Thinking Out Loud

August 24, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Tomorrow is August 25th, which means only 4 months to Christmas. It’s never too early to start planning your advent services:

Advent Service Planning

Wednesday List Lynx

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.)

Adam and Eve

As promised, our first ever reiteration of the weekend list experiment, not including images and witty introduction.


August 17, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Saw this one on the weekend; it can be ordered from

Saw this one on the weekend; it can be ordered from

Bridezilla of ChristLet’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.


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)

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)

August 10, 2016

Wednesday Link List

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.)

GUTS Church

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.

Valiant for Truth

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…

Lynx with flowerThe 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.

This t-shirt is just wrong on so many levels: Misplaced theology, boring graphic design, silly politics…

Trump Campaign T-Shirt

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:

Mealtime Prayer Cube

August 3, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Foxtrot Nov 11 2013 Predestination Free Will

This cartoon — which I discovered we’ve used before (in color) — highlights the need to be able to function on a number of levels. To some common folk, there are philosophical issues raised in the first panel which are possibly above their pay grade. But the highbrow intellectual or academic might totally miss the sports reference.

Thanks to those of you who send me link ideas. Keep ’em coming! 

Time Needed to Appreciate This Week’s List: 14.6 minutes

References to Chick Publications and/or The Gospel Coalition do not imply endorsement

  • Instagram of the Week: You won’t believe the realistic set they built for this interview Sheila Walsh did with David Jeremiah. Looks just like New York City, doesn’t it? There’s no limit to what can be done with a good art department and special effects, huh?

Sheila Walsh and David Jeremiah

July 27, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Coffee With Jesus - True Peace

Coffee With Jesus bookOur graphics this week come from Coffee With Jesus, which is also available as a book from InterVarsity Press (IVP). (Two books now, actually.) Blogger Clark Bunch introduced me to the David Wilkie comic many years ago and he one of them weekly as part of his Happy Monday feature. You can get your own dose daily on the Radio Free Babylon Twitter feed. Also check out a 2014 interview Paul Pastor did with the creator.

This was one of those Weekend Link List weekends. Only 12 items, but it was a rather good list. Check it out. Yes, you. The one staring at the screen.

Coffee With Jesus - Talents

Since you were all good boys and girls today and clicked all your links, we’ll give you one more.

Coffee With Jesus - Closed to Dialog

July 20, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Evangelism - Moorland College promo image

The theme of the above picture is Evangelism, and was featured on Twitter in promotion of a September conference at Moorlands College in the UK.  The artist is Annaliese Stoney

I enjoyed putting this week’s list together and hope you enjoy it also. Please take some time to look over this week’s stories and opinion pieces.


July 13, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Ken Ham watches from the sidelines as kids take a selfie with Bill Nye the Science Guy at the Ark Encounter.

Ken Ham watches from the sidelines as kids take a selfie with Bill Nye the Science Guy at the Ark Encounter. Nye said,“On a hopeful note, the parking lots were largely empty, and the ark building is unfinished. We can hope it will close soon.” More on his visit at Religion News Service.

Welcome to link list #316. As in John 3:16.

They do things like this where we live.

They do things like this where we live.

July 6, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Taste and See t-shirt

Welcome to link list #315. I don’t know why I’ve been more conscious of the numbers lately. Perhaps it’s a case of, “Have I really been doing this that long?”

We also had a weekend link list on Saturday. Probably our best. If you missed it, click this link. I think the news-writing and blog-creating machinery in the U.S. wasn’t fully cranked up after the July 4th break, so the weekend list is really worth reading.

  • We’ve seen a variety of depictions of the life of Jesus in film, but this time around it’s coming to virtual reality. “The 90-minute film will be available on all major mobile and premium VR platforms including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive, according to the companies. Pricing has not yet been set.” More info at Variety.
  • Not only were New Testament Christians never called to “execute” gays, but the actually were never told to kill anyone.
  • Here I Am To Lead Worship: So what happens when you really, really like the song but the ministry stream it flows from is considered a bit iffy by people in your congregation? This response appeared in May, but is worth studying. Priority one should be to minimize distractions.
  • After seeing the admission price, our family won’t be going to Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark Experience anytime soon. A writer looks at some issues appearing in a Yahoo News story about the opening.
  • Leadership Lessons: The childhood notion that bigger is better can creep into our thinking when it comes to our ministry life.
  • Life Lessons: It’s important to deal with conflict as quickly as possible.
  • Have problems maintaining a Bible reading and study routine? Maybe you should blame neural plasticity.
  • Several months ago we wrote about the bizarre world of domestic discipline, which occurs in some Christian marriages.  It turns up again as a reader reaches out for advice.
  • Provocative Header of the Week: A UK Christian website asks, Can You Wear a Bikini to Church? It’s an illustrated article, too. (Have you got you yet?) And a metaphor breaks out.
  • Carnival Cruises looks to group sales — including church and religious groups — for its future growth. (I got an idea: A 1 Corinthians 13 themed cruise called The Love Boat.)
  • A seasonal ministry statement worth repeating: “Camp is holy ground. Camp is the church outside of the building. Camp is kids from different congregations and cities coming together to worship and serve, to learn and love. It should not be a peripheral ministry, but one central to who and what the church claims to be. Camp is the body of Christ.” …
  • …However; while the kids are at camp or at VBS, do you want them to learn a new sport, or do arts-and-crafts, or would you rather they learned about community organization and civil rights
  • If there’s a millennial in your house, they might be suffering from Obsessive Comparison Disease.
  • As part of proposed anti-terrorism measures, Russia wants to ban religious gatherings in homes.
  • I think there’s some typos in a key paragraph, but I did resonate with this article about the “cult of positivity” and you will, too if you know people who are positive all the time.
  • Five paragraphs is all that was needed: A writer asks, “Does my pastor’s education matter?
  • With British Prime Minister David Cameron stepping down in the wake of the Brexit fiasco, there’s one thing he wants to be remembered for (and readers here will likely not agree that it was a great accomplishment.)
  • We thought it might be good to have a link item about God. (Just for something radical.) “…[W]e don’t want to make the mistake of choosing God’s immanence over His transcendence. Both are a part of His revealed nature.” When God is too close or too far
  • Oh, my!
  • Gospel music superstar Shirley Caesar was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Jumping on the Trend Wagon: Editors of Canada’s national Evangelical magazine, Faith Today, decided to go with a coloring-book themed cover this month.
  • Finally, Christian group infiltrated Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, but we’re not sure about the rather deceptive method they employed.

I Found Jesus t-shirt

June 29, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Attendance and Offering Register

Welcome to #314. If I’d named these consistently in the early years, I think we’d be well over 450 by now. I’m not sure, but I think the above image comes from an anon Twitter account; check out Lloyd Legalist

…Lots of Bible and parenting links this week…

Very tiny Wednesday List Lynx

Very tiny Wednesday List Lynx, but a very big list.

…As they say on Christian radio, if each one reading this clicks only six links, we can end this pledge drive a day early.

  • Church and Technology: Some churches have an online presence, but they’re not really present online.
  • Interview of the Week: A look at the relationship between form and content in our modern Bibles. Sample: “The danger of a cross reference system is that it becomes a kind of an out-of-context, distraction system that tells us this is serious study of the Bible when actually it can easily become a superficial kind of study of the Bible, unless I stop to do the due diligence making sure every reference that I am looking up is read in its own context, which, of course, is a time commitment.” IVP author Glenn Paauw on Bible clutter.
  • Essay of the Week: Perhaps related to the above, four modern ‘versions’ of the Bible that the author feels are destroying the Bible reading experience.
  • And sticking to our theme, a pastor explains why he’s returning to using a physical copy of the Bible.
  • A British education inspection agency appears to be backing away from a plan to expand its coverage to inspecting Sunday Schools, possibly because of the cost involve in training inspectors in the nuances of each religion
  • …but required attendance at chapel services or worship assemblies is still under the microscope.
  • Provocative Title of the Week: Christians Can No Longer Be Pharmacists. (But it might be prophetic.) 
  • Is America still the Christian nation it once was? Possibly the answer is yes, but non-Christians are more visible; more vocal.
  • Potential liabilities in homeschooling: The kids often have a limited anatomical knowledge or awareness of the facts of human reproduction.
  • With a local connection to the Windy City suburb of Hinsdale, Chicago Magazine unravels the story of — and lawsuit surrounding — Bill Gothard.
  • The church in Latin America provides a backdrop for seeing the nuanced differences between a heresy and a cult.
  • Apologetics apologetic: 5 reasons to learn how to defend your faith
  • …Related:
    6 reasons to reject miracle claims; and
    18 historical reasons to infer the miracle of the resurrection.
  • It’s a sad irony that regions of the U.S. which pride themselves on tolerance are actually the most intolerant of Christianity
  • Quotation of the Week: “The child… is a ‘viper in a diaper.'” More fully, “The image of the child as viper is intended to invoke the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity in relation to children. It is meant to transform the way we think about children’s so-called ‘innocence’ or ‘purity’ and consequently transform the way we think about raising and disciplining children.” A review of the teachings of Voddie Baucham.
  • The Trinity is useless. Yes. The article really says that. Scot McKnight looks at both viewpoints in a 2014 Zondervan book on the trinity. “The engrained idea is that the Eastern church fathers (Cappadocians) had a ‘good’ perspective on the Trinity because they began with a plurality of persons (Father, Son, Spirit) and only then attempted to think the unity of God.  But the Western church fathers (see Augustine, the supposed father of all modern theological ills) began with the unity of God’s being and then only thought about the plurality of persons at the end.” And then it gets more interesting.
  • Parenting Place (1): With our penchant for status updates involving our children, there’s a sense in which today every kid is a preacher’s kid.
  • Parenting Place (2): When a teen messes up “we immediately assume that the his parents must have failed him in some way. His parents must not have brought enough discipline into his life. His parents must not have prayed for him enough, read him the Bible enough, sent him to VBS enough. If his parents had done the right thing, the child wouldn’t be plunging headlong into sin.”
  • Parenting Place (3): In light of Orland, some little league coaches could use some editing when it comes to encouraging the girls to get a hit.
  • Know the warning signs: 12 indicators your church may be in trouble.
  • Perhaps it’s the writer in me, but I never tire of stories about Garrison Keillor, who claims the radio thing was a “42-year detour” in his journey. He says that this week he’s passing the torch
  • …Here’s an article by Keillor which I also bookmarked for this week. Living efficiently because life is short.
  • Roger Olson suspends writing at Patheos: “I have said all I have to say and am simply repeating myself or saying things that do not need to be said.”
  • Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Rodrigue, a 33-year military veteran was forcibly removed from a retirement ceremony because the commanding officer of the squadron,”did not want Mr. Rodriguez to participate as a speaker because, historically, Mr. Rodriguez’s flag-folding speeches make reference to ‘God.’” (Well, we can’t have that sort of thing, can we?)
  • Things I Didn’t Know: A former Mormon addresses LDS teaching that Christ’s atonement for sins occurred not on the cross, but in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • Hashtag of the Week: #IfTrumpWereEvangelical.
  • Not a positive book review: Warren Throckmorton looks at the latest from Eric Metaxas.
  • Better Book Review: RNS interview with David Dark on Life’s Too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious.
  • Where the Treasure is Buried: A free download of 135 sample pages of the new NIV Lifehacks Bible
  • …Even better, 229 sample pages (including all of Genesis and Matthew) of the new NIV Cultural Backgrounds Bible.
  • Canada Corner: Christian broadcasting giant Crossroads Christian Communications has announced Context TV’s Lorna Dueck will replace John Hull as CEO. Not stated is whether she will keep her Context office in the CBC headquarters in Toronto. See also this announcement. Lorna is a former host of Crossroads’ 100 Huntley Street program from 1994 to 2002.
  • Related: A blogger gushes about all of Tim Challies’ accomplishments, but then criticizes TC’s rejection of dispensationalism. But buried in the introduction was this invective: “I have rarely met a Canadian pastor who has the necessary hermeneutical, exegetical and theological training to adequately sort through matters of theological systems.” Yikes! He just trashed them all!
  • Satisfaction guaranteed or money refunded: The 90 day tithing test of God’s faithfulness is up at Perry Noble’s Church. “About 440 Christians joined NewSpring’s most recent challenge. Of the more than 7,000 participants over the past four years, fewer than 20—that’s a fraction of 1 percent—have asked for their money back.”
  • Though two of the six men charged still face their day in court, four men were found not guilty on criminal charges after disrupting a Joel Osteen church service.
  • Christian music duo Leeland is now part of the Bethel Worship family, and is releasing its first album in five years
  • …and Housefires, the band that brought us the song “Good Good Father” is releasing their third album on August 12th.
  • So has anyone out there in link land watched Greenleaf?
  • Finally, we really hate it when you’re enjoying the concert, when unexpectedly, someone comes out to do a talk.


Everyone I Don't Like is Hitler


June 22, 2016

Wednesday Link List

Trump w Falwell Jr

Well, today’s magic word is “crop” which means what should have happened to this photo before it got circulated. But no, Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell, Jr. went ahead carelessly with this photo of himself next to Donald Trump who is standing nearby a Playboy magazine cover. (I’ve highlighted it in case you miss it.) Warren Throckmorton said, “One might think this was an Onion story…” No, sadly it was true. Skye Jethani noted, “Republicans and evangelical leaders don’t realize they’re losing an entire generation permanently by backing Trump;” adding, “We’re watching the realignment of political loyalties before our eyes. It’s an opportunity for Christians to rethink faith/politics.”

How about we clear our heads with some youth ministry nostalgia:

Paul Mickelson Album Cover

Apparently the organ music has a shrinking effect on the teens, not unlike Raquel Welch et al in the 1966 movie The Fantastic Voyage. Yes, this album is on the Word label, the same people who now bring you For King & Country, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Point of Grace and Natalie Grant.

Welcome to Wednesday Link List #313. Fasten your seat belts.

Dated book covers

Elaine Moore’s book covers look rather dated don’t you think? Do a Google search and you’ll also find other gems by her published by Troll such as, Beware The Haunted Toilet, Substitute Teacher from Mars, and There’s a Mastodon in My Living Room. But there’s something eerily prophetic about the two we’ve chosen to show here, right? Maybe not. Maybe this equally dates the books. Increasingly, in light of today’s gender issues and bathroom wars, what’s pictured is probably becoming routine.

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