Thinking Out Loud

June 8, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Thanks for all of you who voted for us as Top Christian Blog Link List Published on a Wednesday.   Our visitor at right can be purchased as a poster at Zazzle.com, though, truth be told, there isn’t much you can’t buy there.

  • Angela Wyatt — as in Angela Schuller Wyatt — reports at Christian Post as to Why The Selling of the Crystal Cathedral is a Bad Idea.  Highlight: ” In any U.S. corporation, the leadership would be REMOVED in the face of bankruptcy.  As long as the current leadership maintains control, there will be no positive change at the Crystal Cathedral. They’re buying time by hawking one of America’s greatest cathedrals. Their actions will only delay the inevitable. It’s like loaning money to a gambler.”
  • Who better than The Pipe-ster himself to challenge Rick Warren as to whether or not he’s “deep” enough as a preacher.  Piper sits down with the Saddleback pastor and Purpose Driven author for a longer interview.  This YouTube link will actually set you up to watch a number of the topics  continiously in a playlist.   Even though you’re not a pastor, there are some good issues raised here.
  • On the other hand, I’d say this one is deep, and it’s in, of all places, The Washington Post.  Kyle Roberts and Adam Rao contrast popular “rapture theology” with what what they prefer, calling it “Biblical Eschatology,” or if you like, “de-raptured theology.”
  • Here’s a site you’re going to want to bookmark and return to often, though maybe not if you have high blood pressure issues.  Faith and the Law’s Blog highlights stories where churches encounter the legal system in all of its forms (legislation, justice, enforcement, etc.) in various parts of the world; such as, for example, this story where a Charlotte area church was fined $40,000 (US) for improper trimming of their trees.  Seriously.  It was based on $100 per branch.
  • “Hey, That’s Not in the Bible!”   A CNN Belief Blog item about non-existent Biblical quotes has now crossed the 6,000 comment line.  So now there’s a best of the comments item, but it’s crossed the 1,o00 comment mark.
  • Dan Bouchelle reminds us that being a former pastor doesn’t mean that all interest in former parishioners and counselees disappears when the paychecks stop coming.  Basically, it all comes down to motivation.
  • Youth ministry people:  Here’s a new blog from New Zealand that started a few weeks ago and has already received a healthy response.  It’s called Ideas for Youth Ministry in New Zealand but blogger Amy wants to collaborate with people from other parts of the world.
  • This link actually ran here a long time ago, but it’s an excellent article by Craig Groeshel on Generational Tension In The Church.
  • Here’s another one that was still in my files from December of last year.  It’s a longer article on Why C. S. Lewis’ Popularity Still Endures.
  • For this week’s link list cartoon, we return, after a long absence to Dan Lietha and the After Eden comic at the Answers in Genesis site.  (Click the image to link.)

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February 13, 2011

When Scripture Is Like a Comfortable Chair

Unless you have public speaking experience, or work in radio and television, or are an actor; chances are that when you’re called upon to read something you haven’t seen before out loud, you stumble over the occasional sentence.  Miss the syntax of a sentence and you can get really bogged down. Start to read the sentence as if it’s a declarative statement when in fact it’s a question, and things can get quite messed up.

Despite having some experience in both broadcasting and public speaking, I can mess up entire paragraphs, especially if I’m not fully concentrating.

Every night at 9:00 PM, my boys — who are now 16 and 19 — join me for Bible study time.  We sometimes read from different translations, but most often read from a wide assortment of devotional books, current Christian bestsellers, or Christian classics.   So we could go from Mere Christianity or With Christ in the School of Prayer all the way to Francis Chan’s Forgotten God or Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew in the course of a single week.  In other words, this ain’t The Beginner Bible story time.

As I’m reading — especially with the older classics — it’s not unusual for me to have to start a sentence over.  Sometimes I take two or three runs at a sentence to try to find the ‘voice’ of the author.

But lately I’ve noticed something. I’m not trying to blow my own horn by saying this, but I hope it challenges you or resonates with you or both. I’ve noticed that when I hit a sentence that contains a quotation from scripture, it literally rolls off the tongue; even if the translation is somewhat different.

I’ve found that the scripture passages an author chooses to cite are like second nature; they fit like a cozy chair or a comfortable pair of shoes. I may not have internalized their message fully, and I may not be living out every aspect of their teachings, but at the very least, I can’t claim unfamiliarity with the words.

Although I stumble over the sentences that come before and the phrases that follow, once I am reading Bible quotations, I’m on familiar ground, almost as though the words are the words of an old friend.

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