Our 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.
- People arriving at last week’s Republican convention didn’t get to see a billboard advertising the movie God’s Not Dead 2. The advertisement was pulled as being “too political and way too incendiary” according to U.S. Weekly. But the Hollywood Reporter noted that there was an atheist Billboard and 30 smaller atheist signs.
- The crisis at North Point: Do their summer, secular song ‘openers’ simply go too far, as in too far astray.
- Do I have to be “a morning person” to be a dedicated follower of Jesus? Check out two articles: Morning Prayer Part One, and Morning Prayer Part Two. (Some of you will like this approach!)
- As Roman Catholics flock to Poland for World Youth Day, a response to yesterday’s killing of a Catholic priest in France…
- …And don’t call that senseless violence. The killing of that priest “was not a senseless act. Abominable, yes. Disgusting, surely. But senseless? No. It was premeditated. It was intentional. It was part of a larger pattern.”
- Gene splicing, brain implants and synthetic blood; oh, my! Pew Research says people aren’t exactly enthusiastic about these new technologies; concern is a better word.
- “The wife does not have authority over her own body.” Starting with those words from 1 Corinthians 7, a Muslim viewpoint on the New Testament view of marriage which might appear to endorse marital rape.
- Leadership Lessons: Missed this one a few weeks ago, but well worth the visit: Who Pastors the Pastor?
- …And speaking of things we missed, here’s an excellent article on the topic of sibling sexual abuse. “Juveniles account for more than one-third of those known to police to have committed sexual offenses against minors.” Are parents willing to take the measures recommended in this article; starting with reporting the crime to the police?
- Ministry Management: 7 Levels of decision-making in your church; the trade-off between total consensus and time spent…
- …Also, as uncool as it is to have a 2015 link here, this piece at the same site, How Many People Should Your Church Have on Staff? got our attention.
- It’s an interesting juxtaposition when it’s your money that says ‘in God we trust’ considering so many are trusting in the money itself which is communicating the message. (That may not be exactly where Mark Wilson was heading with this, but that was my own takeaway!)
- Quotation of the Week:
“The world does not need clever stories about the pastor’s life and family, his political opinions or his latest jokes.
You can get comedy at a nightclub.
You can “connect” with television talk show hosts.
You can follow politics on your favorite news channel.
The world has plenty of that to offer.
The church exists for a different reason.”
- Over at The Gospel Coalition, Jared Wilson thinks attractional churches are guilty of ‘upside down’ worship.’
- Most provocative headline seen this week: Why I Write My Sermons in a Bar.
- Devotional Study of the Week: Dealing with the “You are Gods” statement Jesus makes, or quotes, or refers to with irony.
- Attrition at the LDS Church: If you’re young, if you’re single, if you’re male; chances are greater that you’ll leave the Mormon church.
- Pastors: Not getting enough
fiber book reviews? Check out The Christian Reviewer, who has a strong emphasis on theological and academic titles and Bibles.
- Video of the Week: “Thy Will” is the first single by Seven-time GRAMMY award winner Hillary Scott (of Lady Antebellum) and the Scott Family, from their upcoming new album Love Remains, releasing Friday. (Click here for bio.)
- Hillary Clinton needs to talk
turkey faith, as the nation tries to pinpoint her spirituality.
- Homeschool Hangout: If you are a home educator you know what a morning basket is, right? Here are some things to add to it. (If you’re not a homeschool family, here’s a great list of resources for kids.)
- Citing declining enrollment as a reason, a Canadian Christian university President steps down.
- Reading between the lines on Facebook status updates.
- I’m considering an extended post on something that happened recently on Episode 94 of the Happy Rant Podcast, but you can get there first by listening to some Candid Calvinist Confessions at around the 30:00 to 40:00 minute mark in response to the movie Calvinist (Kickstarter Project) we linked to (indirectly) last week.
Since you were all good boys and girls today and clicked all your links, we’ll give you one more.
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.
- Planet of the APEs (Apostles, Pastors, Evangelists): A close look at the confusion that exists over the role of Apostle and the role of Evangelist. Allow yourself at least ten minutes to pour over this but don’t miss it.
- Here I Am to Worship: A team from the United Methodist Church dissects the CCLI list of top 100 worship songs.
- Accidentally left this one off last week. With each new revelation, the saga of K.P. Yohannan and Gospel for Asia gets curiouser and curiouser. In India, he is now considered a saint.
- Wish I’d written this: Julie Anne at Spiritual Sounding Board examines some of the hype in the doubly-funded Kickstarter project for the movie Calvinist. Hype like, “a film about a powerful and interesting movement God has orchestrated over last generation that finds its roots in a rich and fascinating history.” The last generation? I thought the guy was born in 1509.
- Pertinent: David Rupert asks, “Will the flags ever fly at full staff again?” …
- … J. Warner Wallace offers six ways that we as Christian can respond to the present police crisis.
- So what is exactly that people mean when they say, “Is this an accurate Bible translation?“
- Are you a Cultural Christian, Congregational Christian or a Convictional Christian? Ed Stetzer on Churches in America (part 3 of 3).
- In its 24th year, the Summer of Hope Outreach is unique as it’s an outreach to Native American youth by Native young people.
- Essay of the Week: “We [Evangelicals] desperately need silence. We need to learn what it means to abide. We need to learn what it feels like to finally be still before God for a long time.”
- Church Planting: It begins with prayer, but often a prayer of a particular urgency.
- If history teaches us anything, it’s that leaders like Vladimir Putin cannot stop the gospel.
- Most Provocative Intro: “‘Les has been gone since last night. Please pray.’
“I was mystified. Who is Les? Her husband? Her son? Her daughter? A co-worker? Her dog?
“And what does “gone” mean? Run away? Missing? Kidnapped? Away on vacation? Dead?”
Maybe we need to prayer-request more specifically.
- Why your church needs to know about Pokémon GO. The official word on this subject from the Church of England.
- It doesn’t form an acronym like TULIP, but Greg Boyd’s got a 5-point outline on open theism.
- “Grief and pain are inescapable, and we help no one if we try to wish or drink or argue it away.” But the writer of that sentence also has in the top right hand corner of their blog, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33″
- Leadership Lessons: 14-minute interview with Eastside (Anaheim) pastor Gene Appel.
- Parenting Place: Five beliefs that some Christian parents hold on to that are inadequate for facing a rapidly changing world…
- …Also, if you’re too pooped to parent, here are 12 questions to ask the kids about their day.
- No authentic Christianity in mainstream media? Each week, A Prairie Home Companion brought faith to the center of the conversation.
- Joshua Harris looks at Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of Revelation in a 5-minute video post, which leads to a 6-minute part two.
- Another Dallas, this one in North Carolina, mourns the loss of a popular lay-pastor struck by lightening.
- Canon Controversies: Why our Bibles don’t contain the Gnostic gospels.
- Who’s tolerant? Who’s intolerant? Check out this extended graphic from Adam Ford.
- I love book lists. Here’s Rick Apperson’s all-time top five. (There’s one here I haven’t done yet, and one I never finished. Good reminder.)
- Catholic Corner: When she decided to enter Sisters of Life, a sort of pre-convent community, she had to come debt-free, and owed $12,000 in student loans.
- Fall Small Groups and Adult Electives: The people at IVP (InterVarsity Press) are the undisputed leaders in study resources with their LifeGuide booklet series. Now they have an interactive web thingy (that’s the technical term) that makes it even easier to choose a topic for your next group series. (For the uninitiated, here’s an introduction.)
- Billboard Magazine examines the incompatibility of being a Contemporary Christian Music artist and coming out as LGBT. It’s still basically a career-ending move.
- If you like doing things at the last minute, check out next week’s Skylight Festival in Southwest Ontario, Canada. No major headliners, but a Greenbelt/Wild Goose kinda vibe and an appearance by Martyn Joseph.
- A faith-based horror movie? That’s how Variety Magazine is spinning The Conjuring 2, noting “We don’t think of them [evangelical moviegoers] as fans of over-the-top fright films.” …
- …Meanwhile, a book based on the Left Behind young adult series, Vanished | Left Behind: Next Generation comes to theaters for a one-night only showing on September 28th, a Wednesday.
- Finally, we know the book cover image below looks like a bit like a parody of something, or perhaps just a self-published title, but this for real and it’s published not by Zondervan but by the academic division of Zondervan because, “…animal stewardship is a necessary aspect of a holistic ethic of Christian peace and justice.” Click the image below or here if you don’t believe us!
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.
- Bad press: A newspaper columnist isn’t exactly impressed with the Prestonwood Baptist Church Choir tour of the UK: “What message does it send when a shopping centre welcomes this kind of musical Trojan horse into a Scottish city, and where do we draw the line? A neo-Nazi puppet show at the Gyle Shopping Centre? Magic tricks by Islamic State at Buchanan Galleries?” She compares the Plano, Texas group to ISIS and the Nazis.
- Michael Newnham digs deeper into the saga of Saeed Abedini.
- Is the Calvary Chapel movement on the verge of a split into east and west divisions? (The word division being aptly chosen here.)
- The saddest blog post: Veteran Christian blogger Andrew Jones, aka Tall Skinny Kiwi, while in hospital in Ghana with malaria and typhoid, learns of the passing of his wife in Ethiopia from the same diseases which they probably contracted together. Debbie and Andrew were married 29 years.
- Perry Noble has been removed from NewSpring, the church he founded…
- …Pastors, “Take the threat seriously. It could happen to you.” …
- …Noble was one in a group of pastors who endorsed Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage. Wenatchee the Hatchet suggests reasons why this is not a particularly stellar list.
- …With 17 campuses, what’s next for South Carolina’s largest church?
- Leadership Lessons (1): When things are really happening at your church, you’re allowed to celebrate that, right? Well, it could be in violation of Matthew 6. (Love the title: Should Churches Boast?)
- Leadership Lessons (2): Three types of emails pastors and church leaders should never send.
- The Arky Arky Encounter: Six related Christian theme parks which come to mind.
- “Previously at Central Church…” Some churches post sermon highlights, but this article argues for doing a recap video for people who missed last week‘s sermon. (Or can’t remember it.)
- You can know the right answers, but miss the story. You might be suffering from versitis.
- Growing up PK: Seven things that Preacher’s Kids (PKs) want you to hear.
- While the whole coloring book thing has a good year track record, Roman Catholics are just jumping in. They’re blessed with a history of medieval Catholic art to draw from. (Any perceived coloring/draw pun was unintentional.)
- Not in the sense of boring: 30 million Facebook users are dead.
- NSFW: Paul and Lori, whose ministry is devoted to this topic ask the question: In the marriage bed, what is permissible and what isn’t? (Probably more explicit than when Mark Driscoll covered this.)
- ChristianMingle.com, CatholicMingle.com, AdventistSinglesConnection.com and BlackSingles.com are being ordered to provide same sex matches.
- An article with six points: We have Donald Trump to thank for this short lesson on the origins of the Star of David.
- This week’s podcast was hell: Wheaton College prof John Walton — featured last week in the PVP’s first rerun — is back for his 4th (or would that be 5th?) visit to the Phil Vischer Podcast as the panel looks at the topic of hell in both testaments.
- Mark Driscoll is hosting the Healthy Church Conference. Yes, you read that correctly.
- It’s virtual. It’s reality. But is it a good idea? A look at the blurred lines of fact and fiction when playing Pokemon Go.
- Video of the Week: A somewhat updated version of the One Solitary Life concept.
- LGBTQ-related issues can split a church. Here’s a community working together for positive transformation.
- Parody Christian news sites: What the Babylon Bee can learn from Weird Al. (Yankovic, not Mohler.)
- Lutheran publishing company Augsburg-Fortress is now 1517 Media.
- Tim Challies reviews an iconic children’s resource which I hope everyone knows by now, The Jesus Storybook Bible. (I just love helping people find out about this book.)
- Podcast of the Week: We’ll let you pick your own from this list of 200 Top Christian Podcasts. (As you move past the first couple of pages — there’s 20 per page — you’ll find some people you haven’t heard or heard of before.)
- Finally, at Ship of Fools — and familiarity with the site’s format is a big help here — instead of the usual Mystery Worshiper report, for installment #3,000, the mystery reviewer is transported to a church service of heavenly proportions.
They do things like this where we live.
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.
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, 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…
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.
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:
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.
- You won’t believe why anti-virus software flagged a religious website as dangerous.
- Some people involved in doing real (not imaginary) missions work look at the Savior Barbie phenomenon…while someone else proposes a blog to debate the real issues raised. (Well, one post so far.)
- One Bible verse in Ephesians. Two very different messages. A detailed comparison between the teaching of Beth Moore and the teaching of Martin Lloyd-Jones.
- A few weeks ago you saw him discussing Psalms with Eugene Peterson. Now, hear more about Bono’s testimony, his family life and the early days of his band.
- Essay of the Week: With his denominational license expired and two weddings on the horizon, the $47 internet ordination certificate seemed like a good idea, but it doesn’t emanate from a spiritual community. (Check out the comments on this one, also.)
- Best apologetic for refugee sponsorship ever: Matt Soerens of World Relief joins Phil, Skye and Christian on Phil Vischer Podcast #206.
- The dilemma: “In a statement, Southwest Church simultaneously condemned same-sex relationships and welcomed members of the LGBT community to their church.” It’s like walking a tightrope isn’t it? In this case the lead pastor was forced to resign…
- …Elsewhere, a church kicked in $200 to help a gay bar repair a broken window…
- …And Kim Davis has asked for the case against her to be dismissed, arguing that a new state law provides “the very religious accommodation Davis sought from the beginning of this litigation…”
- …And while we’re on this topic, let’s not forget that verse in Romans where the Apostle Paul calls for gays to be executed. (You remember that verse, don’t you?)
- A lesson from Abraham: Why it’s important to those in our day who bear the message of Christ to see that Abraham isn’t saved until Genesis 15.
- History Lesson: His classic books on prayer dominate that section in the bookstores, but who was E. M. Bounds? (Part of a series of who was/is articles.)
- A different type of book list: Rachel Held Evans offers some detailed descriptions and unique suggestions for your summer reading.
- According to a Cypriot wedding custom, the best man slaps the back of the groom; but when the Orthodox priest thought it was getting out of hand, he punched the best man who had to be taken to hospital. (Things can really out of hand during the Dance of Isaiah.)
- Benjamin L. Corey redefines clickbait with I Think I’m Becoming a Calvinist.
- Raw Video Footage of the Week: Noah’s Ark smashes into a Norwegian Coast Guard ship and sustains major damage…
- …Okay; here’s the actual news story with HD pics of the ship after the collision. (Not sure what this means for a proposed trans-Atlantic voyage later this year.)
- Leadership Lessons: 8 Signs you are a “discipleship bully.” Sample: “#5 – You become personally offended when a disciple does not follow your counsel.”
- Archeology Avenue: Satellites are able to aid discovery of ancient structures.
- A story you’ll be hearing more on in the future: “Biola University, located in Southern California and one of the country’s most well-known and prestigious evangelical colleges, now finds itself arguing for its right to be evangelical… Why do seminaries and other institutions that train students for ministry deserve legal protection if cross-disciplinary schools like Biola do not?”
- This classically-flavored musical rendering of Psalm 5 is part of a project called The Anthem Bible, which is part of a project called The Overview Bible. (At least, I hope I got that right!)
- What the gorilla, the alligator and two little boys are telling us about ourselves.
- Modern worship is taking a lot of hits these days. Like this one on how to write a hit worship song.
- I need a woman. More specifically, I’m looking for a female guest writer to do a review in early July of A Woman’s Place by Christianity Today’s Katelyn Beatty. Some won’t like the book’s premise.
- You’ve read the Beatitudes, now read the unBeatitudes. (Reminds me of Philip Yancey’s observation that the world operates on the Principle of unGrace.)
- Well…he refused our request for an interview — I still have the questions I submitted to the publicist — but at least somebody got to do a Q&A with Phil Vischer.
- Finally, in my home and native province, a fight breaks out over whether the earth is flat or round. (It’s too bad there’s no way of knowing these things.)
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.
Do not pet the list lynx.
Isaac the Intern was supposed to write the introduction this week, but spent the time hanging out behind the office petting the list lynx.
- This weekend the restaurant best known for being closed on Sunday — Chick-fil-A — decided the rule isn’t written in stone.
- Is your church website mobile-friendly? 27% of leading church websites did not pass the Google test.
- Defending Christian radio: “‘Christian radio just don’t have enough about judgment, sin, darkness, death, etc.’ Years ago, I made this argument myself. After all, most of the Psalms aren’t overflowing with happy themes….I fully realize that life includes much suffering. We should expect it. So why doesn’t Christian music on the radio reflect it?” WAY-FM’s Brant Hanson has the answer.
- After having four of their children seized by child protection authorities in Norway for indoctrinating them with Christianity, a Romanian family is being united.
- Friends of Jason Weaver, bassist and co-founder of the band Big Daddy Weave are one-third of the way toward raising $150,000 after Jay had to have both feet amputated.
- Now that we’re all quite familiar with the term “Bivocational Ministry,” here’s nine models reflecting what that role might look like. (Via Darryl Dash.)
- “God is continually sustaining the universe he created with intention and for a purpose.” So writes the author of How I Changed My Mind About Evolution. Statistically, she’s not alone.
- Can you define “Generational Poverty?” It means two successive generations living below the poverty line, many of which are single parent families headed by the mother.
- Essay of the Week (and Best Title): Worship writer David Santistevan asks if the form is forming us. “I wonder if our worship services are only making us dissatisfied – too dependent on music and massive, sensational experiences. It’s like we become addicted to professional leadership, talent and high energy…”
- The future of women in the RC Church: “Now the decline in millennial women’s attendance and participation in the church has become so acute that progressive Catholic leaders are raising alarm about a “lost generation” of Catholic women—and potentially their children as well–if the church doesn’t radically change the way it relates to women.”
- Everything one writer wanted you to know about The Trinity. Or more specifically, 18 things about the relationship between the Father and the Son including the concept of eternal generation.
- What if Trump were one of us? You decide on his answer to the “Who is Jesus” question: “Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence. Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.” (Or a transcript of the complete interview.)
- No more stained glass windows? In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency has discovered a carcinogen in the manufacturing process. Designers would have to import the glass, which would be prohibitively expensive.
- On Monday I picked up a back issue of Comment Magazine in a Salvation Army store. On Tuesday, totally unconnected, I found the Cardus website. Loved this quote from James K.A. Smith: “Technology is as old as Eden. Tools for tilling the garden were anticipations of quill pens and steam engines and the smartphone in your pocket. The first “hack” was a needle that sewed together Adam and Eve’s fig leaves.”
- It took a Muslim mayor in London, England to do what no one had dared do before: Ban “body shaming” images in the city’s buses and commuter trains. (What if a Christian mayor had initiated this?)
- Brad Lomenick has another Young Influencers List. This one includes a mention of Jamie Ivey’s podcast.
- “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” But if anything, the Bible says quite the opposite.
- British lobby group Christian Concern weighs in after 40 British primary schools will allow boys to wear skirts.
- Parenting Place: For the little ones with little attention spans, the Little Bible Heroes books have accompanying animations that are mostly under two minutes.
- Tweet of the Week: “My colleague and I agree that our church’s annual meeting each November should now and forever also be a costume party.”
Wednesday List Lynx (even though it might look like your neighbor’s tabby on a dark night.)
Welcome to list #310. While some of you were off for a long weekend, we had some great topics going here, and in addition to the link list, I hope you’ll click back to see what gets done the rest of the week here at Thinking Out Loud.
- Worth a Look: A church growth story with a headline that will grab you, followed by a different direction that doesn’t disappoint.
- Catholic Capers: This has all the makings of a good whodunit, mysterious prophecies, conspiracies, and the role that former Pope Benedict plays in the current administration.
- Essay of the Week: The link between being the child of divorced parents, and feeling expendable in the life of your church.
- You say, ‘Old Testament;’ he says, ‘Jewish scriptures;’ she, says ‘Hebrew Bible.’ Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox and other Christians are not always talking about the same collection of texts.
- Grace Giving: Convicted felons need to experience the fulfillment that comes from an honest day’s work.
- Demographics Department: According to the author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule, “China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon.”
- Church Choices: Why does someone very strongly committed to gender equality choose a church that isn’t?
- Sad news for independent Christian bookstores in the US and Canada with the announcement that Send the Light Distribution (STL) is winding down operations.
- Christian television personality Jan Crouch, wife of TBN founder Paul Crouch has died at age 78.
- Ottawa’s Northwestern United Church has been sold to a mosque. “Religions each offer a unique way of looking at society. These are competing visions, not complementary ones.” Christian groups wanted to purchase the property.
- Pluralism: “We want to celebrate our differences, but we also want to erase them. We are a pluralistic society in fact, but often a uniform society in ideal. And the two are always in tension.”
- Quotation of the Week: “I think certain Christians in our country have confused American freedom for Christian rights.”
- A Southern Baptist wonders what ever happened to witnessing and ‘soul winning.’ The term seems to be in “the linguistic dinosaur category.”
- In preparation for her visit to England’s Greenbelt Festival, the host of the Unbelievable podcast and radio show talks to Nadia Bolz-Weber.
- A look at a Pew Research study showing that neither Bible Reading or Church attendance top a list of Christian essentials.
- Leadership Lessons: The pastor being interviewed should ask the members of the search committee five questions.
- Metaphor of the Week: Where getting out into the community is termed as Breaking the Stained Glass Curtain.
- Matchmaking Department: “…Couples in 1940 met at church as often as they did through neighbors or at a bar. (For that cohort, only friends and family were more-common ways to meet.) Yet by 2010, only 2 percent of couples reported meeting at church — the least-common relational starting ground.” A Washington Post report.
- Twittering: Some mandatory phrases for Christians to have in their Twitter profile.
- Parenting Place: Eleven Bible-focused YouTube channels you and your kids should know about.
- Boldly going where no canvassers have gone before, Donald Trump wants to get out the Amish vote.
- Is it necessary to respond to those pleas from overseas for books and Bibles? A quick check shows they have good distribution networks there.
- I’m ashamed to say that three books from major Christian publishers all titled Unashamed are releasing within days of each other.
- In a lengthy interview with Ohio-based magazine 614, Everyday Sunday lead singer Trey Pearson very publicly announced that he is gay.
- Anne Graham Lotz, who is 66, has stated that the rapture is going to happen within her lifetime.
- At Religion News Service
- Graduating Ohio high school students weren’t going to let an attempt by the Freedom from Religion Foundation block their tradition of singing The Lord’s Prayer.
- Let’s face it, Christian satire is enjoying a surge in popularity right now, and everyone is getting into the act.
The comic Bizarro had a number of Bible premises last week, but maybe for all the wrong reasons. (The term myth is central.) Nonetheless, this one is my favorite:
I’m giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming this is a metaphor for something…
Welcome to WLL # 309. Today marks seven months to Christmas. Started your shopping yet?
Please note we try to avoid articles which are pay-walled. If you find blocked content, let us know and in most cases we’ll remove the link.
- Dialing for Doctrine: On Calvinism and the Southern Baptist Convention, “We may not be able to settle each of the ‘five points’ to our satisfaction, but we do know that the Bible is clear in condemning a divisive and uncharitable spirit.” Where do SBC pastors stand?
- A local church which hands out free pizza to students at a nearby high school has run afoul of the trade union representing school cafeteria workers. The youth pastor in question had permission from the school, but has been forced to switch to an after-school program. A decade ago, the same union drove away food trucks.
- Oddity of the Week: A 2016 US presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party writes in Salon on cultural relativism in Christianity.
- Third Culture Kids: Ten questions the kids of missionaries would love to have you ask them directly.
- Essay of the Week: This starts with a job description which, unless you live in NW Chicago, most of you won’t be applying for. But then it goes deeper: “I believe the record-setting run of the production church will come to an end, but not soon enough… When it comes down to it, we don’t need a Weekend Stage Manager, skilled in theatrical rigging and focused on customer service. An inventory of props only consisting of table, font, and pulpit doesn’t really demand that much organization, anyway.”
- Supporting women in leadership: Everything you need to know in 30 seconds.
- 5 things we hoped to gain by going seeker-sensitive, and 3 things we ended up with.
- Greg Boyd on parallels and differences between the U.S. Constitution and the Bible.
- Greg Boyd on so-called errors in the Bible which have nothing to do with faith and practice.
- And then, the NIrV begat The Minecrafter’s Bible. Your kids can “build their own Wall of Jericho.” That’s a good thing, right?
- Francis Chan on “How to Get to Heaven from Silicon Valley.” A talk given at go/Love, a private group at Google for people who want to integrate their beliefs with making a difference.
- Gospel for Asia: A major staff exodus signals that there is something wrong with the second largest mission group in the country.
- What’s in a name? Furthermore, what’s in a name about a name? In this case, the awkward word is ‘denomination.’
- A day in the life of a medical missionary dentist, and the country’s leading cause of facial disfiguration. (No pictures for this one.)
- I cannot tell a lie. John Ortberg’s sermon on lying is one of his best. Seriously, it really is.
- Don’t look for this book at LifeWay any time soon: Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown.
- Media: The GloryReelz Christian film festival and writer’s lab happens Saturday, June 11 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Andrew Peterson responds to the Eugene Peterson / Bono interview…
- …Meanwhile the filmmaker who did the production talks to the Phil Vischer pod people.
- Probably not full immersion: The Church of Scotland is considering online baptisms. And communion.
- Evangelist Charles Finney blamed small children and dogs for destroying the effectiveness of his sermons… Wait! Dogs in church services?
- In an all-men’s gathering, it’s a sudden intrusion to hear a female voice as Siri asks for clarification on the sinner’s prayer.
- Rotten fruit in Christian publishing. We’ll get Jimmy to try it, he hates everything. (He does make some good points, but there’s nothing redemptive to see here.)
- Music Video of the Week: Ah yes, but what week? This was posted a year ago, but thanks to @newreleasetoday I got to hear Smoke by Plumb.
- The Target [department store] protests in the U.S. are working, and affecting the stock value and sales bottom line.
- Switchfoot’s new album is titled Where the Light Shines Through
Jason Gray’s new album is titled Where the Light Gets In
That outta keep the music department staff confused.
More at NRT’s summer preview of Christian music. ♫
- The movie version of The Shack has been bumped from November, to Ash Wednesday, 2017.
- Finally — because it was going on midnight — Kevin Max on the DCTalk reunion cruise: “I could understand where there’s a lot of people who feel that they’re left out or that they’ve missed the boat.”
Unlike our other book cover above, this one actually relates to something in the link list.