Thinking Out Loud

February 21, 2018

Wednesday Link List

This is a thing. See below for the Billboard story or click the image here for a video story.

Welcome to our 10th Anniversary Week Wednesday Link List! First off, if the pictures which usually accompany this list is your thing, be sure to check out all ten posted in our Sunday Microblogging feature. Let the games begin!

Remembering Billy Graham

  • UPDATE: This morning subscribers received a health update on Billy Graham in this space, but the story shifted and early this morning we learned of his passing at age 99. CT has a feature remembering his life
  • Tributes pour in on Twitter, Billy Graham was the #1 trending subject this morning. Follow the live feed.  Now on to the link list as it appeared earlier today…
  • Heaven’s Real Estate: So what’s the deal, do we each get a house or do we just get a room?
  • Liturgical Lament: “44% of Evangelicals have never heard of The Book of Common Prayer.” These and other stats on liturgical worship in the latest from Barna Research.
  • Religious Freedom Issue? You’d have to wait longer than eight days to circumcise a male in Iceland as their Parliament is debating banning the practice altogether.
  • After going it for several months as both a local church teaching pastor and the President of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, David Platt decided to go full out with the latter role. “I don’t believe I can choose between preaching and leading in the local church, and mobilizing and shepherding people in global missions. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that if I am going to serve in this way in the local church, then I need to serve in different ways for the cause of global missions.” …
  • …Also from the Biblical Recorder, three Evangelical council advisors to President Trump,  Ronnie Floyd, Jack Graham and Richard Land have just released a new book on The Faith of Donald Trump and here’s a shocker, “Floyd, Graham and Land say they don’t know whether Trump has trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior. But they’re certain he has heard the gospel. All three recounted a conference call on which Trump said, perhaps jokingly, that he hoped a specific policy initiative would help him get into heaven.”
  • Quotation of the Week: In which the author notes that popular blogger Tim Challies affirms Is Genesis History Director Thomas Purifoy’s attempt to make Young Earth Creationism a Reformed distinctive and then takes Martin Lloyd-Jones out of context, there’s this. “I would like to see us put our focus on what classical Christianity regarded as the central matters within the doctrine of creation: for example, creation ex nihilo, the goodness of creation, and the imago Dei. These issues distinguished Christianity from its rival alternatives, properly ordered the Creator/creation relation, and substantively contributed to Christian theology and worship.”
  • Late for Lent: Admittedly, that was so last week, but if you haven’t decided what you’re giving up, this article pulls no punches and offers you a serious agenda for the remaining 33 days.
  • Every week we watch a live stream church service where are constantly amazed at the “culture of applause” which permeates their church culture. They clap for music, for the announcements, for sermons. They applaud things that wouldn’t warrant it in other churches. So while the theme is somewhat different, I had to include this piece: Ministers and the Lust for Applause
  • Money Matters: Four ways in which some churches are guilty of poor stewardship.
  • …Also at Christian Post, the head of the Seventh Day Adventist Church tells local church pastors to steer clear of politics in the pulpit.
  • I believe in a God who heals and is able to do exceedingly above anything we could ask or expect; however, with mental health issues we also need to recognize the value of medical science. Problems with BCM, the Biblical Counseling Movement.
  • KidMin: The 2018 Children’s Ministry Conference runs April 30th to May 3rd in Brighton, Michigan
  • Movie Review: This guy saw the movie Samson rather like a bad haircut.
  • I have deliberately avoided anything related to guns and school shootings here, though to see the disillusionment and disappointment on the face of the students yesterday afternoon when Florida decided to table any debate on an assault rifle ban was one of the saddest things I’ve seen. Later in the evening, it got me thinking. Don’t believe it’s within the realm of possibilities for a U.S. government to break up the NRA? Check this out. They broke up Bell Telephone in 1982, an act described as, “the breakup of the biggest corporation in American history.” So yes, it’s definitely possible.
  • Leadership Lessons: Here are 7 ways local church pastors and associate pastors can do better at connecting with their church kids and teens.
  • The notion of “spiritual but not religious” under the microscope: “Those words are organized religion in themselves, a thought-structure of the vilest duplicity. Their pithiness shapes our thoughts, organizing our hearts to believe we can do Christianity alone. They say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’
  • Essay of the Week: Jasmine L. Holmes, the daughter of Voddie Baucham talks about growing up as a stay at home daughter. She also talks about her husband: “He equips me to make my own choices, even when I’m afraid. He deals with every growing pain that I should have had ten years ago and am just now having. He removes the shameful burdens that I’ve operated under for a good half of my life. He pushes me harder than anyone I’ve ever known, even when I fight back. He’s helping me grow up. Not for him, like I always thought I should, but for myself. For the pursuit of holiness and wholeness. He won’t let me stand quietly in his shadow, and he won’t let me take the easy way out.”
  • Youth Ministry/Church Life: Your game plan when a kid has been a victim of sexual abuse.  
  • Not the Canada Corner: Rather, for readers elsewhere, a full and complete explanation of the angst the ‘attestation’ on the Canada Summer Jobs application has unleashed for churches and Christian charities.
  • Lakewood Church (Joel Osteen) Associate Pastor John Gray defends the riches of wealthy pastors. ” [I]f they have saved their money and want to do something nice for their spouse or they want to live in a home, you’ve got one life.” So basically he’s saying: YOLO. (7 minute video.)
  • Going back to the well: The Charlotte Observer, as the hometown newspaper, hauls out the Jim Bakker/PTL Club story one more time, just in case anyone’s new to the neighborhood.
  • Read carefully because I’m only going to say this once: A Lutheran transgender pastor who has re-identified as ‘Peter’ is walked to the baptismal font by the area bishop for a renaming blessing. Got that? Church council member Daniel Stoll told the Huffington Post, “[Gay and trans individuals] have every right to be their authentic selves as anyone. God didn’t make a mistake.” 
  • ♫ New Music: This one should be to the liking of many of you – Seth & Nirva perform an unplugged version of We Won’t Back Down.
  • Tweet of the Week: A good news story.
  • Steps to Stardom: Justin Bieber’s early years are the subject of a museum exhibit in his hometown. (Or click the image above for a video coverage.)
  • Certain Evangelicals just shouldn’t do interviews with major news media. Like Joel Osteen, Jerry Falwell, Jr. falters in front of the camera, in this case trying to defend the indefensible (aka ’45’) with CNN’s Erin Burnett.
  • Finally, death is just around the corner: “A new app, We Croak, notifies you five times a day that you could die at any moment.” A writer at The Guardian tries it for seven days.

One of the favorites from my picture file from 2011: Adam and Eve at the Creation Museum win an award for the Best Placement of Lily Pads.

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