First, because nothing speaks to the advent of our Lord’s coming better than Hello Kitty:
Just one month today until the jolly fat man (not John Hagee) comes to visit.
- Kent Dobson, Rob Bell’s successor at Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI is stepping down. See the announcement here.
- Even though I write a weekly news feed, I miss some things, like the death in late September of John Kohlenberger, who has influenced every edition of the NIV Bible you have ever read. I will flesh this out later, but John had a huge influence on me, and others as well, including Randy Alcorn.
- Essay of the Week: Do pastors ever become jealous of the success of others? You bet they do. If you haven’t already, check out On Being Matt Chandler’s Roommate.
- Not three, or five, or even ten; but 20 discussion points on healing prayer from a two-decade-long charismatic.
- Jezehellsbells: First the website Jezebel attempts an exposé of sorts of Doug Wilson. Then at Blog and Mablog, Wilson responds.
- Lutherans at the Catholic communion table? Pope Francis says it is simply a matter of conscience…
- …But one former Protestant turned Catholic says Francis has “muddled things up and confused the faithful.”
- Instead of the usual weekend sermon, Wade Burleson tracked the 230-year old history of Sunday School. (Thanks, Deb!)
- In just a few days, the Roman Catholic Church will kick off the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a year-long observance running December 8th to November 20th, 2016.
- Provocative Title of the Week: Author Jennie Allen’s One Lie That Will Shut You Down. (The problem I would call numerolatry.)
- The Gospel according to Peanuts was far more than a simple monologue from Linus.
- For the hurting: A September blog post from someone knows well what it’s like, for those of you dealing with sadness, who are alone, or just plain hurting.
- For the first time since 1970, the Hour of Power (or at least the 30-minute sermon portion) will be seen on an entire network, ABC Family.
- A 60-second commercial promoting a new Church of England website has been nixed by the country’s largest theater chain even though they had previously agreed it would be seen before screenings of the new Star Wars film.
- Greg Boyd Department: 5 different ways that the Bible can be seen to support Open Theism.
- Preaching Place: It’s hard to break old habits but this writer thinks sermons can improve if pastors avoid five over-used words (and you won’t believe the 5th one!)
- Leadership Lessons (1): Pastor, are you a rancher or a shepherd? Smaller churches want shepherds, but Carey Nieuwhof says that limits the church’s potential.
- Leadership Lessons (2): Spousal survival when the other’s ministry role necessitates travel away from family…
- …Also at the blog A Life Overseas, a frank discussion about how much missionaries should ask for money.
- Ten marks of a healthy worship team, with application to other teams at your church also. (More great praise team articles at Worship Links.)
- Women readers, don’t miss this: Jamie Ivey’s almost endless list (and podcast with Jen Hatmaker) of world-changing organizations where you can do your holiday shopping. (Great ideas for the guys here, too.) (Even if she does spell holidays with an apostrophe.)
- Kim Phuc, also known as “the girl in the picture” running from a Napalm bombing of her Vietnam village is currently undergoing laser treatments to remove scar tissue.
- Zondervan’s ‘spiritual’ versions of The Berenstain Bears have hit the 5 million mark in sales.
- Proceeds from the song, Your Word by Marcus Witt being translated into 10 languages are going to support global Bible translation efforts by the United Bible Societies. (Listen to 75-seconds of the song.)
- How to sabotage a church board meeting (or annual general meeting for that matter): Take a lesson from the CIA.
- Finally, how could I not click on a CT story titled, A History of Faith and Flatulence?
Our closing graphic is dedicated to whoever does PowerPoint at your place of worship:
Of course, there are probably things more important than coffee cups we should be concerned about…
…Time to kick off another edition of the news roundup where other news roundups get their news roundups, unless they get it from another news roundup or don’t borrow from another news roundup…
…But first, we’re pleased to note another great match on Tinder:
- For the first time in seven years, local media in Charlotte snags an interview with Steven Furtick. The eleven outtakes from the story may be the more interesting content.
- Leadership lessons: When male pastors shepherd and disciple women, boundaries need to exist. This 35-minute podcast with Krsitie Anyabwile and Thabiti Anyabwile is part of a series on this topic. “If there isn’t a window in your office, put it on the budget; ask a carpenter to come by and put a hole in the wall.”
- Following the death of his brother, Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau attended an Alpha Course.
- The Indianapolis murder of Amanda Blackburn was the death of both a Pastor’s wife and a Pastor’s daughter. Davey Blackburn issued this statement. 2,000 people attended her memorial service.
- KidMin: A major media look at changes in Christian Education. The Wall Street Journal notes: “[T]he children and families director at Riverside Church leads a jazzed-up version of Sunday school, without a Bible in sight.”
- The missionary conundrum: How far to go in asking for financial assistance.
- Twenty years after the author’s death, in 2016 Convergent Books, a division of Penguin Random House will release new collections of the works of Henri Nouwen.
- “Part of the appeal of [Oswald] Chambers’ teachings and his famous devotional [My Utmost for His Highest] is his ability to capture deep, profound biblical truths in ways that are easy to comprehend, but force you to wrestle through them to truly understand.” Relevant Magazine highlights 12 Chambers quotations.
- A shot of good news; the type you don’t hear so much online.
- “As [Justin] Bieber gears up to release his upcoming album Purpose on November 13, he has adamantly been bringing mainstream media on his faith journey with him during his promotional tours. In his recent interview with Billboard magazine, Bieber capped off the night at a church service…” More at Christian Post.
- Blog Post of the Week: Seems Jesus didn’t take Joel Osteen’s advice.
- Christian author and professor Randall Balmer is quoted in a CNN article on Ben Carson: “His whole campaign is based upon his narrative, because he has no political experience and no record of public service…” Another Christian academic, Michael Duduit, notes: “”His selling point is that he is a man of integrity… [I]t’s OK to tell a story. Jesus told stories… Just don’t add details that didn’t happen.”
- An authoritative blogger is threatened with legal action by Gospel for Asia.
- Spotting the difference between worshipers of God and worshipers of worship services.
- Essay of the Week: “41,000 different Christian denominations exist worldwide. Causes for division are perhaps as numerous as the divisions themselves, and almost all show up during a church’s weekly services.”
- A look at the Biblical basis for the Gender Equality position.
- This link is more of mainstream media item, but it’s the actual Facebook post of a 22-year old woman caught in the concert massacre in Paris on Friday…
- …Also, a look at the song Imagine by John Lennon in light of last Friday.
- Tony Jones remembers René Girard, who advanced the Scapegoat interpretation of Christ’s death.
- For your consideration: Reasons the author believes contribute to an absence of Islamic terrorism in Japan.
- Quotation of the Week: “I want believers to see that they can lead a big, God-glorifying life in the suburbs, the country, and the urban core. They can drive an SUV; they can buy Venti two-shot light-foam Caramel Macchiatos at Starbucks; they don’t have to quit their job, but can keep working at their vocation, whether that means barista in Brooklyn, stay-at-home mom in Des Moines, financial planner in Chicago, pastor in Bangor, Maine, or most anything in between.” Okay, maybe you need some context.
- Certain vendors won’t stock this children’s book about their bodies because it uses the p-word and the v-word.
- Tech Talk: The best WordPress blog and website themes for churches.
- Ever wished you could easily go back to those great lines from books you’ve read? Here are some tips on capturing quotations for all types of media.
- Video of the Week: Stephen Colbert’s attempt to convert Bill Maher.
- While you’re planning that late fall barbecue, remember that your Orthodox friends are observing the 40-day Nativity Fast.
- Finally, because we can, Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na BatMoses.
Actual photo of one Christian bookstore’s recommended shoebox items: Operation Christmas Child, saving the world one piece of cheap, useless, breakable junk at a time.
Time to close in prayer:
Rick is a poet, so the above is to be expected. But unexpected was the revelation at Snopes.com that Ben Carson actually owns this picture: And now on to the links…
- Rick Warren and Francis Chan have announced a new concerted effort to reach 3,000 unreached people groups.
- Weekly church attendance is becoming a thing of the past anyway; so why not Once a Month Church?
- Though the author considers it an “apocryphal story,” John 8 provides a backdrop for making space for alternative sexualities within the church.
- Though raised Pentecostal, theologically, Iyanla Vanzant is hard to pigeon hole.
- Illustrations depicting The Prophet? This California school district has banned drawings of any religious figure.
- Short article, big topic: The realities of church life for single women over 50.
- In a parent-teacher conference, Benjamin Corey’s daughter is asked what her daddy does.
- Under new rules, the children of same-sex couples cannot be baptized until they (a) turn 18, (b) leave home, and (c) renounce the gay lifestyle.
- And then there’s this link, which dares to suggest that Freud was a Biological Calvinist. (Okay, admit it; you’re curious…)
- Political Theology: The implications of Hannah’s prayer for God to “open her womb” and the larger issues of the context of her infertility.
- Two pastors suffer severe electric shocks trimming trees too close to power lines.
- Bible translation is now being accomplished in record time, but some feel the results suffer.
- Nearly two-thirds of American lead pastors are chosen by a congregational vote.
- The one thing that stood out for Randy Alcorn’s daughter about his parenting.
- Prospective speakers for Christian conferences should ask organizers about the racial diversity of the guest list.
- After coining the phrase, Evangelical Industrial Complex (EIC), Skye Jethani looks at the Celebrity Pastor Factory.
- Finding real estate for your church in Vancouver, Canada is fairly impossible; but if you do find a spot, you probably can’t afford it.
- “Many pop love songs amount to ‘I want to love you all night long.’ The morning? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” Russell D. Moore on Jerusalem and Johnny Cash.
- Creepy Corner: The Scottish government is teaching kids propaganda songs to introduce a new program to improve outcomes for kids, that are considered controversial.
- Reading Scripture Sideways: A festival of Richard Rohr vid-clips.
- In our community, this was a week of heart attack reports, so I really didn’t need to hear about this 59-year old pastor who finished his sermon and then died.
- The War on Christmas leads to The War on Starbucks…
- …However, nobody is talking about The Starbucks Advent Calendar, because that ruins the offendedness. (Yes, spellcheck: offendedness.)
- One Night Only: Except they had to add a second night, Tuesday, November 17th, for Laughing in the Dark with Christian comedian and author Chonda Pierce. (Click on “Watch the trailer.)
- From the Archives: I love the example Michael Patton used with his kids to teach them how to be certain about uncertainty.
- Toy-fil-a: The owner of a large chain of toy stores in the UK chooses Christian principles over profits.
- One time Joy Electrician Ronnie Martin joins Ted Kluck and Barnabas Piper as the newest member of the team at The Happy Rant Podcast.
- Video of the Week: Explaining to your airplane seatmate what it is exactly you do (when you’re a pastor).
- Finally, at first I thought Challies was kidding, but this Reformed gift-giving guide wasn’t a spoof post at all, but rather a sponsored article.
On a serious note, today is Veteran’s Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada. The freedoms we enjoy in places like North America, western Europe, Australia, etc., are here because someone paid the price so you wouldn’t have to. I’m guessing there’s also a sermon illustration in there, don’t ya think?
Welcome to a new, slightly slimmed-down link list. The bottom line is that blog engagement is not what it once was, and Thinking Out Loud is no exception. Providing 35-40 links is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work; work for which we don’t get paid, as the blog is not monetized. So it’s actually the number of hours spent on this week’s link that were cut. If you send in suggestions then the quantity might go up slightly in those weeks.
Top links last week were (1) Reformed/Anabaptist; (2) Worship industry killing worship; and (3) Gospel Centered ministry.
The Wednesday List Lynx; one of many, actually that have been featured here.
Also, if you only show up here once a week, 6 days ago there was a Thursday Link List you missed.
- Essay of the Week: A honest hard look at what we pay “the guest speaker” and how it’s usually on the lower side of fair.
- A ghostwriter of a chance: Who really wrote Billy Graham’s most recent work?
- People like a church “where everybody knows your name; and they’re always glad you came…” but even in Cheers, only the main characters knew Norm.
- The 613 is not a book about Ottawa, Canada’s area code. Rather it’s a one pound, 640-page art book with each of the 613 Torah commandments from the Mitzvot illustrated in surrealistic colors.
- The whole point of a small group is to have a small, tight community, right? Well, in performing an autopsy on his failed small group, this writer realized they had been too internally focused.
- Above My Pay Grade Department (which I was also tempted to call ‘I Dream of Genealogy’): A look at the discrepancies between the family trees in Matthew and Luke.
- Scot McKnight reviews Partners in Christ by John Stackhouse which he finds just might be “the most honest book ever written in the complementarian-egalitarian debate; it is without doubt the fairest book on the topic I’ve seen.” The subtitle is A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism.
- Devotional for the media/tech team: “Every tech person is pursuing great sound and video, but are we pursuing the face of God? Even if you aren’t on stage your prayers can do great things.”
- Belief in God is “still remarkably high by comparison with other advanced industrial countries;” but overall Pew Research is reporting a decline in religion in America.
- For several years now, The Gideons in Canada have been charting their own course. That ministry now moves to next steps with the launch of Shareword Global.
- Listicle of the Week: A look at the top ten all-time most popular works of Christian fiction.
- Years ago some of us knew her as Anne Jackson. Now, Anne Marie Miller is six months away from a new title with Baker Books: Five Things Every Parent Needs to Know About their Kids and Sex.
- This time around the butler didn’t do it: “The Vatican on Monday (Nov. 2) announced the arrest of two people in connection with the alleged theft of confidential documents, the first such case since the “Vatileaks” scandal saw the papal butler jailed for leaking Holy See secrets.”
- Barna Research’s David Kinnaman guests on The Phil Vischer podcast discussing religious freedom (once you get past the banter, which makes it kinda like a What’s in the Bible episode.) (Did I say that out loud?)
- Media from the other side: A Humanist take on Operation Christmas Child.
- Not entirely new, but if you’re looking for a really unique small group experience for Christmas (or Easter) here’s an eight session Lifeguide Bible study based on different pieces from Handel’s Messiah.
- Have you heard of those medical insurance alternatives where Christians cover each other’s expenses? Here’s one satisfied customer.
- The Royal Mail in the UK unveils this year’s nativity-themed Christmas stamps.
- At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, SEO stands for Spiritual Enquiry Optimization. (Okay, I thought it was clever, but my spellcheck had never seen the other spelling of inquiry before.)
- Not every meme you see about Icelandic atheists and crime is 100% true.
- Church pickup lines and equally cheesy Christian breakup lines.
- What not to wear to a funeral, plus 19 other pictures of weird liturgical vestments.
For our closing graphic, Mad Magazine gets rather serious:
Only the 8th time we’ve ever done this. Why?
- Because the book review I was going to post still wasn’t ready
- Because I find I can now do this in my sleep
- Because I’ve already done lots of Halloween and All Saints Day related pieces before
Here we go:
- 25 Proven ideas for your church this Christmas, with something for every size and shape of church.
- After her 17 year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot dead in 2012 at a Jacksonville, Florida, Lucia McBath was on a mission which resulted in the new movie The Armor of Light which opens Friday in 20 cities.
- Essay of the Month: Three strong alternatives to a sinners prayer approach with your children.
- …It’s based on another article where a mom explains why she won’t be using the sinner’s prayer.
- She had a story to share, but wasn’t so great at hearing the stories of the people she interacted with. Her conversion to a posture that was more listening than talking she describes as the time “I Kissed Evangelism Goodbye.”
- I tried to read this one too quickly and missed the point. Slow down with me and check out I Am An Atheist Chaplain.
- Operation Mobilization (OM) has lost its license to sponsor visas in Britain and now 66 missionaries must leave.
- A seventh grader in a Texas school says she was forced to say “God isn’t real.”
- Take the Christ Quiz: This 30-question test on Tim Challies’ blog isn’t always worded as clearly as it could be, so take your time and see where you rank in terms of your understanding of the doctrine of Christ.
- The church of the future may involve peanut butter and spicy sauce. A summary of an event at Group Publishing.
- In his penultimate blog post, Matt Appling wonders what some would think it would like if Christians “take back America.”
- There’s a Friday the 13th next month. And there’s a black cat down the street. It’s amazing how, even among Christians, people believe in superstitions.
Speaking of evangelism, here’s a t-shirt that gets it all done quickly:
P.S. I’m prepared to do daily link lists if someone wants to pay me the big bucks!
Praying to Barbie? No, you can’t buy them, but as this story at Religion News Service reports, you can see them at an Argentine art installation. “Barbie is depicted as Joan of Arc, Virgin of Guadalupe — Mexico’s patron saint — and Mary Magdalene, with a low-cut dress that shows her chest. Ken is shown as Buddha and Moses…” Click the image to read the full story.
Only in America: These evangelistic Halloween treats are, “a tri-color candy–yellow, orange, and white, the colors of God–in the shape of a pointed seed and sweetened with honey.” Click the image to read the full story at Religion News Service.
I didn’t get around to putting the top five clicks from last week on Twitter, so here they are: (1) 8 Reasons the Worship Industry is Killing Worship, (2) creative church error-404 pages, (3) Lynne Hybels; 40th Anniversary of Willow Creek, (5) John Hendrix church doodles; and (5) Larry Tomczak. (Let me know if you prefer them here, or on Twitter.) Now on to this week’s…
- Question of the Week: Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture by Teaching Men? The author collected a wide variety of responses on this, but you don’t have to look too deeply see this wasn’t exactly a balanced sample of women bloggers.
- St. Louis, Missouri: Seven churches targeted within ten days.
- Essay of the Week: How the worship industry is killing worship.
- A brief overview of the term “belief” in light of the current Oprah TV series of the same name.
- Before their elimination last week, The Toronto Blue Jays were the latest target of Westboro Baptist’s picket parade, at least as they played in Kansas City, since the group is not allowed in Canada. Here’s a couple of Canadian stories along with my personal memo to Westboro that the team is part of the American League, most players are American and are paid in U.S. dollars.
- You can’t sing “Going to the Chapel and we’re gonna get married” and assume that’s how it works in 2015. “Since 2008, the New York City clerks office reports that they have seen a nearly fifty percent increase in the number of weddings held in the ever-romantic Manhattan marriage bureau office.” Increasingly weddings aren’t taking place in religious venues.
- Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and others spent some time last week kicking around that sometimes oxymoron-sounding title, Progressive Evangelical.
- Ben Carson’s Presidential aspirations have put the focus on his SDA denomination (Seventh Day Adventist) though the group believes that Evangelicals are “future allies of Satan.”
- Devotional of the Week: If there was an Acts 19-style bonfire in the year 2015, what might you toss in? Dr. David Murray thinks it would not be Harry Potter books.
- A California pastor says that many churches are harmful environments for LGBT individuals, especially when they want to serve.
- Leadership Lessons: I loved this quotation, “We’re now addicted to meetings that insulate us from the work we ought to be doing.” From a recent 6-minute Unseminary podcast; meetings may be killing mission.
- Media from the other side: At the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a report that a copy of Salman’s “Head of Christ” picture has been removed from a Kansas Middle School; and a Washington High School is being urged to stop a football coach from praying.
- After a year in talks about a church merger, this is not the way the worship leader should be told he’s no longer needed.
- Coming in November: This book contains the never-before published message A. W. Tozer intended as the follow-up to The Knowledge of the Holy, titled Delighting in God.
- When it comes to salvation, he’s Reformed. When it comes to church he’s Anabaptist.
- Sobering thoughts: Miscarriage from the Dad’s perspective.
- Huffington Post profiles Roman Catholic writer Joan Chittister.
- KidMin: First there were talking vegetables, now we have allegory by owls. Watch the Owelgories trailer or read the story. This product is available at Christian bookstores.
- Alongside archeologists sifting through The Temple Mount, a 10-year old boy from Russia finds a 3,000 year old document seal, which dates to the time of King David.
- Calvinist Conundrum of the Week: Did Jesus have a gospel-centered ministry? Or to put the question differently, Did Jesus have a “gospel-centered”TM ministry?
- Pope Francis Item of the Week: Catholic youth are encouraged to read the Bible, their “most precious treasure.”
- In England, over half of all police time is dealing with alcohol-related crime.
- No doubt squeezed for space, newspapers cut religion coverage.
- Not new, but appropriate to this week is Bruxy Cavey’s article on putting Halloween in perspective.
- Article title that got us most curious: Did Yogi Berra Read the Bible? (Turns out to be a devotional for our Jewish friends.)
- In addition to the inclusiveness represented by LGBTQIP, you may also be “asexual, aromantic, graysexual, demisexual, demiromantic, lithromantic, pansexual, polysexual, skoliosexual, queerplatonic relationships, and zucchini.” But wait, there’s more.
- Video Oddity of the Week: A 9-minute performance piece based on a quotation from A. W. Tozer about Christian unity.
- Long-form Video: Got 40-50 minutes? Brian Houston from Hillsong was a recent Convocation guest at Liberty University, as was Jefferson Bethke and Louie Giglio.
Finally, it turns out while we weren’t paying attention last month, the comic strip Mutts by Patrick McDonnell ran a series of panels with quotes from Pope Francis. Here’s two of my favorites:
Back to the Winter: Don’t forget that here in North America, this is the weekend we all get to go back in time; from Daylight Saving to Nightdark Losing.
12 More Links! Tomorrow we feature a Thursday Link List for only the 8th time ever. Don’t miss it.
So…any guesses who these people are? Or why they chose to share the photo with a bear whose last moments don’t look particularly happy? Answer below.
- Didn’t see this one coming: On Monday, Westboro Baptist picketed Kim Davis in what one writer called, “the strangest homophobe-on-homophobe attack imaginable.”
- Wanna guess before you click? Should men’s ministry meetings include singing? Maybe that was too easy.
- Essay of the Week: 8 Reasons the Worship Music Industry is Killing Worship.
- Our photo challenge answer: On the occasion of Willow Creek’s 40th Anniversary, Lynne Hybels thanks Bill Hybels for four decades, and in the process, shares some of the Willow story.
- A society within a society: Women are suffering under Sharia law councils …in the UK.
- 100 Huntley Street is Canada’s longest running TV show and the sixth longest running in the world. Last week the Christian talk show — of which this writer was part of Episode #1 — marked it’s 10,000th edition.
- We often steal pastoral resource link ideas from Daryl Dash’s Saturday links. Today we say thanks with two short articles by the man himself. First, what’s your level of contact with seniors? …
- … Second, a summary of questions you can ask your sermon text, to allow it to speak to you.
- Judging a Book by its Cover Department: How much attention does your church pay to the outside of your facility? A ten-point church exterior evaluation checklist. …
- … Speaking of church buildings, a look at going green and building eco-friendly gathering places. …
- … Also at the blog Holy Spirit Activism, Swedish host and charismactivist Micael Grehnolm challenges us to return to the Acts model of holding goods in common.
- If you haven’t found it already, Q Ideas is a faith-focused version of TED Talks. Like this one where a Catholic college professor takes us inside the mentality of hook-up culture.
- Got 40 minutes? From two weeks ago, Eric Metaxas talks to Sally Lloyd-Jones about the adult version of the bestselling The Jesus Storybook Bible. …
- … And more recently, Eric talks to Phil Vischer about the newest incarnation of What’s In The Bible titled Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector Nine (say it out loud and then add lots of echo on the word nine.)
- Playboy Magazine’s discontinuation of nudity isn’t the great victory some think it is.
- On a regular basis, Stephen Colbert brings the subject of religion to late night talk television.
- This worship leader thought the job would offer a chance to bask in God’s presence 24/7. But then things got busy. And then his wife asked, “[W]hat investment are you making in your own heart? You know you can’t give water from a well that’s dry.” Another case of Martha Syndrome.
- The gang at Church Marketing Sucks takes a look at creative Error 404 pages on church websites. (My favorite is below…)
- Detroit storefront church: The victim confronted the pastor — they were longtime friends — because he believed that the pastor and his wife were having an affair, and that the pastor had got her pregnant. He walked into the pastor’s office carrying a brick and that’s when, allgedly the pastor shot him. The man was taken to hospital where he died.
- Apparently adding “In God We Trust” to the county patrol cars isn’t a “church and state” problem in Lonoke County, Arkansas.
- Video of the Week: Love what this church did for a pizza delivery person. (File under: Deliverance ministry.)
- Sermon Review: If you wanna get right with God you gotta start tithing a full 10% right now.
- Larry Tomczak lists nine sins that indicate America is deserving of a serious wake-up call.
- This author thinks the bookstore won’t go the way of the record store…
- …Which reminded us to link to the 2015 Dove Award winners.
- We had a pastor once who encouraged the kids in the church to listen to the sermon and draw what they heard. Do that when you’re older and it might look like this.
- At first I thought this article was about lawsuits, but it’s actually about a different class of suits, what you could call clergy vestments for the charismatic and televangelist crowd.
- Don’t you hate it when you’re in your bomb shelter and you can’t get your food bucket open? Jim Bakker has the solution.
Before we begin, as a public service, here is your horoscope for today:
Of the things I clicked this week, here’s what I bookmarked to share this Wednesday:
- Was this a reaction to Charleston? I have a hard time taking this facial recognition software for church attendance seriously…
- …And reaction has come from many quarters. Here’s a critique of the product from Raw Story. [Language warning]
- Back in 1822, Thomas Jefferson would have expected that by now we would all be Unitarians.
- So how does gay marriage reopen the issue of church tax exemption? “To redistribute the wealth, of course; use one social issue as a guise to push another, completely unrelated issue.” …
- …and the New York Times weighs in…
- …while in the UK, Church-based schools may have to teach about the equality of gay relationships.
- Charleston, Continued: Predominantly black churches are being hit with arson.
- The Church in Exile: “…we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist.” A Time Magazine article.
- Essay of the Week: On Tullian, church size, and “that sickening desire within us to have renown.”
- (A name I didn’t recognize in the above link: Florida pastor Troy Gramling. Here’s a 2012 video overview.)
- Looks like Driscoll made an appearance at that Hillsong Conference after all.
- Buried in the 6th Paragraph: Ushers at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church are armed. (Well, a few are.)
- Garrison Keillor is retiring from Prairie Home Companion. To find out who replaces him, we looked of course to Relevant Magazine. (Hint: He guest hosted for two weeks a few months back.)
- I hope you got to read Ghost Boy. Now Joanna, the wife of Martin Pistorius, tells her side of the story to Redbook Magazine.
- Katy Perry vs. The Nuns: This made the evening news on Monday, but if you missed it…
- Exhortation of the Week: “Christians are not perfect, they are perfecting…” Encouragement not to be “jerks, unloving, unforgiving, demeaning and rude.”
- Across the Pond: Getting people to give, to know where the money goes, and the need to support the diocese (what we might call the district office) as well as the local church.
- Listicle of the Week: Russell D. Moore at On Faith breaking Southern Baptist stereotypes.
- By the Time They Got To Woodstock: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs in a part of the world known for a different type of music.
- Title of the Week: Emily Wierenga’s Why I Couldn’t Get Undressed on My Wedding Night.
- The unusual spiritual journey of Governor Bobby Jindal, from Hinduism to the Roman Catholic Church.
- Whovians: It’s time for a Bible study about vulnerability of The Doctor. (Don’t worry, the Whovians know ‘who’ they are.)…
- …While you’re at Geekdom House (really) check out the topics covered at Area of Effect Magazine. (Yes, there’s a faith element here.)
- Gallup Poll reveals a majority of Americans have no problem with an atheist President.
- Toward the bottom of this article, you’ll see why self-published Christian authors need to place their books with Send the Light Distribution or Anchor Distributors, and not Spring Arbor.
- Karl Vaters is shuttering his blog, NewSmallChurch.com and becoming part of the CT/Leadership Journal family.
- Obscure Video of the Week: The Osmond Brothers get Evangelistic with “He’s The Light of the World.”
- Curiosity Video of the Week: Harold van Lennep – Liberation. Most readers here should recognize the voice being sampled throughout. (Show your knowledge in the comments.)
- Though I never got to see my desk and office, you’ll do better at Christianity Today with one of these job openings. Also in Chicago, jobs open at InterVarsity Press.
- “Football is a great sport, but it makes a terrible God.” Chaplaincy in the Canadian Football League (CFL).
- Finally, some blast-from-the-past Christian music videos you may wish you hadn’t seen again.
- It’s now been 1,000 days that Saeed has been in prison in Iraq.
- Calvinism is slowly replacing Baptist Traditionalism in the Southern Baptist Conference.
- After being banned, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has been reinstated on 19 California college campuses.
- Quickly, what percentage of the worship choruses your church sings are in minor keys? Even the ones you think are, probably resolve to a major chord structure.
- Janet Mefford: On moral failure and endless Evangelical scandals.
- How to reach the blue people in your community when all your church’s programs are aimed at green people.
- “Fasting without prayer is just going hungry.”A Roman Catholic decides to join his Muslim friends in fasting during Ramadan.
- Ahh…the internet. Where else can you find something like this article proposing a Hillsong boycott. (And this response.)
- Never a dull moment on Twitter this week if you choose to monitor the hashtag #VBS.
- When you say, ‘They run that church like it’s a business;’ that corporate mentality has roots in scripture.
- Quote of the Week: “If forced to make the decision, our church from day one has decided that we will offend the self-seeking Christian before the spiritually seeking non-Christian.”
- When you hear, “I’m pregnant.” “…It’s a story that’s hard and messy, but it’s never without hope…”
- If you’re a Bible Archeology geek, you’re going to love the latest find.
- Dave Wakerley of Hillsong Kids offers 5 tips for creating YouTube content for children’s ministry.
- A name I never knew: Sister Nirmala Joshi, was Mother Teresa’s immediate successor serving from 1997 to 2009. She died on Tuesday.
- Another installation of the Homeless Jesus statue is scheduled for Indianapolis.
- Congratulations to Karl Vaters whose passion for small churches has earned him a position with Leadership Journal.
- Essay of the Week: Exploring the idea that discipleship consists in passing on craft knowledge.
- Rolling Stone reports Tim McGraw has been added to the cast of The Shack movie.
- “I already have a death plan for Mom and Dad: they are supposed to die peacefully in their sleep forty years from now on the same night holding hands.” Jen Hatmaker looks back six months on her family’s cancer battle plan.
- The Pope says you can’t be a Christian and be involved or invested in companies that manufacture weapons.
- ‘Adimral, there be unicorns here.’ Why there are unicorns in the KJV.
- If you don’t get enough worship song data from CCLI and PraiseCharts.com, you could always check the Proclaim Charts, updated weekly.
- Reformed Pastor Families: First, Barnabas Piper wrote The Pastor’s Kid for David C. Cook. Now Crossway has published The Pastor’s Wife by Gloria Furman.
- How does your garden grow? Apparently it’s now possible to have a gay garden. Update at Snopes.com
- Has a certain Pixar movie got you second-guessing the voices in your head? How to know when you’re hearing from God.
- Finally, something from The Onion; so you know what to expect.
Some stories this week from The Christian Post and Christian Today were rejected because of distracting links to other web content.
Because of our arrangement with Christianity Today, many Wednesday Link Lists here simply link to PARSE, no matter what you click; but as of last week, PARSE no longer exists. If you want to know more about a particular story, email us the date of the link list, and we’ll post the original list with all the links. It’s all very time-consuming, but we’ll eventually get to all of them.
St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery – Kiev, Ukraine. More interesting church architecture at this link.
Some day I’m only going to run links from blogs that don’t have pop-ups asking for subscriptions. There will only be about five links that week.
- We don’t make up the stories here… “A vicar in the Church of England has proposed a motion that would allow for a liturgical celebration of an individual’s identity following gender transition, much like a baptism, and would include a renaming ceremony.”
- Piper Pontificates: If you “sowed some wild oats” in your day, there is the question of how much of that is relevant to telling your children.
- A Rabbi looks at the use of the term “Old Testament” in relation to various alternatives.
- Brother Lawrence would be proud: A recipe for praying for racial reconciliation while making soup. At the very least, skim this one; it’s a great concept.
- Do you find it seems that people in your church seem to dress down to come to weekend services? This author gives four balanced guidelines on what we should wear to church.
- “[B]ecause the [Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum] is operated by the Christian group Foundation Advancing Creation Truth (FACT) and puts forth a biblical worldview about creation, the church-state separation group Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) sought to put an end to the trip. It sent a letter to school officials earlier this month asserting that it would be illegal for a public school to send children to the museum.” The Montana school’s trip was canceled…
- …Meanwhile the Freedom From Religion Foundation is fighting a Colorado school over a variety of what it calls illegal religious activities.
- Leadership Lessons 1: Don’t blame the big church down the street, or anyone else, for ministry fails. Here are twelve reasons.
- Leadership Lessons 2: “Nine stupid things I did as a pastor.”
- From a veteran Charismatic insider, five ways he feels they quenched the movement.
- A pastors wife reflects on events surrounding the day her husband, a student pastor, was arrested on sex crimes.
- His quotations are in much of what you read. Here’s a primer on why you should read G.K. Chesterton for yourself.
- At a ministry fork in the road: Should I stay or should I go?
- Essay of the Week: Zach Hunt on the Duggar Disaster…
- …Related: “It’s the Law of Reality TV. Whether what goes wrong is a fact that emerges from a cast member’s personal life or a fiction that emerges from the way producers edit the show, something always goes wrong. Reality TV thrives by balancing on the knife’s edge of fact and fiction, between creating drama to attract viewers and deflecting drama when it will repulse them.”
- Equal Time Department: We know what Calvin believed because it’s ubiquitous online. Here’s what Arminius taught.
- Musing of the Month for May: Challenging the idea of issuing a ministry license to someone before they can serve.
- More on the Gospel for Asia story: “Dividing currency amongst travelers requires the filing of a CMIR for the entire amount as intentionally aggregating currency exceeding $10,000 to evade reporting is against the law.”
- Your Mileage May Vary: A mom of three males offers five ways to raise strong Christian boys. Sample: “I let my boys fight with weapons. Not real ones, mind you.”
- Remember last week’s college pool link? Sheila Walsh posted this on Monday.
- The teenaged daughter of a Canadian blogger wrote a short essay and created a video on the subject of dignity with respect to the homeless.
- Don’t know where he found this, but Jeremy Myers offers seven examples of Christianese.
- Some mailmen have complained to Israel Post that they don’t want to be forced to deliver material from a Baptist group seeking Jewish converts. One of the arguments was that “children, who arrive home from school before their parents and collect the mail, are the first to be exposed to the material.”
- A year later, the With God Daily Devotional subscription program is still going strong.
- The Very Worst Prayer Card: Some classic JTVWM from 2009.
- Voter’s Guide: “In my mind, whenever someone touts their Christian beliefs in a political campaign, it ought to immediately disqualify that person as a trustworthy candidate in the eyes of every serious Christ follower.”
- Finally, a Twitter account dedicated to the October 15, 2015 rapture date.