I hereby declare this link list officially opened! Not only opened but jam-packed this week! (I needed to write something here because this is the opening sentence which appears in the Twitter feed.)
I keep thinking we’re pushing the envelope too far with the way some churches are named. The one pictured above is real, with several locations. I never did get the story of where the name for GUTS Church came from.
I’d like to pretend this isn’t a thing, but I know better. The idea that students are studying and being tested on defending “the Authorized Version” means that valuable learning time isn’t being spent on better things…
The List Lynx wanted to remind everyone that Thinking Out Loud is not an Amazon referrer and tries to avoid links to book mentions which are. Support your local brick and mortar bookstore, even if it means combing your hair, getting in your car and driving a few miles.
- Is the decline in Christianity in the UK halted? “Last year 65 per cent of under 25s identified themselves as not having a religion. Now it is 62 per cent.” Overall, the number calling themselves Christians is up slightly.
- Latest from Pew Forum: Yes, it’s an election year, but should it be the case that 64% of Americans hear political and social issue commentary in their church services? Which brings us to…
- …Quotation of the Week (1): “I have watched many Evangelicals endorse Donald Trump. But [Wayne] Grudem did not give an endorsement. No, he gave a moral imperative.” Or maybe the quote should be, “Evangelical leaders are not just supporting nationalism, but are elevating nationalism to a Christian virtue.” Take your pick.
- Quotation of the Week (2): “With the benefit of hindsight, with 2,000 years of church history, and with a billion or so books on the subject it’s tempting now to fly over the ministry of Jesus at 30,000 feet and create some tidy, well-organized theological system; to say “Jesus clearly was referring to this here”, or “This is how we exegete this phrase in light of this commentary”. Your theology may be over-rated.
- Dr. Henry Cloud makes the first of two consecutive appearances at Willow Creek and deals with control issues and stress. (39 minutes)
- It’s not overt racism, but the vibe associated with most church planting efforts reflects a mission to target white people.
- The Zika virus and abortion: Catholic freelancer Simcha Fisher with a pro-life response.
- Work and Family Priorities: Another well-known blogger, who has a weekly link list like this one, absolutely hated this CT article.
- Someone on Twitter said this article “has the ugliest undertones.” How can an anti-racist article still sound racist? I think the headline is the problem.
- ICYMI: The original version, from last week, when the story broke about World Vision’s Gaza director diverting money to Hamas. (More recent content abounds online.)
- Audio Arsenal: Michael Bird calls the four messages linked in this post, “probably the best presentations I’ve ever heard on the subject of a pastoral response to same-sex attraction.”
- Video of the Week (non-music): A YouTube channel devoted to Jehovah’s Witness issues, posted this week about the organization’s practice of shunning former members.
- Video of the Week (music): I didn’t see this at first as a congregational song, but it’s trending on Praise Charts. Check out Chain Breaker by Zach Williams. (Warning: Contains a believe/receive rhyme or two.)
- Devotionals from the Christian Radio playlist: Check out the articles at Taking It Deeper. (Toggle the pull-down menu to see the huge list of artists whose songs are covered.)
- Leadership Lessons: Six insider Church issues that aren’t worth worrying about.
- Pastor/blogger/speaker must-read: Do you need copyright permission to quote from another source?
- Can I love but not like? The tougher side to reaching out to our neighbors.
- Worship Workshop: At the bottom of a very short article, there are links to 58 other articles on worship (including one of our own).
- Worship Words: Sound Check by Kurtis Parks is for those who lead us from the stage, releasing September 1st from David C. Cook.
- No pictures so far, but “intricate mosaics depicting biblical scenes” including Noah’s Ark were uncovered in an ancient Jewish village near the Sea of Galilee. (Perfect timing for Ken Ham.) …
- …But there are pictures in this article about the new Mormon temple in Philly.
- Sadness: An entire family of five killed on their way to missionary training.
- Most curiosity-inducing headline this week: Why I Pray With My Daughter to Jesus, Even Though I’m Not Sure He’s Real.
- Canada’s Brethren in Christ (BIC) is a pacifist denomination, which brings us to this article, 5 Reasons Why We Can’t Fight Spiritual Wars and Earthly Wars at the Same Time.
- Sermon of the Week: This week Andy Stanley had a great apologetic for small group ministry, but the award goes to Nadia Bolz-Weber on the Good Samaritan parable. (And it’s only 11 minutes; God bless those Lutherans!)
- Oh, my! This would have been so funny if it wasn’t so true. Ten things to remember when dealing with visitors to your church.
- Talk Talk: Popular Christian radio talk show host Janet Mefford adds a second show on another network.
- Bonus Content: Click the link below the video in this one to read a sample chapter of Uninvited, the newest from Lysa Terkeurst.
- It may not be the next bracelet fad, but it’s a question worth asking: WJSHTOT?
- The world we live in: Where words like he and she have lost their meaning.
- As Tom Petty would say, the waiting is the hardest part. This article on waiting on God also leads into a book announcement for a title I’m happy to recommend. Sample: “The lump of clay doesn’t write a PhD. thesis on The Art of Goblet-Making. ”
- Weekly Bible Quiz: How many times did Peter deny Jesus? This writer would say six, with some other interesting factors leading up to those moments. (I really liked this; we ran part of it at C201 this week.)
- A link just for my UK readers: There’s now a second volume of Breakfast of Champions devotions by Andy Elmes. (True, it’s been out more than a few weeks, but the internet takes a long time to get here.)
- Jesus Keeps Takin’ Me Higher and Higher: Jesus music veteran Gary S. Paxton passed away last month and gets remembered by The New York Times.
- Follow up to last week: More on the I Kissed Dating Goodbye reexamination.
- From Bibleman to The Brick Bible: The Christian Comic Art Society exhibits at ComicCon. (Article subtitle: “Turns out the Bible is chock full of comic book ideas.”)
- Quotations found in unlikely places; in this case humorist Dave Barry in Rio: “I was with my daughter, making my way through the Hippie Fair, passing stall after stall selling souvenir replicas of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio — rows and rows of tiny Jesuses holding their arms out sideways, as if to say “I died for THIS?”
- We could keep going, but I’m already getting ready for next year’s big alien invasion — led by Jesus, of course — that will defeat Russian President Putin, and, “Jesus and the aliens would re-engineer human DNA to make humans more peaceful.” With a mix of Nostradamus and the Book of Revelation, there’s something here for everyone!
This t-shirt is just wrong on so many levels: Misplaced theology, boring graphic design, silly politics…
Last night I was still trying to decide whether the image below should be the centerpiece of its own blog post. Not enough is written on what we call “saying grace,” but the contraption below allows a family to basically roll the dice to decide which prayer to say. I’m not sure this is a type of prayer Jesus had in mind, so you might see this picture again sometime soon: