Not sure which is better, giving you more links or concentrating on a smaller list of about twenty or so…
Don’t forget the summary of things most clicked appears late Thursday or Friday on my Twitter. Not sure I’ve ever mentioned that before; sorry!
- I’m not sure what I like best about Eric Metaxas’s new radio show, his ability to attract a different type of guest, or his ability to take serious, academic interviews and make it sound like a weekend party. (Okay, it’s actually the segment bridge music.)
- A Canadian pastor has written a 13-page letter outlining why his church has pulled Gospel for Asia from their budget.
- Essay of the Week: No matter how much you get or achieve, it’s never enough.
- We would probably see a greater exercise of spiritual gifts in our churches if we would cut the microphone cable and burn the stage.
- 33 years ago today I was working at a Christian camp when one of our water-ski instructors told me he’d just heard on the news of the death of Keith Green the previous day.
- A spot on the Jordan River “believed to be” where Jesus was baptized has been designated by the UN as a World Heritage Site.
- Can of Worms Department: This article raises all sorts of issues surrounding the Evangelical practice of asking younger children to wait until they are order to be baptized.
- The pop-ups resulted in a huge increase in subscribers, but they were annoying, unwelcome and frustrating; so this website owner removed them because they are “the opposite of the Christian ethic.” But despite how much people hate them, on most sites, “pragmatics has trumped service.”
- Video of the Week (if not the month): Truly awe-inspiring video of Brian Doerksen’s worship song Creation Calls.
- Given that the man had broken into his church, first the pastor shot him in the shoulder. Then he led him in the sinner’s prayer.
- A Mormon apologist “insists that Christian and Mormons are peas from the same pod: ‘Even if we believe different things about Christ, it’s still the same Christ. I’ve never come across any valid argument that it’s a different Christ we worship.’”
- After her Janet Mefford Show — instrumental in the plagiarism outing of Mark Driscoll — disappeared from the airwaves in May, she’s back with the one-hour Janet Mefford Today.
- For a limited time, enjoy a free chapter sample of a new book from Ravi Zacharias associate Andy Bannister’s The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist.
- From the author of God’s Crime Scene, what does it mean to say that God created the universe from nothing?
- Your latest update on Rob Bell.
- Leadership Lessons: Top Five Pitfalls of Pastoral Ministry.
- Great devotional story: A Bible college student finds a way to do the preaching assignment needed for graduation without having to worry about an actual audience.
- A school district in Mississippi promised there would not be prayer at student assemblies. When an invocation at an awards ceremony violated that, a judge ordered the school district to pay her $7,500 in compensation.
- From the Church for Men archives: The next Billy Graham will be a comedian.
- Rainbow flags in Russia? Not right now. Rather, they’ve adopted a straight flag…
- …which is a good lead-in to this article on countering the gospel of Miley Cyrus.
- For your computer’s picture file: Rick Warren as a young anime figure.
- Okay, you want a serious one … our Picture of the Week Award goes to Eugene Cho.
- This week’s Phil Vischer podcast noted Tony Campolo’s classic distinction between Dog Chuches and Cat Churches. (Starts at 11:20, but the only print corroboration of this online was on page four of this sermon.)
- It’s confirmed, Mark Driscoll is moving to set up shop in Phoenix…
- …and if you need to know, Mark Driscoll’s net worth is $2.5M. For comparison, I typed in Joel Osteen. And Rick Warren.
- Finally, do you think people — say Dodie Osteen for example — should have to pass a test to get a Twitter account? Perhaps you want further proof.
Both our opening and closing images today were sent by reader and fellow-blogger Clark Bunch whose own image collection appears each week at his blog The Master’s Table at a feature called Happy Monday. Kinda feel sorry for the woman in the picture below; ya gotta pick your subway/bus seat carefully.
Okay. I left the name of the church off to save them embarrassment years from now when they’ve had time to second guess their tag line, but this memorial to it is still here. I get the picture. We know church isn’t perfect. We know you want to be a “church for people who aren’t into church;” but religion ain’t all bad. Read James 1:27 sometime.
Let the games begin:
- Realistically, our first link deserves a place all its own. But nobody would believe it. $4.7 million dollars spent by one church on a — wait for it — fish tank. The IBOC (Inspiring Body of Christ) church in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is the site of the worlds largest private aquarium. It has its own staff, one of whom must be on duty at all times. The entire building project was $40M. (I so want this one to be a fake news story…)
- If you’re a parent, this should resonate: “I have to constantly remind myself that I am not responsible for my young, yet adult children’s decisions.” Giving them roots and giving them wings.
- There’s always tension when a particular geographic location is sacred to more than one religion. Now the problem is new signage posted this week at the Temple Mount.
- Outrageous… or is it? “I propose a 3-5 year ban on domestic church planting. Instead of planting, I propose that all those folks who think they are called to serve in this way pour themselves sacrificially into existing churches to strengthen them before beginning anything new.”
- If his 2004 autobiography, Taming the Tiger was found to be more fiction than fact, you’ll be surprised to hear that both Tony Anthony and the book are back.
- “Cemetery and funeral home operators say they’re being squeezed as more people favor simpler, less expensive funeral services. Their businesses also are being pressured by the growing popularity of cremations, which can bring in less than half the revenue of a traditional casket burial.” Thus, an Indiana cemetery is also a venue for weddings, proms, community banquets and a breakfast with Santa.
- The correlation we never knew: The link between teenage sex and national security.
- Breaking yesterday: “The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod recently carried out what various members consider the equivalent of a modern-day heresy conviction.”
- An author reaches out to a reader in ways that transcend the book itself: Sarah Bessey to someone reading her Jesus Feminist.
- Re-posted this week: Classic Michael Spencer on Young Earth Creationism. “Saying that the Bible is about Jesus, God’s Final Word of salvation, and not about geology and astrophysics is still a minority view.”
- Essay of the Week: Brian Zhand’s When America Went To Hell.
- This week I touched base with Sean Groves’ blog only to discover some things his family have been going through these past weeks. I would recommend starting with this link to get the context, and then visiting the rest of his blog for related articles on the mental health of pastors.
- Ministry etiquette: Should a pastor moving from Church A to Church B unfriend the peeps from Church A on Facebook? (There’s also a part two to this piece.)
- If you ever feel like giving up, ink (i.e. writing) is a great cure.
- In the heart of England, street preachers are among those targeted in a crackdown on people being a noise nuisance.
- John Stackhouse on the Top 10 Reasons Pastors Should Avoid Politics. Sample: “#4 Because governments come and go, and you need to reserve the sacred right to prophesy to whoever is in power.”
- We’re in the sweltering heat of summer, but at InterVarsity, the countdown to this winter’s 2015 Urbana Conference is on. Getting ready, here are Ten Books on Missions Everyone Should Read…
- …and second, Eight Missions Websites Everyone Should Really Know About.
- Greg Boyd on the death of the church in Europe and America, and why he is still hopeful.
- A church history story with a lesson on the subject of pastor salaries.
- Now you can watch all seven sessions of the video curriculum for You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan…
- …and a must-see video this week is Francis and his daughter Dellal, who joined the family at age 16 after living on the streets of San Francisco…
- …which is a good place to mention everyone’s favorite Emergent nomad, Tony Jones (and family) aka The Tall Skinny Kiwi, featured in a 7-minute mini-documentary.
- The Voice Bible project manager David Capes talks about his new book.
- Is there a downside to evidentiary apologetics?
- Academic Alley: Which type of pastoral theologian are you? Options are local, popular and ecclesial.
- Nick Vujicic gets an unforgettable hug. (2 min. podcast)
- KidMin Link of the Week: There’s more to your children’s ministry environment than just having a flashy theme…
- …Also at Aspen Group: When your church needs to expand, there may be other options besides having a sod-turning at a new property.
- Yes, I am tracking the whole Planned Parenthood story, and so is this website.
- Supporting independent publishers: GSET (Greatest Story Ever Told) Publishing.
- If you haven’t heard, I broke this Christian music story this week on Twitter.
- Disneyland Turns 60! (This poetic tribute is not what you’re expecting.)
- Finally, a little tongue-in-cheek, Ten Social Media Posts Only the Best Pastors Send.
Normally we lead off with a funny picture or cartoon, but after yesterday’s reports on the Iran nuclear negotiations, I want to give the space to the Saeed Abedini story instead. Some of you know I give this story prominent display space from time to time, but truth be told, I’m one of a very small handful of bloggers devoting attention to this story.
And now, back to our regular programming.
- For you, hospitality may mean having another couple over for dinner. For the people in these stores, it was a much greater commitment.
- Finding God’s grace in the middle of a challenging adoption of a 7-year old.
- While Saeed Abedini’s story is unique because of his American citizenship, he is but one of many, many Christians jailed in Iran.
- Essay of the Week: Two days before the nation was going to be celebrating, one writer, with great honesty, could only see reasons to weep.
- Back in America, we’re not physically suffering for our beliefs, but we are experiencing increased verbal persecution.
- Forward this link to your pastor(s), church staff, board members, elders, deacons, etc.: A thorough look at protecting your church from same-sex-marriage lawsuits.
- The Emergent Church: Gone, and somewhat forgotten.
- Even if you only read the twelve-point outline, it’s surprising to see things that Augustine believed that isn’t shared by the people who revere him.
- From a journalism perspective, use of the term fundamentalist is complicated by whether the newspaper/website/magazine is using it themselves, or if their source used it about another group or individual.
- A two-for-one link to archive articles from author David Murrow: Why Gay is Suddenly OK, and Why Extra-Marital Sex is Suddenly OK. Quoted in the 2nd one, “Our world has never had more sex and less love.”
- And then there’s the one about the guy suing two giant Bible publishers because he’s gay and finds the verses on homosexuality are causing him emotional distress.
- Best. Church. Welcome. Ever.
- Whether you’re a pastor or not, men, how would you like to hear this? “Honey, I wish everyone who hears you speak could know how well you live what you teach. You’re the real deal.” Sandra Stanley on why she’s not trying to keep Andy humble.
- The Family Christian Stores bankruptcy thing drags on… and on…
- In Mars Hill’s hometown, reports that Pastor Mark Driscoll is back on the preaching circuit.
- Here’s a way to thank your church parking team for hot summer Sunday service.
- LifeWay extends its tentacles into the Billy Graham Evangelism program at Wheaton College. Sigh!
- Classic Michael Spencer on the Genesis 1 debate: “What view of inspiration is it that puts the Bible on trial before the current scientific and historical models? Has anyone noticed what this obsession with literalty does to the Bible itself?”
- Your kids loved the What’s In The Bible DVD series. Now Buck Denver is heading into space to fulfill the Great Commission. (“…and if there’s life on other planets, I’m sure that He must know…”)
- Short take: Two things not to say at a funeral.
- Not surprisingly, the religious beliefs you have influence the religious beliefs of a U.S. President you’d be okay with.
- Undoubtedly the most significant religious news story of the week: The voice of Oral Roberts University graduate Ned Flanders will return to The Simpsons.
In all the excitement over Pope Francis visiting South America, you might have missed the related video game:
An online game in which Pope Francis careers through the streets of Asuncion in his “popemobile” dodging potholes is delighting Paraguayans fed up with the capital city’s dilapidated streets.
In “Papa Road,” which is popular locally, players navigate the Argentine-born pontiff through the city center against a backdrop of the national Congress and cathedrals. Hit three craters and it is game over, with the pope holding his head in his hands.
From the Church Curmudgeon Twitter feed:
Worship Leader: There will be a potluck at 5 pm
Congregation. The announcements endure forever
Worship Leader: Deacons meeting on Wednesday
Congregation: The announcements endure forever…
Not sure how long this week’s link list will be right now because the wind is really whipping out there and there’s a possibility of power outa/]
Again this week, something for everyone.
- In C.S. Lewis’ day, the big marriage issue was divorce. But reading this excerpt from Mere Christianity we get an inkling (pun intended) into what his thoughts might be on the current marriage issue.
- We’ve profiled Nadia Bolz-Weber here before, but this BBC interview offers new insights, including the time media exposure brought in older people who were “messing up our weird.” A friend told her, “You guys are really great at welcoming the stranger if it’s a young transgender kid, but sometimes the stranger looks like your mum and dad.”
- Beyond last week’s link nothing that some ushers at Joel Osteen’s church carry concealed weapons, other churches are, post-Charleston, having armed security, including one in Detroit which has, “a trained, armed, 25-man security force, nicknamed ‘The Ministers of Defense.'” (More details in this Reuters News report.)
- When your gay friend announces, “We just got married;” somehow saying “Congratulations” may not feel genuine.
- Jesus compared evangelism to being fishers of men. Mark O. Wilson goes deep with that analogy.
- 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of The Salvation Army. Any article on their history always inspires me. (You can also watch video from their anniversary Boundless conference.)
- I’ll probably blow this up into its own topic here soon, but in the meantime, here’s a piece at CT’s women’s blog on the value of Christian watchdog and whistle-blower blogs. (Such as this one, this one, this one, this one and this one.)
- Fidelity, Pastor Tullian, and what’s called ‘The Billy Graham Rule’ for pastors and Christian leaders. (It’s like the ‘six-inch’ rule at that Christian camp you went to. Sort of.)
- Survey Says: At his ministry’s blog, readers are asked if Greg Boyd still qualifies as Evangelical.
- Pray-ers and Intercessors: Your list of prayer requests is as close as the day’s newspaper.
- This week the Seventh Day Adventist denomination will reconsider ordination of women at a district or congregational level.
- Share this link with your church leadership, even if you think it doesn’t apply: Ten Signs Your Church is Headed for Decline.
- A Canadian responds to the Gay Marriage debate in the U.S…
- …And Russell Moore looks at how you explain all this to your children…
- …But not everyone wants to get on this bandwagon.
- This article is not for church leaders: Published back in April, I just found this excellent resource on how much to pay the pastor(s)…
- …or you can save money with a bi-vocational pastor; but here are some reasons why that’s not a good idea.
- Got Junior Highs? Middle Schoolers? Andy Stanley talks tween parenting on a 35 min video.
- Whether you’re in ministry, or own your business, the issue of taking a sabbatical is worth examining. Start with this overview by John Stackhouse, a Christian university professor, and continue with this reflection from Joel Thiessen, Christian university professor. (Well, at least academics get to take sabbaticals.)
- Defining Evangelicalism (again): Lots to think about here, but if nothing else, take 60-seconds to study the article’s graphic.
- That super high-end, 4-volume Bible that raised $1.4M on Kickstarter last year inches toward completion. Next step is ordering the wood-free paper from a mill in Austria.
- The Movie Do You Believe was produced by the same people who did God’s Not Dead, but now Charisma publisher Steven Strang explains why he’s excited about the production of a direct sequel.
- Video of the Week: It’s not new, but the album is more recent. Lauren Daigle’s How Can It Be. Nice, simple song, well-performed.
- Three simple prayers to pray on the days when praying is hard.
- Flying the Christian flag higher than the national flag goes against the U.S. Flag Code, but it’s not criminal.
- For newly-marrieds; just-marrieds: Eight things to do before that first anniversary.
- If you ever visited the (old) Crystal Cathedral, these pictures of the (new) Christ Cathedral show the degree to which the architecture was re-imagined. (Multiple shots in each photo break.)
- Ministry Metaphors: The pastor as spiritual physician.
- Let’s face it: Moving forward, even if the bathroom has ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ signs on the door, high school students will never know who to expect to meet inside.
- Regardless of whether or not Mark Driscoll appeared at Hillsong’s Sydney conference, it’s worth noting that Justin Bieber was there.
- Washington Post: How the N-word became the new F-word.
- Still available online: Third World Osteen (J.O.’s tweets contrasted with reality for many of the world’s people.)
- Here’s a raindrop-by-raindrop guide to the musical highlights of this year’s Creation Festival Northeast.
- Edgy-final-link-that-some-people-just-skip-to: An analysis of butt sin. [Insert multiple content warnings here.]
For those of you who are musicians, Brian Barone took the time to fully transcribe President Obama’s rendition of Amazing Grace last month with all its unique melodic twists and turns.
Before we begin, as a public service, here is your horoscope for today:
Of the things I clicked this week, here’s what I bookmarked to share this Wednesday:
- Was this a reaction to Charleston? I have a hard time taking this facial recognition software for church attendance seriously…
- …And reaction has come from many quarters. Here’s a critique of the product from Raw Story. [Language warning]
- Back in 1822, Thomas Jefferson would have expected that by now we would all be Unitarians.
- So how does gay marriage reopen the issue of church tax exemption? “To redistribute the wealth, of course; use one social issue as a guise to push another, completely unrelated issue.” …
- …and the New York Times weighs in…
- …while in the UK, Church-based schools may have to teach about the equality of gay relationships.
- Charleston, Continued: Predominantly black churches are being hit with arson.
- The Church in Exile: “…we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist.” A Time Magazine article.
- Essay of the Week: On Tullian, church size, and “that sickening desire within us to have renown.”
- (A name I didn’t recognize in the above link: Florida pastor Troy Gramling. Here’s a 2012 video overview.)
- Looks like Driscoll made an appearance at that Hillsong Conference after all.
- Buried in the 6th Paragraph: Ushers at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church are armed. (Well, a few are.)
- Garrison Keillor is retiring from Prairie Home Companion. To find out who replaces him, we looked of course to Relevant Magazine. (Hint: He guest hosted for two weeks a few months back.)
- I hope you got to read Ghost Boy. Now Joanna, the wife of Martin Pistorius, tells her side of the story to Redbook Magazine.
- Katy Perry vs. The Nuns: This made the evening news on Monday, but if you missed it…
- Exhortation of the Week: “Christians are not perfect, they are perfecting…” Encouragement not to be “jerks, unloving, unforgiving, demeaning and rude.”
- Across the Pond: Getting people to give, to know where the money goes, and the need to support the diocese (what we might call the district office) as well as the local church.
- Listicle of the Week: Russell D. Moore at On Faith breaking Southern Baptist stereotypes.
- By the Time They Got To Woodstock: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs in a part of the world known for a different type of music.
- Title of the Week: Emily Wierenga’s Why I Couldn’t Get Undressed on My Wedding Night.
- The unusual spiritual journey of Governor Bobby Jindal, from Hinduism to the Roman Catholic Church.
- Whovians: It’s time for a Bible study about vulnerability of The Doctor. (Don’t worry, the Whovians know ‘who’ they are.)…
- …While you’re at Geekdom House (really) check out the topics covered at Area of Effect Magazine. (Yes, there’s a faith element here.)
- Gallup Poll reveals a majority of Americans have no problem with an atheist President.
- Toward the bottom of this article, you’ll see why self-published Christian authors need to place their books with Send the Light Distribution or Anchor Distributors, and not Spring Arbor.
- Karl Vaters is shuttering his blog, NewSmallChurch.com and becoming part of the CT/Leadership Journal family.
- Obscure Video of the Week: The Osmond Brothers get Evangelistic with “He’s The Light of the World.”
- Curiosity Video of the Week: Harold van Lennep – Liberation. Most readers here should recognize the voice being sampled throughout. (Show your knowledge in the comments.)
- Though I never got to see my desk and office, you’ll do better at Christianity Today with one of these job openings. Also in Chicago, jobs open at InterVarsity Press.
- “Football is a great sport, but it makes a terrible God.” Chaplaincy in the Canadian Football League (CFL).
- Finally, some blast-from-the-past Christian music videos you may wish you hadn’t seen again.
Coming (out) soon: In the news events of the past month we’ve seen people identify as a different gender and a different race than that they were born with. What’s next? Species? I’ve always felt I identified most strongly with some of the big cats we’d see on our zoo visits. Especially the Bengal Tigers. There’s something there that has always resonated. So yes, I am beginning species reassignment therapy. And starting today, really watch your blog comments, because I scratch. And bite. And I’m really ticked the grocery stores no longer stock Tender Vittles.
- Usually I bury the Video of the Week deeper in the list, but I keep playing this new Owl City song over and over. Enjoy listening to My Everything.
- Essay of the Week: Keeping youth in the church through a transformative youth missions strategy. (Originally published here.)
- Rant of the Week: A CNN piece compares multiple Sunday morning offerings and guilt-inducing sermons on tithing to nothing less than highway robbery.
- True Confessions: Kay Warren says her marriage to Rick didn’t start out so great; “[D]espite having read the latest and greatest Christian advice books on marriage, sex, communication, children and money, we quickly descended into marital hell, arguing hotly and unfairly about each one of those topics.”
- A reflection on the impact on women of the ministry of Elizabeth Elliot.
- A Christian school teacher from North Carolina who was also the son of the school’s principal was killed by a falling tree branch while leading a mission trip to Jamaica.
- If you don’t know about this book, you’re missing one of the hottest stories in the Christian world. Ben Witherington reviews Dreams and Visions.
- Okay, it’s a bit peripheral to the main thrust of this article about Tom Wright, but I learned a new word yesterday, Amyraldian.
- A Name You Should Know: After years of teaching on the Hebraic roots of New Testament narratives, Joe Amaral launched a new ministry emphasis with the release of The Story in The Stars. You’ll never look at the sky the same way.
- Quick Thought: Being Christ-like begins with liking Christ.
- Making My Head Hurt: God allows pain and suffering in the world, so maybe we should just dispense with humanitarianism.
- Redeeming Samson: Turns out he wasn’t so bad after all.
- Creating a link between sung liturgical prayers at church and meal prayers at home.
- At this time of year, Salvation Army officers and their families have to be ready to have their bags packed.
- On Monday nights she has a healing service. On Wednesdays it’s prophetic messages. On Saturdays she hosts a radio show on the Bible. Her name is Alani and she is 11-years old.
- Christian Parenting: Looking at your children as unbelievers and other problems with Todd Friel’s theology.
- The bikini-clad young woman on the evening news with a policeman digging his knee into her back has a name. Knowing that makes her more than an anonymous girl in a video.
- If your cable or satellite package includes TLC, don’t miss Born Without Limbs, the story of Nick Vujicic tonight at 9PM (8 CST).
- As worldwide hostility to Christianity increases, we have a new term: Christianophobia.
- Does your church live stream the service? Here’s everything you need to know to start.
- Some people spend a lifetime in Children’s ministry, but for other people, doing kidmin is a season in their lives.
- For a brief period in January and February of 2016, the general public is invited to a pre-dedication Open House in the new Mormon Temple in Provo, Utah.
- Is it just me, or do others find it disconcerting that a movie made over half a billion dollars worldwide this past week?
- See how many musicians and speakers you recognize in the lineup for the 2015 Wild Goose Festival.
- Win “Over $270,000.” Enroll your kids in the next round of the National Bible Bee.
- Donald Trump collects Bibles. And has Jewish grandchildren.
- Actual statements made by actual Biblical Studies students on actual essays and assignments.
- Science Department: The physical properties of hell (and heaven) become a subject for snopes.com
- Product of the Week: The Crossmas Tree.
- Finally, from the broader world of belief, the woman who claims she owns the sun.
From the YouTube description on a channel I operate sponsored by Searchlight Books:
To the best of my knowledge, the oldest recording in my collection of Contemporary Christian Music, highlighting again that the entire movement traces its oldest roots to Roman Catholic folk masses. This 1969 recording is a translation from Italian where the group, known originally as I Barritas, or The Little Berets, learned the English phonetically. It was originally written in 1964 as Messa de la Pace, and was dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King.
Random Audience Shot from the Very First Hour of Power Telecast. Click here to watch.
We actually got a complaint a few months ago about the Wednesday List Lynx, so he’s been off sulking lately.
Welcome back! Hopefully nothing this week that we need to pull. Apologies if you know what that’s referring to…
- In Church life, everyone who is part of the laity works for free. When we think of paying people, we think in terms of cash. But here are nine ways a local church can “pay” their volunteers.
- A study in contrasts: When the oncology and maternity share the same waiting room; a reflection on birth and death.
- Our images of Jesus reveal a lot about how we connect Jesus to our lives.
- Keeping a promise to monitor the church’s finances, The Vatican now has an auditor general.
- Tony Campolo’s announcement this week resulted in a number of responses, of which this is one.
- When it comes to having a church to call home, some people are more renters than owners.
- Calling Jesus Yeshua might be historically correct, but many do it for the wrong reasons.
- Saddleback Church (Rick Warren) has embarked on a $71M fundraising campaign.
- When it comes to leading worship, here’s three things that matter.
- A new book reveals the dark side of practicing meditation.
- Creflo Dollar’s jet in perspective.
- Yet another voice on the Duggar story, this one from a well known Christian author who’s been there.
- In the UK, inclusive language continues to be a hot-button issue. In the liturgy not only is the language for God male, but depicts male authority figures.
- Since the start of the year, more than 15,000 Spanish-speaking people have logged decisions to follow Christ on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Spanish website.
- Cruising with a Cause: Having seen the response to vacation packages featuring Christian musicians and speakers, Carnival launches Fathom, a social-justice brand with micro mission trips for the non-believer.
- Life leaving you stressed out? Maybe it’s time for some orni-theology.
- The latest blog at Alltop’s Church page is just for those who teach Sunday School. Check out the kidmin tips at BetterBibleTeachers.com
- Blog Discovery of the Week: Steve Dragswolf writes about worship in a multi-cultural setting. This article is a good example, but there are a few more recent also.
- Is this good church publicity? Maybe. A singles group at Buckhead Church (part of North Point) bought all the men’s underwear they could find for a homeless shelter, leaving some Target stores completely out of stock.
- The story in this devotional article describes a Christian t-shirt that, however sincere, didn’t factor in how people would read it.
- Finally, while we love the songs of Matt Redman, and always like to hear the story behind our worship songs, this one simply has too much information. (They seem to have removed this story, probably for good reason.) Here’s an alternative on Redman.
UPDATE (Thursday): Having fewer stories to choose from makes the stats a lot clearer. I’ve been posting the top 4 or 5 stories on my Twitter late Wednesday or the next day.
What U Clicked:
1. Campolo response
2. Duggar response
3. Matt Redman (story was removed)
4. Dead Christian T-Shirt
St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery – Kiev, Ukraine. More interesting church architecture at this link.
Some day I’m only going to run links from blogs that don’t have pop-ups asking for subscriptions. There will only be about five links that week.
- We don’t make up the stories here… “A vicar in the Church of England has proposed a motion that would allow for a liturgical celebration of an individual’s identity following gender transition, much like a baptism, and would include a renaming ceremony.”
- Piper Pontificates: If you “sowed some wild oats” in your day, there is the question of how much of that is relevant to telling your children.
- A Rabbi looks at the use of the term “Old Testament” in relation to various alternatives.
- Brother Lawrence would be proud: A recipe for praying for racial reconciliation while making soup. At the very least, skim this one; it’s a great concept.
- Do you find it seems that people in your church seem to dress down to come to weekend services? This author gives four balanced guidelines on what we should wear to church.
- “[B]ecause the [Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum] is operated by the Christian group Foundation Advancing Creation Truth (FACT) and puts forth a biblical worldview about creation, the church-state separation group Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) sought to put an end to the trip. It sent a letter to school officials earlier this month asserting that it would be illegal for a public school to send children to the museum.” The Montana school’s trip was canceled…
- …Meanwhile the Freedom From Religion Foundation is fighting a Colorado school over a variety of what it calls illegal religious activities.
- Leadership Lessons 1: Don’t blame the big church down the street, or anyone else, for ministry fails. Here are twelve reasons.
- Leadership Lessons 2: “Nine stupid things I did as a pastor.”
- From a veteran Charismatic insider, five ways he feels they quenched the movement.
- A pastors wife reflects on events surrounding the day her husband, a student pastor, was arrested on sex crimes.
- His quotations are in much of what you read. Here’s a primer on why you should read G.K. Chesterton for yourself.
- At a ministry fork in the road: Should I stay or should I go?
- Essay of the Week: Zach Hunt on the Duggar Disaster…
- …Related: “It’s the Law of Reality TV. Whether what goes wrong is a fact that emerges from a cast member’s personal life or a fiction that emerges from the way producers edit the show, something always goes wrong. Reality TV thrives by balancing on the knife’s edge of fact and fiction, between creating drama to attract viewers and deflecting drama when it will repulse them.”
- Equal Time Department: We know what Calvin believed because it’s ubiquitous online. Here’s what Arminius taught.
- Musing of the Month for May: Challenging the idea of issuing a ministry license to someone before they can serve.
- More on the Gospel for Asia story: “Dividing currency amongst travelers requires the filing of a CMIR for the entire amount as intentionally aggregating currency exceeding $10,000 to evade reporting is against the law.”
- Your Mileage May Vary: A mom of three males offers five ways to raise strong Christian boys. Sample: “I let my boys fight with weapons. Not real ones, mind you.”
- Remember last week’s college pool link? Sheila Walsh posted this on Monday.
- The teenaged daughter of a Canadian blogger wrote a short essay and created a video on the subject of dignity with respect to the homeless.
- Don’t know where he found this, but Jeremy Myers offers seven examples of Christianese.
- Some mailmen have complained to Israel Post that they don’t want to be forced to deliver material from a Baptist group seeking Jewish converts. One of the arguments was that “children, who arrive home from school before their parents and collect the mail, are the first to be exposed to the material.”
- A year later, the With God Daily Devotional subscription program is still going strong.
- The Very Worst Prayer Card: Some classic JTVWM from 2009.
- Voter’s Guide: “In my mind, whenever someone touts their Christian beliefs in a political campaign, it ought to immediately disqualify that person as a trustworthy candidate in the eyes of every serious Christ follower.”
- Finally, a Twitter account dedicated to the October 15, 2015 rapture date.
There was simply too much left over from yesterday…
- Preston Sprinkle (oh the irony) makes a case for infant baptism, even though he has always believed and taught believers baptism.
- This was posted nearly a year ago, but Scot McKnight picked it up this week. The author takes James’ epistle, and recasts it in a form similar to Proverbs, to which it is often compared.
- “The Christian’s advantage, then, is not that they find themselves less fallen and closer to said perfection than others, nor that they find in their religion a means of escaping the world of fragility, brokenness, guilt, and error; the Christian’s advantage is that they are able to stand despite their own broken humanity in a fallen world because they stand with the vicariously human Christ.”
- It’s official! Pensacola Christian College has the best college swimming pool.
- This simple cartoon is probably the best summary of the recent polling data on Christianity you are going to see; far better than any network news reports.
- When we say that a nation “is a Christian country” we’re not doing them any favors.
- When selecting new church staff, or even volunteers, leaders often check social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Here are some tips as to exactly what you should be looking for.
- A more dynamic reading than CCLI can offer you on what songs churches are using can be found at the “What’s Hot” page at PraiseCharts.com
- Doug Wilson on video games: “While many modern kids are ignorant of that body of knowledge that their great-grandparents would have considered the sine qua non of being educated, they are quite capable of navigating many parts of the modern world that their ancestors would have found utterly bewildering.”
- “A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a radio station . . . ”
- When the man isn’t exercising spiritual leadership: “Since God has ordained fathers and husbands to be the spiritual leaders of the home, there is only one way to get around that spiritual law and it’s not by tearing our husbands down from the role and stepping up – it’s by asking his permission to fulfill the role until he’s willing or able to do so himself.”
- Most Provocative Blog Post Title: Don’t Hold Your Hair Back When You Throw Up.
- YouTube Relic of the Week: “We’re the Youth miniStarZ.”
- Initially, a school in Las Vegas banned a 12-year old from doing a project on her favorite Bible verse.
- “Universal Life Church has ordained more than 20 million people and is seeing a 10 percent to 15 percent increase a year. Both online outfits allow a variety of ordination titles, ranging from cardinal to pastor to wizard, freethinker and more.”
- Finally, it’s #1, ranking even above salvation on their statement of faith:
HT: Stuff Fundies Like
Option one:Option Two:
Which one do you like best? (I think the second one was reconfigured to show better on Facebook.)
I got really behind in rabbit chasing, so expect another list in a day or two.
- Faster Fostering: “not…all Christians are called to adopt or foster but all Christians are called to care for orphans in their distress.”
- Another reason not to forsake fellowship: A worship leader notes that singing together is an expression of mutual submission.
- Why can’t we all just be friends? It’s time for religion’s war with science to end, at least that’s the theme of a September conference in Buffalo on Evolution and the Bible.
- It’s only money. But nearly $180M U.S.? And worse, it’s not even considered Picasso’s best work.
- Yes! Liberia is Ebola-free.
- This got posted back in January, but it deserved mention here: A great rethink of a popular analogy about how God’s grace works.
- The debate that never ends: Calvinists discussing whether women can be given authority by church elders to teach. It depends on the type of teaching (big-T or little-t) and the nature of the venue…
- …Or if you prefer, the inconsistency of Calvinism in general.
- Essay of the Week: Reaping the consequences of a ‘hooking-up’ culture. (Don’t miss the three questions at the end.)
- Refining “The least of these.” Denny Burk says the concept is Biblically valid, but the phrase in question means something different altogether…
- …Related: Perhaps much of our poverty alleviation effort more about feeling good than doing good.
- J. D. Greear takes a different perspective on how God feels about divorce.
- Two posts from Stephen Altrogge: First, on purity rings: “If a sinful desire is driven out of a person without another desire filling the vacuum, that person will be a miserable little sod.”…
- … and next, on home-schooling: “In his wisdom, God doesn’t specify exactly how a parent is to teach their children. Throughout the centuries, the principles never change, but the way those principles are practiced will change.”
- If you’re okay without a print version, you can download a free copy of a new resource from the National Association of Evangelicals featuring ten top authors on the intersection of God and Science.
- TV Family Troubles: Jon Gosselin is seeking custody of one child, but not seven others. Meanwhile reports of teenage indiscretions have resulted in now 27-year old Josh Duggar resigning from the Family Research Council.
- Worship Workshop: How to refresh songs the worship team is growing weary of doing. (Note: The blog in question is literally packed with practical articles.)
- After exiting the Amtrak train just before the crash in Philadelphia, a religion reporter looks at life and death and interviews representatives from major faiths.
- And now, a random video by a South African choir.
- The real Video of the Week: New from Matt Redman, It Is Well With My Soul.
- The technical possibilities of the internet brought out the worst in some creators, features which probably annoy you on a daily basis.
- One year later, an update on the progress of the Word-for-Word Bible Comic.
- After counseling a young man that his sexual sin was going to send him to hell, this pastor finds himself outed as gay himself…
- …and another pastor is accused of stealing more than $60K from his church with some of it spent on dating sites. (Freeze the video at the dating profile to see what type of sites they were.)
- Finally, a personal note repeating from a year ago at this time: If anyone has playable tapes of the demos of classic Jesus Music radio shows like The Rock That Never Rolls with Brother Dale or The Scott Ross Show please contact me. (Or a good recipe for Peach Crumble.)
Option two; the one where I started getting suspicious: