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.
Do you accept the one on the far right as your personal watermelon? (Must be an Evangelical thing.) Image via Rachel Held Evans. Just pray the ‘Shopper’s Prayer.’
It’s Weekend List Link #30!
Never been here before? This weekend edition is a version of our popular Wednesday Link List. Yesterday, we discovered that all those years later, Jeffrey Smith is still writing Prayer Pups. Click the image below to read more.
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:
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
- Meet Lyrical Lively aka Sister Bobbie Lively, a 74-year-old grandmother, minister, theology teacher and former missionary. Oh, and she has a rap album. (But why are her 18 videos on YouTube all “not available?”
- Point/Counterpoint: Found this double-link at Darryl Dash’s blog on the weekend. 5 Reasons to Host a Q&A After Your Worship Service and Reasons Not to Host a Q&A After a Worship Service. (Methinks the latter protesteth too much!)
- Many have come to know and love him as the Teaching Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church where he often co-teaches with Bill Hybels. Now, Steve Carter is getting ready for the launch of This Invitational Life, publishing this month as a book, audio book, study guide and curriculum kit through David C. Cook.
- You won’t be bored after reading this article reporting results of an ECFA survey on church boards. (Or whatever your church calls them; turns out there are 70+ different names.)
- Most provocative headline this week: Why Go To Seminary for a Denomination That Won’t Exist in Ten Years?
- Pastors like to be liked, and we’re not talking Facebook here. But Carey Nieuwhof says people-pleasing can crush a pastor’s ministry. (The article is broken up into 3 pages; keep reading, there’s a payoff on page 3.)
- Essay of the Week: Leaving Tim LaHaye’s rapture theology behind. “For me in my late teens, discovering that some of my heroes such as Michael Green, John Stott and FF Bruce opposed Rapture theology was a revelation (if you’ll forgive the pun!)” Do the books bear any resemblance to what will take place?
- Controversy of the Month: So at Pulpit and Pen (which we don’t/won’t link to often) Seth Dunn attacks popular apologist Nabeel Qureshi. (This link worth skipping.) Then, David Wood sets the record straight in a 40-minute video.
- So here’s the question… Would your church offer marriage counseling to a gay couple? One conservative church says they wouldn’t refuse.
- Book of the Week: A month before her canonization, an author responds to the critics of Mother Teresa.
- Podcast of the Week: Steve Brown (say it with a deep voice) welcomes Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of Home: How Heaven and the New Earth Satisfy Our Deepest Longings. Wait a minute, you mean heaven isn’t ‘up there’ somewhere?
- America has four versions of God and are surprisingly split as to which one is most accurate.
- Quotation of the Week: “…quite a number of parachurch ministries…have, in my opinion, often unwisely sought to speak in much greater detail than the Scriptures as to how Christian parents are to educate, discipline and govern their children’s lives. Speaking in more binding detail than Scripture can give the sense that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting that–if followed–will guarantee a favorable outcome.”
- Apologetics Avenue: Video responses to ten typical questions posed by skeptics.
- An Egalitarian Wedding: The proposals (not a typo), the rings, the last name, and the ceremony; all carefully filtered through an egalitarian lens.
- Best Twitter Teaser: “If you can sing the theme song to Gilligan’s Island you are already at an age where you should be investing in younger people.” Shifts for significance.
- Ain’t That The Truth Department: “Other than piloting fighter jets, stock trading, and law enforcement, few jobs can be as demanding as working in the media department of a church.”
- Film Project of the Week: The Family, documenting Australia’s most notorious cult has debuted in Melbourne this week.
- Catholic Corner: Women as deacons? Pope Francis, say it isn’t so!
- Craig Gross picks up on an element of Perry Noble’s resignation you might have missed.
- A master of rhetoric, the Apostle Paul’s “Do Not Do These” lists can be more accurately called vice lists.
- Offering Time: Four ways churches can blow it when it comes to asking for support of a particular project.
- Churches on life support: Can these bones live? A Chicago area pastor accepted the challenge.
- Video of the Week (non-music): A newly released one-minute trailer for Ben Hur which opens August 19th. (Didn’t realize it was a 3D film.)
- Video of the Week (music-1): Nearly a year old, but I just found this. It’s a rather obscure song, but I’m a huge fan. A new(er) version of Changed by Aaron Niequist.
- Video of the Week (music-2): Again, from about a year ago, a song from Centric Worship that’s not on her album, You Have My Surrender by Lauren Daigle.
- Longtime readers here will recall references to The Sunday Setlists, where worship leaders from around the world posted their weekend song list to a blog, and later to a Facebook page. Now, the lists appear on Twitter.
- Book Review of the Week: A look at J. Parker’s Hot, Holy, and Humorous:Sex In Marriage by God’s Design. Sample: “She does describe her husband as Spock and does not think in terms of emotion so being romantic is hard.”
- Probably well over 800 comments by the time you read this article on what it means to have a pastor who loves you.
- Do your local schools have a Good News Club sponsored by Child Evangelism? Well, the Satanists want equal time. They are petitioning school boards to launch After School Satan Clubs aimed at the public school elementary age group. (If I only watched the video, I could dismiss this as a hoax, but it’s in the Washington Post.)
- Katy Perry’s going to be singing the inspirational song ‘Rise’ at the Olympics this year. Her parents ask Christians to pray for her…
- …Also at the games are a disproportionate number of athletes from Trinity Western (TWU) a Christian university in Langley, British Columbia.
- So if someone writes a tract about handing out tracts, is that considered a form of meta reference? It’s the basis of the latest from Jack Chick Publications. (Scroll down to read in its entirety.) …
- …Also at Chick Publications, a blog post about transgender theories…
- …which references this May article by Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition.
- Protecting the Brand: A top Christian publishing company is hiring a paralegal to oversee its brands and intellectual property…
- …While another publisher you know has an opening in digital marketing.
- Stories We Didn’t Make Up Department: Planned Parenthood will not distribute condoms featuring a registered trademark of the Mormon church. (No, really; we didn’t make this up.)
- Finally (and pathetically) Monty Python alumnus John Cleese has founded a church.
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?
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.