The worldwide shortage of Christian book titles continues, as indicated by this collection, all recently-released
Your top clicks last week included Should an Egalitarian Date a Complementarian? and the Greg Boyd epic book announcement and Stephen Altrogge wandering to and fro in the history of ’90s CCM. (I normally put these on Twitter a day or two later.) But that was last week, and this is…
- The Lead Item: As America becomes less religious, the enormous contribution faith-based communities make to social- and health-care systems is under threat.
- Check out what Kyle Idleman said in a recent sermon about churches that try to be relevant. Fast forward to 26:20. (Stick with it for about ten minutes.)
- “Did you hear what he did to her?” Maybe you did hear it, but not all accusations of sexual abuse are true.
- Must reading from Tullian Tchividjan “The shift from locating my identity in the message of the Gospel to locating my identity in my success as a messenger of the Gospel was slow and subtle. It came on like the slow creep of the tide rather than a sudden tidal wave.”
- Loving Leviticus: 5 Guidelines for reading the Old Testament laws.
- Essay of the Week: Although the article is critical of Andy Stanley’s recent controversial sermon on the Bible, the author has taken time to really weigh what it is that Andy is trying to say, and who he is trying to say it to, and presents a less knee-jerk, more balanced critique. (This isn’t an area of evangelism/apologetics that is going to be resolved in a fortnight.)
- Flash back and Flash forward: A year ago Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was front and center. Now, the ACLU is suing her for $233,000.
- To screen or not to screen? “It’s killing our ability to sing well, it’s killing our ability to sing good music, and it’s detrimental to our liturgical life.” This author’s perspective may be more traditional, but check out his 11 reasons for keeping screens out of the sanctuary.
- Church Time Travel: A reenactment of a 15th Century Latin mass. 57 minutes.
- Doesn’t look like Philip Yancey will be voting for Donald Trump. “There are countries in Europe where the church is set back for decades and decades, because they have been stained by how they sold their soul for power…” (3 minute video)
- You, too? In honor of their 40th birthday, 10 Brilliant Things Bono has Said about God and The Top 10 Faith-Fueled Songs by U2.
- Quotation of the Week: “I notice also, on that same Diversity page, that we are supposed to commit ourselves to welcoming the alphabet soup of cheered-on sexual proclivities. For some reason that does not include F, for Fornicators, or S, for swingers, or P, for pornographers, or W, for sex-workers, formerly called harlots, or A, for adulterers. No political lobby for those?” A Catholic looks at diversity.
- Leadership Lessons: Communicating with your team is important, but challenging when you’re dealing across different generations. “We communicate with people via many different mediums: texts, email, handwritten notes, phone calls, face-to-face meetings, etc. But what works for one person doesn’t always work for others.”
- Another wedding cake-like story, this one involving a designer, and also based in Colorado.
- Tony Campolo claims he is no longer an Evangelical. One blogger quoted says, “I think he has strayed from the evangelical reservation, so to speak, for a few reasons.” Campolo offers five reasons.
- Interview of the Week: Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt talks to Eugene Peterson. (On The Message Bible: “I’m really glad I did [the translation]. But to tell you the truth, I don’t read it much.”)
- United Church of Canada atheist pastor Gretta Vosper is now one step closer to dismissal.
- A Child Evangelism Good News Club in a Portland school will have direct competition on Wednesdays from the After School Satan Club.
- Writers love to dissect her: Another article on Nadia Bolz-Weber.
- One of our favorite voices, Lee Grady offers his Pentecostal and Charismatic colleagues six warnings of spiritual danger.
- Celibacy after a history of being sexual active: “It…showed me that my fiancé valued our relationship more than sex and showed him that I did the same.” Reflections three years after giving up sex.
- Catholic Corner: We missed this over the summer, it’s an update done in the spring of this year to a 2008 surve of Catholics.
- Parenting Place: A heartfelt article for the parents who still have young kids at home.
- Relationship Road: What happens when men say nothing. Two illustrations that probably are repeated too often.
- Another faith-based movie to report: I’m Not Ashamed is the story of Rachel Scott, one of the teens in the Columbine story. It opens in theatres October 21st.
- ♫ ♫ Instead of our usual music link about someone on 20 The Countdown Magazine, or the new Wow Hits album, we thought we’d connect you to this article on Bach’s cantatas.
- A sponsored post at Charisma News for The Conquer Series, a $129.95 US men’s ministry curriculum does touch on a vital subject: How to Delete Porn from Your Brain…
- …Unrelated click-bait: A review of Good Christian Sex.
- The cars Pope Francis had at his disposal for his trip to Poland are being sold by a Catholic charity, and if you like a bargain, “each car is worth 80,000 zlotys.”
- Maybe not the deepest episode ever, but I definitely had some good laughs listening to Phil Vischer Podcast #219.
- This should definitely get your vote as a gigantic children’s ministry fail. (The watermark on this 1-min. video says it all.)
- Bee of the Week: Not their best work, but full marks for the premise.
- Finally, according to this list, yoga pants are grounds for eternal damnation.
As the worship team at Central Neighborhood Tabernacle arrived for a 7:30 AM set up, there was no mistaking that the sound console was emitting a supernatural glow.
Welcome to WLL #326. The issue of the missing years of Jesus’ childhood is thorny and the ‘infancy gospels’ are long contested. So we don’t lay any claim to the accuracy of the cartoon at right, nor do we know the source. For the more conservative out there, try not to be offended.
- Essay of the Week: Five tough lessons learned in a year of doing prison ministry.
- Investigative Item of the Week: “Fearful at the thought of their children mingling with black students, many white Christian families founded private “segregation academies” to skirt the law.”
- Australian pastor and author Michael Frost got arrested last week. “I got arrested as an act of civil disobedience.You see, my country has adopted an immigration policy that’s designed to discourage refugees arriving here by boat from Indonesia. This involves using the navy to intercept leaky fishing boats full of asylum seekers and towing them back into Indonesian waters…”
- While the megachurches get all the attention, 46% of Americans attend a church with less than 100 in attendance.
- Question of the Week: Should an egalitarian date a complementarian? It’s somewhat academic until she describes the actual date.
- The Charismatic side of the Catholic Church: The miraculous today in Africa, back then in the lives of the saints.
- As the band U2 celebrates 40 years, some great insights from across the the pond from writer and podcast host Justin Brierley talking to Phil Vischer and Skye Jethani. “Their faith is hidden in plain sight.”
- Catching up with The Dictionary of Christianese: An entry on “God of second chances” and “God of the second chance” shows the increase in use of these terms since 1900.
- They call it “The Sleep Business,” but a two-time IVP author says sleep is also a reflection of our relationship with God.
- Ministry for Men: We’re missing a chapter in the Bible; the one between creation and the fall which tells what exactly God had in mind for us.
- A Church for Doubters: “It’s democracy that actually works — an unbelieving congregation picking their sermon series.” Assuring guests that it’s okay to wrestle with issues of faith.
- Decisions vs. Disciples: “Maybe we need to begin creating a gospel culture of discipleship that sets people up for a lifetime of loving devotion to Christ and his Church, rather than a short-lived, saved-from-our-sins, get-out-of-hell-free-card, system of salvation.” Rethinking the classic altar call.
- Further complicating the gay wedding cake issue.
- Known for his diatribes against the Harry Potter books, the Roman Catholic Church’s top exorcist has died at 91.
- Trusting God when you’re a natural control freak: “Whether it’s my child getting her feelings hurt by a classmate, my oldest friend trying to care for her family as she recovers from major surgery, or my husband tossing in bed as he wonders how to handle a complicated situation at work, I want to be the fixer.”
- Scot McKnight has two earlier books which Zondervan recently released in paperback, King Jesus Gospel and A Fellowship of Differents.
- With the resignation of one of the state’s most popular megachurch pastors, The Tennessean looks at the issue of pastor burnout.
- Some advance press for Greg Boyd’s long-anticipated, 1,400 page The Crucifixion of the Warrior God releasing in Spring, 2017. (An equally long N.T. Wright title from the same publisher retails for $89 US.)
- Tweet of the Week: Production has begun on The Case for Christ movie including the recreation of 1980s theater where Willow Creek began. Lee Strobel says the actor playing a young Bill Hybels is perfectly cast. (Spring, 2017 release.)
- Video of the Week: (It’s really different.) A beautifully arranged and equally beautifully filmed piano and violin instrumental cover of Owl City’s Fireflies.
- Non-Music Video of the Week: (It’s even more different.) 7 minute sermon from a Pentecostal kid preacher. (You will either love or hate this, there’s no middle ground.)
- Let’s try a more normal video… this one has David Wood answering a common Muslim meme concerning the way Jesus prayed.
- Curiosity Title of the Week: “Was Your Salad Fork Made in a Former Utopia?” Actually the article traces somewhat religious colonies in America connected to familiar consumer products.
- Of Christian author Jane Kirkpatrick’s 29 titles, 25 were historical fiction. But she never studied or even liked history in college.
- Quotation of the Week: [But you have to click for it.] Great advice, huh?
- The Burning Man Festival: “James Walker, president of Watchman Fellowship. He notes the festival is at the very least ‘spiritual’ if not a ‘semi-religious cultural happening.’ Religious themes and iconography are abundant including temples, labyrinths, demons, angels, gods, goddesses, priests, and corporate logos,’ he notes. Walker suggests Burning Man has begun to function as both a parody of religion and a surrogate for traditional religion.
- Music News: Cheri Keaggy is back. “After an incredible season of ministry that left me suffering from burn-out, I knew I had to guard that, to remember my First Love…”
- Canada’s already controversial spiritual talkback radio host, Drew Marshall is staking four months off to walk The Camino de Santiago in Europe … while also taking a vow of silence.
- The Trailer We Never Knew: How you might market Monty Python and the Holy Grail in today’s blockbuster environment.
- This ain’t Parks and Recreation. “Adam Scott plays a man who finds the woman of his dreams…only to find out after they get married that her 6-year-old little boy just so happens to be the Antichrist himself.”
- Finally…ah…the ’90s… Seven things Stephen Altrogge misses about ’90s Contemporary Christian Music.
When your business has a name client, you want to advertise that:
It may not catch on like WWJD, but…
This Lexus owner is either a NKJV supporter, or expressing a Christmas wish for a new copy of the classic. Would that be 1611 or 1789?
Welcome to WLL#325. If you love theater and love God, have we got a devotional book for you; pictured at right, published by Worthy Inspired.
I hope you find something of interest in this week’s list…it was lots of fun putting it together for you.
- Bobby Schuller, pastor of Shepherd’s Grove in Garden Grove/Orange, California is the latest to jump on the podcast bandwagon and this one has both substance and quality recording. He’s joined for a discussion about everything from worship to speaking in tongues by Tully Wilkinson (who is no relation.) 36 great minutes, plus you learn a new word, Bidolatry. Are you a bidolator? However, your mileage may vary on a few of the theological perspectives…
- …Which brings us to another “B-word.” Is it time to take the word Baptist off the church sign?
- Pete Wilson is resigning from Cross Point, the megachurch he founded in 2003. (See also yesterday’s post here.)
- Provocative Title of the Week: Why Arminianism Won’t Preach and Calvinism Won’t Sell.
- If you live in a college or university town, your local churches should organize a
pub church crawl like this one.
- Why you’ll never see the words “Revised Edition” on a copy of the now-set-in-stone English Standard Version…
- …and why they’re making some big mistakes…
- …An OT Prof. says “Honestly, I cannot recommend the ESV to my students. These and many other texts are problematic and reveal an ideology that dictates how the text must be translated.”
- ICYMI-1: The Pew Research survey on choosing a church. Sermon quality is a factor 83% of the time…
- …Meanwhile an informal CT survey asks Pastors if they would choose to attend their own churches. (No, it wasn’t an anonymous survey, either.)
- ICYMI-2: The attack on Andy Stanley’s latest sermon series…
- …And a short and simple defence of the same series.
- All is not well on the Wheaton College campus. “Wheaton College chapel is a performance of white, straight, male hegemony which perpetuates inequality through discourse.” Read this analysis of their chapel services (and be on the lookout for people throwing apples.)
- An interesting look into the lives of students and five reasons why they walk away.
- A poorly-written Chicago Tribune article infers that Lutherans are not Christians. (Until you take a closer look.)
- Carl Trueman is forced to take a different view of one state’s incest laws.
- In your church, is the greater weight of sung worship at the beginning or the end? I found this article interesting. “Any time we gather together to learn from God’s Word, we should be moved to respond.” How to end a church service.
- It seems like school just started for another year, but high school seniors need to finalize plans for the year to come. Another round of Christian University and College Fairs allows them to meet reps from all the schools in one place.
- Regretfully, my Tweet of the Week.
- An Alabama pastor (who is also a football game announcer) says that if people won’t stand for the national anthem, we should just — wait for it — shoot them (and then the crowd went crazy cheering.)…
- …Meanwhile an Acts 29 pastor has resigned after accusations of sexual assault.
- The Science on Seniors: Rethinking the nursing home.
- Is this conference for preachers’ kids (PKs) something that’s likely to spread beyond the African-American church?
- Catholic Corner: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is featured in a “book length interview” on his eight years at The Vatican.
- Religious Newswriters are hoping to get a preview of The Shack movie in a couple of weeks. For everyone else, there the IMDb page with a full cast list.
- Keeping sports in perspective.
- Currently Reading: Near Christianity: How Journeys along Jewish-Christian Borders Saved My Faith in God by Anthony LeDonne. He teaches at United Theological Seminary with interest in Jewish-Christian relations and historical Jesus research. Zondervan, paperback, $18.99 US.
- Non-Music Video of the Week: Skye Jethani talks about the human need to idolize celebrity pastors.
- Them: “Why is a nice girl like you not married?”
Her: “A very sad thing happened. My mother-in-law died before my husband was born.”
A look at the challenges for singles in the church.
- A Canadian pastor once said, “If you face a choice between coming on Sunday and going to your small group, go to your small group.” Here’s an article that says your small group is insufficient to do all that weekend worship does. See if the three arguments hold for you.
- Even the somewhat liberal United Church of Canada feels that atheist minister Rev. Gretta Vosper pushes the envelope too far. “She does not recognize the primacy of scripture, she will not conduct the sacraments, and she is no longer in essential agreement with the statement of doctrine of The United Church of Canada.” A Toronto church conference committee recommends termination…
- …But in this UK article, I discover the Toronto case is not yet over.
- Churches, pastors and Christians in general can be the target for four types of email scams.
- ♫ When our youngest moved out the weekend to begin life after university, I knew I had to send him this Matthew West song.
- A short-form article about the inefficiency of short-term missions. (This is part of a series which begins here and continues here and here.)
- Christian Publishers are big on promoting new titles to bloggers like me, but the retailers themselves — the ones who make the whole bookselling machinery happen — often don’t get the same access to forthcoming releases. That’s about to change, at least in the U.S.
- It’s an anniversary for Galcom, a similar ministry to Megavoice, placing solar powered radios and playback devices in the third world.
- The Bible, copyright issues, and the impact on foreign translations. (Note: CT article is pay-walled.)
- You’re not safe from psychotics or terrorists, and now, you can add pastors to list.
- You can rest your body, but it’s harder to find rest for your soul.
- Church History: “Prayer on the water posed numerous problems. Attendees were left seasick by the roiling Delaware, the pastor struggled to remain standing during services, and the church even sank one time.” Check out The Floating Church of the Redeemer.
- Looking for some graphics for Facebook? Here are ten cartoons based on the hymn Amazing Grace.
- Obscure Video of the Week: This cover of Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” might wreck your speakers, but the images are a great pictorial collection of the tent revival movement. (Seriously, turn down your speakers.)
- Speaking of FB, check out Spiritual Milk.
- Finally, I didn’t know this: “Cats are divine creatures that will carry the 144,000 souls mentioned in the book of Revelation.” They set out to build an animal shelter and started a cult.
Section of interstate highway as it will look several years after the world ends. Unless you believe in New Earth, in which case, I don’t know what will happen to the freeways.
Lloyd Legalist posted this on Twitter with some unnecessary snark: “Thought this was probably a seeker-church bathroom but then I saw it was a Bible verse and knew it couldn’t be.”
My wife snapped this pic in a thrift shop where, for only $20, you can own a genuine menorah from the Holly Land.
I’m just gonna assume everyone is up to speed that Mother Teresa is now Saint Teresa (of Calcutta). Here’s the rest of this week’s list:
- According to a recent Happy Rant Podcast, Stephen Altrogge got in trouble for this tongue-in-cheek article on the 14 kids you find in every church youth group.
- A new book, God’s Design launched with the Children Desiring God website, indoctrinates children in the ways of complementarianism.
- Essay of the Week: “Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of things I love to see when I visit a church. A lot of it is common knowledge, like clean bathrooms and proper signage. And some things are bonus, like a nice cup of coffee or a kickin’ worship team… When I visit your church I want a genuine expression of worship and fellowship… To be clear, this is my list.”
- Mainline Protestant seminaries haven’t been shutting down at the same rate as the denominations with which they are affiliated, mostly due to legacy funding.
- Carl Trueman looks at the people who consider themselves part of the “ethical non-monogamy community.”
- Kirk Cameron is back, this time spearheading a national live event in theatres on October 18 and 24.
- Why don’t we in Western Europe and North America (and Australia/New Zealand) see miracles? Or are we seeing them, but mis-classifying them?
- Parenting Place: Kinda wish we’d had this earlier, but here are some great tips on dealing with back-to-school anxieties.
- A House Divided: Two Baptist pastors in British Columbia say they won’t be backing the upcoming Franklin Graham crusade.
- Church Architecture: Where megachurch can refer to size and shape as well as membership.
- What’s on your church’s social media? This article says 80% should be “quality content” and only 20% should be commercials for upcoming events.
- Remembering Rev. John Wesley White, Canadian evangelist associated for many years with Billy Graham.
- Finding fulfillment in your work/vocation/calling (aka 7 Pitfalls to Avoid; but our listicles week was last week!)
- LDS (Mormon) seminary curriculum seems to be in a constant state of flux with some key pillars switching back and forth. Blink and you’ll miss it.
- Parenting Essay of the Summer: Driving back from the summer camp pickup.
- A short overview of religion’s use of technology through the years.
- To kiss or not to kiss? Breaking 5 myths about saving the first kiss for the wedding.
- Lots of buzz this week about the new Barna study on teens and Bible engagement.
- People to watch: Vijay Krishnan, is Lead Pastor of Upper Room Community Centre which meets in a theater north of Toronto which looks like a UFO just landed. He recently did a guest teaching at The Meeting House.
- Thinking Out Loud is never monetized, but if you like what we do here, for just $7 you can buy a download of Ruth’s album Then and There.
- When 102 colleges get cited in the Campus Pride list of schools non-supportive of LGBTQ youth, here’s how that looks at the local level.
- Diversions: Ten ‘Christian’ books that shouldn’t exist.
- Andy Bannister, Canadian director for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, is headed back to the UK, to direct the Solas Centre for Public Christianity in Dundee, Scotland.
- KidMin: Cold Case Christianity for Kids, apologetics book releasing soon…
- …And just in case you think kids can’t internalize apologetics, check out what this 7th grader wrote.
- It’s back-to-school time which means a return to one of my favorite Twitter feeds, Bible Students Say.
- Classic Writing: J.C. Ryle – Not All Ministers of the Gospel are Saved Men.
- Frequently featured on church websites and in magazines, Baptist Press cartoonist Thom Tapp died earlier this summer.
- Christian music artist J.J. Heller is funding her Christmas album through Kickstarter.
- Finally, four love languages that Five Love Languages‘ Gary Chapman forgot.
The Wednesday Link Letter was written by Paul Wilkinson and recorded before a live audience (Paul’s wife). Read more of his work at his Anglican baptism website, Sprinkling Out Loud, or at Devotional Plagiarism 201, where only the best get borrowed.
We did this back in March of 2014 with an article title Substance Consistently and I’ve been wanting to update that for some time.
- Ed Cyzewski – If the about page leads off with the author’s identity as a freelance writer, you know the writing is going to be above par. The blog is subtitled Contemplative and it will make you think.
- Stephen Altrogge – The Blazing Center is home to Steven, Mark Altrogge and Barnabas Piper. Although we aren’t from the same theological tribe, I really enjoy the variety of articles here; they tackle subjects I wouldn’t have otherwise considered.
- Scott McCown – We’ve gone back seven times for material at Scott’s blog, The Morning Drive, to use at our own C201 blog. He’s a Church of Christ pastor in Alabama. (The state, not the band.)
- Jackson Ferrell – Another C201 connection, this one is recent. At Chocolate Book a Bible passage is paired with a chocolate flavor of the day. It’s a win-win! Jackson is a graphic artist who writes with straight-shooting honesty and transparency.
- Micael Grenholm – This Swedish writer’s blog, Holy Spirit Activism, brings both a charismatic/pentecostal perspective and a European perspective to matters of faith.
- Lorne Anderson – A longtime friend, Lorne had just started up Random Thoughts when we did our 2014 list, but dived into blogging with abandon and posts every day. Some items are more Canadian in substance, and not everything is faith-centered, but this has become a must-read for me, and when I miss, I play catch-up.
- name withheld – The author of Wintery Knight has a fairly good apologetic for keeping his blog anonymous owing to some high level position he holds. (The blog’s subtitle indicates the theme is faith in the public square.) The intrigue just keeps it all the more interesting.
- Aaron Wilkinson – Yes, he’s my son, but he’s writing some interesting stuff at this, his second blog, Voice of One Whispering, aka Voxus Surrantis which reflect his varied interests and unique perspective.
- Clarke Dixon – Clarke is my source for Wednesday articles at C201. His Sunday’s Shrunk Sermon is a posting of his sermon notes from his Baptist church in Ontario, Canada. I always learn something new.
- Scot McKnight – When Jesus Creed got left off the original list, I added it a few hours later, but it’s one from that list I still check regularly and wish I had time to read it all, as there are often several daily items to chose from.
- Greg Boyd – Also one of two here from the original list, I am a rabid fan of Re-Knew. You don’t have to convert to open theology or pacifism to be a reader, either.
The Missing Link: Although it’s easy to find, I chose not to link to the 2014 article. My tastes have changed considerably. These are some people on the top of my computer bookmarks I wanted to share today.
The Many Missing Links: I know what you’re thinking, Where are the Women? I tried to address this before the list first appeared, but decided I didn’t want to simply include some token female writers, but want to take more time to develop a list because I do, in fact, read several women writers. We dealt with this challenge four years ago with this link-packed article.
By the way, although he’s busy doing eBooks and podcasts right now and didn’t meet our 30-day litmus test, Skye Jethani is one of my favorite thinkers and is possibly one of Evangelicalism’s best kept secrets. Here’s one from earlier in the summer which never made the link list: Are Christian Tattoos The New Circumcision? Sample: “Because the absence of a foreskin carried so much meaning in the ancient world, in a real way it was the prototype religious/consumer brand—an external mark of one’s identity; a visible symbol that provoked feelings of national and religious pride in the imaginations of God’s people.” Branding. I never thought of it that way.
From Reddit: “Had a lady from church ask me to remove an Ouija board from her home because she was afraid to touch it, but I have enough spiritual power to withstand it. So I did. It’s burning in my fire pit right now. Sometimes my job is awesome and hilarious.”
Welcome to Wednesday Link List #323. Lots of listicles this week.
- Breaking: Urgent prayer request for Nabeel Qureshi.
- If a certain book about courtship and dating has been weighed in the balance and found to contain great liabilities, this author wants to know why the publisher is still selling it.
- Dissecting the Pastor: Testing for the 9 traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. “The higher the number of traits, the more dangerous the church leader can be.”
- Music Memories: If you grew up Evangelical in the 1980s and ’90s, you’ll know these six CCM songs.
- A dissenting voice: Five Reasons Why You Might Want to Kill VBS in Your Church. Sample: “We discovered that more than half of our kids coming were children of the volunteers who were working, and the rest were drop offs from uninterested parents.” (And that’s not even one of the five reasons.)
- Not David Letterman’s Top Ten Countdown: More specifically, ten Bible verses prosperity preachers need to stop using…
- …Also at Faith Street: Some historical context: Ten things you should know about Arminianism…
- …On a similar topic, The Gospel Coalition looks at the idea of Reformed Arminians. (Passing the olive branch?)
- KidMin: “Like many other churches, on Sundays our kids are in the literal church basement and we don’t have the option of changing the physical location. However, we can change the symbolic location: when we commit to getting our kids out of the figurative church basement, we began to notice that the basement starts looking like a pretty appealing place to hang out.”
- 9 Reasons why your church’s pastor is not returning your phone call.
- When less is more: Two reasons to avoid having too many program options at your church.
- Podcast of the Week: Devoutly religious parents never got their daughter a birth certificate or social security number; so even though she was born in Texas, at 19 she couldn’t get a job, couldn’t get a passport, couldn’t enroll in college. She talks to Radio Lab. (Background video, Faith’s cry for help.)
- Quotable: A collection of 40 quotes from medical experts and/or medical textbooks which affirm that life begins at conception.
- Essay of the Week: A Christian Education specialist asks, What do we say to our children when the world doesn’t make any sense? (This is the first of four parts.)
- Testimony of the Week: What happens when we’re tuned in beyond our five senses…
- …Related (at the same blog): 23 Things which are real but not material.
- Video mystery of the Week: The new song by John Mark McMillian — which reminds me of Coldplay — is titled Wilderlove, but what does that mean?
- Non-music Video of the Week: A one-minute devotional from Our Daily Bread; great for church websites and Facebook pages.
- Tacoma’s Daniel Herron, age 16, has started The Robloxian Christians, an online church. But not all teens are on the same page…
- …A 12- and 13-year old are now in Juvenile Detention after doing over $8,000 damage to a Florida church.
- Christianity Today phased out Leadership Journal — the former home of this Wednesday Link List — but now appears to have replaced it with Pastors.com.
- Finally, because “Faith Healer” on a resumé doesn’t lead a lot of places, Todd Bentley is back at it, this time in Hamilton, Ontario.
From Twitter: “Some churchy words for @worldscrabble champs this week, Quinquennial scores at least 30 if you could actually do it!”
Tomorrow is August 25th, which means only 4 months to Christmas. It’s never too early to start planning your advent services:
Wednesday List Lynx – Do Not Pet
Today something a little different. Because the 30th Weekend Link List happened on Saturday, I’m going to reiterate all those links at the bottom of today’s, just ICYMI. (Statistically many of you do miss it, and this one contained some important items.)
- Without doubt, our lead item this week had to be an update on the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC…
- …and the 6-minute, virtual tour of the museum posted back in March, but now gaining more interest.
- Quotation of the Week: “But in our cultural obsession with leadership, things have gotten out of hand…Leadership doesn’t stand on its own as a sole pursuit. After all, if leading is all you do, you lose your credibility to lead. If your life and your work are all about getting other people to follow you, you won’t lead them anywhere they couldn’t have gone without you.”
- I Kissed I Kissed Dating Goodbye Goodbye: As he further reconsiders the book’s impact, Joshua Harris talks to Slate.
- The Ramblers at Internet Monk noted this July article which is worth the read: A look at the idea of making a decision as key to becoming a Christian. (In fairness, given his program was called “Hour of Decision,” I thought Billy Graham deserved a mention.)
- Essay of the Week: Six reasons why churches are not transforming minds.
- I’ve been following this writer for a long time; he regularly posts these Things I Think lists.
- A great parenting and youth ministry question to ask the kids: When do you feel closest to God?
- Remember that failed restoration attempt with a painting of Christ? The artist is now the subject of a comic opera. “It’s a hybrid, it has music from Bach, Gregorian chants, and then it has some numbers that sound like Lady Gaga or Frank Sinatra,” says one of the writers.
- “So how do we find the right balance between how much we give, and how much we keep to use for our family’s needs, as well as for God-honoring recreation and enjoyment?” Randy Alcorn asks: Is it right to spend money on entertainment?
- Two perspectives on the movie remake of Ben Hur which both appeared at the same blog.
- Should we require people to wait before being baptized? It’s not Biblical says a prominent Baptist writer. The case for spontaneity. (Future headline at The Bee: Three-month-old infant required to take doctrinal class before baptism.)(Yes, I know; not that type of baptism…)
- Trending (or more accurately not trending) at Liberty University: “In the past six months I have talked with three parents who said that their kids chose another school partially based on Falwell Jr.’s support of Trump.”
- “You call me out upon the waters…” Many readers here would know the next lines and tune to Oceans, a very popular worship song. Now, watch the video filmed by Hillsong on the very Sea of Galilee where Peter took those steps.
- In Nairobi, Kenya, six churches and four mosques will be painted bright yellow to symbolize the commonality of love among religions.
- Even as people are still lining up to see Ben Hur, another faith-themed film releases on Friday.
- From our friends across the pond, 20 years ago you wouldn’t have dared to do these 4 things in the middle of a church service…
- …But you still can’t sit in comfort: “Padded seats were ‘overly casual’ and ‘incompatible with a house of God’, [the dioceses] said. The church wanted to replace its wood-worm infested seating so it could open the church to children and play groups. It was agreed the pews could be replaced with stackable chairs but they must not be upholstered.” (Quickly! Someone inform the modern American megachurch.)
- The annual Global Reunion camp helps Third Culture Kids deal with the difficulties of trying to assimilate into different versions of youth culture.
- Christians and Government: A book review about how Americans need an alien perspective. Maybe the Coneheads can help.
- Going Deeper: A pastor friend shared a story with me a few years ago about an alien and an apple seed. The takeaway was that instead of reading prophecy forward we should read prophecy backwards and know that God had it in view all along. That’s the simple version. The more academic set up is found in this book review.
- Growing up female, and wishing you were a boy, but in a long time ago world where the things that are normative today are unimaginable.
- Older readers here might remember The Daniel Band. These guys were good friends of Chicago’s Resurrection Band, and I was privileged to know them as well. Their lead singer, Dan McCabe, is actually the father to Josh McCabe, now with the band Caves.
- Testimony: A fashion magazine cover model describes the grueling lifestyle in that world and the questions and doubts she faced.
- Video of the Week: Up to 10-part vocal cover of For King & Country’s song Shoulders.
- Canada Corner: The law society in New Brunswick won’t contest law degrees from Trinity Western University.
- Finally… we don’t have a finally this week?
As promised, our first ever reiteration of the weekend list experiment, not including images and witty introduction.
Saw this one on the weekend; it can be ordered from Grimm.ca
Let’s be realistic here. After last week’s 38-point link list, you weren’t expecting another huge one, were you? You do know I don’t get paid for this, right? At right, our Book Cover of the Week, published this year by Multnomah, authored by two of the Happy Rant Podcast guys.
- With the latest release of 52 word changes, the organization behind the ESV is making this edition permanent, which means that like the KJV there will be no further updates…
- …Unless you count the King James Version 2016. (Both stories were side-by-side at The Bible Hunter.)
- The headline that broke me this week: What To Do When You’re Not Going To Get To Watch Your Kids Grow Up.
- Oh, my! This would be funny if it wasn’t… oh never mind; it’s just plain funny. Cracked Magazine presents the 11 most ridiculous religious paintings, along with detailed analysis.
- Remember the whole Gay Zombies thing last month? One of the leaders is now being sued under Canada’s hate speech laws…
- …And a law banning “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ youth is being challenged by five Illinois pastors.
- CT Celebrates CR: Celebrate Recovery turns 25 years old.
- “It’s often said that newspapers in small towns don’t report the news, they confirm the news.” One of four differences between urban ministry and rural ministry, in North America at least.
- Sadly, it was only after his death this week that I learned of Christian hip hop artist D.J. Official who died from lung transplant complications.
- Apologetics Avenue: The site Answering Skeptics looks at alleged Bible contradictions, and questions like, ‘Who decided that Paul was an Apostle?‘
- No banter this week; Phil Vischer, Skye Jethani and Christian Taylor get right into things with Glenn Paauw, author of Saving the Bible From Ourselves. Quoting Philip Yancey, “We’ve created an entire culture of Scripture McNuggets and we’re pretending they’re nutritious.” Glenn asks us to reconsider the way we engage with scripture. (54 min. podcast)
- Charity of the Week: Tiny Hands International, intercepting young girls before they are trafficked.
- Field Trip: A Christian magazine editor takes a two week course at a secular university. “I discovered most people didn’t know the world of faith-based publications even existed. Most people had never met a minister’s wife, or if they had, she wasn’t “like me.” Loyal to my tribe, I assured them the minister’s wives they knew probably weren’t as strange or other-worldly as they thought.”
- Local News: In Trenton, NJ, churches are being used as drop-off points for juveniles violating the city curfew.
- Just because it’s a new church, doesn’t mean it’s less traditional. ” Many of the new church plants here are dominated by men who are starting churches with ultra conservative theology which bar women from key leadership roles. The churches look contemporary, relevant, and attractive, yet their patriarchal theology disallows women from senior leadership…” Maybe women should plant some churches.
- Preaching Place: On the subject of how long sermons should be, this author brings four points, but doesn’t directly address the question. (Even TGC likes click-bait.)
- Leadership Lessons: Good leaders never say, “I never saw that coming.” Here’s three reasons why…
- …Also at Joshua Reich’s blog, some excellent summaries of last week’s Global Leadership Summit at Willow. Go to August, 2016 and select about a dozen dated August 11 and August 12.
- The state of California has backed off a proposal which would have removed an exemption for faith-based colleges.
- Parenting Warning of the Week: Your children’s faith is going to be challenged as never before.
- Things that start with ‘A’: The Amish and asthma, the medical reason why asthma rates are low for Amish children.
- Blogger’s Boulevard: 5 Reasons to keep writing even if nobody’s reading. (From the archives!)
- Parenting Place: On October 4th, classic children’s book, The Beginner Bible is going 3D with 90 such illustrations, but you have to dig deep in this publisher page to see that detail.
- Steven Furtick’s visual illustration of the cost of offense: You’ll get the idea in this 3-minute sermon highlights reel.
- A pastor’s faith illustration goes awry when a young girl dies, but then, the pastor blames her lack of faith.
- Video of the Week (sort of, it’s audio-only): Have you heard of Catherine Mullins or Ramp Worship? We picked this song as a sample, He Is Yahweh.
- Literacy: Many children on welfare live in a book desert.
- Heart-warming Story of the Week: And a little child — or three in this case — shall lead them; provided the parents have taught them well.
- Worship Workshop: 4 Reminders for musicians. (Sometimes it’s the notes you don’t play.)
- Finally, The Bee nails it again.
How many of you have this as your life verse? See the Phil Vischer link above; this shows up starting around the 17:00 mark (or thereabouts)
I hereby declare this link list officially opened! Not only opened but jam-packed this week! (I needed to write something here because this is the opening sentence which appears in the Twitter feed.)
I keep thinking we’re pushing the envelope too far with the way some churches are named. The one pictured above is real, with several locations. I never did get the story of where the name for GUTS Church came from.
I’d like to pretend this isn’t a thing, but I know better. The idea that students are studying and being tested on defending “the Authorized Version” means that valuable learning time isn’t being spent on better things…
The List Lynx wanted to remind everyone that Thinking Out Loud is not an Amazon referrer and tries to avoid links to book mentions which are. Support your local brick and mortar bookstore, even if it means combing your hair, getting in your car and driving a few miles.
- Is the decline in Christianity in the UK halted? “Last year 65 per cent of under 25s identified themselves as not having a religion. Now it is 62 per cent.” Overall, the number calling themselves Christians is up slightly.
- Latest from Pew Forum: Yes, it’s an election year, but should it be the case that 64% of Americans hear political and social issue commentary in their church services? Which brings us to…
- …Quotation of the Week (1): “I have watched many Evangelicals endorse Donald Trump. But [Wayne] Grudem did not give an endorsement. No, he gave a moral imperative.” Or maybe the quote should be, “Evangelical leaders are not just supporting nationalism, but are elevating nationalism to a Christian virtue.” Take your pick.
- Quotation of the Week (2): “With the benefit of hindsight, with 2,000 years of church history, and with a billion or so books on the subject it’s tempting now to fly over the ministry of Jesus at 30,000 feet and create some tidy, well-organized theological system; to say “Jesus clearly was referring to this here”, or “This is how we exegete this phrase in light of this commentary”. Your theology may be over-rated.
- Dr. Henry Cloud makes the first of two consecutive appearances at Willow Creek and deals with control issues and stress. (39 minutes)
- It’s not overt racism, but the vibe associated with most church planting efforts reflects a mission to target white people.
- The Zika virus and abortion: Catholic freelancer Simcha Fisher with a pro-life response.
- Work and Family Priorities: Another well-known blogger, who has a weekly link list like this one, absolutely hated this CT article.
- Someone on Twitter said this article “has the ugliest undertones.” How can an anti-racist article still sound racist? I think the headline is the problem.
- ICYMI: The original version, from last week, when the story broke about World Vision’s Gaza director diverting money to Hamas. (More recent content abounds online.)
- Audio Arsenal: Michael Bird calls the four messages linked in this post, “probably the best presentations I’ve ever heard on the subject of a pastoral response to same-sex attraction.”
- Video of the Week (non-music): A YouTube channel devoted to Jehovah’s Witness issues, posted this week about the organization’s practice of shunning former members.
- Video of the Week (music): I didn’t see this at first as a congregational song, but it’s trending on Praise Charts. Check out Chain Breaker by Zach Williams. (Warning: Contains a believe/receive rhyme or two.)
- Devotionals from the Christian Radio playlist: Check out the articles at Taking It Deeper. (Toggle the pull-down menu to see the huge list of artists whose songs are covered.)
- Leadership Lessons: Six insider Church issues that aren’t worth worrying about.
- Pastor/blogger/speaker must-read: Do you need copyright permission to quote from another source?
- Can I love but not like? The tougher side to reaching out to our neighbors.
- Worship Workshop: At the bottom of a very short article, there are links to 58 other articles on worship (including one of our own).
- Worship Words: Sound Check by Kurtis Parks is for those who lead us from the stage, releasing September 1st from David C. Cook.
- No pictures so far, but “intricate mosaics depicting biblical scenes” including Noah’s Ark were uncovered in an ancient Jewish village near the Sea of Galilee. (Perfect timing for Ken Ham.) …
- …But there are pictures in this article about the new Mormon temple in Philly.
- Sadness: An entire family of five killed on their way to missionary training.
- Most curiosity-inducing headline this week: Why I Pray With My Daughter to Jesus, Even Though I’m Not Sure He’s Real.
- Canada’s Brethren in Christ (BIC) is a pacifist denomination, which brings us to this article, 5 Reasons Why We Can’t Fight Spiritual Wars and Earthly Wars at the Same Time.
- Sermon of the Week: This week Andy Stanley had a great apologetic for small group ministry, but the award goes to Nadia Bolz-Weber on the Good Samaritan parable. (And it’s only 11 minutes; God bless those Lutherans!)
- Oh, my! This would have been so funny if it wasn’t so true. Ten things to remember when dealing with visitors to your church.
- Talk Talk: Popular Christian radio talk show host Janet Mefford adds a second show on another network.
- Bonus Content: Click the link below the video in this one to read a sample chapter of Uninvited, the newest from Lysa Terkeurst.
- It may not be the next bracelet fad, but it’s a question worth asking: WJSHTOT?
- The world we live in: Where words like he and she have lost their meaning.
- As Tom Petty would say, the waiting is the hardest part. This article on waiting on God also leads into a book announcement for a title I’m happy to recommend. Sample: “The lump of clay doesn’t write a PhD. thesis on The Art of Goblet-Making. ”
- Weekly Bible Quiz: How many times did Peter deny Jesus? This writer would say six, with some other interesting factors leading up to those moments. (I really liked this; we ran part of it at C201 this week.)
- A link just for my UK readers: There’s now a second volume of Breakfast of Champions devotions by Andy Elmes. (True, it’s been out more than a few weeks, but the internet takes a long time to get here.)
- Jesus Keeps Takin’ Me Higher and Higher: Jesus music veteran Gary S. Paxton passed away last month and gets remembered by The New York Times.
- Follow up to last week: More on the I Kissed Dating Goodbye reexamination.
- From Bibleman to The Brick Bible: The Christian Comic Art Society exhibits at ComicCon. (Article subtitle: “Turns out the Bible is chock full of comic book ideas.”)
- Quotations found in unlikely places; in this case humorist Dave Barry in Rio: “I was with my daughter, making my way through the Hippie Fair, passing stall after stall selling souvenir replicas of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio — rows and rows of tiny Jesuses holding their arms out sideways, as if to say “I died for THIS?”
- We could keep going, but I’m already getting ready for next year’s big alien invasion — led by Jesus, of course — that will defeat Russian President Putin, and, “Jesus and the aliens would re-engineer human DNA to make humans more peaceful.” With a mix of Nostradamus and the Book of Revelation, there’s something here for everyone!
This t-shirt is just wrong on so many levels: Misplaced theology, boring graphic design, silly politics…
Last night I was still trying to decide whether the image below should be the centerpiece of its own blog post. Not enough is written on what we call “saying grace,” but the contraption below allows a family to basically roll the dice to decide which prayer to say. I’m not sure this is a type of prayer Jesus had in mind, so you might see this picture again sometime soon: