circle, underline, rewrite. And then my time with God turns into another homework assignment.” I can. More at Reflect blog.
- This one may be sobering for a few of you. David Fitch offers three signs that you are not a leader, at least where the Kingdom of God is concerned.
- “We put people into leadership roles too early, on purpose. We operate under the assumption that adults learn on a need-to-know basis. The sooner they discover what they don’t know, the sooner they will be interested in learning what they need to know…At times, it creates problems. We like those kinds of problems…” Read a sample of Andy Stanley’s new book, Deep and Wide, at Catalyst blog.
- So for some of you, 2013 represents getting back on the horse again, even though you feel you failed so many times last year. Jon Acuff seems to understand what you’re going through.
- Dan Gilgoff leaves the editor’s desk at CNN Belief Blog after three years and notes five things he learned in the process.
- More detail on the Westboro petition(s) at the blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars; along with our get well wishes to blog proprietor Ed Brayton, recovering from open heart surgery.
- Rachel Held Evans mentioned this one yesterday: The How To Talk Evangelical Project. Sample: “If Christianese was a language, evangelical was our own special dialect. A cadence. A rhythm…” Click the banner at the top for recent posts.
- Not sure how long this has been available, but for all you Bible study types, here’s the ultimate list for academically-inclined people who want to own the best Bible commentary for each Bible book. (And support your local bookstore if you still have one!)
- Bob Kauflin salutes the average worship leader, working with the average team at the average church. Which despite what you see online is mostly people like us.
- Flashback all the way to September for this one: Gary Molander notes that the primary work of a pastor is somewhat in direct conflict with the calling they feel they are to pursue. He calls it, Why is it So Stinkin’ Hard to Work for a Church?
- Nearly three years ago, we linked to this one and it’s still running: CreationSwap.com where media shared for videos, photos, logos, church bulletins, is sold or given away by thousands of Christian artists.
These are some of the pages my browser history tells me I visited…
- Married? So what about other opposite sex friendships? Here’s an answer you may or may not like. Check out the fifth video in this collection at Parchment and Pen. And the other videos, too.
- An update from Heaven is for Real co-author and dad Todd Burpo on how life has changed, how it’s the same, and the movie version of the book.
- A longtime Baptist minister was beaten to death inside his church in suburban Fort Worth, Texas.
- Rachel Held Evans responds — at length — to Kathy Keller in particular and others in general on accurate Biblical interpretation as it affects her controversial new book.
- Martyr’s Prayer is a CD that is also available as a live concert featuring the music of Michael Glen Bell and Duane W. H. Arnold with guests, Phil Keaggy, Glenn Kaiser, Jennifer Knapp, Randy Stonehill, Kemper Crabb, Margaret Becker and others. Learn more here.
- The picture at right represents my wife’s contribution to this week’s links. Click the image for source.
- The link you’ll be forwarding to your friends: Someone takes a hidden camera inside Mormon Temple rituals.
- Go deep: How the belief in annhiliationism diminishes the gospel message.
- Bookmark this for later: Tyler Braun offers ten things to say to people who are mourning.
- Another new video from Worship House Media: Check out every Christian cliché you’ve ever heard at Stuff Christians Say..
- Tony Jones considers Shane Hipps a friend, so his brief review of Selling Water By The River is somewhat telling.
- Tobymac opener Jamie Grace may be the world’s only musician with Tourette syndrome, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, echolalia, anxiety disorder — and a Grammy nomination. Read the interview.
- Christianity Today is re-launching the Today’s Christian Woman brand.
- Congratulations to Canada’s oldest gospel choir, The Toronto Mass Choir, on 25 years of making a joyful noise.
- A year ago we visited The Likeable Bible — all your favorite verses to be sure — and a year later it’s still online.
- Retro link to September: John Ortberg looks at the unparalleled life of Jesus in an excerpt from Who Is This Man?
If you’re a Wednesday-only visitor here, be sure to check out the Weekend Link List from Saturday.