Thinking Out Loud

October 31, 2018

Wednesday Connect

Today is October 31st. There’s something special about that day, but honestly, I can’t think of what it is, and this year, we didn’t find anything which reflected it as we have other years.

♦ The UK Supreme Court decision in the “gay wedding cake” case, could have repercussions for American law.

♦ A bad time to be nit-picking:

Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi came under fire on Sunday for refusing to acknowledge in a newspaper interview that the massacre in Pittsburgh was carried out in a synagogue. The country’s ultra-Orthodox newspapers, in reporting on the event, have also refused to acknowledge that it took place in a Jewish house of prayer because Tree of Life is a Conservative congregation, and they do not recognize the non-Orthodox movements.

♦ John MacArthur will — over the next 18 months — step down as President of The Master’s University.

♦ Why Theology matters: “At its best, theology gives us an interpretive lens through which to more clearly see God, the world, our neighbor, and ourselves…On the other hand, if handled poorly, theology can turn us into the worst versions of ourselves…It is quite possible to memorize the whole Bible and to affirm and believe and even preach every single word that it says, and still not be even remotely submitted to it.

Under the microscope: 7 Books that Rocked the Church looks at titles which, “profoundly upset the church by calling into question foundational Christian doctrines or beliefs. Most of the books discussed here were banned at some time by Christian authorities.”

1. Valentinus the Gnostic: Who Doesn’t Love a Conspiracy Theory? (Think The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown)
2. Galileo Galilei: A Scandal of Religion, Science, and Politics
3. Voltaire’s Candide, Enlightenment Rationalism, and the Church’s Thin Skin
4. Darwin’s Origin of Species: The Many Faces of Evolutionary Theory
5. Marx’s Communist Manifesto: The Red Bull of the Masses
6. Sigmund Freud’s Ego
7. Joseph Campbell: Christianity as an (Almost) Enlightened Myth (A book that strongly influenced George Lucas’s Star Wars films

A 184-page paperback from Hendrickson, now available.

♦ The faith of composer John Sebastian Bach: He used religious texts, but was this simply because it was in his job description

♦ Canada Corner: Couples wishing to adopt who hold to Christian values and principles are being “rejected with increasing frequency” from adopting children.

♦ Rethinking the Wesleyan Quadrilateral: “It is true that John Wesley was big on one’s experience of Jesus Christ, but he would have never embraced the idea that experience is somehow co-equal with Scripture and tradition, nor that it should ever be pitted against the Bible itself. Indeed, as all who have at least a general understanding of this subject know, Wesley never employed the quadrilateral imagery.”

♦ The right way of doing anger: Three steps to make your anger more loving and more short-lived.

♦ If Christians aren’t supposed to sue each other, then why is James MacDonald doing just that? A statement from the pastor provides the necessary workaround

♦ …The article above is quite thorough; if you prefer you can also simply read what what Pastor James wrote. Sample: “Turn[ing] the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39) is a compelling command for dealing with people who offend us personally — but no one struggles with dialing 911 when a criminal act is underway.”

♦ A baby out of wedlock: In the United States, this is rapidly becoming the norm.

♦ A Baptist Church in Wakefield, Massachusetts is fundraising after being struck by lightning.

♦ Comparison shopping: Three chapters in Genesis side-by-side with the story of Gilgamesh. “[H]uman beings were being too loud, and the gods were unable to get any sleep.”

♦ Provocative Title of the Week: 4 Ways to Tell if You’re a Man or a Boy

♦ …And from the same author, here’s a free first chapter peek at The Five Marks of a Man.

♦ New Music: New artist Marci Coleman’s song “How You Love.”

♦ Finally, a preview of the film Small Group. More details at this website.



  1. Small Group movie? Is that for real? Who comes up with this stuff?

    Comment by Andie — October 31, 2018 @ 5:53 am

  2. Never heard of this Brian Tome – he sounds like real manly man – and he pastors the 3rd fastest growing church in America – now that’s a real man!

    Comment by Jeff — October 31, 2018 @ 8:17 pm

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