Thinking Out Loud

June 9, 2012

Weekend Link List

Breaking News!

Two major staff transitions at very influential churches to report today:

  • Shane Hipps,  who only recently succeeded Rob Bell as teaching pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids will step down as soon as the church finds a permanent replacement. “I knew instantly my internal shape did not fit the role they created.  But I had to ask the question, is this something God wanted me to change about myself?  Or was I simply not tall enough for this ride?  That is a question easier posed than answered.” 
  • Tony Jones’ response: “While I can understand the Elders’ decision to move in a more conventional direction — with a pastor who does the majority of the preaching — it seems odd that this person will report to the executive director of the church. It makes you wonder: What gifted preacher would come to Mars Hill without also being able to lead the staff?”

And now on to the rest of today’s links.

  • Church break-ins are nothing new, but sixteen in one county of one state just days apart?
  • After years of being told why men hate going to church, we learn that boys hate going to Sunday School.
  • The tour bus of Sanctus Real was involved in a fire early Wednesday morning, destroying the entire bus and resulting in the band losing all of their personal belongings. 
  • Prince Charles dropped by Toronto’s Yonge Street Mission on his recent Canadian tour to hear how charities and businesses are working together to create employment opportunities for young people. (Personal note: The YSM coffee house was the first place I performed as a Christian music artist.)
  • Author and televangelist Creflo Dollar was arrested early Friday on charges involving the choking of his 15-year-old daughter. He was taken into custody at his home and charged with simple battery and cruelty to children.
  • In the last 12 months, over 17 million American adults who don’t regularly attend worship services visited the website of a local church or place of worship according to a recent study.
  • Popular teen’s and women’s author Dannah Gresh on why she’s passing on the opportunity to read Fifty Shades of Gray.
  • A military chaplains’ organization is speaking out against a lesbian ceremony held at a U.S. Army chapel in Louisiana. “While the ceremony was not a marriage, it is clear that this was in fact a marriage-like ceremony…”
  • New York City Pastor and author Tim Keller offers fellow-pastors a behind the scenes look at the ministry philosophy behind Redeemer Presbyterian.
  • Veteran Christian blogger Bill Kinnon joins a disturbing number of people who “no longer” believe in the inerrancy of scripture.
  • Your friends in youth ministry might want to know about this four-week, interactive discipleship program for new Christians.

Devotions Department: After a week at what our British friends would call “the seaside”  Stephen and Brooksyne Weber offer devotional thoughts on some older hymns inspired by the ocean.


  1. Paul,
    I’ve actually never believed in the inerrancy of Scriptures but have always believed (since becoming a Christian @ 26, three decades ago) in it being inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Comment by Bill Kinnon — June 9, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    • Then why this declaration at this time? Why (figuratively) put pen to paper three decades later and make this bold (as per the introductory sentences) assertion?

      I probably agree with you on this more than you realize. The comment from David Fitch (who I greatly admire) resonates, and I have a great phobia about bibliolatry (which would be a great name for a band.) But I fear the consequences of delving into this in a form where the take away is different for each reader.

      When the Bible says, “From the rising of the sun;” we know the sun doesn’t actually rise (and continue to use the expression) but that’s so totally superficial and inconsequential. How far from that type of little ‘error’ do things proceed?

      Ultimately, we believe in Jesus, not in a book; but the book is how we come to know him; and I don’t want to perpetuate — even in today’s climate where it’s cool to have doubts — any misgivings on the part of vulnerable readers, because, at the end of the day, the Bible can be trusted.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 9, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

      • Paul,
        I would say that we come to know Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit… not through “the book.” Though the Spirit does use the Scriptures to teach us.

        And I am responding to those who want to delineate believers from unbelievers by whether they subscribe to inerrancy — thus my opening to the post.

        Comment by Bill Kinnon — June 9, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  2. Thanks for the link on 50 shades of gray. I was shocked to read a facvebook status of a christian friend that read ” sitting in the airport, just bought 50 shades of gray, going to be a great flight”. I wondered if she didnt know what the book was about (doubtful). Also seems to be something so socially accepted to read which baffles me. To me it seems similar to a guy posting popcorn and porn tonight going to be a good night…. dont really understand the difference.

    Comment by Rae-Anne Guedes — June 9, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

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