Thinking Out Loud

December 31, 2014

Wednesday Link List

First, here are some stories that ran at PARSE last week that you never saw here:

  • Your Moment in the (Local) Spotlight – In all the leadership articles I’ve combed, I’ve never seen this topic discussed, even though it is often a part of ministry life for local pastors and leaders: “At this time of year there are a myriad of opportunities to speak on local radio, and now even on local television channels. I was fortunate enough to do a media training course as part of my ordination training… If you are on for 2 or 3 minutes (a typical interview format) you might only have five sentences in total. Time flies on air! So decide what is most important, and get that in first. If you leave your most important point to second or third place, you might never get to say it…” In total ten solid pieces of advice.
  • The Gay Wedding Cake Challenge Moving Forward – “A Christian printer from Northern Ireland who came under fire for refusing to print a gay magazine is backing proposals for a conscience clause in the Province. Last year, Nick Williamson said he could not print a publication because its sexually explicit images would go against his Christian faith. But the magazine’s editor obtained legal advice and the case was referred to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Williamson supports the plans to amend equality legislation to introduce a conscience clause. The proposals were prompted by the case of Ashers Baking Company, which is facing court for declining to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake.” The goal is to create a situation “where everybody’s rights can be upheld and balanced.”
  • There’s No Such Thing as Mental Illness – Voddie Baucham is a popular speaker and pastor of Grace Baptist in Spring, Texas. According to a recent sermon transcript, he stated, “Psychology and psychiatry — and they’re not the same thing, one’s a medical doctor who goes to medical school, a psychiatrist, gets a medical degree, k? And they can dispense drugs, and, and that’s pretty much all they do, just dispense drugs and [unintelligible] drugs — and the other one, a psychologist, you don’t go to medical school, that’s a complete different degree, k? But in both instances, psychology and psychiatry have never cured anyone of anything.” There’s a lot more of this on the transcript, as well as, on the same website, a personal response.
  • Redefining Reaching the World – “For decades, missionaries did not consider a people group “reached” until 20 percent of the population was considered ‘evangelical.’ Today, the statistical benchmark is 2 percent. What brought about this change of definition? And how has it impacted missions strategies? Dr. Robin Hadaway, professor of missions at Midwestern Seminary recently wrote an essay for the Southwestern Journal of Theology, in which he recommends a “course-correction” away from the two-percent threshold and back to something like 10 or 20 percent….The needs of unreached peoples to hear the gospel must remain an important factor in making these decisions, and yet Hadaway believes other criteria should be considered, including the receptivity of a people.” Trevin Wax reports on changes taking place, then offers, “I have misgivings about setting an arbitrary percentage for ‘reachedness,’ whether high or low. Every country or people group is different, with various needs and histories.”
  • When You Share Your Building with an Ethnic Church – One main issue for three Lincoln, Nebraska churches sharing First Baptist’s building had to do with the role of children in worship. “Jiang says the reason the Karen and Chinese worried so much was because, to them, the English congregation was kind of the leader of the whole church: it was their building, and they had been there the longest. ‘…the relationship is kind of like guest and host.’ No one ever said anything about their concerns — until a few months ago.” Text and audio at National Public Radio.
  • The Amish Television Interview – Although it’s a lot like the news reports where a whistle-blower is interviewed in silhouette, it is an actual eleven-minute video documentary of Amish life narrated by a carpenter and father of eight children. “Very, very few outsiders join the Amish, as far as leaving… there’s probably ten or fifteen percent that leave the Amish… they want their conveniences, their car and phone and things like that… If we are here as a pilgrim, traveling through this world for a better land then the less earthly possessions we cling to, the better off we are.”
  • Leadership Trials and Tribulations – “Someone who is not performing well on the team. You’ve warned them numerous times. They have exhausted their chances with you. You’re at the point where you believe it would be better for them to leave the organization. Before you release them (which is one of the hardest things a leader has to do)… Have one more meeting.” Ron Edmondson on the meeting before the last meeting.
  • No Staff Christmas Party Here – “Pope Francis issued a blistering critique Monday of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him, denouncing some officials who lust for power at all costs and suffer from ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s’ that has made them forget they are supposed to be joyful men of God. The pontiff’s Christmas greeting to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the Holy See was no joyful exchange of holiday good wishes. Rather, it was a sobering catalog of 15 sins of the Curia that Francis said he hoped would be atoned for and cured in the New Year.”
Christmas List Lynx arrives just in time to wish you a Happy New Year.

Christmas List Lynx arrives just in time to wish you a Happy New Year.

Today we have an economy edition of the link list, as we’ve been given the week off by our PARSE overlords.

1 Comment »

  1. Copy and paste of my comment at Baptist News:

    LifeWay exists for one purpose only and that’s to sell you stuff. Any volunteer VBS director that has ever ordered materials knows that as well as anybody. A box of 15 paper whatevers are easily divided into “selling units” that cost 3X what you could get them for at Dollar Tree.

    Heaven is for Real is a book they sell at LifeWay Christian *gasp* Bookstore. LifeWay is not a group of seminary professors or a board of trustees. It’s Southern Baptist Walmart. Our church uses LifeWay Sunday School literature for all age groups. Thom Rainer writes good stuff. But LifeWay should NOT be and I don’t believe claims to be in a position to say “this is what you should believe and teach others.” If you are a Calvinist, non-Calvinist or don’t know the difference, you can walk into their store and buy what you want.

    Comment by Clark Bunch — December 31, 2014 @ 3:30 pm


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