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.)
A big shout out this week to the people who track me down and submit link suggestions. Weekly deadline is 6:00 PM Eastern on Mondays. To view clickable links for all that follows, read the Wednesday Link List at Out of Ur.
- Although this movie trailer was posted in May, it was new to me: Coming in January, 2014 a movie about singer/songwriter Rich Mullins, aptly titled Ragamuffin…
- …and a more recently posted trailer for a documentary exploring “the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality,” with interviews with “a dozen leading theologians and progressive thinkers.” The 7-part DVD series is titled Painting The Stars.
- It’s not just a Catholic problem; a group is actively protesting to push for the ordination of Mormon women.
- Just weeks before his formal installation, the President of the American Bible Society announces that the Board of Trustees has “brought [his] service to a close.”
- “Christians in the Middle East are hostages in the hands of Islamic forces.” “Many of Israel’s Christians feel that their history, culture and heritage have been hijacked by Muslim Arabs in the region.” Read more at this report from a recent conference.
- Sometimes in the quest to free ourselves from the constraints of religion, we discover we’ve simply immersed ourselves in a different form of religion.
- Thanks to Canadian blogger Michael Bell, I was finally able to track down data on megachurches in Canada, a much shorter list than its U.S. counterpart.
- 1-Source, a collaboration of four Christian publishing companies will offer titles by established authors like Bill Myers and Brandilyn Collins, as well as self-publishing.
- David and Goliath becomes the theme of a TED Talk, but this explanation of the story is a little different from the one we know.
- Essay of the Week: From right here at Christianity Today, Andy Crouch on the power we confer to those in church leadership and why it matters.
- Find of the Week: Christian cartoonist Wes Molebash whose adventures with JP and Miles at the fictional Paper City Church make up the comic Insert Image.
- Retort of the Week: Russell D. Moore responds to Pope Francis’ recent interview with an Italian journalist and the danger severing the love of God from the holiness of God…
- …while Shane Claiborne remembers the original Francis.
- There is so much to read at the blog of Samantha Field that it’s hard to just link to one post, but here’s 15 things you shouldn’t say to a recovering Fundamentalist.
- Apologetics in part involves responding to Christianity’s critics, and these are some interesting responses.
- One year ago at this time, I was crusading to get a classic book on the history of teaching about the Holy Spirit put back in print.
- Typology: “So [Mommy/Daddy], [was/is] [name of prominent figure] a good guy or a bad guy?” Sometimes the answer is a bit of both. (Tangent: Check out the blogroll on this one.)
- Not only does a portrait of Jesus have to be removed, but an Ohio school district has to pay the ACLU’s $80,000 in legal costs.
- Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas is producing a number of quality videos to go along with a dramatic reading of chapters in Genesis.
- I think this was more common in a previous generation, but why not today? Praying for your children’s future spouses.
- In some conservative Christian circles, the phrase “Guard your heart,” has an entirely different spin with consequences the writer of Proverbs never intended.
- Jamie The Very Worst Goodwill Ambassador articulates her ambivalence after a tour with World Vision.
- In the spirit of what’s termed Paul-Timothy relationships, Donald Miller suggests you should take your cues from people notably older than yourself, not your peers.
- She “is a girl, just like you and me, who made a mistake. She knows when you are talking about her. She knows when you are looking at her and judging her.” An insider look at birth-mothers.
- Don’t roll your eyes, but it’s one more Arminianism vs. Calvinism comparison.
- For Italians, the name Simone Saltarelli denotes both a well known motorcyclist and a figure in Catholic church history.
- The 2013 Catalyst Conference, as covered by the hometown newspaper, or more relevant details at Christianity Today.
- Lost Song of the Week: Standin’ in the Need of Prayer by Deitrick Haddon and the Voices of Unity; a flashback to 2004.
- Christianity Meets Culture: A blog featuring “reviews and news on the board gaming industry from a ministry point of view.” Not surprisingly, it’s called Theology of Games.
- And then there’s this graphic which I’m sure you have use for, but I wasn’t sure how to introduce it. (What’s an .svg file anyway?)
- Back on the comic front, nearly seven years and more than 1,100 panels later, the UK’s Jon Birch is still cartooning at ASBO Jesus.
- Finally, a story for which I’ll quote the entire first paragraph, so you know I’m not making this up: “The Robertson clan from A&E’s reality show Duck Dynasty, will release a Christmas album called “Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas” on October 29, featuring several top country stars.”
Link curator Paul Wilkinson blogs daily here and Tweets as inspiration strikes at @PaulW1lk1nson (or is “at @” a redundancy?)
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
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.
If you remember Cornerstone Magazine after which the festival was named, you might remember the Oboe Jones comic by Kevin Frank which appeared 27 times in the mag. In 2011, Kevin uploaded all the comics. You choose an edition and then click on the image, and then click the little magnifier thing to see it full size.
Now, I know Kevin doesn’t like it when bloggers embed his stuff — physically impossible with these anyway — so you’re going to have to click through for this one, but the particular link here is a great memory of the Cornerstone Festival, in this case the one from 1994. (But somewhat representative of all of them, the last one I attended being 1986.) If your internet connection can handle something 5,000 pixels wide, click through for Postcards from the Web. (The teaser sample here is just a very small part of a much larger scene.) You might even find Waldo, though I’m not sure if Waldo is there to be found.
You can also catch up with Kevin’s more recent work at KevinFrank.net
It’s Wednesday, but Friday’s a-coming!
- A very well-crafted response from Eric Metaxas over the decision by Lifeway Christian Resources to pull a DVD off their shelves — a movie that was described by some as saturated with Christian values and example.
- Should churches use automated voice-message systems? People find them annoying, but email isn’t really effective.
- Not surprisingly, lots of flack from Mormons over their cover story in Bloomberg Businessweek.
- Meanwhile, here are five points from a Canadian cult expert on where LDS teachings diverge from Christian orthodoxy.
- A Christian and a Muslim join together to urge hotel executives — not on religious grounds but in the name of decency — to rethink the pornographic television channels in their properties.
- A rare video interview with the entire Hybels family: Bill, Lynne, Shauna and Todd.
- Jenni Catron debriefs the rather brief appearance of protesters from Westboro Baptist at Crosspoint Church last Sunday.
- Eighteen years after her 1994 album release on Sparrow Records, Cheri Keaggy is back with a new CD, So I Can Tell.
- Exodus International, a ministry to gays and lesbians, has just undergone what Scot McKnight calls a “colossal shift” in its position on reparative therapy.
- Got 40 minutes? Enjoy a sermon by Substance Church pastor Peter Haas, a young communicator with a young church in Minnesota/St. Paul, author of the forthcoming book, Pharisectomy. (Teaching starts at 7:59)
- Got $2.2 million (US)? You could be considered a serious buyer for pastor Ed Young’s house.
- Rob Horsely reviews Part of Me, the documentary on gospel singer turned pop sensation Katy Hudson aka Kate Perry; while at the same time the singer is on record as praying for acceptance of same-sex marriage.
- Does your worship leader sport tattoos? Jon Acuff thinks the church bulletin should have a note explaining the symbolism.
- It’s a short meditation that’s worth the click: Carlos Whitaker on Prayers that Scare the Crap Out of You.
- Does your church march in local parades? If churches in your area do, they often send counter-productive, negative messages. But progressive churches need to do it differently to reach the large crowds.
- Meanwhile, USAToday’s religion page is suggesting that an increasing number of churches are switching to Wednesday Worship during the summer.
- A “Spiritual Themes” panel for cartoonists and fans happens at the most recent Comic-Con.
- Love finding free music. Probably this is old news, but here’s a free six-song download of Rich Kirkpatrick’s Drink The Divine. Or just listen.
- Note re. submissions: If any part of your blog or website is “powered by Google” it is increasingly unlikely that it will end up linked here. Page loads are taking up to ten times longer.