Thinking Out Loud

May 7, 2014

Wednesday Link List

Religion Soup at Naked Pastor

Post something amazing online and you could find yourself here next week! Click anything below and you end up at PARSE, the blog of Leadership Journal, a division of Christianity Today; from there, click the story you want to read.

That’s it for this week. Between now and next Wednesday, join me at Thinking Out Loud, Christianity 201 and on Twitter

Congratulations to Phil Vischer, Skye Jethani and Christian Taylor on Episode 100 of the Phil Vischer Podcast! Click the image, sent in by listener Kyle Frisch to listen/watch.

Phil Vischer podcast episode 100

Songs with substance: Enduring worship

If you check the right hand margin over at Christianity 201, you’ll see that all of the various music resources that have appeared there are listed and linked alphabetically. Take a moment to discover — or re-discover — some worship songs and modern hymns from different genres.

October 13, 2010

Wednesday Link List

  • Our opening cartoon this week celebrates the release of David Hayward’s first cartoon book, Naked Pastor 101, which is available as a download, e-book, or paperback.  Simply click anywhere on the image to learn more.
  • The lastest news from Donald Miller and Steve Taylor is that the movie based on the book Blue Like Jazz is back on again.
  • After 30 years, Charisma magazine finally gets around to interviewing the man considered “the first Pentecostal scholar,” Regent College New Testament professor Gordon Fee.
  • Steve McQuilkin has a problem.   He’s “burst out out of the Christian bubble,” but all his old friends are alienating his new friends by speaking in Christianese on social media, which IMHO, is never a good idea even when it’s only our ‘in group’ in the audience.
  • And speaking of alienation, here’s an excellent article for worship leaders (and staff musicians, tech people, etc.)  on prioritizing your loved ones; under the title How Not To Be A Jerk to Your Family.  [HT: Worship Community]
  • Really enjoyed our weekend visit to Carruther’s Creek Community Church at the east end of greater Toronto.   John Thompson is the young pastor in what must be one of the largest churches in the AGC denomination, and they now offer recent sermons on video.
  • So what’s your guess on how many men in your church have a ‘problem’ with pornography?   An article at XXXChurch.com — people who should know — suggests you could be looking at something around 50%.
  • Next Tuesday (10/19) listen to a live interview with author Philip Yancey on the occasion of the release of his new book, What Good Is God? at 1:30 PM at Blog Talk Radio.
  • The staff at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas produced a five-minute, single-camera, single-take video celebrating their 20th anniversary.   Enjoy watching, and if you’ve got another five minutes, watch them making the video at BeDeviant.
  • Not sure you’re hearing from God?   This week’s Christianity 201 link is a quote from Bill Hybels’ The Power of a Whisper (Zondervan) about getting God’s voice to be heard over the noise in our lives.
  • I’ve also been hearing about another Zondervan book — one that Hybels himself could have written — Coffee Shop Conversations by Dale & Jonalyn Fincher.   I was reminded of it again reading Audra Krell’s blog.
  • So what would the people in your church do if Donald Trump turned up for Sunday worship?   Probably not seat him at the back.
  • Here’s another one of those “top blog” web pages, this one purporting to be the “top youth ministry blogs;” though as I pointed out a few weeks ago, the motivation for these sites is somewhat dubious.
  • Here’s a new version of sermon bingo just for fundamentalists from the blog Stuff Fundies Like (click on image to link).

June 2, 2010

Wednesday Link List

Our link list artist this week is David Hayward, better known as Naked Pastor.   He actually gave away the original water color of this  last week, so with blog giveaways like that, you might just want to become a regular reader.

Off to the links we go…

  • Rick Apperson reviews basketball fundraiser Austin Gutwein’s Take Your Best Shot, at the blog Just a Thought, while the whole genre — including some video clips of Austin — is examined at Christian Book Shop Talk.   Like Zach Hunter, Austin, pictured at right, got into the whole international relief thing at a very, very young age.  If I were still in youth ministry, I think I would build a whole evening around the videos describing what Zach and Austin are doing.
  • The whole Charismatic thing got started in the 1970s, right?   Not exactly.   If you’ve got some time to invest, Brazillian-born Leo Di Siqueira links to a lengthy article that blows apart the “cessationist” view that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit died off with the first apostles.  Writer Nigel Scotland documents examples of the “miracle” gifts occurring in the first five centures of the church.   The link is approximately a 15-page .pdf file.
  • Garrison Keillor explains the book publishing industry for all the children in the audience who are too young to remember what a book is on the pages of The New York Times.    (Here’s a related piece I wrote at my book industry blog.)
  • John Freeman at Ligoner Ministries suggests a balanced approach to dealing with the issue of homosexuality specifically and sexual sins in general; meanwhile…
  • …”When Ray Boltz and Azariah Southworth perform in concert at Covenant of the Cross in Nashville on June 17, 2010, they will kick off a national tour as well as an affirmation of their status as openly gay Christian music artists.”   Continue reading that story in Out and About a gay community blog.    But wait, there’s more…
  • …At the blog Monday Morning Insight, Todd Rhoades posts a piece about Boltz’ new album and some sample song lyrics which invite the broader Christian community to embrace greater tolerance.
  • For the time being, Raymond Hosier can wear his rosary beads to school, as reports the Washington Post.  Now the school in question faces a lawsuit.
  • Once-disgraced Colorado Pastor Ted Haggard announced today he is starting a new church and “will be happy if only a few people join.”  Read about St. James Church at NBC’s Denver affiliate.
  • They sold their house and named their RV after the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  This is actually an October, 2009 YouTube clip from Good Morning America, but someone sent it to me, and it is inspiring.
  • By their CD collection you shall know them:  Brett McCracken thinks true “hipsters” would be nostalgic for these contemporary Christian music classics.
  • Many a college or university began life with solid Christian roots which they would sooner forget in the secularized 21st Century; but sometimes, as Mark Roberts points out, the architecture of their older buildings betrays this history.  (My own alma matter, once proudly part of the now liberal United Church of Canada, is emblazoned with, “The Truth Shall Set You Free.”)
  • Trevin Wax had two great links last week:  First, when the Westboro gang decide to picket your church, if you’re in the deep south you serve them food!  Second, a link to Head Heart Hand, which suggests that bloggers are usually either Creators or Curators.
  • Relatively new blog:  Faith and the Law chronicles those times where Christians run afoul of the law in both the U.S. and around the world.
  • Our cartoon this week are from Doug Michael (upper) and Dennis Daniel (lower) at Baptist Press (we’re going to have to put these guys on the payroll…)  What’s with all the first-name last-names at BP?



April 14, 2010

The Wednesday Link List

“Officially voted the finest Wednesday Link List on any blog called Thinking Out Loud”

Here’s some places my computer took me this week.   What about you?

  • Here’s a reprint from a few days of ago of what would be Michael Spencer’s final blog post on February 22 at Internet Monk.
  • My choice for in-depth article of the week is Ted Olsen’s online-only piece at Christianity Today suggesting that the annunciation may be more important than Christmas and Easter, especially in view of its relationship to the abortion debate.
  • The Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act of 1860.  It’s a little-known law in the UK — and some places closer to home — but as this person found out, it’s illegal to disrupt a worship service, as reported at Answers for the Faith.
  • They’re “disgusting and disturbing” but does that mean the Hutaree militant fringe group are not Christians?   Julie Clawson at the blog One Hand Clapping tackles an interesting subject in Militias, The Church & Christians.
  • David Hayward, aka Naked Pastor, resigns after 25 years at a Canadian Vineyard church.
  • The journalism blog Get Religion looks at the story of a church which offered love and compassion to a mentally ill man who later set fire to their church.
  • Sometimes I think we get too hung up on the “latest” thing in the blogosphere.   Here’s a post from January of last year about churches coming together to help with a funeral at the blog, 300 Words a Day.
  • If you remember my piece on bullying, republished here just a few days ago, you might also appreciate this piece by Mike Furches at The Virtual Pew.
  • At the blog Arminian Today, the blogger known as The Seeking Disciple asks the musical question, Does Calvinism Make it Easier To Sin?   Easier may not be the right word, but he makes an argument for complacency.
  • Brian McLaren plays the piano and discusses eschatology and open theology in a video series about his book posted at The Ooze TV.
  • Jeffrey Overstreet looks at Christian publishing with a little help from C. S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde and this gem from T. S. Eliot:

    “[T]he last thing I would wish for would be the existence of two literatures, one for Christian consumption and the other for the pagan world. What I believe to be incumbent upon all Christians is the duty of maintaining consciously certain standards and criteria of criticism over and above those applied by the rest of the world; and that by these criteria and standards everything that we read must be tested.”
    Continue reading here.

  • Shaun Groves returns to the U.S. from Canada and is readmitted only after he gives the border patrol a mini-version of his Canadian seminar on poverty for Compassion International (complete with Q&A time!)
  • Author John Shore finds out late in March that his mother passed away — five years ago.
  • Cynthia Ware of the Center for Church Communication guests at UrbanMinistry.org with a piece of 5 Trends affecting Church communicators.
  • Academic story of the week:  Evangelical scholar and author Bruce Waltke finds his job at Reformed Theological Seminary over after he posts a video which supports evolution.   Details at USAToday, or you can read more at Jon Rising’s Word and Spirit blog.
  • Blog discovery of the week:  Confident Christianity by Mary Jo Sharpe who has just signed a book contract with Kregel Publishing.
  • Classic video discovery the week:  Christian music veteran Kathy Trocolli and the Beach Boys (yes it’s really them) team up for I Can Hear Music.  Posted in 2007.  Turn it up loud.
  • Jon Acuff is back in classic form as he examines that most unusual species: The Youth Pastor.  “#52. Tells youth group that the Psalms are kind of emo.” Check out Stuff Christians Like # 747.
  • Our cartoon this week is from the usually-not-so-religiously-oriented cartoon blog Beartoons.com where he also discusses the whole concept of atheist missionaries:

HT for Jeffrey Overstreet piece:  Nathan Douglas at Cinema Truth.

March 17, 2010

Links for St. Patrick’s Day and Other Things

St. Patrick

Here we are once again at Wednesday, and to those of you of Irish descent, “May the road rise to meet you…”   (They already know the rest…)

  • Donald Miller’s sermon at Willow Creek on the March 6/7 weekend was perhaps his “usual” about the power of story, but it seemed especially more focused at Willow, which made it this week’s lead link.    How are you doing with the story God’s given you to write?   To view you need to select the video from the menu when you link to the sermons on their media player.  (Good one to copy the audio to disc and loan or give to your friends.)
  • This week my internet wanderings led me to further consider the rarely-heard phrase, “Assurance of Salvation;” and I was especially satisfied with an explanation posted at Catholic.com as well as an illustration that appears in the second paragraph of an article at Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry or CARM.   Do you ever doubt your salvation?
  • Christian book reviews:  Helpful or hurtful?   Mark Tronson explores the topic; “They do not simply judge good writing, they are good writing, and they reflect on their subject as they do…”  with the caution that, “The reader wants to be reassured that the reviewer has a proper grasp of the subject at question, because misunderstanding theology can be a pitfall…” in this article at Christianity Today Australia
  • This YouTube clip is dated April, 2009, but STL Distributors in the U.S. has the book by British humorist Adrian Plass, Looking Good, Being Bad: The Subtle Art of Churchmanship (Authentic UK) listed as June, 2010 release.   As a huge Plass fan, I don’t know how I missed this previously, but Plass’ wit is very dry, very British, and you might have to watch this twice.
  • Did Herod want John the Baptist Put To Death?  Matthew 14 seems to say ‘yes,’ while Mark 6 seems to say ‘no.’   Join the conversation — if you’re up for it — at The BEAttitude. (Caveat:  This one is not exactly a Christian blog.   Not even close.)
  • Usually our posts from David Hayward at Naked Pastor are cartoons, but this time around, he compares trying to get people to come to church to trying to catch squirrels in his house: “…If there is any sense of a trap, they won’t even come close. They can smell control and manipulation from a mile away. Even if the control is minor and sincere, they won’t take it. Not even a nibble.”  So true.  Before clicking around the rest of his site, finish this one here.
  • In what appears to be the very first post of a new blog, James Rutz, author of Megashift announces the ushering in of The New Christianity.  Besides being a trend-watcher, Rutz might teach you a new word, “Diptisms.”
  • Canadian blogger Tim Challies flashes back to 2006 when AOL made individual online search histories public.   If nothing else, be sure to read the second list of searches with Tim’s concluding analysis in this article at Christianity Today.
  • Speaking of flashbacks, here’s a 2009 post from Kevin Jackson at the Society of Evangelical Arminians blog which gets in the SCL spirit with Stuff Young Calvinists Like (complete with Arminian equivalents!)
  • Here’s a very short piece by blogger Jayarathina Madharasan that you can copy and paste and forward to your friends:  Cell Phone vs Bible.
  • Canada’s outspoken Christian talk show host, Drew Marshall launches his own YouTube picks on Drew Tube.  (Check out the rather amazing collection of interviews from the radio show itself here.)
  • Could political correctness ever lead us from St. Patrick’s Day to “Irish Day?”  Here’s an internal link from two years ago on this blog.
  • Here’s the real deal on St. Patrick from Wikipedia.  “…Legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of ‘three divine persons in the one God'”
  • Our cartoons this week are straight off the comic pages of your local newspaper; from For Heaven’s Sake and Wizard of Id.


February 11, 2010

Church Sign Exegesis

David Hayward aka Naked Pastor strikes again!!!





November 18, 2009

Midweek Lynx

Here’s this week’s recommended lynx links:

  • We begin with a couple of YouTube vids.   This one was posted back in 2006, but is still popular.  The group Go Fish song Christmas With A Capital “C” is the basis for this homemade video.
  • The second video clip is sort of at the other end of the spectrum, posted a couple of weeks ago by Voice of the Martyrs.  Instead of fighting to keep Christ in Christmas, some believers in other parts of the world are fighting more serious battles, as seen in this Raid on a Full Gospel Church.
  • Carol at the blog Sheep to the Right suggests that there are a number of dangers hidden among current social media technologies, in a post she calls Foxes in Facebook.
  • If you’re a church-hopper look out!   Will Mancini in the blog Clarity Evangelist cuts through the rhetoric and doublespeak in the post, Top Ten Things Church Hoppers Say.
  • The HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible) isn’t on a lot of peoples’ radar.   Will Lee at the blog Anwoth (read his ‘about’ page to find out what that means) has a constructive critique at 16 Changes I Would Make to the HCSB.
  • Brian Russell at the Real Meal Ministries blog suggests that it’s important for pastors and teachers to regularly teach the broader narrative or overview of scripture in a post titled, Proclaiming the Big Picture of the Bible.
  • Blogger Eugene Cho and his One Day’s Wages (ODW) project is featured in a New York Times Article, New Fame for the Everyday Donor.
  • A new two-minute promotional video is available from The Advent Conspiracy, promoting clean water projects as an alternative to Christmas Giving.    Well done and worth waiting for.  Watch online (loads very slowly) or download for use in your church.
  • It’s been awhile since we linked to Naked Pastor (see blogroll at right) so here’s one for you from the ever cynical, always transparent pastor from Atlantic Canada, David Hayward:
  • And since nobody can say it exactly quite like David Hayward, and because, as stated, it’s been so long, here’s a bonus one for ya:

Last week’s links link.

And the one before that one.

March 30, 2009

Mashpost Monday

Filed under: blogging, Christianity, Faith — Tags: , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 4:30 pm
From Musician Shaun Groves

On your first day on the other side of the grave, do you think you’ll look back on this life and be flooded with gratitude for hours spent watching episodes of American Idol and Lost?

Will you wish you’d done more of that? Do you think you’ll look back fondly on the effort and money spent remodeling the kitchen?  Will you wish you’d had a nicer home?

Do you think you’ll be glad you were up-to-date on the juicy details of celebrity lives?  Will you wish you’d read more magazines?

Will you regret not spending more time at the office?  Will you wish you’d logged just a few more hours every week at work?

Will you miss your blog or Facebook?  WIll you wish you’d just had a couple hundred more readers, just a few more “friends?”

Me neither.

~ posted at Shlog Blog
(HT Zach Nielsen)

Why I Don’t Link To Your Blog

Thanks for the link on yours to mine, but here’s why I am presently not returning the favor:

  • doctrinal discussions are fine, but militant denominationalism doesn’t interest me
  • you haven’t posted anything since 2008
  • I gave up on your last post after the 27th paragraph
  • I like edginess and don’t mind critical commentary, but remember that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her
  • you think Twitter is cool, but I really don’t want to read all the minutae of your life, I’ve got my own minutae and you don’t want to read it  (BTW, Dan is over his problem with irregularity and Carla’s got blonde streaks in her hair now)
  • I can respect your view that the “other-ness” of the gospel is best expressed by using King James era English, but if that’s what you believe to be the case, I’m going to have to insist you write your blog that way
  • I’ve already got a dozen links that share your viewpoint and decided that was sufficient
  • I wanna blog about Jesus, the Bible, the Church, faith; not the latest gadgets from Apple, alternative operating systems and social networking sites
  • there’s a reason why newspapers have photo editors, I tried text-only blogging and its boring, plus you discover new ideas when searching for pix
  • I’m not sure that the Bible itself should ever be the object of a joke
  • if you don’t mind my saying, I think you’re really full of yourself
  • I’m not sure my average reader would get your distinction between the church’s need to embrace homosexuals versus the idea of personally embracing or endorsing the lifestyle
  • is it really about the blog, or are you just trying to sell more copies of your books?
  • I enjoy reading what you write to other pastors, but I’m not sure that the average reader of this blog would relate to it
  • I think your cynicism and skepticism is potentially contagious and thereby potentially dangerous
  • the thirty-five YouTube embeds currently on your first page mean that the page takes forever to load, even with high speed
  • here’s a thought, if you didn’t “get” what The Shack was all about and who it was written for, perhaps the problem is you not them  (comments re. this entry will not be posted)
  • we didn’t want to offend our Baptist readers
  • for all the depth of your deep theological explorations, I’m not sure that any of it really matters to anyone besides yourself
  • last time I checked, the Christian world extended beyond the United States’ borders
  • many of the bloggers I link to are people I would really, really like to meet
  • a house is known by the company it keeps

I currently read about 140 blogs per week, there’s about half that many listed here.   The ones that are listed are ones I endorse, and many of them are deleted if they wander from what they were when I started, and of those, about half find their way back later on.

Reaching Out To The Wealthy by David Hayward at the Blog Naked Pastor

wealth

For My Ontario (Canada) Readers

This year, for the first time in Ontario history, some students will be going back to school the week prior to Labour Day.   (Yes, that’s Labour with a “u,” in Canada!)   The decisions by each school board are just being announced now, and not every board is making the change.   Needless to say, this is throwing the tourism industry in general into a bit of a tailspin, but it also greatly impacts Christian camps, many of whom had their materials printed and suppliers under contract since last summer.   Christian camping is a ministry sector important to me, and my wife and I met at a Christian camp.    This is a surprise they simply didn’t need.   To read more about this, with a response from three Christian camps affected, you can link to a separate article here.

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