Thinking Out Loud

December 29, 2010

Wednesday Link List

A shorter group this time…

  • The big news that finally reached our corner of the world this week is Canada’s most popular Christian male vocalist, Steve Bell,  has recorded a new album with the title song, Kindness, written by Brian McLaren.   Yes, that Brian McLaren.   Details at Christian Week.
  • But in a slightly different musical genre, Steve has company on the link list, as the song Avalanche by Manafest (aka Toronto’s Chris Greenwood) is getting lots of airplay.    Start your investigation of Manafest at this MySpace page.   Or watch the video from Tooth ‘N Nail Records.
  • While most of the attention is focused on New York City, there are residents in Murfreesboro, Tennessee who don’t want a mosque in their backyard, either; and it’s taxpayers who are footing the bill for the legal batter, as reported at USA Today.
  • It’s unfortunate when you have to frame a definition in opposition to other circulating ideas, but Dan Phillips suggests the entry for Mary in a Bible dictionary might read, “The mother of Jesus. A pivotal yet minor figure in the New Testament, mentioned by name in only four books.”
  • Regent College professor, Pentecostal scholar, and author of How To Read the Bible for All It’s Worth Gordon Fee has a 30-minute video YouTube clip on how the book came to be as well as some of its major themes.
  • It must have a slow year for Christian news stories, because Christianity Today’s top ten stories of 2010 seems to missing anything of urgency.   And eight of its ten stories are U.S.-centric.
  • Always provocative — to some — Christian music artist Derek Webb is back in the online pages of Huffington Post.
  • Christianity 201 devotes two consecutive days to the writings of Rick James, author of A Million Ways to Die (David C. Cook)
  • We always end the link list with a cartoon and many of these have come from Baptist Press cartoonists such as Joe McKeever below.   Sadly, it looks like this is the last one, as the cheerful people at BP are attempting to invoke copyright that will permit e-blasts but not blogs.   Too bad; I thought when God gives gifts they’re for sharing.  Oh well.  We’re slowly running out of cartoons we can actually run, although I’m not sure what legal action they would take against a Canadian.    But never underestimate Baptists.   (Or cats.)  This one was quite funny, and it seems a good one to end 2010 with. To Joe, Doug, Dennis, Dennis, Frank and David:  We’ll miss you!

May 1, 2010

Pyromaniacs: Don’t Tease Your Readers and Call It Serious Discussion

I’m not sure what to make of Thursday’s post by Dan Phillips at Team Pyro.   On the surface of it, it looks like a major concession for a conservative reformer to make:  “Women Must Preach in Church.”  (The use of must is probably the giveaway.)

But the (entire) text of the post says, “…on one occasion.”   And guess what, gang?  Despite the timing, he ain’t talkin’ Mother’s Day.

The text is also a link which takes you to:

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  ~ I Cor 11: 26 ESV

(Well c’mon… if you know anything about that blog, you know it’s gonna be ESV)

So immediately, readers take the bait.

So then, after a bit of discussion about the role of women in the church, he reins it in:

OK, an ANNOUNCEMENT. I’d like to take this back to the topic of the post: the proclamation that is the Lord’s Supper.

I’m going to be pretty firm on this. My one regret about the last meta was not enforcing my call, after the first comment, to get back to the topic. So let’s stick with the topic.

So finally on topic, there’s some good discussion about this that you can read for yourself.  For those who don’t it’s basically about whether or not what some of us call “communion” is an act of worship or an act of proclamation or testimony.   And if it’s what others call “the Lord’s Supper” is a form of proclamation, who are we proclaiming it to?  (Especially when in some quarters this is often a separate, closed service only attended by believers in the first place.)

The problem here is that Pyromaniacs is widely read, and like I wrote a few days ago on the subject of prayer, every church’s — and every individual’s — understanding and expression of what yet others call “the Eucharist” is quite different.

So it’s a fair discussion on a worthwhile topic, and being good reformers, a few of the 160+ comments toss in the phrase, “the heart of the Gospel” just for good measure.

But I still say you shouldn’t bait your readers with what appears to be topic “A” when you really want to discuss topic “B.”

And don’t bring up topic “A” at all if you feel it just opens up a can of worms.   Because I think this time around, your readers thought topic “A” was equally worthy of discussion.

March 11, 2010

Best Blogs You’ve Never Read

Imitation is the highest form of flattery.   So warm up your web browser and search engine and watch for these exciting Christian blogs coming soon to an internet near you:

  • 222 Words — Using a clever mix of contractions, hyphenated words and miscounting, blogger Isaac Flautist makes each day’s blog post come out to exactly 222 words.   Not counting the post title which may vary.
  • Stuff Discernment Ministries Like — Remember the Life cereal commercial?  We’ll get Mikey to try it, he hates everything. Most discernment ministries don’t like very much, so this blog only has one new post per month.
  • Firemaniacs — Based on the popular Christian song, “Why Should The Calvinists Have All The Cool Graphics?” Firemaniacs offers an Arminian look at life complete with an unlimited blogroll of writers who feel the same way as they do.
  • Church Nurseries Stink — All those visitors are really looking for is place to free themselves from their infants and toddlers for an hour;  this is the site for your child care and children’s ministry workers.
  • Short Fat Aussie — This guy travels all over the world in search of churches that are part of the Remissional Church, the group that emphasizes that Christ died for the remission of sins.
  • The Gooze — While some blogs focus on new church movements that are arriving on the scene, The Gooze looks at the retreating church movement, sometimes called the Retrenchent Church.
  • AAAChurch — The group reaches out to people dealing with that often unspoken addiction — road trips — often going out of their way to find them in their natural habitat:  Rest stops, motels and state welcome centers.

Did I miss any?

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