Thinking Out Loud

October 4, 2009

Sunday Lynx

lynxTime for some new lynx links.   Suggestions always welcomed.

  • The blog Internet Monk has been smokin’ hot lately with a number of topics to get your brain working along with one of the best comments sections anywhere in the Christian blogosphere.   Recently, iMonk told the story of a mother who wanted her autistic son baptised in a denomination that only baptizes on the basis of public confession of faith; something the young man wasn’t capable of doing.   Hmmm.   That’s a tough decision, as you’ll see when you click here.
  • Although I wouldn’t know this from personal experience, there are lots of stories out there about guys who wake in the morning next to a woman who simply doesn’t look as good as she did the night before.   Bad metaphor perhaps, but the wind seems to be blowing a different way when it comes to one of my personal favorite author-speakers, Rob Bell.   (Oops; double metaphor.)  What’s disturbing are the comments he gives to secular reporters as part of the Drops Like Stars tour, such as this interview with the Boston Globe.      The gap between Rob’s creative ways of phrasing things and orthodoxy does seem to be growing.  Read the whole interview and then the discussion at Pyromaniacs blog. [UPDATE/EDIT: But to be open and fair, also read the first comment here, too.]
  • Hey, did you hear the thing about what’s-his-name?    It’s hard to just walk away when someone’s got the latest gossip about a person or organization.   Even the best intentioned will slow down and catch a phrase or two the way motorists slow down to look at an accident.  Kevin Miller at the blog Off The Agenda suggests nine questions to help you decide the answer to the question, Is This Gossip?
  • The fastest growing church in the U.S. right now is the one whose worship leader won American Idol.    But I guess that was a no-brainer.   Outreach magazine once again has issued their Top 100 church list, and leaks some of the details in this subscription teaser.     But you’ll learn more about some of the higher ranked congregations from this post at the blog, Church Relevance.
  • I like a writer who can find a devotional idea from the Consumer Electronics Show.   The blog, Christian Ranter does just that in this post called Beyond the TV.
  • For my Canadian readers, the 17-city national tour of British Christian author Adrian Plass is rapidly approaching.   You can catch tour dates and details at the Story and Song website.


  1. Hi Paul – can I tell you, and possibly your readers, something about the Rob Bell interview with the Boston Globe? When you invite your readers “to read the whole interview”, they in fact cannot read the “whole” interview. The media is flawed, and does quite the injustice sometimes with the editing. The problem is that we are “seeing” and discerning through the eyes of the interviewer.
    Just before, or at about the same time that this interview came out, Rob had this to say via Twitter:
    “Ever done an interview and then read it and realized they left out most of what you said? Maddening.”
    I’m not saying all media is bad, I’m just saying that contextually sometimes things just don’t come out the way they are intended.

    Comment by Roger — October 4, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

    • Believe me, I wouldn’t have posted what I did if I had any reservations about doing so, but the comments at Pyromaniacs — who are also not always completely unbiased — are disturbing and that blog is not the only one. Those comments include excerpts from sermons and books, too. There has been something unsettling lately, and the now 191 comments at Team Pyro are articulating something that has been brewing for some time. But it won’t stop me from continuing to read and download. I’m not one to desert my friends so quickly. I’m just very concerned right now, and perhaps even a bit confused.

      Here’s what I wrote at Pyromaniacs:

      Of the comments here, I really relate to Gilbert (11PM 10/1) and his assessment of Bell. My first exposure was also some of those early teachings at Willow (albeit on CD audio) and I still consider a couple of them among the finest examples of preaching in my collection.

      But the Boston Globe interview — as well as other interviews Bell has done with mainstream media — along with the new Drops Like Stars book leave me aware that somewhere along the line, something has changed, or is changing.

      We attended Mars Hill Michigan a few weeks ago. It was a communion service and Rob spoke on forgiveness. There are a number of good things happening there.

      And I think that is the problem that many of us face with this discussion. It’s not that those of us who’ve been around the church for awhile are theologically conflicted with Bell. No, we know enough Bible to be grounded as to the core doctrines, and we’ve heard enough sermons that got off on some weird tangents.

      Rather, I think we’re emotionally conflicted. We’ve heard Bell speak and it’s been new and it’s been different and it’s been refreshing and it left us with the same feeling you get when you attend a great concert or watch a truly amazing film. It’s made us think, it’s made us emote, it may have even spurred us to action. We kinda want Bell’s innovative style and creative reading of scripture to succeed and be fully orthodox at the same time.

      But obviously that’s not sufficient. (“In the last days, many will say, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not feel really good when we went to church?'”)

      Frankly, what I’d like to see here is a comment from Rob himself. The remarks here [at Pyromaniacs blog] are from some fairly theologically aware and level-headed people. What would he say in response?

      Then again, I’d settle for a defense of the first three answers in the Boston Globe article.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 4, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

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