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 ;) “
This was such a busy week already on this blog, that the link list seems almost anti-climactic…
Our opening cartoon above is from Sacred Sandwich and is titled “Baptist Bestseller.”
I’m trying to decide whether to run this Christianity 201 post here at Thinking out Loud. It’s titled I Belong to a Cult. I think it’s important to know the bare minimum about your spiritual lineage.
Zach N. posted this video embed which I believe is from a series Matt Chandler does at YouTube called Sermon Jam.
Here’s a full-screen CBN News item about Christian painter Ron DiCianni, currently working on a 12′ x 30′ picture of Christ’s resurrection; a picture with many unexpected features.
Here’s a really courageous — though not recommended — piece about a robbery attempt that fails because the clerk doesn’t want to be held responsible for the loss of the money; though she does feel responsible for the robber’s soul.
In all the talk about Keith Green last week, probably nobody mentioned Gordon Aeschliman. He gave up his seat on the ill-fated plane at the last minute so one of Keith’s other kids could board. Read about him and his book, Cages of Pain.
After a nine year hiatus, the book Operation World, first published in 1974, is ready to hit the streets in October. The writer, Jason Mandryk, explains why the print edition is still needed in a world where the balance of the info is available online.
For this link, I’m going to plant you in the middle of a multi-part blog series by Dean Lusk, and then let you do the navigating to find the rest of it. This is part five — and a personal favorite — from Is The Church Signing The Wrong Words?
Looking for a longer read? Try this piece where initial-guy N. T. Wright considers initial-guy C. S. Lewis.
Albert Mohler weighs in on the back and forth status of California’s Proposition 8.
If you’re reading this in the U.S. before 6:30 PM Wednesday local time; ABC News has an interview with author Anne Rice.
With his comment level now reaching up into the stratosphere, Jon Acuff scores over 300 reactions to his piece on trying to find a new church.
Check out some new and different worship songs available free at Worship Corner.
This week’s comic: It’s been six months since we last visited Jeff Larson’s The Back Pew…
Check your calendar: The year is half over. Just eighteen months left until the world ends in 2012. Here’s where we were this week:
Without question my number one link this week is Francis Chan’s children’s book trailer — that’s right, a kids book — for The Big Red Tractor releasing in September from David C. Cook.
Pete Wilson pays tribute to a retiring staff member who he hired seven years ago to bring some experience and wisdom to an otherwise younger team; sharing some valuable lessons he learned from Tom Tyndall. Here’s a sample:
Great sermons will get you pats on the back. Savvy leadership skills will win you admiration from your colleagues. Hard work will catch peoples eyes as you separate from the pack. But if you don’t love you’re nothing more than a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal. If you don’t love the people God has placed in your life nothing else really matters.
Andy LePeau at InterVarsity has a surefire way to increase the earning potential of your children and it’s not (directly, at least) education. Check it out.
I really enjoyed Rick Apperson’s Blogapalooza throughout the entire month of June at Just a Thought, but especially this guest piece by Clay Crosse. (Check out the other posts, too.)
Mark Wilson has a hilarious hypothetical conversation between God and St. Francis on the subject of lawn maintenance.
GOD : They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
Know somebody who is giving your pastor a hard time? Probably not anything like this story. This guy was a terrorist. This is a book trailer for an upcoming non-fiction book, The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Alonzo; releasing August 1st.
A 2006 iMonk column by Michael Spencer showed considerable insight in trying to bring balance to the young-earth/old-earth tensions in science vs. creationism. He felt the Bible was a book about God and Jesus, not a book about science.
Here’s something you don’t see every day; a book about the ascension of Jesus and why it matters. Check out Jeff Loach’s review of He Ascended Into Heaven.
First it was the hymn people versus the chorus people. But recently there’s been more visible unrest within the modern worship community itself. Michael Krahn comments, in a blog post inspired by one by Canadian Chris Vacher.
New Blog of the Week: Contrast by Terry Foote in Florida. No particular post, though you might read a father’s perspective on the loss of a child.
Atheists have put the “under God” part of “One Nation Under God” back on the agenda with a billboard campaign.
There are parts of the Christian internet I’m sure some of you (us) never get to see. Not sure what to make of this one: The blog Enoch Route introduces us to “Billy” who offers some signs you might be in a cult.
Can you handle one more Drew Marshall Show link? When the new archived interviews (from last week’s show) go up on Friday, it’s Drew’s first “Gay Day” with Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network, Wendy Gritter from New Direction Ministries, and singer-songwriter Derek Webb, just back from a tour with Jennifer Knapp. Click here after 7.2.10 and select the show from 6.26
Ruth Graham observes that the themes in Christian young adult fiction are creeping into the mainstream book market. (Some critics felt it was the other way around.) Check out her article at Slate.
Some people have all the answers until you start asking spiritual questions. Check out this Soul Chat promo. More Soul Chat video content here.
If you’ve read the last chapter of the book version of Stuff Christians Like (as opposed to the website) you know the (somewhat) serious side of Jon Acuff (pictured at right). CNN’s Belief blog had him back again, this time to tell everyone why some Christians act like jerks online.
Late breaking item: With too many contradictions in his Muslim-turned-Christian story, when Ergun Caner’s current term as dean of Liberty University Theological Seminary expires today (6/30) the job won’t be renewed, though he gets to stay on staff. The Washington Post tells the story, additional background is at World Magazine.
Our cartoon today is a classic — in internet terms, it’s actually only from 2008 — Hi and Lois by Brian and Greg Walker.
If you were listed in the blogroll here at Thinking Out Loud, and your blog name begins with “The,” don’t panic, you’re still here. Look for your blog’s title without the “the.” (Requests to have it reinstated will be considered by a bureaucratic committee that meets in Switzerland twice a year.)
Last week’s link list got bumped from its home page position by another post, check it out here.
Time for this week’s links. I think I need to just be boring and call this by the same title each week, the perfunctory Wednesday Link List. But the lynx, the chain links, the cuff links and the golf links will make an occasional appearance. This was a very busy week online for a lot of people. Pick a few of these and let me (or them) know you what you think:
Video link of the week is the animation of a great Sovereign Grace Music song, The Prodigal.
There are seven letters to different churches in the first chapters of Revelation. Now it’s 2010 and you have the chance to write The Eighth Letter. I don’t usually promote conferences, but that’s the premise of one coming to Toronto in October, with guests Ron Sider, Shane Claiborne, Andy Couch, and perhaps even you: Three people will be selected to have their own 15 minutes of fame.
Shaun Groves talks to Christian business students and asks the musical question; “Is ‘Christian’ and ‘business’ not a bit of a contradiction?”
Ever read Jewish blogs? Everybody knows cheeseburgers are not kosher (although your cat can has them) but here’s some detail why that is, and why adding cheese to your chicken sandwich is simply a case of guilty by association.
After a discussion with a police community support officer, who is also “the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered liaison officer” for his area, a UK street preacher is jailed for saying homosexuality is a sin.
Most of the stuff on Wayne Leman’s blog about Bible translation issues may be over the heads of many, but here’s a simple post on how a Bible version expert appreciates a titanic translation.
Trevin Wax rightly calls into question the tradition in some churches of noting (in small ways) or giving an entire service over (in really big ways) to Mother’s Day.
Are there things we know about God that we don’t know from the Bible? Dan Phillips launches a series on this topic that will make you think, but not everybody is going to agree about, on extra-Biblical revelation. (Hit the home page to continue to locate subsequent discussions.)
Here’s a very new question-and-answer blog that bridges the gap between parents and teenagers. Later this week we’ll introduce Matt who started it, but meanwhile, checkout ihaveaQ.
Mark Batterson thinks we need to listen to the voice of innovation, but also the voice of wisdom if we want to avoid making the classic mistake.
Some classic Ben Arment this week on the difference between a teacher and an exhorter is reposted at Christianity 201.
The media may have moved on, but the messy cleanup in Nashville continues, with one particular church — operating out of a building where they’ve yet to hold their first service — doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Pete Wilson also thinks a 1,00o year flood is a 1,000 year ministry opportunity.
Liberty University’s seminary president Ergun Caner says he grew up Muslim, but now others are saying his claims are unsubstantiated.
Coming soon to a Holiday Inn near you… (not really) The reunion of the veteran Christian rock band Petra. Tour kicks off in October.
Okay, so I’m the billionth blogger to link to this, but North Point Media did a really good spoof of “contemprovant” Churches in this Vimeo clip, Sunday’s Comin’.
In our “scariest thing done in the name of Christianity” department, check out the people “aisle running” at Stuff Fundies Like. (But I’m sure next week SFL will find something scarier.)
In our “beating up Donald Miller” department, here’s a look at the question, “Is it really authentic to publicly confess sins you didn’t commit to people who weren’t sinned against?” I always thought it was a rather inspired thing to do, but here’s an opinion that it’s really done out of pride.
In our “Let’s just keep to ourselves” department, here’s a critique of the mechanics of Tim Challies latest Christian book reader’s survey. Also, here’s how the Calvin Crowd responded.
Here’s a worldwide look at what our online search terms say about our spiritual interests versus our interest in sex.
Our cartoonist today is a return visit by Joe McKeever at Baptist press, who does a new cartoon daily.