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:
Poor signage or a creatively named new outreach for Teen Challenge?
Okay, hands up everyone who remembers the Bible story about The Horn of the Llamas?
Witty introduction, not in the Advance Reader Copy, to appear here in print edition.
- R. T. Kendall pastored at Westminster Chapel for 25 years and has authored dozens of books. As part of a continuing series at Premier Christianity, here is his Open Letter to the U.K. Church.
- The Cross and the Crescent: “I really felt like I had failed as a mother and a Christian and church member and the daughter of my parents, failed by not passing onto her what I call a saving knowledge of who Jesus is.” An evangelical author and lifelong churchgoer learns that left Christianity for orthodox Islam, becoming a Muslim.
- Some people go on mission trips and sneak in a few Bibles. Other are traveling with sealed envelopes packed with wads of cash. [Update: The practice is being discontinued.]
- So here’s a wedding cake story with a difference. Yes, it was a gay wedding, but as we learn in the comments section, the script wanted was “Support Gay Marriage.” The Christian baker refused. The customer sued. The baker lost.
- If you haven’t heard of churches doing this, you need to read this. One church we attended called it “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” These guys called it The Open Table.
- Driscoll returns to a Seattle-area church, preaches three services, and gets at least one standing ovation. There were protests there…
- …and there will be protests at Sydney, Australia’s Hillsong Conference.
- After 128 years, a Lutheran Church in Allentown, Pennyslvania is closing down and donating its property and building to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
- When one of the babies in the church nursery is a child of rape.
- An interview I never expected to exist: A family counselor weighs in on why pastors commit suicide…
- …Related article: Things that validate a pastor’s gifts and ministry.
- Was there really a guy named Adam? Or was that story more of an allegory. Peter Enns lists eleven recurring errors occurring in the discussion of the historical Adam.
- This one links to a very, very long article but one many of you will find worth the time. Among other things it includes five top ways to use Twitter in ministry.
- Denominational doldrums: Eight reasons people are leaving denominational churches in favor of attending non-denominational churches…
- …speaking of which… Now you can be a missionary in the Southern Baptist Convention if you drink and smoke. Okay, not really, but they did relax a few rules, including one that eliminated you if you’d ever spoken in tongues.
- Over at PARSE, the blog I was released from as a writer because presumably it was shutting down, there’s an interview with a nurse from Michigan on what it’s like to keep your bags packed, and then find you’re going to Liberia to fight Ebola.
- Teen archeology hobbyists in Israel took it upon themselves to dig up at 1,400 year-old wine press.
- Two pastors, a hotel room and a couple of lesbians. 4 1/2 min. video.
- This couldn’t happen in most of North America, but in Wales, a group of mourners got confused in a traffic circle (roundabout) and ended up following the wrong hearse for nine miles.
- ‘We don’t need a church website because our church is on Facebook.’ Agree or disagree?
- Rear View Mirror: Was Olympic springer Eric Liddell a legalist?
- Now it can be told: What the creator of Veggie Tales and What’s In The Bible is working on next. It’s truly out of this world.
- Sermon Shoutout: Kyle Idleman just launch a new series at Southeast Christian: Flip The Script.
- Forget Star Wars; in Fountain Valley, Arizona it’s all about theology wars.
- When John Walton’s brother Jim Walton joined Phil and the gang on this week’s Phil Vischer Podcast, they recommended you visit The3rdChoice.org, an apologetics website.
- A Texas teen was without a heartbeat for 20 minutes, during which he says he saw Jesus.
- According to this article at Huffington, there are more important things Christians should be concerned about than the recent religious stats.
- Tweet of the Week: “Finishing off the last two chapters of my book with pink eye and a broken finger. I look like an albino rabbit with a swollen paw! :)” — Sheila Walsh…
- …and speaking of writers, keeping it all in the family, Ted Dekker’s daughter Rachel is Tyndale House’s newest fiction writer.
- Finally, there was the church that did the blessing of the toilet paper.
Tomorrow on the blog: In Case of Rapture, Or Long Weekend, This Church will be Closed — a look at a major megachurch that already takes one weekend off in the winter, now doing the same in late Spring. (Title similarity to the graphic above was pure coincidence.)
Video of the Week: This reminded me so much of Boney M who did Rivers of Babylon, though this sounds more like Rasputin.
The interior of an abandoned church is seen on September 5, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. From the Huffington Post link below, click through to see 14 more abandoned churches.
What you see each week are the links that ‘survived.’ You don’t get to see the rabbit trails which led nowhere, which can tie up the better half of an hour before I realize they aren’t yielding anything worth publishing.
- The place for Christian humor and satire: First he wrote this post about 10 Shocking Bible Verses. But apparently, some people took it seriously.
- At Huffington, a story about different types of gatherings meeting in unusual locations. “The church steeple in the American town square hasn’t gone, but it’s got some company.”
- Big sins, little sins: A former Evangelical turned Catholic, with part one of a look at the RC distinction between mortal sins and venial sins.
- Quotation of the Week: “The big secret in the LGBT community is that there are a significant number of gays and lesbians who oppose same-sex marriage“.
- Biomedical ethics: In China, research on editing DNA. “Advances in technology have given us an elegant new way of carrying out genome editing, but the strong arguments against engaging in this activity remain,” [Francis] Collins said. “These include the serious and unquantifiable safety issues, ethical issues presented by altering the germline in a way that affects the next generation without their consent and a current lack of compelling medical applications.”
- Church Real Estate: In the face of declining attendance and giving, it turns out that Baptists are just as attached to their church buildings as Anglicans and Catholics.
- Lost news story: Not all the reports of African American young men dying while in police custody are deemed important enough for the network news. This one, from over a month ago, is about a young man who was pulled over for a minor traffic violation while dealing with a personal medical emergency. He was denied access to an inhaler and died. He was the son of a pastor.
- Put away the flutter-boards: You can dispense with the mental image of the tablets having McDonald’s-type arches, because the original Ten Commandments were probably rectangular.
- Church membership trap: You’ve done something wrong and find yourself in an authoritarian congregation under church discipline which you think is unjust. Well, it’s a church; you can always just walk away, right? Well not if you signed a “clause, contract, covenant or membership agreement that limits your right to leave a church while you are under discipline;” or “mandates mediation instead of seeking legal protection by the courts.”
- Christian clichés: Okay, it worked out well, and maybe it was “a God thing,” but perhaps it’s also a God thing when things go wrong.
- Demographics: Even ABC World News Tonight mentioned the latest Pew Research survey about the downturn in Christian identification in the U.S.
- Human Resources: Maybe there are several population segments that Wal-Mart simply shouldn’t assign to manning the checkouts.
- Studying Satan: A lot of what we think we know about Lucifer is from passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah, but this author contends there are other ways to read those sections.
- You read a news story, but you probably don’t critique it. The website Get Religion looks behind the written words and notes what’s missing, as in this story about sports chapels in the NBA.
- Leadership results can take years: “Yet if leaders give in to supporters’ or critics’ short-term thinking, we end up focusing our evaluation on the day-to-day work. We end up spending more time counting how many events we’ve held or meals we’ve served. We end up being micromanaged, with supporters and critics telling us how to do the work, without a clear picture whether anything we’ve done is transformative.”
- Update from Saeed: A family member who visited the imprisoned American pastor in Iran forwarded a letter. “The American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and the couple’s two children…has been campaigning for the release of Abedini and three other American citizens imprisoned in Iran, but has criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for abandoning the Americans in the nuclear deal agreement with Iran.” President Obama has previously promised to do all that he can to see Abedini released.
- Essay of the Week: A reprint of a 1999 article that ran several months after Columbine.
- Our once-a-decade link to a symphony orchestra video: The Czech Television Studio Orchestra performs Tim Hughes’ “Here I Am To Worship” conducted by Keith Getty in Prague.
- Muslim egalitarianism: A proposed ‘women-only’ mosque in England. “The plan seeks to provide women with a platform where they can play a larger role in the religious life of their community, a role that would include women leading prayers on Fridays and the introduction of female imams.”
- Rachel’s dirty laundry: Peter Enns excerpts and praises the new book by Rachel Held Evans…
- …While another look at RHE’s book by Tony Jones raises questions for the Mainline church to which Rachel was attracted.
- Name change: A fixture in Canada since 1922, Prairie Bible Institute now becomes simply Prairie College. But far from taking the Bible out, the institution is actually increasing core Bible curriculum in its various programs.
- It’s not cheating if you get divine help: Ben Carson claims he aced a college chemistry exam because God gave him the answers in a dream.
- Another faith-interest movie releasing this month, Brother’s Keeper is about wrongful imprisonment…
- …While on the small screen, ABC-TV is making a movie about King Saul.
- We didn’t have time to come up with a closing image so we figured we’d just run a picture of homeschool idol Jordan Taylor from Blimeycow but then, as it turned out, there was something newsy here, as Jordan has a new YouTube channel, which actually doesn’t have much on it right now.