Thinking Out Loud

August 14, 2013

Wednesday Link List

I thought we’d kick off with something timely for back-to-school from Zazzle.com:

Classroom rules poster from Zazzle dot com.gif

Here are this week’s links, and one or two I accidentally left off last week’s list.  As usual you need to scoot over to Out of Ur for the actual linking.

  • Yeah, I know. Three links to Dictionary of Christianese in six weeks.  But how I could pass when the word was narthex? Meet you in the narthex when you’re done reading the rest of the list.
  • A trailer is out for a movie celebrating 40 years of England’s Greenbelt Music & Arts Festival.
  • Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love is an all-time Christian fiction bestseller. Now, word that after many years, Bridge to Haven, a new title, will release in spring 2014.
  • Essay of the Week: A Facebook fast isn’t fasting. Actress and writer Hannah Rivard guest posts at The Rebelution, the blog of Alex and Brett Harris.
  • A Tennessee judge rules you can’t call a child Messiah.
  • The above item reminds us of a story we did a few months ago: In New Zealand you can name a kid Faith, Hope or Charity, but not Justice.  (They turned down two Messiah’s there also.)
  • Because your kids’ picture Bible storybooks tend to be family friendly, odds are that these five stories didn’t make the final edit.
  • Related: A serious management feasibility study on how Noah got all the animals to fit inside.
  • At Stuff Christians Like, a few lines of dialog that even your adult Bible is missing.
  • The best articles on Bible translation are always written by people who actually do Bible translation.
  • Despite being on record as not wanting to speak to certain topics, it turns out that C. S. Lewis actually did address homosexuality.
  • You’ve heard him on radio, now meet the face behind the voice: Christian financial planning expert Dave Ramsey takes to video.
  • If we believe in the priesthood of all believers, does that by definition diminish the need for structured leadership?
  • Another outdoor concert stage collapse, this time involving Christian bands MercyMe and The Afters at the Cleveland County fairgrounds.
  • The names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty: A tale of two pastoral transitions.
  • We may be on a journey to eternal life, but a Pew Research survey claims that only one in three of us want this life to last eternally.
  • David Hayward aka The Naked Pastor is the latest Christian blogger to try the podcast thing.
  • Confession isn’t just good for the soul, it’s necessary for taking steps toward a holy God.
  • In the Assemblies of God denomination, growth is taking place, but their trademark distinctive, speaking in tongues, is on the decline.
  • Is it blasphemous or just plain vulgar? A UK vicar claims the former Archbishop of Canterbury rode in her car and wasn’t disturbed by her edgy and controversial bumper sticker.  [Content advisory]
  • Related: Describing her book as “a messy profanity- and prayer-laden theological memoir,” the Sarcastic Lutheran aka Nadia Bolz-Weber introduces Pastrix. No wonder reviewers like myself aren’t being given advance copies. Here’s a video trailer. [Much stronger content advisory: NSFCO (Not safe for church offices)]
  • In your local church, do you have the gift of diapers or the gift of chairs?
  • Hoping to flee what they consider U.S. government interference in religion; a family ends up lost at sea.
  • I never know how to end the list each week, but the Canadian in me is drawn to this.

The graphic below was located at The Master’s Table, where similar things can be found each Monday. (You’ll have to look up the verses.)

reading-from-john

One thing I really miss with the new arrangement is the feedback from readers on particular links. So feel free to comment either here or at Out of Ur.

August 11, 2013

Conversation Excerpts Your Bible Omitted

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:00 am

I love this post from Stuff Christians Like last week with guest writer Stephen Pepper.  You can read it here, but you’ll miss the other suggestions readers at SCL added. So click through to  20 Conversations The Bible Left Out

Have you ever wondered what’s missing from the Bible? There are so many people whose lives are covered over the course of thousands of years in the Bible, millions of situations and conversations will have gone unrecorded.

To try to fill in some of that gap, here are 20 conversations the Bible left out.

Noah: Told you so.

Jonah: And I pray for traveling mercies…

Job: Relax – what’s the worst thing that could happen today?

Eve: Should I wear the green fig leaf or the brown fig leaf?

Lot’s friend: Please could you pass the sa….. Sorry.

David: I’d give Bathsheba a good side hug.

Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego: I’m sorry; we’d prefer not to eat meat. We we’d rather eat Bob, Larry and Jr instead.

Isaac: Um, Dad – this game of “Tie your firstborn son to an altar and hold a knife above his head” doesn’t seem like it’s the most age-appropriate game we could be playing.

Balaam: Your voice doesn’t sound like Eddie Murphy’s.

Abraham: “I have many sons. Many sons have I.” I’m sorry Sarah – the song will never catch on.

Saul / Paul: I’ve just had a real Road To Damascus experience.

The Magi: Our love language is giving gifts.

Person at the feeding of the 5,000: Do you have a gluten-free vegan option?

Noah’s wife: Really Noah? Cockroaches?

Jabez: I wonder if one day someone will write an entire book based on two sentences that I prayed.

John The Baptist: Ooh, that’s a really nice shiny platter – why are you bringing that into a prison?

Solomon: I don’t understand why my 700 wives think I don’t spend enough time with each of them.

Paul: Was it Philippians, Phillippians, Philipians or Phillipians?

Samson: Because I’m worth it.

Adam: What do you mean, why did I call that a hippopotamus? Look at it – it so looks like it should be called a hippopotamus.

Question: What other conversations do you think the Bible didn’t include?

(For more great writing from Stephen, check out his blog here.)

August 7, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Darwin - Cats

Is it Wednesday already? Time for another list of links of interest to people like you from blogs and websites great and small. But wait! None of the links below actually work; you need to click through to the Wednesday Link List’s new home at Out of Ur, the blog of Leadership Journal.

  • How about a 19-second video to kick things off? (Apologies to those who clicked!)
  • Frank Viola offers a completely different take on the spiritual life of John Lennon.
  • What did the Pope really say in that in-flight news conference? One writer thinks it’s not exactly what was reported.
  • You thought there were fewer this year and you were right. Stats on why not as many churches are doing VBS.
  • Got the standard 2.3 kids? John Wesley would not approve. I suppose you could call this an article about being procreative.
  • A UK church organist, 68, was walking to a midnight Christmas Eve service as he had done for 40 years when two men, both 22, beat him to death in a motiveless attack. Now, his widow offers a message of forgiveness.
  • Essay of the Month for June (but you may not like it): The atheist daughter of a noted Christian apologist shares her story so far.
  • Related: An Atheism, Theism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism infographic.
  • Essay of the Week: Ten things church worship leaders want the rest of us to understand.
  • Related: What if we looked at our church’s corporate worship time as a spiritual discipline?
  • The year isn’t even over and already we have a winner for the worst reporting of a religious story in 2013.
  • I’ll let Michael Frost Tweet this intro: “The conservative journal Christianity Today makes the case for welcoming same-sex couples to church.”
  • A blog to know about: Jesus I Will Follow You is a tumblr that answers questions from young readers on tough subjects.
  • From my own blog this week: A blog summary on the Presbyterian Church USA’s “In Christ Alone” hymnbook controversy and a look at same sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada.
  • It’s easy to deal with what’s appropriate beachwear for women when you’re on a Christian radio show. It’s harder when it’s your own 13-year old daughter.
  • Rob Bell is offering two more of his 2-day conferences in September and October that are already renowned for their lunch break to go surfing.
  • Music to brighten your day: Shine Bright Baby’s song from their new album Dreamers; enjoy Beautiful Love.
  • A link that takes you to more links: An Arizona pastors offers a 6-part blog series on the sins pastors commit including letting their wives manage everything on the homefront.
  • Here’s a March post which is a link to ten articles at the blog “Canon Fodder” by the author of The Question of Canon on — wait for it — ten things you should know about the New Testament canon.
  • In searching through blogs I had bookmarked months earlier, I landed on this very succinct post which I offer for your prayer consideration.
  • Before you hit the FWD button next time, here’s four reasons that Christians need to stop forwarding hoax emails.
  • A historic Roman Catholic Church that is already a shrine to a saint whose legacy is devotion to animals plans to set aside a memorial space for Fido and Fluffy.
  • Your assignment: Write a modern worship chorus utilizing the titles of television soap operas. [Warning: Consumes 4.5 valuable minutes]
  • Finally, a reminder for the end of the week, end of the month, end of the summer, or anytime you need a reminder.

I have no idea where the first graphic — the premise of which I’m not sure I agree with — originated; but the comic books below are purported to be real.  For additional wit and wisdom, follow me (please!) on Twitter. And one last time, here’s the link to today’s Wednesday Link List without the Linkectomy.

the-pat-robertson-and-friends-coloring-book-9781891053955Christian Conservative Coloring Book

March 6, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Jesus is the Light of the World

Regular readers will know this already, but I’ve never quite come out and said it: I find it somewhat snobbish when bloggers publish link lists where anything older than 2-3 days is considered obsolete. A true link sleuth will unearth some great material and won’t be concerned if the post is dated 30 days ago. If it was true then…

  • Essay of the week: Church Planting in Montreal. A somewhat typical couple has been living together for ten years but has never gotten close to having any kind of spiritual discussion. And that’s just one challenge. The Quebecois version of Hybels’ “unchurched Harry” is quite different from “Harry” in the rest of North America. 
  • Runner up: Remember that feeling when you were young and you came home from school only to find nobody home and you immediately thought everybody had been raptured?  Well, it happens to not-so-young college students, too.
  • Okay, so that video about how to write a worship song wasn’t the first time Jordan at BlimeyCow waded into Christian music criticism. Or church camp. And different types of churches
  • While everyone else on Sunday night was watching The Bible miniseries on History, one blogger was putting the final period on his review even as the credits rolled. I guess that way you get to say, “First!”  (The cable channel show beat all the big networks in the ratings.)
  • If you know people whose Christian faith is characterized by what they are against, may I suggest you copy and paste this article and email it to them.
  • For people who don’t know how to use a “table of contents” in a book, The Alpha Bible presents the Bible books in… well you know.
  • Given the success of The Book of Mormon, a Broadway production by The Foursquare Church denomination on the life of Aimee Semple McPherson probably seemed like a good idea at the time
  • The idea of gospel tracts probably seems somewhat archaic to most readers here, but the concision of these short presentations actual suits present attention spans. Now 31 Good News tracts are available on audio.  
  • Matt Hafer comes out of church leadership hibernation with five ways for pastors to tell if people are truly on board.
  • I know I often link you over to Christianity 201, but I really want you all, if nothing else, to catch this video.
  • In some ways connected to a link we had here last week, a Christianity Today women’s blog suggests a little bit of Christianese is OK.
  • As someone whose entire wardrobe was purchased at Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, this is scary: Pat Robertson allows the possibility that those shirts and sweaters could have demonic spirits attached. (That’s why Pat buys professionally tailored suits, I guess.)
  • Once we know the name of the new Pope, the new Pope has to choose a name. Past Pope picks included these. (You remember Pope Urban, right?) 
  • How is it possible that this great song by the Wheaton College Gospel Choir has had less than 2,500 views in two years?  If this don’t bring a smile to your face, your mouth is broken. Watch, copy the link and share.
  • Jon Acuff finds himself in a prayer meeting with someone who gives a whole new meaning to the phrase too much information
  • If you missed it January, Shaun Groves shares songwriting secrets for worship composers. But ultimately, “I think worship writers have parted with standard songwriting practices because they’re creating with the live experience in mind. So their priorities are much different from those of a traditional songwriter.”
  • The people at Thomas Nelson flatly refused us a review copy of this, but I’ll be nice and tell you about it anyway. Jesus: A Theography is a new book by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola combining theology and biography with –[free review time expired]
  • …Mind you, that was already better than this guy’s review. “After a while, I finally put the book down and said enough.” (When you accept a free book you do agree to finish reading it.)
  • Remember Anne Jackson? Well she’s still kicking around, still writing, and apparently this Friday is a special day
  • Nadia Bolz-Weber, the Lutheran with attitude, shares her struggle preparing to preach on The Parable of the Vineyard. (Open the audio link in a new tab, then click back to follow the text; the whole sermon is about ten minutes.) Actual quote: “…you’d think that I’d totally remember a parable where poop is mentioned.”
  • Meanwhile Steve McCoy’s kids, age 12 and 14, are taking sermon notes while he preaches.
  • On our fifth birthday, we introduced you to Derek the Cleric. We had a tough time that day choosing between two cartoons and thought we’d stretch the written permission we received to do just one more.

Derek The Cleric - Powerpoint

September 26, 2012

Wednesday Link List

We either start off with really serious issues and end with something silly, or we do it the other way around. Today leads off with the latter:

Okay, we need some serious links also, right?

Not enough links for you? The new Top 200 Church Blogs list is out.

February 13, 2012

Microblogging Monday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:48 am

I guess there’s a part of every serious blogger that once in awhile wishes they had a Tumblr blog.  They could just post a picture or two and be done in five minutes or less!  Here are some things that were lying around the picture file.  Unfortunately, I don’t know where some of these originated. 

The first one is labeled “Jesus Bus.”  Ever met someone who would be likely to drive this? I have.

Maybe they know these people. Just think how many people get saved each time these vehicles drive by.

This next one poses an interesting theological problem: What sport does God watch?

This next one repeats a theme we’ve shown here before.  I guess an obvious pun is worth repeating. Obviously. It’s rather unfortunate however that the image lampooned here has become so recognizable.

This one appeared here years ago, and I firmly believe it was inspired by a certain church in Garden Grove, CA.  Welcome to Lego Church!

I think this one is Jon Birch at ASBO Jesus.

Here’s where Bible study meets practical advice:

This one is from Worth1000 a site with weekly contests for photographers and (more often) photo manipulators! It’s one of the first pictures I ever downloaded. (Okay, it’s not manipulation, it’s art.)  It’s called Nations in Harmony.

I could keep this up all day, but shouldn’t we be doing something more productive?  I’ll leave you with this one, a church made out of matchsticks. If you’re bored, you can grab some matchsticks and see what you can produce.

If you would have preferred something of greater substance, there were some good posts here over the weekend, and of course you can type “Wednesday Link List” into the search bar at right, and you’ll be connected to nearly 90 link collections each having a minimum of ten connections to the best of the Christian internet.

December 5, 2011

Celebrity Guest Post … Sort Of…

Celebrity Christian Blogger

I’ve noticed recently that while a number of the more prominent Christian bloggers have people do guest posts at their blogs, you don’t see these same celebrity Christians anywhere in the rest of the blogosphere.  So I thought it was a particularly unique opportunity when I uncovered this ten minute video was available to add here — until the blog police catch up with us — by Jon Acuff at the always witty and insightful Stuff Christians Like, though proper blog etiquette dictates that all of you will now click over and watch it there, right?  Please do, since SCL is now copyrighted by the sales and marketing division of Dave Ramsay’s organization, and we don’t want to upset them just in case we need some investment advice moving forward.

Seriously, this video was actually produced by lifechurch.tv as the first in a series of four for high school students, though the hope is that its content will be suitable for people of all ages who find themselves in the middle of a “desert road” experience.

November 23, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Wednesday List Lynx - The lynx is considered a national animal in Macedonia where it is featured on the five denar coin

I’ll have whatever links she’s having…

  • Let’s start out with some great music: A new song by Northpoint Community Church’s Eddie Kirkland; help yourself to a free download of Here and Now.
  • Maybe your marriage isn’t in trouble, but it’s in struggle.  Justin and Trisha Davis offer four reasons why some marriages are hurting.
  • Julie Clawson has a very short, but very profound piece about how the spiritual conversion journey does not end with finding Jesus; in other words, finding Jesus doesn’t complete the process.
  • It’s possible that Charles Spurgeon’s view of Arminian theology wasn’t shaped so much by reading as it was by the stage in history where the movement was when Spurgeon wrote.
  • InterVarsity Press, aka IVP, has purchased Biblica Books, a publisher whose 170-plus titles are truly a great fit for the Illinois-based company.
  • At The Ironic Catholic, this take on Genesis 3: 16-19 — “There are three aspects taken from a casual reading of the passage: 1) God makes childbirth painful, 2) Eve and all women get cursed by God as a punishment for sin, and 3) Adam appears to get off way easy.”
  • Not sure of David Brooks’ spirituality, but this NY Times article shows how certain kinds of inequality are tolerated, and certain types of inequality are not.
  • I know there’s a word that means “fear of the number 13,” but what about phobias about “666”??  Refusing to wear the number on religious grounds got this Georgia man fired.
  • Of the making of Calvinist/Arminian T-Shirts there is no end.  The one pictured at right is for those who prefer the middle of the road. Click the image if you want to buy; click here for the backstory at More Christ blog.
  • For those of you who use small-group discipleship curriculum, this video about a whole new paradigm from Downline Ministries is going to rock your world.
  • Jon Acuff explains why it’s possible to have the congregation extend you some grace when yours is the first cell phone (that’s mobile for you Brits) to go off during a church service, but why you don’t want to be the second person to have it ring.
  • Some of you may know more than I about the Duggar family, but apparently they are expecting their 20th child.  (HT: Clark Bunch)
  • Michael Hyatt thinks novelists should offer a “director’s cut” of their work at their blogs; along with twelve other blog ideas for writers of what we could call non-non-fiction.
  • C201 highlights this week: A 30-minute video interview with N.T. Wright, and a summary of C. Michael Patton’s Why Do We Love C. S. Lewis and Hate Rob Bell?
  • Tomorrow at Thinking Out Loud: Remembering Family Circus cartoonist Bil Keane.  Today the comic is drawn by “little Jeffy” who is actually, at age 53, not quite so little, and continues to feature church-based themes like this one from a week ago Sunday:

October 26, 2011

Wednesday Link List

So what’s your take-away from today’s cartoon?  It’s from the book God is Dog Spelled Backwards by Julia Cmaeron and Elizabeth Cameron; not for sale at your local Christian bookstore.

  • The Seattle Mars Hill church (Mark Driscoll) decided to go after other Mars Hills churches to try to protect its brand.  But then the church realized its reaction was a little over the top.
  • Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter becomes the latest Christian author, signing a two-book deal with Zondervan.
  • The Occupy London protesters forced the closing of St. Paul’s Cathedral mostly due to fire concerns.
  • Speaking of the UK, a man there writes on his Facebook page that he believes marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman, and next thing you know he’s demoted at work with a 40% pay cut.
  • If you have an iTunes account, you can click this link for an interview with Steve Carr, the founder of the non-profit Flannel film company that produced Rob Bell’s NOOMA videos and Francis Chan’s BASIC series.
  • Paul Crouch, Jr. has left the family business, aka The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) to “pursue other work.”  The departure was rather sudden.
  • Americans can donate to missions at the left click of a mouse; but as the U.S. dollar slides against foreign currencies, overseas mission projects are hurting for funding.
  • In one of his best pieces to date, Trevin Wax imagines a somewhat ideal media interview with a pastor on the homosexual debate.
  • Lots of rumblings from the Calvary Chapel churches over the visits of the ever-controversial Jerry Boykin to various CCs, mostly because of Boykin’s Jesuit connections.  While this website looks somewhat sensationalist, it does contain a lot of documentation,  perhaps this one boils it down more concisely.
  • Josh Wiley collects 22 Awesome C. S. Lewis Quotations.
  • Comedian Tim Hawkins has Three Requests for Worship Pastors.
  • October 31st: JesusWeen.  Seriously. Someone came up with this.  To non-Christians it’s a bit of joke.  To Christians it’s somewhat unnecessary.
  • October 31st: Hell Houses.  Russell D. Moore has seven reasons why Judgment Houses or Hell Houses miss the mark.
  • It took presidential hopeful Michelle Bachman only a few days to note that presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s “999” economic program is simply “666” upside down.  She remarked, “The devil is in the details.” Jeremy Myers examines 666.
  • Just in time for Reformation Sunday: Zac Hicks’ worship song including the five “solas” Sola fide (pronounced “FEE-deh”) – faith alone; Sola gratia (pronounced “GRAT-see-ah”) – grace alone; Solus Christus (pronounced “KREE-stoos”) – Christ alone; Sola scriptura (pronounced “skrip-TOO-rah”) – Scripture alone; Soli Deo gloria (pronounced “DEH-o GLOH-ree-ah”) – to God alone be the glory. (Don’t forget to roll the r’s.)  Click the audio player in this link.
  • Insert your link here.  Seen something online this week that I missed?  Add your suggestion to the comments.  Note that not all links will posted; anything commercial or inappropriate won’t be accepted.
  • With apologies to Margaret Fishback Powers, I thought we’d end with an “almost” version of Footprints.

October 21, 2011

Friday Fun: The Likeable Bible

What if every time you were reading your Bible you could click “like” next to verses that were especially meaningful?  Or especially likeable?  Apparently someone has been clicking something, because lo and behold, we have the website, The Likeable Bible.

At his blog, Big Ear Creations, Dave Carrol decided to have some fun doing analysis on the top ten:  (It’s considered proper to link at this point, but some of you don’t, so…)

There’s a fascinating site called “The Likeable Bible” that breaks the Bible down verse by verse, and asks people to ‘like’ the individual verses they like the most.

Let’s look at the current Top Ten and see if we can cast vast non-contextual, overblown, sarcastic generalizations and semi-baseless assumptions about what it says about people.
#1 and #2 (The boozy verses)

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Proverbs 31:6

Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Proverbs 31:7

What it says: Well… people like their drinkin clearly. I actually love these verses too. They make the conservative squirmy. Of course it does say right before that it’s not for Kings and rulers to crave it… so maybe all those sad sack country songs about friends in low places drinkin whiskey resonate with the facebooking masses.

#3 (The Beginning)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1

What it says: It means that people wound rather get in arguments about dinosaurs, gardens and strategically placed fig leaves than the publicly espouse the deity of Christ. Ooooo…

#4 (The Commandments)

Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13

What is says: It means that people are still trying to avoid thinking about those whole coveting the neighbor and pesky Sabbath ones.

#5 #8 #10 – (The Novelty Verses)

And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 2 Kings 2:24

Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness. Leviticus 19:29

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence 1 Timothy 2:12

What is says: Bear maulings, whores and silencing women. Gotta love the Bible. It says that there are lots of former Sunday School boys who amused themselves by trying to make their friends laugh by passing the funny scriptures around while a lady in a Hawaiian shirt put on a puppet/felt board combo show… on Facebook. I’m personally very disappointed that Ezekiel 23:20 is not there though. That’s what I “Liked”

There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

Best… verse… ever
#6 (Anger at the rich)

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24

What it says: People love this one. Mostly because 70% of our culture has no liquid money and are drowning in debt and revel in seeing a rich guy is get burned. Schadenfreude. Yep. That’s why people like it so much. Of course they often forget the poor widow that Jesus lauded gave MOST of her earthly possession and wealth so… easy treading there plankeye.

#7 (The Slam Dunk)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

What is says: It says that people only really know a couple of Bible verses… and this is one of them.
#9 (The Tats)

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28

What it says: It says that the namesake “Mothers” whose son’s chose to honor with ink on their upper arm… didn’t find it quite so touching.

BONUS #11 (Fruity Sex)

Strengthen me with raisins,refresh me with apples,for I am faint with love. Song of Solomon 2:5

What it says: I don’t know why fruit was such a big part of Bible sex… but it looks like I’m not the only who curious about it. Where do you put the raisins?

~Dave Carrol

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