Thinking Out Loud

December 9, 2009

Links Links Links

Once again, we bring you the finest in links that you won’t see on any other blogs, except for the ones we got from other blogs.

  • To begin with, a five-minute advent meditation at YouTube with music by Jeff Johnson, titled The Coming of the Lord.
  • David Fitch at the blog, Reclaiming the Mission suggests that a staple of evangelism, getting people to admit that they are sinners, doesn’t work with postmoderns.
  • Speaking of evangelism, this is my favorite of the links this week:  Kevin Rogers at the blog, The Orphan Age, introduces his son Levi (15) who shares a dialog that took place in a Grade Nine class discussion.   Ever get asked why God would make us imperfect and given to doing evil things?   Check out his response.
  • With nine locations, The Meeting House is Canada’s largest multi-site church.   Pastor Bruxy Cavey, author of The End of Religion is currently doing a series about Facebook culture where he suggests to his parishioners: “Get over yourselves.”  Read about the church in this December 8th article at Christian Week.   [Two hours later: Having already heard the first message in this series, I just listened to the second — The Culture of “i” — and totally enjoyed the blend of technological and Biblical insights.  To listen, click here.]
  • Andrew Faris at the blog, Christians in Context, rethinks the Christmas song, “Mary Did You Know,” and suggests some additional verses.
  • Speaking of Christmas, for you ‘crafty’ people out there, Ann Welch at the blog, Resolved to Worship suggests some Christmas tree ornaments you can make with no budget on a rainy day.
  • Kathy aka Kaybee at the blog, The Well, suggests that when it comes to our intimacy with God,  “We can’t dash into His presence and choke down spiritual inwardness before we hurry to our one o’clock appointment.”Read the post, No Hurry here.
  • When the minister says, “I now pronounce you husband and wife;” the couples kiss next, right?   Not necessarily.  Check out this short YouTube, At My Wedding.
  • At the blog, The Online Discernmentalist Mafia, a new gadget offers protection from Liberal, Emergent, Catholic-related, Shack-inspired influences that might creep into your mind undetected.
  • Last, an internal link.  I’d really like to have gotten more discussion going on so called “contemporary” churches whose basic order of worship is part of the church bylaws and constitution.   How “fresh” and “alive” is the worship sequence where you worship on Sunday mornings?
Got Prayer Requests?

Use the Comments Section in this post

As a family, we get together at 9:00 PM EST and often include items gathered throughout the day from my work (confidentiality permitting.) Today, I thought, “Why not open this up to our blog community as well?” Feel free to list anything on your heart, but if it’s not for yourself, don’t use names.  … I think it’s good for us to pray for things outside our family circle. Sometimes our prayer life can be very insular, which isn’t good in a world of global need. If you miss today’s connection time-wise, there’s always tomorrow.

February 2, 2009

Randy Alcorn on Being Hated For Speaking Truth

Filed under: apologetics, Christianity, Faith, missions, Religion — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:35 pm

randy_alcornProlific author Randy Alcorn has a blog.  Who knew?   In this post from Wednesday last week, he looks at evangelism in its more traditional sense.

…Sometimes we assume the moral high ground by rolling our eyes at those street preachers, congratulating ourselves that we aren’t like that. Street preaching’s not my thing, but I can give you names of people who have come to Christ through street preaching. It’s more of a stretch to name those who’ve come to Christ through Christians who think it’s not cool to tell people the biblical truth that they need to repent of their sins (a synonym for evils; basically a big insult), and turn to Christ to be saved from hell.

americanidol_logoIt’s not our job to be popular. We are not contestants on American Idol. And we are not Christ’s speechwriters or PR team, airbrushing Jesus so He has greater appeal to people who don’t want to hear what He said about sin and hell…

Wanna read more?   I thought you would.   Link here to Randy’s blog Eternal Perspectives.

HT  Tim Challies

December 15, 2008

Are Some Comitted to Too Radical a Change Agenda?

hymn-boardYou often hear of Pentecostal or Charismatic people praying for people who have “a religious spirit,” sometimes even praying for deliverance from the spirit.

But what about, in our emergent/emerging/missional/pomo world, the people who have “an anti-religious spirit.”    You’d think that would be a good thing, right?   But I’m talking about people who just want to take so much of our past to the dumpster (which is fine) that some good spiritual disciplines and practices are being trashed also (which may be not so fine).

Okay… what’s got this going is, my wife is part of a group that does ministry in very difficult setting, where those she serves have been “burned” by well-meaning “church people.”   Her group is trying to build relationships with those people and model authentic Christ-following for them through love and service.

Part of that service involves serving a weekly dinner.   In the beginning, I questioned the leadership decision not to say thanks or ask a blessing on the food.  (…Which, by the way, is not directly commanded anywhere in scripture; and doesn’t therefore truly qualify as a “spiritual discipline;” — though prayer, in general, is — but is rather a “practice” of Christ-followers.)

jaybakkerSeveral weeks later, I “bought in” and accepted their reasoning for not doing so; though sometimes members of the group themselves, the ones who have been more on the receiving end of the love and service — we try to avoid “us” and “them” rhetoric — have requested a prayer, and on one occasion it fell to me to do that.

But now the issue has become contentious and even fractious, and I’m wishing we had just started out doing a prayer before the meal because now it’s harder to introduce one in the middle of the game.

So feel free to comment on that if you wish; but I want to return to the first two paragraphs I used to set up this discussion.  There seems to be a mentality on the part of some that would say “no” to structures like the prayer we call “grace,” and would intend by that, “no at any cost;” or “not on your life.”   I get the feeling that the “grace” prayer is part of a sordid past that as progressive Christ-followers we apparently need to distance ourselves from.

So while I accept the modern teachings that Jesus’ teachings were very irreligious; and while I’m the first to agree that the things done by the church throughout history do not line up to form a glorious past; I think that that the anti-religion or anti-church position is just as dangerous.

So, minor question:  Granted that you don’t know all the details and nuances of my wife’s ministry, should they introduce a pre-meal prayer at this stage, or maintain the status quo?

Then, major question:  Have you encountered people who, though quite solid in their basic doctrines and core commitment to follow Christ, have pushed the envelope when it comes to an “out with the old, in with the new” approach to Christian ethics, witness, service or practices?   Is too much being lost?

You can also re-work the last question and then answer it according to your personal take on this.


Today’s photos:  I wanted someone to epitomize the modern church who would stand in contrast to that old classic hymn board, but Rob Bell didn’t have much in the way of tattoos.  So I went with Jay Bakker instead.  BTW, what’s he been up to lately?

Catch my wife’s own post on this at her GTI Blog.

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