Thinking Out Loud

February 27, 2019

Wednesday Connect

This is Wednesday Connect #50, or if you prefer, Wednesday Link List #450. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

You miss church because of the weather. No problem, right? You go online and watch the sermon, or if you’re in a smaller church, you just listen to the audio. But what about your kids? They missed church as well. The Meeting House, an Anabaptist congregation on the western edge of Toronto, Canada posts the video portion of their kids curriculum, an idea I hope other churches are doing or will consider.

If you’ve tracked with John Walton’s “Lost World” series — such as The Lost World of Genesis One — Scot McKnight believes the newest, The Lost World of the Torah, is the best of the set.

A Barna survey finds that non-Christians see Christians as terrible listeners. (At least I think that’s what it said; I wasn’t paying attention.) That’s unfortunate since they want to talk about matters of faith.

Raising your kids and doing ministry in Las Vegas? “But Las Vegas has it in plenty. True, but every sin advertised in Las Vegas exists in every city — theologically every city is Sin City. Drunkenness, homosexuality, gambling, prostitution, murder, envy, lust, pride, slander, impatience, gluttony, anger, covetousness, and foolishness are in every town. Why? Because where humans live, sin lives.”

Outreach in a liturgical setting: Creating a template for a service for people affected by suicide.

It quickly became apparent that we would be reaching out to three kinds of people. The first and most visible were parents of those who had, mostly in their late teens and early twenties, and often after a long struggle with mental health challenges, taken their own life. The second were other family members—spouses, siblings, children. What set the parents apart from other relatives seemed to be that the parents were more likely to have founded charities or in some other way become active in supporting other families or advocating for measures to make suicide less prevalent. The third group we had in mind were those who had themselves attempted suicide, often more than once, and had reached a place where their life was no longer in the same degree of crisis

Imagine having access to top scholars and authors such as Michael Bird, Wayne Grudem, Craig Keener, Mark Strauss, Tremper Longman, William Mounce, and dozens more. Zondervan Academic launches the Master Lectures series with a 14-day free trial.

While Crossway probably isn’t my favorite publisher, this article in the “5 Myths About…” series shows that when it comes to releasing a Christian book, sales potential, author platform, practical applicability, etc., aren’t the only things that matter.

▀ The book pictured: “Jesus said ‘Many will come in my name and deceive many.’ Indeed, they have. Today’s institutional churches are teaching theology which cannot be supported in the scripture. They are leading many astray with false narratives and unsupported doctrine. Cursed Above All Cattle challenges these narratives, particularly the end day prophecies. The institutional church has formed false narratives on the end day prophecies which has lulled believers to sleep and given them a false sense of security.

“Pastors do not need to do a PhD. But coming behind an MDiv, a PhD can be part of what sharpens and grows and theologically strengthens a pastor.” This article, which leads to a sales pitch for one particular program, does offer three solid reasons to consider that doctorate.

How We’re Different: Relevant tracks four characteristics of the early church which differ from our modern churches today.

Persecution Watch: Another pastor has been taken captive by Buddhist rebels in Myanmar.

A reminder: Grieving people are all around you. Go easy on people, as you don’t what they are facing or recovering from.

All The Single Ladies (and Gentlemen): A full excerpt of the first chapter of Sam Allberry’s book on being single looks at one of seven common misconceptions:

…Calling others to live sexually abstinent outside of marriage is now regarded as unnecessary and cruel. Those wanting to uphold the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics are criticized for “enforcing celibacy” on others and, by doing so, causing considerable damage

For the “dones” and those who are almost done:

“I think a lot of the “dones” and “almost dones” are tired of simply confining the practice of their faith to a weekly worship gathering and a midweek meeting. They want to find the meaningful life Jesus promised in the places they live, work and play. That is, outside the church walls. They need someone to tell them you don’t need to leave church to find it. You can be the church in the world, just as Jesus promised.”

“Jews don’t believe in heaven.” Wait a minute, says who? A New York City rabbi responds to the assertion that heaven doesn’t exist in the Hebrew scriptures or in modern Judaism.

Divisions in the United Methodist Church. Wanna guess what some of the issues are?

Please don’t be confused, but Zondervan is about to publish one of its study Bibles in the ESV translation.

Then there’s this book, Abba Isn’t Daddy and Other Biblical Surprises: What Catholics Need to Know About Scripture Study.  “Did you know that when Jesus called God “Abba” he didn’t really mean the familiar “Daddy” as you may have been taught? Could the Our Father have originally been a Jewish prayer? Releasing March 8th from Ave Maria Press.

New Music, from the new album Living Hope (House Sessions): Wild River by Phil Wickham. “Your mercy flows like a wild, wild river / Your love is strong like the raging sea…”

Finally, an Onion-like page at Patheos alleges that Vice President Mike Pence is touring the country teaching sex education.




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