With no time to prepare anything else for today, here are some items that came too late to make it into Wednesday column. (Which is just as well, there were 40 items to click this week!)
As we often are, today we’re indebted again to the multimedia team at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, aka Twenty-One-Hundred Productions for a list of recommended “life verses” depending on your Myers-Briggs personality type. Click the image to source.
Portions of today’s link list were pre-recorded for later broadcast.
- An article at Mission Network Online claims that ISIS has set a date for “open warfare” on the world’s non-Muslim population.
- Maybe Family Christian Stores should have gone this route: Australian Christian bookstore chain Koorong has been sold to that country’s national Bible society. Reaction from Koorong and Bible Society Australia.
- XXXChurch founder Craig Gross has teamed up with author Shaunti Feldhahn to produce a new book and ten-session video workshop. Check out Men are Visual…
- …and from the same ministry organization: If you want tabloid-style shocking headlines, these days, it would be the couples celebrating their 50th anniversary.
- Kathie Lee Gifford shared her testimony on NBC’s Today show following the death of her husband, sports commentator Frank Gifford.
- Dealing with The Dones: Scott McKnight reviews Chasing Refugees: “They wanted community…and got judgment. They wanted to affect the life of the church…and got bureaucracy. They wanted conversation…and got doctrine. They wanted meaningful engagement with the world… and got moral prescription.”
- A Missouri congregation leaving the Presbyterian Church in the US (PCUSA) is taking unusual steps to protect its land and buildings.
- Eight points for your consideration from Sam Storms: Do babies who die in infancy go to heaven?
- As happened in Colorado two years ago, now wildfires in California are impacting Christian camp. When the main lodge burns down, you lose both a facility and memories.
- This one is long, but John Piper is still very influential (in some circles) and his pronouncements never fail to be provocative, like the idea that women should not be police officers. Or go to the gym.
- Call it satire or comedy or whatever you want, but John Oliver’s piece on Last Week Tonight raises serious questions about what constitutes a ‘church’ in the United States…
- …and while we’re defining things, Can a Baptist pastor perform an infant baptism and still be a Baptist?
- The elder Graham and the younger Graham don’t seem to share the same leadership DNA. A comparison between Billy and Franklin.
- James Emery White: “Too many churches look at things from the inside. They think about what is easiest for them, best for them or makes sense for them. They don’t think about someone coming in from the outside; what is easiest, best and makes sense for others.”
- Author Bob Goff quits something every Thursday. Here are 30 things you can quit.
- Connecting with the Community: This writer offers eight principles and goals to keep in mind.
- Sandra Stanley: “Amazing grace, sufficient grace—exactly what we need, when we need it.“
- For younger leaders: Eight ways to be sure you will be taken seriously. (#4 – Get Results.)
- Feeling your way in the dark: A look at a different type of theme examined in a new book by Nancy Ortberg.
- Not the type of church potluck you want to attend: After food poisoning from a potato salad, 21 people were hospitalized and one died. (Next Lee Strobel book: “The Case for Catering.”)
- Including women in next year’s golf tournament, and nine other ways men can fight sexism in your church.
- Worship Corner: It’s not too early to start checking out Christmas worship songs. (Christmas is four months yesterday!)
- Francis Fix: If you need a Francis Chan fix, this message was recorded in the fresh air a few weeks ago.
- For LGBTQ students at Christian colleges, the choice is often between staying in the closet or being expelled.
- Leaning on the Everlasting Paws.
- Beer and Bible Department: This devotional was inspired by an Old Milwaukee commercial.
- Lessons Learned: A homeschool parent has 9 takeaways from her first year as home teacher. (Has anyone else noticed that Aaron Armstrong’s blog and Tim Challies’ blog are eerily similar?)
- Lost and Found: The only memories they have of their child’s brief time on earth turns up in a Bible for sale at Ollies.
- Doing Life: Happy Rant podcaster Steve Altrogge has picked up the translating Christianese mantle.
- The Steve Brown minus Steve Brown podcast welcomes Canadian “Naked Pastor” David Hayward.
- What it feels like back on the farm, when the megachurch moves into the city. (Login required to read. Unfortunate, because it’s a great article.)
- Skye Jethani’s subscription devotional, With God, is now a year old.
- After an already rough week, this couple’s life is now complicated by the revelation he had an Ashley-Madison account.
- For future reference: Catholic Priests should not grope women on airlplanes.
- They change the hip-hop song lyrics so they have religious content, but unlike Christian bands like Apologetix, the music of Deen Squad is contemporary Muslim music.
- Video Curiosity of the Week: On an Adventist website, one year ago, the question, should the church youth group hand out condoms?
- Finally, perhaps distinguished Oral Roberts University alumnus Ned Flanders can explain the noose hanging from the ORU Prayer Tower.
Sorry, our run of 50,000 of these is all sold out!
Don’t forget to check Paul’s Twitter on Thursday or Friday to see which stories got the most clicks.
- Kicking someone off your church property in the middle of a post-service lunch is always counter-intuitive, but sometimes it’s necessary.
- Sarah Bessey on how the charismatic faith she was raised in went from ultra-fringe to a position of influence.
- If nothing else, take note of the graphic in this story, contrasting the “natural amenities” of parts of the U.S. with church attendance. “But the story isn’t as simple as nature versus religion, some experts say. Try simply ‘nature religion.'”
- When one spouse has an affair, it’s like a relationship renovation has to take place, requiring trust and faith in a God who heals. If it misses the mark, it’s sin. Here are 9 Sins the Church is Comfortable With.
- Every time she plays in a tennis tournament, Serena Williams is breaking a Jehovah’s Witness edict against competitive sports.
- Essay of the Week: When good advice backfires. (That would never happen, would it?)
- Challenge of the Week: What church people need to know about people who once sat in those seats and sang those songs.>
- Don’t you hate it when the anti-drug people you invite to your surfing competition turn out to be Scientologists?
- Zach Hunt coins a new term: Scamgelists™. In 2015, people still fall for the pitch.
- The 2014 film Calvary is now out on video, though this review has some spoilers.
- A quick sketch of five men who started out as atheists and then changed sides.
- Got some VBS resources left over from the summer? Take the program to a local seniors home.
- With a variety of possible applications, your church address database can be visualized through free Geo-targeted maps from Google.
- Rob Bell on the megachurch: “Institutions arc towards self-preservation…innovations happen in garages.” A recent interview that covered many topics and includes this quote: “I’m as orthodox as they come!”
- And speaking of megachurches, an alliterative report from Chasing News about a mega lawsuit being filed by a pastor against his former church.
- Still making great music: Bryan Duncan.
- Literal Translation Department: “Bible believers must defend the truth that the moon emanates its own light.” The Bible says it, that settles it.
- If you missed the whole summer festival thing, you could always plan for September at the 2-day Uprise Fest in PA, or the smaller one-day PointFest in OH.
- Hashtag of the Week: #ThingsJesusNeverSaid.
- Liner Notes: Gungor talks about One Wild Life and the philosophical underpinnings of his next three albums.
- The whole Mormon underwear thing returns to the forefront after it’s revealed (literally) as a plot point in a fall series on ABC.
- Finally, from Happy Monday at Master’s Table:
A realistic look at Psalm 139 from Greg at the blog, Loose Him and Let Him Go:
Here are this week’s links:
- Lead Item: The Sandra Bland story is probably repeated more times than anyone realizes. This time it was an Episcopal priest. (Something is seriously wrong in the U.S. right now.)
- Family Christian Stores will continue to exist, for now, but even as they are breathed back into live, Gospel Light Publishing, a casualty of the restructuring, files for Chapter 11. Here’s a report at Thinking Out Loud’s Christian publishing sister blog…
- …Meanwhile, time has run out for Canada’s largest Christian bookstore.
- Red letter Bibles? That’s so 1899. Today, printing technology combines with marketing zeal to offer various types of Bible color coding combinations.
- Leadership Lessons: This one gets harsh, but pastors, here’s why your sermon is being ignored…
- …Also for pastors, even though a minister’s life consists of constant interruptions, you don’t have to attend every committee meeting or accept every guest speaker invitation. A pastor shares his greatest regret.
- Relevant Magazine’s top 10 book recommendations for twenty-somethings, and one writer’s observation as to what the list was missing.
- Persecution Potential: “[P]roposed amendments to Nepal’s new constitution, likely to come into effect on Monday (10 August) after seven years of parliamentary discussions, could eventually render all Christian activity illegal.”
- Pope Francis has signaled a softer stance on divorce, that impacts other Catholic doctrines such as the annulment of the previous marriage, and who can take communion.
- Essay of the Week: The Bridegroom Loves to Hear His Bride Sing.
- Book Review of the Week: A look at Living Without Worry: How to Replace Anxiety with Peace; a scripture-centered approach by Timothy Lane.
- Worship Resource of the Week: What great musicianship looks like; four characteristics. (Via Worship Links as usual!)
- Women’s Feature of the Week: Holley Gerth on helping someone in the middle of a situation with which you have no experience.
- Two authors you know join forces on a new book to help women understand their role in helping men battle porn…
- …Also at On Faith: How to be monastic without becoming a monk.
- Separation of Church and State-funding: New rules for U.S. federal faith-based partnerships.
- VBS with a Difference: This one in Michigan ran over four nights and taught the kids apologetics…
- …Also at Ratio Christi: Who needs apologetics?
- Proof of the Proof: Verification for the Mathematical proof of the existence of God.
- Pictures like the ones in this short blog post arrest me in my tracks. White Anglo Protestants have convinced themselves that Jesus looked a lot like they do.
- If you missed it earlier, here’s the video trailer for the movie War Room, releasing in the U.S. August 28th. (Quarter million views so far.)
- Who says churches are tax exempt? A 5-minute podcast on the taxes churches actually pay. (Poor audio, but good content.)
- You don’t hear a lot of Amish conversion stories but it does happen. Of the 200,000 American Amish, perhaps 200 are converts like Christina Cortez.
‘Twas the night before Link List and all through the house…WordPress wasn’t posting the URLs correctly and Paul was freaking out.
- Besides the story you’re probably familiar with by now, there are other things to be concerned about at Planned Parenthood…
- …And here’s a mother’s perspective on the story you’re more familiar with.
- Classic Michael Spencer: The spirit of Archie Bunker is alive and well in a little place you probably know as the internet.
- In just a few weeks The Shack author returns with a fresh look at the story of Eve (and talks about being on the set of the forthcoming Shack movie.)
- An ocean away, a local church in Ghana wrestles with making the communion table open to all.
- An argument in favor of having an interim pastor after the present one leaves and before the next one arrives is convincing, but the work is hard on pastors who go from one interim gig to another.
- Two people can be sitting next to each other on a plane, and even returning home from the same event, and yet be having a completely different experience.
- Essay of the Week: Jesus never tries to give people a simplified version of his ministry and no question is off limits. He was, and is, uniquely Jesus.
- “According to a recent study, 46% of all people surveyed said a church’s website was important in picking a church to visit. Furthermore, 1/3 stated the internet was the first place they learned about their church.” (Admittedly the story is an advertorial.)
- Francis Chan: 11-minute video on a Biblical definition of church in light of church planting in San Francisco.
- The Conversion Process: How it works if someone wants to become Jewish.
- Would the earth move if you skipped church one Sunday? Once he got past the guilt, a well-known UK Christian radio presenter found some redemptive principles.
- For parents raising boys: Seven Godly principles you want to teach them.
- Prayer Requests: How to keep your church or small group prayer time from turning into a rumor-fest or gossip-fest.
- A website claims that Hillsong’s New York City branch has an openly gay couple leading the choir.
- Links to More Links: Everything you need to connect with various contributors at the Patheos Forum on the Future of Faith in America: Evangelicalism.
- Not your usual article on modesty, since it was written for men.
- Here’s another review of the book I reviewed here on Monday. God’s Crime Scene is topping the charts in a number of specific categories such as theology and apologetics.
- Four end-of-summer Bible story videos for your kids to watch; each of these runs just under 25 minutes.
- This might not last long, but for now, an Alabama sheriff has put Bible verse stickers on all the patrol cars.
- The 4 Rs of creation care for families: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rejoice.
- Although the video portion gets ditched in the process, it’s always fun when the Phil Vischer Podcast hits the road.
- Well it was just a matter of time before someone wrote a curriculum about your favorite Timelord: The Salvation of Dr. Who.
We’ll try to get our link problem fixed for next week; in the meantime, if you feel short-changed this week, this guy has 44 more links.
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.