Welcome to Link List #346. Please shake off the snow and leave your hats and boots at the door.
Re the image ↑↑ Granted, it’s a promotional piece for a new product from Zondervan Bibles, but it makes you think, doesn’t it.
- Essay of the Week: Two Canadian Christian aid workers imprisoned in China — her for 6 months, him for 2 years — share the details of their ordeal.
- Caring for elderly parents: “…it would seem that a child’s highest financial priority should be caring for his parents instead of giving to his church. Ideally, he should do both. But if only one is possible, it would seem from the text in Mark that providing for parents would take priority.”
- The faith of Donald J. Trump: “Yes, he may have shown up in a church during the campaign (looking as comfortable as a cow in a slaughterhouse), and he may have given some lip service prayer to one of his preacher pals while golfing, and he may have bamboozled scores of Christians already dying to believe it so they could make peace with their vote—but he is not a man following Jesus.“
- Testimony: “I am a refugee living outside of Iran. My brother connected me to a house church when I first believed, and I attended there, learning the Bible and meeting Christians, until my pastor was arrested by Iranian authorities. It is no longer safe for me to be in my country.”
- Awaiting Christ’s return: If the original followers felt that Jesus’ return was immediately pending, they wouldn’t have been writing gospels. This might explain the later dating of many texts.
- Preacher Place: A reminder that the cross which purchased our redemption is prelude to the ascension and enthronement of Christ, often neglected in our sermons.
- After the Vice President broke the tie, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as U.S. education secretary. However her lack of experience with the public school system meant she was not supported by all fellow Evangelicals. 2,700 people from her own school, the Christian Reformed Church’s jewel, Calvin College in Grand Rapids signed a petition opposing her nomination.
- Architecture Alley: Rethinking the modern church worship space. “The black box is dead. Windows are in.”
- Mainstream Media Excerpt of the Week: “When children are born to couples who are cohabiting but not married, those children are more likely to experience what the report calls a ‘union transition’ before they’re 12 years old. A ‘union transition’ is when their parent switches sex partners, which creates relationship instability in the family. That, in turn, raises the likelihood of family woes such as emotional and behavior troubles in both parents and kids, higher rates of child abuse, and even higher risks for child mortality in the global south.”
- Interview of the Week: “In 2010, Barna Group released a poll indicating that four out of 10 non-church Americans claim they do not attend due to negative experiences with churches or congregants…” RNS talks to Carol Howard Merritt, author of Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting With a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church (HarperOne).
- The legal limits to church covenants: “However, just as the law gives a right to the church to expel a member, it also gives the member the right to leave the church at anytime, even while under discipline. If a church pursues a member who has resigned via emails, texts, visits, etc., or announces to the congregation their sins or encourages current church members to pursue the former member, they are risking a serious civil lawsuit for harassment.”
- Family Missions Trip: The case for taking the kids with you. “A baby or child is a sure way into the heart of most people groups. Kids reach across the barriers of almost any culture, offering a less-threatening way to engage.” Also, “Taking children along, whether they are 15 months or 15 years old, forces you to view the world through their eyes.”
- Buried Treasure: You can find some great podcasts by checking out the chapel service recordings of major seminaries and Bible Colleges. Here’s David Fitch at Tyndale College and Seminary in Toronto.
- Article Within an Article: In this piece of HI-DEF traits of spiritual leaders, don’t miss the “Then Towering Ts” of spiritual discipline.
- Again, once you get past the banter at the beginning, this is one of the best episodes of The Phil Vischer Podcast, as Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel talk about power in the Evangelical church and their book, The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb (Thomas Nelson) which released yesterday.
- KidMin: Finding the balance between discipline and grace in Children’s Ministry.
- Love, latitude and license: Just because we’re keeping the big New Testament to love doesn’t mean we can do anything within a range of options.
- Swimming against the Evangelical current: A call to make the church more like a family business.
- What one church is doing: A prom alternative for kids on the Autism spectrum. Also a good reminder for parents to tell your own high school kids to not ignore those who are “sitting in the dark.”
- Changing Times: In simple terms, Boy Scouts of America will now admit girls who identify as boys.
- The gay wedding cake issue returns, only this time it’s a Canadian videographer who films weddings…
- …Meanwhile in Australia, a big victory for free speech.
- Getting married this spring? Know someone who is? Some friends of ours design wedding graphics and signage full-time at Charming Endeavors on Etsy.
- Reba McEntire is on the March cover of Simple Grace, a Christian inspirational magazine sold at Barnes & Noble and Walmart. Read a sample of her story: Jesus heals every hurt.
- Food service after the worship service: “Somewhere between walking out of the church building and walking into the restaurant, we lose the intentionality of being witnesses for our great God.”
- Testimony of the Week: “As a young Christian, I believed that spreading myself thin indicated my passion for God. If an opportunity to serve arose, I took it without a second thought.” Learning to how and why to say no.
- ‘This is the church, and this is not the steeple.’ Church bell towers and steeples are becoming a thing of the past.
- Bee of the Week: Ken Ham stars in A Night at the Creation Museum.
- Many skeptics think that Mary wasn’t a virgin when she became pregnant with Jesus. It’s different, however when you hear that from a nun.
Our closing item below is a bit different, I waited an extra week before including it. Found at Ben Witherington’s blog.
There won’t be a link list next week; we’ll see you back on February 22nd.