Not many weird religious news stories this week; try to do something stupid over the next few days, okay? This is a link list without links. To see them click over to Out of Ur. As for the above graphic, you need to listen to Phil Vischer Podcast…
- According to a CNN story, the head of Christian Copyright Licensing Inc. claims that Chris Tomlin is the most prolific songwriter in the United States right now.
- Personally, I thought my alternative ending to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference would have been an interesting touch…
- …but of course, truth is always stranger than fiction. While I first read about Mark Driscoll crashing the party, I’d not heard James MacDonald’s name mentioned until this.
- Two pieces on the subject of porn: Eric Simmons at Desiring God with I Hate Porn, and Tim Challies offering some preventative measures with The Porn-Free Family.
- Did you see marathon swimmer Diana Nyad talking to Oprah? Is it possible to be an atheist and still be “in awe?”
- Short Essay of the Week: What if modern technology permitted Biblical education to take place individually, and the place we gather weekly was for interaction, coaching, personal support and prayer? Be sure to read David Morrow’s The Flipped Church.
- Medium Essay of the Week: Dancing as “keeping in step with the Spirit;” a metaphor for a life of faith, unless of course you believe that, “the praying knee can’t belong to a dancing leg.”
- A Minnesota Pastor takes 20% of the revenue from a land deal and creates entrepreneurial opportunities for young people. Read the original CT article and this response (with video).
- Most Provocative Title: From Catholic writer Tony Agnesi, are you Living Your Resumé or Your Eulogy?
- Starting Over: For Jon Acuff, this particular blog represents Day Zero.
- Academic Article of the Week: We all know what the gospel is, but if you’re studying alternative texts, what exactly is a gospel?
- …and aggregate the Tweets of some well-known Christian academics, and you might find yourself reading Bible Gateway Bible Profs News.
- Kid Min Corner: Unlike many children’s DVD series, Phil Vischer didn’t stop at the end of Acts. So what themes from Paul’s letters did he feel were worthy of inclusion in a kids video?
- Youth Ministry Corner: Apparently some parents would rather just write a check to pay for missions trips, and the kids don’t want to do fundraising, either.
- Know any Aspies? That’s a term for people with Asperger’s Syndrome; people for whom the church can feel like an alien place.
- The blog Sliced Soup found this 18-month old guide to Hebrew pronunciation of YHWH, but as it turns out the video channel it’s from is a goldmine of instruction in Ancient Hebrew.
- What should worship leaders do when the keyboardist who wants to join the team is a classically-trained pianist.
- Pastors: If that illustration you’re using is actually debunked on Snopes.com, look out! Turns out Millennials like to fact-check sermons.
- Video(s) of the Week: Two beautiful acapella song covers on YouTube by David Wesley — One Thing Remains and the more recently posted (last week) How Deep the Father’s Love.
- People You Should Know: Another edition of the Young Influencers List.
- Charlotte Church is now 27, but she knows the pressure put on young music stars to be hyper-sexualized.
- Questions about the film’s ending has caused tension for the March, 2014 movie based on the life of Noah.
- Music Flashback: From our Lost Songs collection, the worship of Calvary Chapel Downey, with the hauntingly beautiful song To be Like You.
- Denominational stereotypes? Christianity Today answers the question, ‘Why are Google searches so much fun?’
- Finally, if you’re going to steal stuff from a church, don’t try to flog it at a yard sale only a few streets away.
Link list curator Paul Wilkinson blogs at Christianity 201 and Thinking Out Loud, the latter of which still sports its original look and theme, an actual functioning blogroll that is updated regularly, and a merry-go-round that still operates. (Not that last thing…)
Main branch of the Kansas City Public Library.
The only thing harder than beginning is beginning again.
So states Jon Acuff in the opening paragraph to the opening blog of his new website. I’d include more of that paragraph, but Jon’s website people have reached a technical sophistication with this blog that renders his words non-copy-and-paste-able.
He may be extremely popular, but he’s not about to be most-quoted. I didn’t check to see if his people had also found a way to block screenshots. I’ll just use an older file picture here.
Still, yesterday on Day One, or as he calls it, Day Zero, the Stuff Christians Like guy found a way to rally the troops and no doubt got a gazillion readers, as evidenced by over 600 comments. The post itself is called Day Zero. (Two other short posts followed Monday as well.)
Wither all that content from the previous SCL? The parting of ways between Acuff and Dave Ramsey was said to have been amicable. I guess we’ll have to see…
Meanwhile, the blog has a banner containing an ad for a new book by Jenny Acuff, How to be Married to a Dreamer. Click the image and you find yourself signing up to be on a mailing list. Clever. You’ve got to give them all credit, these guys have got working social media down to a science.
Ironic twist: Blog post number two ends with:
Do you ever feel guilty when you self promote?
Why don’t you tell us, Jon.
No, it’s not you. There’s something wrong here. I’ll let Jon Acuff followed by some of his friends Tweet their response:
- It bothers me that it’s a cheetah not a lion. Am I a horrible Christian?
- Am I equally horrible for thinking the kid should be STANDING, not crouching?
- Ok so why would you follow someone’s IG if all you wanted to do was rip them apart?? I thought it was funny ( and so were the comments).
- Hahaha, I love when people try to demonize you. You always have great comebacks!
- I was thinking the same thing, before I read your comment!
- This designer doesn’t play by all your direct scripture quoting rules; (yeah you know where this is going) he’s a CHEETAH!
- You should photo shop a lion’s head onto this image… “There, I fixed it”
- If you look closely you can see it’s clearly a lion wearing a cheetah costume.
- Before I read your caption I was like, “b-b-but that’s not a lion…” I’m with ya!
- I think both cheetah and the kid are standing on a lion.
- I looked at that (before I saw who posted it) and thought “That’s a cheetah. What’s going on here?” LOL
- Also, is that the largest cheetah on earth or what? Sheesh.
- It could be kinda accurate! There were mountain leopards in many of the places where David hid from Saul, including the caves of En-Gedi!
- With God you will crouch unharmed next to giant cheetahs. I like the original too. Either way the sentiment rocks.
Well…for another take on Psalm 91; check out the video here by Sonicflood
…and if you missed the excitement over Jon’s resignation this week from the Dave Ramsay team, there’s this article
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?
- Here’s a re-issue of a classic 2004 Michael Spencer post at iMonk where the fallibility of those in vocational ministry hits full force.
- In another re-print, Pete Wilson quotes Peter Scazzero on the American Church and the American Dream.
- Or check out Will Mancini’s take on how success in ministry adversely affects pastors.
- Here’s an interesting thought: If your church permits women preachers or allows women as elders, who ‘permits’ and who ‘allows’? Chances are it’s men. Hmmm. Kathy Escobar elaborates.
- The sad story of Jack Schaap continues with a plea agreement, followed by being taken into custody on the 20th, with a first court appearance scheduled for today (26th).
- Brian McLaren guests at CNN’s religion blog to discuss Islamaphobic Evangelical Christians in light of recent events in the Arab world. Also a response and video interview from Tony Jones.
- Also at CNN’s Belief Blog/News page, the 15 Amish people who last fall “sheared” the beards of other Amish people could face ‘recommended’ prison terms of 17 years.
- October 28th to November 4th is WRAP Week (White Ribbon Against Pornography) an annual event that creates a useful opportunity to raise the issue of pornography within the Church, and to call all Christians to renewed lives of sexual purity and freedom; and a project of the Salvation Army USA. Here’s the poster. Here’s info about the film Somebody’s Daughter.
- Veteran Christian Band The 77s are touring in October. If you missed them, here’s an audio of one of my favorites. (Two Ontario dates are available!)
- After Monday’s post about canonization, I realize how little I know about other faith traditions… Just when I think I have the rosary figured out, there’s prayer ropes for the Orthodox.
- I was wrong last week; the national Canadian Christian talk show hosted by Lorna Dueck has actually been out under the Context format (with a live audience that Listen Up never had) for over a year.
- Two articles on supporting your pastor(s): One from Lisa Robinson at Parchment and Pen, and one from Keith Brenton at Blog in My Own Eye.
- Sometimes I find about blogs from the “God Blogger” segment on The Drew Marshall Show. This week it was Timothy Dalrymple.
- Also this week discovered the blog, Hieropraxis while trying to track down a female apologetics expert, Dr. Holly Ordway; one of a few in what is otherwise more of man’s game.
- The funny graphic at the top of this post is actually from a very serious 2011 article, The Mega-Problem of Mega-Churches.
- …And the closing cartoon is from Dave Walker at CartoonChurch.com, but when I tried to find it for a proper link, I couldn’t. This one is from the blog Digging a Lot.
Not enough links for you? The new Top 200 Church Blogs list is out.
This week’s links include:
Check your calendar: The year is half over. Just eighteen months left until the world ends in 2012. Here’s where we were this week:
- Without question my number one link this week is Francis Chan’s children’s book trailer — that’s right, a kids book — for The Big Red Tractor releasing in September from David C. Cook.
- Pete Wilson pays tribute to a retiring staff member who he hired seven years ago to bring some experience and wisdom to an otherwise younger team; sharing some valuable lessons he learned from Tom Tyndall. Here’s a sample:
Great sermons will get you pats on the back. Savvy leadership skills will win you admiration from your colleagues. Hard work will catch peoples eyes as you separate from the pack. But if you don’t love you’re nothing more than a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal. If you don’t love the people God has placed in your life nothing else really matters.
- Andy LePeau at InterVarsity has a surefire way to increase the earning potential of your children and it’s not (directly, at least) education. Check it out.
- I really enjoyed Rick Apperson’s Blogapalooza throughout the entire month of June at Just a Thought, but especially this guest piece by Clay Crosse. (Check out the other posts, too.)
- Mark Wilson has a hilarious hypothetical conversation between God and St. Francis on the subject of lawn maintenance.
GOD : They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
- Know somebody who is giving your pastor a hard time? Probably not anything like this story. This guy was a terrorist. This is a book trailer for an upcoming non-fiction book, The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Alonzo; releasing August 1st.
- A 2006 iMonk column by Michael Spencer showed considerable insight in trying to bring balance to the young-earth/old-earth tensions in science vs. creationism. He felt the Bible was a book about God and Jesus, not a book about science.
- Here’s something you don’t see every day; a book about the ascension of Jesus and why it matters. Check out Jeff Loach’s review of He Ascended Into Heaven.
- First it was the hymn people versus the chorus people. But recently there’s been more visible unrest within the modern worship community itself. Michael Krahn comments, in a blog post inspired by one by Canadian Chris Vacher.
- New Blog of the Week: Contrast by Terry Foote in Florida. No particular post, though you might read a father’s perspective on the loss of a child.
- Atheists have put the “under God” part of “One Nation Under God” back on the agenda with a billboard campaign .
- There are parts of the Christian internet I’m sure some of you (us) never get to see. Not sure what to make of this one: The blog Enoch Route introduces us to “Billy” who offers some signs you might be in a cult.
- Can you handle one more Drew Marshall Show link? When the new archived interviews (from last week’s show) go up on Friday, it’s Drew’s first “Gay Day” with Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network, Wendy Gritter from New Direction Ministries, and singer-songwriter Derek Webb, just back from a tour with Jennifer Knapp. Click here after 7.2.10 and select the show from 6.26
- Ruth Graham observes that the themes in Christian young adult fiction are creeping into the mainstream book market. (Some critics felt it was the other way around.) Check out her article at Slate.
- Some people have all the answers until you start asking spiritual questions. Check out this Soul Chat promo. More Soul Chat video content here.
- If you’ve read the last chapter of the book version of Stuff Christians Like (as opposed to the website) you know the (somewhat) serious side of Jon Acuff (pictured at right). CNN’s Belief blog had him back again, this time to tell everyone why some Christians act like jerks online.
- Late breaking item: With too many contradictions in his Muslim-turned-Christian story, when Ergun Caner’s current term as dean of Liberty University Theological Seminary expires today (6/30) the job won’t be renewed, though he gets to stay on staff. The Washington Post tells the story, additional background is at World Magazine.
- Our cartoon today is a classic — in internet terms, it’s actually only from 2008 — Hi and Lois by Brian and Greg Walker.
If you were listed in the blogroll here at Thinking Out Loud, and your blog name begins with “The,” don’t panic, you’re still here. Look for your blog’s title without the “the.” (Requests to have it reinstated will be considered by a bureaucratic committee that meets in Switzerland twice a year.)
Last week’s link list got bumped from its home page position by another post, check it out here.
Here’s the list for Wednesday the 21st: That means spring is one-third gone already! (Or autumn for all our mates down under.)
- Gotta love the new style of church names, right? Okay, maybe not all of them. The blog Out of Ur has put them all in this collection.
- What’s the worst thing a Methodist preacher can do? Re-baptize someone, according to this piece by Talbot Davis at The Heart of the Matter. Mind you, I can think of worse things!
- Cornerstone Church without Francis Chan? Tell me he’s just testing his congregation again. Here’s the 11-minute video at Resurgence. Or listen to the message on 4/18 here.
- David Kenney went to church on Good Friday and Easter, only Jesus never died at the one, and never rose again at the other. In this piece, he suggests that it’s all about life.
- Tom Datema sets the bar low enough on church “purpose statements” that any local church can attain, in this piece at Brain Twitch.
- Can you handle one more Jennifer Knapp post. “…Let’s assume that it is a sin. Then my question is: Can a sinful person love Jesus? Oh! We’ve got to be so careful how we answer that question. To me, the answer is an obvious “yes”. It is obvious to me because my own life testifies to it. In every season of my life, I have struggled with different sins. But in all of those seasons I have still loved Jesus.” Read in full at Upwrite.
- All those progressive Christian radio stations can keep playing Owl City, now that Adam Young has hit the online pages of Christianity Today.
- Colin at the blog simply titled Words has an analogy on the subject of “constructive reconstruction” of faith with the piece, My Brother the Bike Mechanic.
- Jon Acuff from Stuff Christians Like finally gets around to doing a book promo video, but you might draw more from this CNN clip of a piece he appeared in. (Canadian readers: Does John Roberts hint at the end that he attends North Point?)
- Allen Flemming, who claims an intimate knowledge of the family says that Canadian David DiSabatino’s DVD documentary on Larry Norman has got it all wrong, setting up a website refuting Fallen Angel called Failed Angle.
- Pastor Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv re-establishes his church’s purposes in The Code, a series of 13 statements spread out over three blog posts at Swerve. You’ll have to click here and then head for April 14, 15 and 16 posts; but they’re good reading. (Or see them all in the comments section here.)
- Andrew Jones aka Tall Skinny Kiwi, has a balanced look at discernment ministries in 10 Ways to Keep Watchdogs from Barking.
- Jason Wert is thankful for Anne Jackson drawing attention to the issue of human trafficking in Moldova, but suggests this event has been going on for a long while, even in the United States.
- Adrienne at the blog, Contemplative Life, has a short post here introducing a piece by Ann Voskamp about Ann’s daughter’s baptism. Start here, and then click the link to Ann’s piece.
- Bill at the blog, A New Language for Christians, puts a more modern spin on the story of the good Samaritan.
- This week’s cartoon is from Thom Tapp at Baptist Press: