With both Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on a Wednesday, we offer this mid-point link list today, with the regular schedule returning January 8th. (Actually, I think that’s supposed to say, “returning, Lord willing on January 8th…”) If you’re new here, there was a corporate takeover of the link list in July, so all roads below lead to Out of Ur, the blog of Leadership Today magazine.
The links are at the post… They’re off! (A bad mash up of blogging and horse-racing.) (You should never have to explain the humor.) Click through to read these links at Out of Ur, the blog of Leadership Journal.
Why do Christian college and university educations get so expensive? Here’s a detailed explanation from someone who knows.
In an effort to emphasize “values not rules,” staff at Moody Bible Institute, and subsidiaries like Moody Publishing can now consume alcohol, but rules remain strict for students.
Jon Acuff took the platform he earned blogging at Stuff Christians Life into a job with America’s best known Christian financial planner, Dave Ramsay. Then, suddenly, he announced he’s leaving that job.
Video of the Week: Flagrant Regard is back, this time with a wild take on an old hymn that’s actually based on an idea my son came up with. You just might recognize the tune.
Essay of the Week: A Reformed blogger wants to show a distinction between those who consider themselves Reformed and the more prevalent perception of what is usually called Calvinism.
Too many pastors know the story of George, who frequently gets invited out for an attack lunch.
Does your church have a children’s sermon in the middle of the worship time? Perhaps you can learn from a popular AT&T television ad campaign.
Some Baptist Churches are abandoning sponsorship of the Boy Scouts, and are instead supporting the newly formed Trail Life USA.
Lee Grady thinks it’s good for several reasons that judges chose an Indian-American Miss America.
Sometimes the questions people have aren’t the ones we expect. For example this pastor is asked, Why do we say Amen at the end of prayers? (The answer includes a couple of times not to.)
Question of the Week: Should sporting events preempt church services?
I’d seen this two-minute video before, but appreciated Michael Hyatt’s reminder of The Power of Words.
An article I hope you never need but might want to bookmark: How to minister to the parents of a stillborn or miscarried child.
For only $777.00 and a new pair of spandex pants, you can attend the first ever fan weekend hosted by the band Stryper.
This Eschatology primer not only provides definitions, but suggests which favorite Bible teachers fit into which end-times-view camp.
A Tennessee judge rules that a child in that state can keep the name Messiah after all, overturning a lower court decision. (Will his friends call him ‘Messy’?)
In what is no doubt an often repeated story in North America, a church in New Brunswick, Canada tells a gay 20-year old he can no longer volunteer in their children’s ministry…
…While across the continent, a philosophy professor at Azusa Pacific University is dismissed after he comes out as transgendered.
Deep Bible Study Department: For all of you who find this column shallow and superficial, does the “I am the Bread of Life” passage in John 6 have a sacramental application, i.e. to the Lord’s Supper?
Two years later, Christianity Today — parent to this Out of Ur blog — wraps up its This is Our City feature with a visit to New York City.
Marijuana. That’s what caused the Colorado floods. Just sayin’.
Skeptics are somewhat … skeptical about a Charismatic Bible teacher’s claim to have witnessed the restoring of a cheek bone lost in an accident.
A Seventh Day Adventist Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico is in trouble with the city for failing to comply with an ordinance requiring churches to have business permits.
On both sides of the Atlantic, churches wrestle with how to deal with the situation arising when someone presents a new idea or concept.
An Anglican bishop in Wellington, New Zealand challenges high income earners to consider salary cuts.
Finally, at my own blogs, a look at worship hand-raising; and, when we say “God spoke to me,” there are different ways this can take place, each with different degrees of fallibility.
Paul Wilkinson is available to speak at your next battleship christening, or if you prefer, follow him on Twitter.
Is it Wednesday already? Time for another list of links of interest to people like you from blogs and websites great and small. But wait! None of the links below actually work; you need to click through to the Wednesday Link List’s new home at Out of Ur, the blog of Leadership Journal.
How about a 19-second video to kick things off? (Apologies to those who clicked!)
Frank Viola offers a completely different take on the spiritual life of John Lennon.
What did the Pope really say in that in-flight news conference? One writer thinks it’s not exactly what was reported.
You thought there were fewer this year and you were right. Stats on why not as many churches are doing VBS.
Got the standard 2.3 kids? John Wesley would not approve. I suppose you could call this an article about being procreative.
A UK church organist, 68, was walking to a midnight Christmas Eve service as he had done for 40 years when two men, both 22, beat him to death in a motiveless attack. Now, his widow offers a message of forgiveness.
Essay of the Month for June (but you may not like it): The atheist daughter of a noted Christian apologist shares her story so far.
Related: An Atheism, Theism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism infographic.
Essay of the Week: Ten things church worship leaders want the rest of us to understand.
Related: What if we looked at our church’s corporate worship time as a spiritual discipline?
The year isn’t even over and already we have a winner for the worst reporting of a religious story in 2013.
I’ll let Michael Frost Tweet this intro: “The conservative journal Christianity Today makes the case for welcoming same-sex couples to church.”
A blog to know about: Jesus I Will Follow You is a tumblr that answers questions from young readers on tough subjects.
From my own blog this week: A blog summary on the Presbyterian Church USA’s “In Christ Alone” hymnbook controversy and a look at same sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada.
It’s easy to deal with what’s appropriate beachwear for women when you’re on a Christian radio show. It’s harder when it’s your own 13-year old daughter.
Rob Bell is offering two more of his 2-day conferences in September and October that are already renowned for their lunch break to go surfing.
Music to brighten your day: Shine Bright Baby’s song from their new album Dreamers; enjoy Beautiful Love.
A link that takes you to more links: An Arizona pastors offers a 6-part blog series on the sins pastors commit including letting their wives manage everything on the homefront.
Here’s a March post which is a link to ten articles at the blog “Canon Fodder” by the author of The Question of Canon on — wait for it — ten things you should know about the New Testament canon.
In searching through blogs I had bookmarked months earlier, I landed on this very succinct post which I offer for your prayer consideration.
Before you hit the FWD button next time, here’s four reasons that Christians need to stop forwarding hoax emails.
A historic Roman Catholic Church that is already a shrine to a saint whose legacy is devotion to animals plans to set aside a memorial space for Fido and Fluffy.
Your assignment: Write a modern worship chorus utilizing the titles of television soap operas. [Warning: Consumes 4.5 valuable minutes]
Finally, a reminder for the end of the week, end of the month, end of the summer, or anytime you need a reminder.
In the first link today, I want you to join me in a promotion project for a deserving songwriter and embed the video on your Facebook page, your blog, or whatever it takes to spread the word.
Our first link today is the above video. I’ve been corresponding with the creator of this for some time, but it couldn’t go public until now. “An uplifting song that furnishes a concept of peace and oneness for humanity in deliberate contrast to John Lennon’s iconic anthem, ‘Imagine’.” Here’s the story behind the song. I want to encourage you to share this with everyone you know!
Here’s an article I wrote for C201, that I may yet reblog here. It’s about Jesus’ last words to his disciples, and they may not be the words you’re thinking of right now.
And another C201 post that is both packed with scripture and introduces the new Chris Tomlin song, Whom Shall I Fear.
The Harvard Theological Review is postponing publication of a major article on the papyrus fragment in which Jesus seems to refer to his wife, raising further doubts about a discovery that was set to turn Christian history on its head. More at Religion News.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove critiques a PBS special on the abolitionists; noting what the producers missed and what he is pleased they included.
And what if a letter from Barack Obama to Louis Giglio looked something like this letter? Plus, I couldn’t overlook a piece that Gabe Lyons wrote on how Louis was ‘bullied off the stage.’
Pushing past the controversy, Christianity Today reported on Louis Giglio’s signature event, The Passion Conference. Between Passion and Urbana, it’s easy to see what American Christian youth were up to over the holidays. So why does a search for Urbana at CT turn up nothing?
While it doesn’t have a Christian message, this 3-minute public service announcement from the Australian government should give you good reason to slow down in all areas of life.
As the countdown begins to the Big Game in the U.S. (February 3rd, if you’re wondering) poet Greg Asimakoupoulos:laments that these sports extravaganzas now routinely happen on Sundays. As game day approaches, you might want to copy and paste this to the American football fans you know. [HT: David Fisher]
Mike Duran is closing in on 300 comments for a piece he wrote about websites that put evangelicalism under the microscope or simply put it to ridicule. Some of the language is edgy, but if you’re okay with that, check out, The Anti-Evangelical Hate Machine. Later, in an effort to better understand one of the bloggers, he interviews Darrel Dow of Stuff Fundies Like. (SFL is also the source for today’s lower graphic.)
A few weeks ago we attended a New Year’s Eve-Eve night of ‘clean comedy’ with Timmy Boyle, and learned that a number of comedians in Canada are creating a family-friendly comedy circuit. Here’s a story of Matt Falk, a similar entertainer whose debut album topped the iTunes comedy category on its day of release.
Also for my Canadian readers, next Monday night at 8:00 PM on CBC TV’s Mr. D., history teacher Gerry Duncan wades into religion with this line, “Jesus was Jewish and even he was Catholic.” Sigh.
Ending with a video since we opened with one: Cindy Jacobs tells an interviewer about the ‘miracle’ of her shoes not wearing out.
Michael Cheshire explores a friendship with a man that admittedly, other Christians really don’t like. To put it mildly. Michael was told by some they would desert him if he reached out to Ted Haggard.
Here is the link that was added on Sunday as an update to our short piece on the Newtown/Sandy Hook shooting. Early on, it addresses that the situation is entirely unique to the United States.
And Cody Sanders believes that a church that skirts around the issue of the bullying of gay teenagers that’s taking place in high schools is guilty of what he terms ministerial malpractice.
Not sure I fully get the Christian angle on this 105-page book that can be read in well under an hour, so I checked out a few online reviews of Robert Smith’s 20,000 Days and Counting. Like this one. And this one.
New Blog Department: New Songs of Praise recently joined the Alltop Christian list with devotional and Bible study content.
New-To-Me Department: The Poached Egg is an aplogetics blog that no doubt takes its name from a C. S. Lewis quotation. Lots of resources to consider and/or share.
We leave you today with a classic 2009 Time Magazine article on what was then considered a growing trend: De-Baptism. “Liberate yourself from the Original Mumbo-Jumbo that liberated you from the Original Sin you never had” But the rebellion wasn’t just against a Christian upbringing: “We’ve had Jewish people write in asking, ‘Can I have a certificate to undo my bar mitzvah?’” Somehow, I don’t think you’ll see these certificates in Christian bookstores.
What you’re looking at is the actual default font size for this blog’s text.
I chose “Silver is the New Grey” as the theme for this blog because of the wide column but noticed immediately that the font size was too small for some readers. So… for the past 4 1/2 years, I’ve been taking 10-15 seconds before posting to manually insert the HTML tag <big> in front of each paragraph. It has given this blog it’s distinctive look and style.
However, a problem has arisen this week, and the HTML tag for enlarging the typeface won’t ‘stick.’ I’ve investigated some different themes, but because the entire history here is encoded for larger type, the end results end up looking HUGE. Since this blog has operated for nearly five years on a capital outlay of $0.00, I’m reluctant to get a custom theme, but I am also reluctant to walk away from all the existing content. So suggestions are welcomed.
On Sunday, Cross Point Church (Pete Wilson) hosted Bob Goff, the author of Love Does. For the few minutes I watched it was absolutely amazing; a killer sermon. Here’s a link for it [wrong message is currently playing], and also a ten minute Q&A that was filmed for the Cross Point internet campus. [Cross Point has a history of 'losing' sermon videos when they have guest speakers; they lost the Jon Acuff week entirely. So if they get it working we'll add the link.]
No blogger — not one — does a consistent job of narration like author Karen Spears Zacharias, as seen in this story.
Chaplain Mike at Internet Monk proposes some rather interesting parallels between worship and sex.
I appear to have spent my link list capital this weekend by turning links I had banked for today into full stories. Sigh! Please have your link list suggestions in by Monday night around 7:00 PM EST. (For my European and Aussie/Kiwi readers, that’s 19:00 New York City time.)
Somewhat related, Perry Noble unearths a year-2000 email from the early days of New Spring, where he is averaging 60 people in attendance and running out of room! He encourages struggling pastors to remain faithful.
A rather complex article by Bruce Epperly that is, one one level, an examination of the theology in James MacDonald’sVertical Church, but also deals with the contrast between God’s transcendence and God’s immanence, and also how we translate scripture and update hymns. So basically, you want to read this twice.
Frank Shaeffer is blogging and has chosen Patheos as his blogging home. The Blog is titled, Why I Still Talk To Jesus – In Spite of Everything — if you know his story, you’ll get that — and he kicks off with a four parter titled, The Blessed Hypocrisy “Method Acting” of Salvation. (Link is to part one.)
Okay, something a little lighter… from this week’s blog discovery, Annie Blogs, a piece about God’s love with a video embed of Love Came Down a Bethel Live song covered acoustically here by Brian and Jenn Johnson.
But of course, that would force us to mention Rachel’s own rather shocking re-examination of Esther (yes, the “for such a time as this” Esther) who RHE sees as far from a Disney Princess; sparking over 100 comments. Quote: “And if we’re going to be faithful to scripture, we must learn to love it for what it is, not what we want it to be.”
I thought it was only fair to give you weekend lurkers a window into what happens here during the week. Maybe W.L.L. can also stand for Weekend Link List.
Given the season, we’ll kick off with a feel-good, flashmob video; Deck the Halls as it sounded at the Carlson School of Management. Don ye now yer gay apparel.
Veteran Christian blogger Andrew Jones notes that 2011 was the year we talked about hell. “How can someone say that hell contains literal fire that scorches your butt while heaven contains metaphorical wine that you cannot enjoy? That’s not consistent. It’s also bad news for wine drinkers. And how can all the words for ‘hell’ in the Greek be interchangeable while the words for ‘love’ are highly nuanced?”
In response to the child abuse scandals that have rocked on particular denomination, a UK sculptor reminds us yet again in this pixelating piece titled Cardinal Sin.
Here’s a 2012 book title that looks interesting: Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos. From the book blurb:Imagine Matt’s astonishment when he finds out that the guy he knows as Jesus . . . isn’t. He’s an Imaginary Jesus: a comfortable, convenient imitation Matt has created in his own image.” Here’s the video preview.
Pastors must love it when parishioners are literally ‘overflowing’ with the weekend message; saying that they “knocked it out of the park.” Check out Free Will vs. Free Will. The preacher in this case is Mark Vroegop of College Park Church IN INdianapolis INdiana, IN case you were wondering.
While this video was posted to GodTube a few days ago, I think I’ve seen this one before; the one where the little girl either steals the show or ruins the show depending on whether or not you had kids in this particular Christmas production. Note: Earplugs recommended.
Christian Week profiles Luke Gilkerson of Covenant Eyes and his summary of Five Ways Porn Warps Minds. Sample: “It taps into the neuro-circuitry of our brains, making us desire the rush of sexual energy from porn again and again.”
Lastly, Roger Morris is a Christian in Australia who confesses that his kids have done the whole Harry Potter thing, and then goes on to recommend doing so, “in a controlled and supervised fashion.” Read his reasoning at Christian Today.
Or vote for the lesser of two evils. Here’s how this works: Remember the good old days when radio stations allowed listeners to pick the hits? You vote for your favorite and the other song gets DELETED off the blog on Saturday morning.Yeah, I know; cruel and heartless.This could become a weekly feature here, you never know. And comments are open, too!!
UPDATE SATURDAY: Well, song # 2 was our winner. The results as of 1:00 PM EST were two-to-one in favor of the second song, but there were many more people who emailed me directly to voice their contempt for both. (Rather missed the point, though; I guess people either didn’t get the setup or don’t have a sense of humor.)
However, song #1 lives here in the comments section, and the poll will probably stay open a little longer. (And there were more than three people who voted; the votes just happened to form an even percentage at the time.)
CNN’s John King takes Bob Jones III to task for reopening the whole Obama religion question; and John’s got some fairly solid video clips on his side. (It’s the video here you should see, not necessarily the article.)
Just in time to tie in with the release of his book, Indescribable, here’s a peak at Louie Giglio teaching about Planets and Stars and Whales, oh my! Listen to the end to sing along with the stars.
Because there’s so many of you, here’s another one of a similar list of articles giving five things to look for when choosing A New Church Home.
A. J. Swoboda — also the author of today’s closing comment — investigates what it’s like for Ryan Saari to do a church plant in a pub, especially when he’s also working at the pub. Well, actually he’s ‘planting’ the pub as well.
Steve McCoy suggests the next step for some prominent pastors is to take their message and their reputation and hit the road as evangelists.
Remember the little word, “Selah” which appeared at the end of some Psalms? Well, it’s missing from the new NIV. Scholars aren’t sure what it means, but some think we should leave it in. (This is an excerpt, the full article’s link wasn’t working at the time of preparing this.)
How about An Open Letter to Worship Songwriters detailing what types of songs we’ve been saturated with? Sample: #1 — STOP writing about things you haven’t experienced personally. Write out of your own experiences with the Lord and out of deep convictions of your faith.
Here’s a look at Jonathan Brink’s new project, the online magazine, Provoketive. (And he’s looking for contributors!)
Another somewhat new blog, Alex Humprey’s former Alex Speaks is now Entreprelife.
If you’re a Wednesday-only reader here — and there are some — there’s still time to voice your opinion about a church telling a 30-something to remove his baseball cap during services. Update: The family actually left the church over this.
A no-link item–To the proprietors of GodTube: How is it possible for a video to be both your “Featured Video” of the week, and also be “access denied”???
When Dan Kimball preached on the A/C doctrinal differences, he blogged the following T-shirt picture. I’d seen this before, but didn’t realize that it’s actually the front and back prints of a single shirt. Just think of the implications. Below it is the best of the comments he received:
“I didn’t choose the shirt, but sadly, I was the one who made choices that determined the size I needed ;) “