Thinking Out Loud

February 28, 2018

Wednesday Link List

The nuns of All Hallows Convent in Ditchingham (Norfolk County, UK) are giving away their property and buildings, Dragon’s Den style, to the group making the best pitch for its use. See below


Evangelicals tend to get a bit skittish when something comes along that is unrecognizable, and The Prayer Wheel, from the 2018 book of the same name will be no exception. See below.


This is list #399. I think you know what that means. Next week, Lord willing, it’s the 400th. Will there be a 401? Will it be all financial links and be called 401k? Details to come!

  • Before you do anything else, watch this: I Can Only Imagine – A wonderfully produced six minute video tribute to Billy Graham.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio is offering a limited time Billy Graham Tribute on channel 145 through March 4th.
  • Being a Megachurch in the 1800s: Spurgeon didn’t mess around. Despite the large numbers membership wasn’t easy to come by starting with an interview process wherein a church visitor would “‘enquire as to the moral character and repute of the candidate’ by meeting with the candidate and talking to their neighbors, co-workers, family members, former church, etc. The goal is to find out whether there’s evidence of a life consistent with their profession of faith.” (Talking to my neighbors would be interesting.) On membership lists: “Let us not keep names on our books when they are only names. Certain of the good old people like to keep them there, and cannot bear to have them removed; but when you do not know where individuals are, nor what they are, how can you count them? They are gone to America, or Australia, or to heaven, but as far as your roll is concerned they are with you still. Is this a right thing?” Read the article to learn how they kept track of who was there.
  • Who Says They Never Come Home? Perry Noble is returning to his old stomping grounds, Anderson, IN, for three live services on Easter Weekend at Bleckley Station, a newer venue seating 500 people. It’s a ticketed event and is probably sold out as you read this.
  • If you read this blog daily, you know I sometimes promote the works of people considered to be part of the Progressive Evangelical tribe. I do like what many of them are saying on certain issues. But this is a world filled with dangers! Roger Olson identifies nine signals that the Progressive Christianity being promoted is often Liberal Protestantism. It’s a checklist worth bookmarking for reference.
  • Benny Hinn tweaks his Prosperity Gospel teaching with a confession on Facebook: “We get attacked for preaching prosperity, well it’s in the Bible, but I think some have gone to the extreme with it sadly, and it’s not God’s word what is taught, and I think I’m as guilty as others. Sometimes you go a little farther than you really need to go and then God brings you back to normality and reality. When I was younger I was influenced by the preachers who taught whatever they taught. But as I’ve lived longer, I’m thinking, ‘Wait a minute, you know this doesn’t fit totally with the Bible and it doesn’t fit with the reality.’ So what is prosperity? No lack. I’ve said this before.”  (‘No lack’ = ‘I shall not want.’)
  • That dream you’ve always had of starting a Christian community on the west coast of England is about to come true. A group of nuns are giving away their convent, Dragon’s Den style. You get “the buildings and the nine-acre grounds including gardens, a chapel, and a cluster of houses which they have occupied for more than 150 years.”
  • Does Beth Moore really carry that much weight with Donald Trump? Second only to Leith Anderson, head of the National Association of Evangelicals (NEA) Moore is the number two signatory to a NEA document concerning U.S. immigration policy. (She does have an undergraduate degree in Political Science, though. Theological degrees? Not so much.) 
  • Parenting Place: Children need to hear Godly eulogies. “[I]t’s not terribly uncommon for you to walk into the funeral service for a 90-year old church member and find the funeral home nearly empty. Where is the disconnect? Where are all of the young people from this person’s local church? Sure, school is in session and work is not stopping for the majority of the church—but what message are we sending to our children when we check them out of school for the funeral service of a 16-year old who died in a car accident but we miss the funeral service of a 90-year old man who finished his course well for the glory of God?
  • Archaeology Avenue: Do we now have solid evidence supporting the existence of the prophet Isaiah?
  • Essay of the Week: A must-read for anyone you know who followed the 2018 Olympics. Philip Yancey relays the story of a 6th Grade teach who invested his time in a young figure skater.
  • Updating the Take and Give / Covenant Life / Sovereign Grace etc. story, the church is re-branding as Christ Church Metro. (This article provides an excellent overview and history; I was aware of Take and Give back in the day.)
  • Global Ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, Brian Stiller has racked up more frequent flyer points than anyone I know. He describes his forthcoming book, From Jerusalem to Timbuktu; A Global Tour of the Spread of Christianity, releasing in a few weeks from InterVarsity Press.
  • Dialing for Doctrine: Your phrase of the week is “Divine concurrence.”
  • The burial of Billy Graham is used by a springboard to discuss our relationship with icons — though he uses the word in a very broad sense — and the danger of making things become idols. “We are animals with souls, never to be angels, but not merely beasts. As a result true religion will always be a mix of the  physical and the spiritual. The tabernacle worship God designed had bright colors, smells, bells, food, and drink. The rituals of the tabernacle pointed physically to the other realm. Ideas were given expression in art…The temptation is to destroy all icons. We will dispense with the visible signpost and merely memorize the route to God. Yet this fails. We can turn words into idols, forgetting their meaning, and lavishing love meant for the Beloved on His Words. God help us, but even in a plain room, stripped of all art, I have seen people come to sit in just this seat and become upset when that seat is taken. God met them there and now that place has become an idol.”
  • Leadership Lessons: Is wisdom the best teacher? “[S]simply seeking after years of experience overlooks one big thing that makes all the difference. That difference is what should come after the experience: reflection and adaptation or making the adjustments… [I]f one never pauses to reflect and if one never stops to debrief what happened then one will never fully benefit from the experience. It will often be a wasted lesson.”
  • Pastor Place: When the women’s group wants to study a book that’s doctrinally iffy…”Be willing to veto a book, a curriculum, or even a topic that the women’s Bible study wants to use, and be willing to have the leader lay the blame for the veto on you. I would much rather have someone say to me, ‘We wanted to use ________ book. Why did you say to use ________ instead?’ than have a bad book used, or quash the joy of the women’s Bible study leader if she became an object of scorn. And quite frankly (and this actually happened to me) I would rather have the women’s Bible study leader mad at me, than to have the women be taught something that is wrong.” A pastor offers seven tips to guard against error in your church’s women’s ministry.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to “dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133) when I’m the only one who’s right. This author gets that. “I always think I’m right. I think I’m the one with the answers and the insight no one else has. I believe that conflicts and problems result because of what someone else says or does. This is human sinful nature… Humility means admitting that my view of the world is flawed and that I very likely contributed to a problem as much as the other person.
  • Quotation of the Week: [On the subject of Billy Graham lying in state at the Capitol Rotunda] “If what Graham proclaimed was true, he has already received the highest reward — one he actually sought and one that is available to everyone.”
  • I’m taking the rare step of posting a book review here that was published back in October. The reason is that the book itself is finally releasing on March 20th, and some here might be interested given the title. Why Should the Devil Have All The Good Music: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock is by Gregory Thornbury, published by Convergent Books.
  • Bible Project Video of the Week: It’s not new (2 months) If you think you know everything about agape — the Bible’s unique contribution to the world of love — there’s more to discover in this 5-minute teaching. (Or choose from a full menu of Bible Project videos.)
  • The book of the same name is based on the discover of The Prayer Wheel, “a stunning medieval artifact that resurfaced in 2015 in a small gallery near New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The seven paths of the twelfth-century Liesborn Wheel, arranged in a circle around the word Deus (God), lead believers–now as in times past–to encounter and apply the transforming truths of the Christian faith.” Not mentioned in the blurg is that a look at the table of contents reveals the wheel follows the outline of The Lord’s Prayer
  • Harvard University administrators have placed religious group Harvard College Faith and Action [HCFA] on ‘administrative probation’ for a year after it allegedly pressured a female student leader to resign in December because she was dating a woman. The story also reveals that, “BGLTQ students have held leadership positions within HCFA in the past. Veronica S. Wickline [Class of 2016] and Tyler S. Parker [Class of 2017], both of whom said they identify as BGLTQ,  said they served in HCFA leadership positions during their time at the College. But both did not pursue same-sex relationships while in office. Parker said in an interview Wednesday that he remained ‘chaste’ during his tenure as an HCFA leader.”
  • ♫ On this week’s NoPro Worship Training video: Should your team do a song if there are questions about the personal life of the songwriter?
  • ♫ Closing in on half a million YouTube views, Bri (Briana Babineaux) performs an unplugged, mellow version of My Hands Are Lifted Up / Make Me Over.
  • ♫ New Worship Song: He’s touring with Rend Collective; check out Mack Brock’s Greater Things.
  • ♫ Addiction is the theme that gets your attention in the first verse of this music video, I Need You by Jaxon.
  • The Christian life as sitcom: A look at Living Biblically, which debuted on Monday night. (We also covered this yesterday here at Thinking Out Loud.)
  • Video of the Week: Your phone is, by design, meant to be addictive.
  • Where did this get started? And by ‘this’ I am referring to the idea that Jesus could not read or write.
  • Curiosity Headline of the Week: My Protestant Oscar Picks
  • 4+14=18 though I’m sure that’s not the reason, but Jamie Grace (the “gonna get my worship on” girl) chose 4.14.18 for her wedding to actor/model Aaron Collins.
  • Provocative UK News Story of the Week: “Praying for mothers and their unborn children is a form of ‘abuse and harassment’, a Labour MP has said, as he called for a crackdown on anyone who opposes abortion.” 
  • Finally, if you’re not into the greeting time at church, have we got a suggestion for you!
  • Bonus Finally: The Jewish Times has their satire as well. In this one, Jews For Jesus announces, “We’re Actually Christian Now.”

Pardon my Planet by Vic Lee 2.18.18


How’d she do that?


Hadn’t seen this edition before. Together we awaken to the life we really want. Also, this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

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2 Comments »

  1. XM had a Billy Graham channel for 2 weeks to celebrate his 99th birthday last fall. I listened to several sermons and was a little disappointed that despite having decades of material and hundreds of sermons to choose from, I heard a couple of repeats. I think they had 10 or 20 and played them on a loop BUT they also advertised the online archive of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association where you could find many more. Props to XM, I will probably tune again some this week.

    Comment by Clark Bunch — March 1, 2018 @ 6:33 am

  2. The original designers of the iPhone meant for it to be somewhat addictive, and realize now perhaps that was not such a good idea.

    Comment by Clark Bunch — March 1, 2018 @ 6:37 am


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