Thinking Out Loud

May 29, 2014

Thursday Link List

Species rarely seen: The Thursday List Lynx

Species rarely seen: The Thursday List Lynx

A few things missed out this week by a few hours. We might repeat some of these on the PARSE list anyway, but I wanted to share them while they were still fresh.

  • Did someone in your church write a great modern worship song that’s only being sung by your own congregation? Enter it in the Sing It Sunday song contest, and it could be performed in front of 13,000 people at Catalyst Atlanta. Contest details here.
  • I debated whether or not to make this one the sole subject of today’s blog post… Do you know someone who labors in ministry and gets discouraged by what seems to be so little fruit? A pastor whose small church seems lost in a megachurch world? A youth worker who spends long hours working with kids who seem unresponsive? Send them this story.This is the recently uncovered story of a missionary who died thinking he was a failure. 84 years later a thriving church is found hidden in the Congo jungle.
  • In the wake of the death of Fred Phelps, there was a small mention that in the seemingly quiet months before he passed away he had been excommunicated from his church. I remember reading that, but not really focusing on it. It’s possible the reason is that he mellowed; that he softened his stance on some issues to a degree not acceptable to church hardliners.
  • Relevant Magazine did a list of six well-known church figures who, if judged by the standards of modern Evangelicalism, would simply never make the cut. The provocative headline calls them “6 Heretics Who Should Be Banned From Evangelicalism.” The last one will surprise you.
  • A piece that was in the link list yesterday sparked some follow up articles that appeared too late to meet the Wednesday list deadline. The topic was racial balance in the author mix at InterVarsity Press. I’ve often commented that the Christian publishing world is dominated by Reformed voices, which by implication means white and male. But we tend to think of IVP as having more of a global focus. At the blog, By Their Strange Fruit, here is part two of that article, as well as a more general piece which is less IVP-specific.
  • UPDATE: The son of the pastor of a snake-handling denomination who died in February was himself bit this week but refused to be hospitalized. Cody Coots replaced his father as pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church in Middlesboro, Kentucky.
  • Finally, many Christian people feel that since ‘God hates divorce,’ they are obligated to stick with a marriage no matter what. As Lee Grady points out, there are at least four instances where it’s right to leave.




  1. The Relevant Magazine piece was an excellent tip for your readers Paul. That article could provoke many fruitful discussions.

    Comment by Jon Rising — May 29, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  2. The link to the article in relevant magazine was in favor of ecumenicalism. I wondered if you agreed with it? I wouldn’t think you would as far as it being for ecumenicalism or were you just pointing out that the last person listed was one. Whew! My email sounds as confusing as the article.

    Comment by Pam — June 1, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

    • First of all, I regard “ecumenical” as a term that was in vogue in the 1960s but has had its meaning watered down in succeeding years. I’m not even sure that Graham’s views can be fully fleshed out based on taking this rather old quotation in isolation. The question is, “Is Graham a pluralist;” and I’ve heard enough of his sermons to know that he teaches that salvation is found only in the name of Jesus, which is what I believe. But in God’s grace, people come to the foot of the cross in a variety of ways that, yes, would probably confound some Evangelicals. So I would allow the writer at Relevant the freedom to include this while at the same time not putting a lot of stock in it. I think it’s there more for shock value.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 1, 2014 @ 2:03 pm

  3. Paul, are you promoting the catalyst conference in Atlanta??
    I agree with you on the things you teach about Israel but wonder about a recommendation for a conference that includes some questionable associations.

    Comment by Pam — June 1, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

    • I think you have me confused with someone else. I don’t “teach” anything about Israel. The link lists are what they are, a panorama of things taking place in the broader Christian world.

      If you can’t buy in to that premise, Pam; this may not be the blog for you.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 1, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

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