Thinking Out Loud

October 24, 2018

Wednesday Connect

Halloween message or graphic design fail?

From an article looking critically at the reasons given by some for believing that the English King James Bible is the only true Bible. Click here for the article and to find others in the series. (Click here for the original.)

The week on social media was dominated by reminiscences on the life of Eugene Peterson. I considered the idea of simply reproducing a section of The Message Bible today. If you’ve got one handy, or wish to access it on Bible Gateway, find a passage that you know intimately and see what Peterson did with it! 

This week’s list is a bit shorter because there’s a fifth Wednesday in October coming up in just seven days…

♦ James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel are suing the writers of The Elephant Debt accountability website as well as their wives as well as respected Christian investigative reporter Julie Roys, claiming defamation. Wait, serious? They’re suing the wives of the authors? That’s a first

♦ …but one writer reminds us you can tell the truth and survive a lawsuit as well.

♦ Kissing unDating Goodbye: Joshua Harris has asked the publisher of I Kissed Dating Goodbye to  “discontinue its publication, as well other supplemental resources tied to it (this includes the two books I wrote after it whose content is similar).” He goes on to say, “My publisher, whose encouragement in this process has been deeply meaningful to me, supports this decision and will not reprint the books after the current copies in their inventory are sold.” (Contains a link to a free download of “The Books That Changed My Mind.”)

♦ It’s a horrible story alleging the abuse of a child that I can’t fully summarize in the space available here. But we’ve seen this before among conservative Christians. In the case, the focus of the report is how Sovereign Grace church leadership, and Association of Reformed Baptist Churches leadership are so quick to come to the parents defense.

♦ Déja vu all over again: Religion News Service reports, “Since its grand opening nearly a year ago, the Museum of the Bible has exhibited five fragments from the storied Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient parchment fragments discovered 70 years ago in a desert cave. On Monday (Oct. 22) the museum acknowledged that the five fragments it had on display were forgeries. They were taken down several weeks ago and replaced with three other fragments that do not have the same anomalies.” (Maybe someone made them with a calligraphy set purchased at Hobby Lobby.)

♦ It’s sometimes called “The Homeless Pastor Test” and James MacDonald wasn’t the first to try it. Would your congregation pass? (This was posted before we had determined today’s lead item.)

♦ Pass the pith helments: “You might be a missionary – someone called and sent to serve God cross-culturally – but chances are, you don’t like being called a missionary. That’s because, in popular Western culture, missionaries are seen as pith helmet-wearing colonialists – forcing their culture and religion on people who don’t want it.” Three pithfalls pitfalls to avoid. (“As an African believer once complained, ‘You brought us the bread of life, but it came wrapped in plastic that you shoved down our throats!’“)

♦ Church and State; Russian Style: An official statement, “acknowledged the right to independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has been overseen by religious officials in Moscow since 1686.”

♦ Arriving with an admitted dose of cynicism and sarcasm, this British woman checks in for two years at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) in California.

♦ When Mark Driscoll’s latest book was published by Charisma House, you had to guess that he had crossed a doctrinal line on a personal level as well. In the appendix to that book, published on his blog, he addresses issues related to his current understanding of the Holy Spirit. (Warning: In the middle of the article you have to click ‘continue’ to see each new paragraph. This must certainly be the absolute dumbest and most annoying approach to website design in the history of the internet.)

♦ Question of the Week: Why did an apologetics expert write an article about Father’s Day in October? (Turns out it’s a subject close to his heart.)

♦ Conflict Crushers: When it happens — and it certainly will — here are six steps to handling conflict from Ephesians.

♫ “After a five-year break from her public career, singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne has released a powerful worship ballad titled “Head Above Water,” which recounts her battle with Lyme disease.” 

Switchfoot is back!

🎬 Russ Taff is the subject of a new movie I Still Believe, which deals with the alcoholism that threatened to destroy his music career.

♦ Exhaustive Study: Everything you always wanted to know about Halloween but were afraid to ask. (It’s a week today, by the way.)

♦ Bet your church bulletin typo on Sunday wasn’t as bad as this one.

♦ In my country, you’d be more likely to see giraffes in church than voter guides, but apparently this sort of thing is the norm in the United States. Only at Gateway, a prank version was substituted for the authorized edition.

♦ If you are in need of more laughter in your life, here’s ten video clips by ten clean comedians. (Two clips not available outside the U.S. however.)

♦ Finally — and it was an unlikely source this week — 33 excuses for passing on attending the new DVD-based Bible study about to launch.


The only day everyone loves you.

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1 Comment »

  1. I think that the church that I attend would pass the “homeless pastor test” They are super giving.

    Comment by Andie — October 24, 2018 @ 7:28 pm


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