Thinking Out Loud

January 14, 2012

Wednesday Link List – Saturday Edition

Weekend List Lynx

The link list bucket is overflowing and needs to be emptied a few days early…

  • We’ll start out serious. Here’s a scorecard, so to speak, of how your persecuted brothers and sisters in other parts of the world made out over the holidays.  “Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching epidemic proportions…”  Read. Pray.
  • Stuff Fundies Like has a Sunday School curriculum done in the style of the Westminster Catechism. If you grew up in church this is a must-read, must-forward.
  • Another Baptist church dumps the NIV in favor of the Baptist-owned HCSB translation.  If it turns out that the majority of SBC churches switch to the Holman-published HCSB, then this whole affair was undermined by a massive conflict of interest.
  • Mars Hill’s Shane Hipps reflects on the departure of Rob Bell.  “I was aware of something stirring in him for some time.  While I wasn’t surprised, I was full of grief and joy.”
  • Because the people need to know, here’s Justin Bieber’s take on the subject of church attendance.  “…I focus more on praying and talking to Him. I don’t have to go to church.”
  • And in the same vein, here’s rapper Jefferson Bethke’s rap, Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus.  “Religion’s like spraying perfume on a casket.”
  • And going for the three-peat on this subject, here’s Matt Hafer’s take on why “good enough for church” just isn’t good enough.”People, without saying it out loud, seem to think that God exists in about 4 places.The church building…,funerals,hospitals, sporting events…”
  • Did you sponsor a child through Compassion or a similar organization?  For those who need motivation, here’s ten reasons to write your child.
  • For all the young moms and new moms in the audience: How does a mother in a large family create some time for God in the course of a day? Alyssa gives a great answer.
  • In one of the longest articles I’ve ever seen on Christianity Today online, Duanne Litfin writes about clothing; in particular, what we wear to church.  “…[W]e should not conclude too quickly that because God looks on the heart, what we wear to church doesn’t matter.”
  • Also at CT, an interview with David Crowder on the occasion of the band’s retirement after sixteen years, and David’s move to Atlanta. “There’s just so much life has passed among us, and the depth is really deep relationship feeling, friendship.”
  • The Wall Street Journal sits up and takes notice when Christian media company Salem Web Network surpasses one million Facebook friends. Be sure to read the last paragraph; you may interact with this corporation more than you realize.
  • And speaking of corporate culture, Shaun In The City thinks churches should rethink the concept of competition in ministry.  “In the end you end up with dozens (even hundreds & thousands) of organizations with similar missions, visions, and goals that are not only not speaking, but are often downright combative.  They miss collaborative opportunities and so much more because of this faulty way of thinking.”
  • Also on the topic of church, here’s a megachurch in Nigeria with a major staff shakeup involving the resignation of 200 pastors.
  • In an election year, we have to forgive our U.S. friends for forgetting that the rest of the world still exists. So we tend to ignore American politics here to balance things out, but this article accurately identifies the issues that the election brings to church in 2012.
  • Thanks this week for link leads goes to Todd Rhoades.

March 3, 2010

B(link) and You’ll Miss It

Don’t miss this week’s links or else!

  • The blog Man of Depravity considers why websites like Church Rater are a bad idea;  and then, the next day, considers why they might be a good great idea.
  • Catholic seminarian Mike G. provides our “classic art meets modern convenience” photo images at right, from his blog The Night Is Passing.
  • It was actually a good week for discovering Catholic bloggers.  That’s where I discovered Nick Alexander aka the Catholic Weird Al Yankovic.  This YouTube video explains the traditions of Lent and Ash Wednesday.  (Also recommended for fans of The Police!) [HT: The Ironic Catholic]
  • Blog of the Week:  You think you know a thing or two about Bibles don’t you?   But forget translation for a minute; what about types of leather, binding, gilding, fonts, features, etc?   That’s where you need to know someone like J. Mark Bertrand at the Bible Design Blog. [HT: Christian Book Shop Talk]
  • Pastor Ed Young raps his way through an admonition to pastors to be themselves in a video simply called UBU.  [HT: Wil Mancini]
  • New word of the week: “Acedia.”   If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, you may be in the company of early church saints, therefore Catholic author Kathleen Norris wants you to know this word.
  • David Housholder explains why you’ve never met any missional Lutherans, or read any Lutheran prophecy books for that matter, at this lengthy but extremely interesting and well-written post at his Journal blog.  Seriously, don’t miss this one.
  • Ruth Wilkinson (who may or may not be related to me) now has a new relationship to crucifixes.
  • Book Review:  Jamie Arpin-Ricci looks at The Naked Anabaptist by Stuart Murray (Herald Press) (forward by Greg Boyd) in this excellent summary.
  • Storytime:  Mark Sayers walks us through The Parable of the Lotus, The Impossiblly Handsome Man and The Church.   A must read for pastors and leaders especially.
  • Here are some pictures of the damage in Chili from the weekend earthquake at Boston.Com’s The Big Picture.
  • Internal Link:  I really thought Friday’s piece on Peter Rollins’ interpretation of The Prodigal Son story would have evoked a comment or two.   When did the younger son actually repent?
  • A USAToday article about sex on television warns that things are scheduled to get worse.  [HT: Brett Hendrix at Changing Lanes]
  • For the third week in a row we return to Baptist Press for our cartoon, this one is Doug Michael at Beyond The Ark.

September 19, 2008

Imitation is the Sincerest form of Copying

Filed under: Christianity, Church, Humor — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:34 pm

Once upon a time, there was a blog called Stuff White People Like.  Which still exists, and is now up to post #109.  Which is now a book of the same name by author Christian Lander.   You can see that site here.

And it came to pass* that Stuff White People Like begat** the site Stuff Christians Like.   Which still exists, and is now up to post #404, meaning that even though he borrowed the idea, writer Jon Acuff is a lot more prolific than the guy he got the idea from.  Jon Acuff also has other blogs, and is also talking to publishers.***  You can check out that website here or you can check it out here.   Actually don’t try the second one, that will just confuse everything.  That one belongs to Matthew Paul Turner.  Or not.  Maybe someone can explain it to me.

But now, the website which itself was a knockoff of something else has had its own idea knocked off.   Stuff Christian Culture Likes is written by Stephanie, a talented and funny Seattle writer who had the misfortune of being born without a last name.   She’s only up to post #44, but seems to have nailed more accurately the Christian culture that I’m familiar with, though I’m sure that once she gets to 404 she’ll have exhausted her best material, too.  You can read her blog here.

If you’re new to the whole Christ-following thing, especially what we once called the ‘born again’ brand, you might enjoy reading Jon and Stephanie.  But remember that the surrounding culture isn’t what following Jesus is all about…and don’t let anyone tell you that it is!

Stephanie Jon (or is it John? it seems to vary…)

*Purists will object to the mixing of the “once upon a time” fairy tale-type intro with the more Biblical “and it came to pass.”
**To properly ‘begat’ something — even figuratively — there would have to be a direct connection; I doubt the two writers have met.
***Speaking of talking to publishers, did I ever tell you about the deal I signed with Random House?   It’s an eight-book, two year deal.  I get four books for 99 cents if I agree to buy four more over the next two years. (Rimshot.)

September 15, 2008

Plug Your Ears, Close Your Eyes, and Click on these YouTube Links

Filed under: Christianity, Church — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:04 pm

If you’re a musical purist and you regularly make sure you don’t corrupt your musical appreciation senses by listening to anything less than excellent; be sure to skip the rest of this post, and whatever you do: DON’T CLICK ON THE LINKS.   If you are offended by music that purports to be Christian while it is actually making a mockery of Christianity; be sure to skip the rest of this post, and whatever you do: DON’T CLICK ON THE LINKS.

Was there something really weird about today?  First I got sent this:

And then I got sent this:

And the finally this one turned up:

I could handle this if it was on GodTube, but choosing a rather public forum* to post all these farcical performances is rather self depreciating.   It’s a real embarrassment to anyone who is involved in the production of Christian music, or aims to lead worship with integrity.    Sad as it is, it’s like driving by a road accident; you can’t help but slow down and look.

*re. Public forums:  We’re still trying to figure out what someone locally was thinking in choosing to use a letter to the editor of our community newspaper to discect the lyrics of the worship song, Above All. (A song which probably 97% of the readership has never heard.)   Interesting opinion, sincere motive, wrong forum.

Create a free website or blog at