Here are some random things that caught my attention this week. If you have a must-see post you want to contribute, feel free to add a comment with the appropriate link.
- The visual blog Churchy Design has moved to its new home at Tumblr. It’s not entirely about church architecture, but more related to just about anything concerned with “…how designers within the big-C Church are using their aesthetic sensibilities to communicate, illustrate, critique, expose, and explore matters of their faith.”
- Want to settle all that worship music tension at the place you call church? Brad Harper and Paul Louis Metzger suggest six guiding principles in a Christianity Today article, Here We Are To Worship. “The best array of worship forms will illustrate that the church is both embedded in culture, speaking through its constantly changing forms, and also a countercultural community, one that represents transcendent values and truths that confront culture’s fallenness.”
- In one of his best posts ever, earlier this week Jon Acuff at Stuff Christians Like looked at the Evangelical cultural oddity we know as The Husband and Wife Ministry Team. “My wife isn’t a big bun fan, but from what I can remember, the two hairstyle options for the wife in the Husband & Wife Ministry Team are either buns or a beehive with the thickness and girth of a car radiator.”
- It’s been two years now since the Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minnesota, but a post of John Piper explaining it to his daughter is still hanging in the air, especially the air around blogger Bill Kinnon. Piper: ” God did not do anything wrong. God always does what is wise. And you and I know that God could have held up that bridge with one hand…with his pinky. Which means that God had a purpose for not holding up that bridge, knowing all that would happen, and he is infinitely wise in all that he wills.” What role does God play when things like that happen. Darryl Dash keeps the discussion going this week at Dashhouse.com.
- From our totally-outside-the-box department, comes a link to, of all things, The New Humanist blog with their predictable poke at all major religions in the form of a card game called God Trumps. You’ll want to click on the individual cards to read them in detail. You’ll find set one here and set two here. The weapon of choice for JWs is listed as “foot in door”, while for Anglicans it’s “tutting loudly”. For the Catholics – “the Pope mobile”, Born Again Christians have “televangelists” and “threats of hell fire” …. gulp – did someone say hell fire? [HT: Mark Randall at Pragmatic-Eclectic from whence the quotation comes.]
- Keep your eyes posted on Windblown Media — the people who brought us The Shack — for a new novel, Bo’s Café, authored by Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall and John Lynch. Advance publicity describes it as “… a model for all who struggle with unresolved problems and a performance-based life. Those who desire a fuller, more authentic way of living will find this journey of healing a restorative exploration of God’s unbridled grace.” Street date: September 1st.
- Finally, if you can handle another John Piper disaster-related story, it seems the the ECLA, a Lutheran denomination, is joining many Anglicans in a softened stance towards homosexuality. But as they met in Minneapolis, a tornado roared through. Piper — and he was probably not alone — suggested that God may be trying to tell them something. He blogged, “the tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin.” But another pastor in the same town, Greg Boyd, just doesn’t see God working that way. “I have an alternative interpretation of tornado behavior to offer. They have nothing to do with how pro-gay or how sinful people are and everything to do with where people happen to live.” and “…there are over 400 distinct passages encompassing over 3,000 verses in the Bible that address issues related to poverty… In light of this, wouldn’t you assume that if God was going to send warnings and/or inflict punishment with tornados he’d strike some of the many American churches and denominations that condone, if not Christianize, greed and apathy toward the poor?”