Photo: Drew Dyck
A fresh crop of October links! Mind you, they’re all dated September. But they’re new to you.
- Campus prayer focus See You At The Pole turned 24 last week.
- MGM has acquired a 55 percent stake in the film and television production company owned by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the executive producers behind the Emmy-nominated “The Bible” series.
- The family of Calvary Chapel’s Chuck Smith have launched a lawsuit against the church over distribution of the late pastor’s property, royalties and life insurance; and also elder abuse…
- …Staying with Orange County, CA megachurches, Christ Cathedral, the former Crystal Cathedral, will see a $113M renovation including reworking the glass panes “which create excessive heat and light and bad acoustics” to be replaced with “new, white panels, called petals, that will open at varying degrees.”
- How reading demographic trends should lead to churches asking some serious questions, at a ratio of three questions to every stat.
- Essay of the Week: A response to the purging of Christian-themed and Christian-published books in a California charter school.
- The locations are sometimes called ‘third spaces’ and the ministry style is often termed ‘incarnational’ but in Seattle these churches take many forms.
- ‘Team Soul Surfers’ on reality show The Amazing Race consists of shark bite survivor and Christian author Bethany Hamilton and husband Adam Dirks. While Bethany’s handicap has sparked some media attention for Season 25, the pair finished last Friday in 5th place out of 11.
- Tuition = $0.00 — Ranked #1 on a listing of top Christian colleges, the school operates tuition-free.
- “Every pastor is an interim pastor.” New book deals with leadership transitions and succession.
- Canada’s national television network reports on the rise of The Sunday Assemblies, a network of atheist churches.
- Leviticus births an app as the eScapegoat roams the internet searching for sins to atone for at Yom Kippur. (No actual Halachic atonement implied.)(I like the site URL, escgoat… escape goat… eScapegoat.)
- Preaching Place: Ten things to consider when drafting the introduction to your sermon.
- Missions: If a particular part of scripture is not available in the language of a particular region, English is the next best thing. But all the easy-to-understand English versions of the past fifty years are protected by copyright. So Wycliffe Bible Translators offers fifty open-source, copyright-free Bible stories.
- The “Sinner’s Prayer” is the latest dividing line, brought into focus because of remarks David Platt made that some considered inflammatory, even prompting this response in song.
Sunday nights at Willow Creek now include The Practice, an 18-month experiment which came out of asking, “What if a church was more like a gymnasium than a classroom? What if the church gathering was a time when we came together to practice rather than just listen?”
Click the image to read about the outcry over the updated design of the VeggieTales characters on Netflix
- Some Christian radio stations may be “safe for the whole family,” but following Jesus is dangerous. (Wait ’til you see the title of this one.)
- Online congregations can watch rebroadcasts or on-demand. Saddleback had 162 rebroadcasts, one almost every hour of the week, but switched last month to on-demand for several reasons.
- Zondervan author Christine Caine is launching Propel, a digital magazine for women in leadership.
- Last week we noted four reasons why church choirs are dying; this week we’re given nine reasons to keep the choir going.
- If you missed it, last week CT launched a new page, Third Culture with Peter Chin, “a term used by sociologists to describe individuals who don’t fit neatly into one cultural category or another, be it ethnically, racially, or culturally.” Or, as the tag line suggested, the faith of the hyphenated.
- Two weeks ago Pope Francis spoke about resurrection causing one writer to wonder if the Pope believes in the rapture?
- What were the odds? Not only did this blog’s print equivalent, Leadership Journal do a cover story on ‘Neuro Ministry,’ but so did Youth Worker Magazine.
- Yet another Christian film to report, this one opening in select markets on November 7th. As I dig deeper, Wayward: The Prodigal Son seems to have a Mormon connection.
- There are so many ways I could introduce this link; so may different ways you could tag this. Perhaps sufficient to say our children are entering a time of rapidly shifting paradigms.
- John Piper’s four reasons why people don’t open their Bibles between Sundays.
- Jamie Wright is suffering from Post Short Term Overseas Trip Disorder (PSTOTD) and finding it difficult to go shopping.
- Another church does the “reverse offering” thing; this one handing out $500 checks.
- They shall drink deadly gasoline and it will not harm them. Like it or not, there are strange things done in the name of Christianity.
- A company that sells domain names reported last month that .CHURCH was in eighth place among top level domains…
- …Speaking of cool addresses, there’s forgive.me one of many from the Billy Graham association.
- Parenting Place: Carlos Whittaker wants to remember to tell his daughter five things.
- Even pastors sometimes skip over the genealogies. Here’s six directives to slow down.
- In the UK, children under the age of consent were tested for sexually transmitted diseases, without parents being informed.
- …Also in the UK, Catholic and Jewish schools are being forced to teach the tenets of other faiths as part of a religious studies program that allowed them to simply teach their own doctrines.
- Statistically, at most of your churches, the issue of mental illness doesn’t come up in a sermon.
- …Also at Huffington, a pastor pledges four things if he has gay children.
- If you need something for Facebook today, copy/paste or link this one.
- On my own blog this week, getting inside the culture of restaurant-abstinence.
- This time it’s a member congregation of the Mennonite Church USA that’s leaving the denomination over… the usual issue.
- Finally, when successive church building programs go vertical instead of horizontal.
Yes! The links are still also at Parse, the blog of Leadership Journal, a division of Christianity Today. Click here to read there!
For our closing graphic we return to TwentyOneHundred Productions’ Facebook page, the gift that keeps on giving. 2100 is the media division of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. (We poached another one from them for tomorrow…I feel like I should make a donation to my local IVCF chapter…) Click the image to link, or follow them at this page.
Welcome to another installment of random links from Thinking Out Loud. If you’ve been on summer holidays, the list has become the victim of a corporate takeover. We’re now at Out of Ur on Wednesdays, the blog of Leadership Journal, a division of Christianity Today. We’ve asked our Chicago-based new bosses to aim for 8:00 AM EDT !!
Check the list also for an explanation as to the above Church photo, aka “Fruitcake as building material.”
- A subject I’ll click on every time: Greg Laurie on why is the United States seemingly absent in Biblical prophecy.
- So what about that verse about those with unruly children being unfit for leadership? Douglas Wilson kicks off a series wondering what happened to that qualification.
- Is there a hierarchy within the Trinity? Michael Patton suggests there is an order similar to the order in which we usually recite the parts of the Godhead.
- The Archbishop of Canterbury: Speaking in tongues? Yes. A personal conversion experience is necessary? No. Following Christ? It’s like getting measles. (Links like this? Priceless.)
- A CNN Religion writer suggests that as with everything else, there are six denominations of atheists.
- Coming in October to a theater near (some of) you: Watch the trailer for I’m In Love With a Church Girl.
- Readers at Real Clear Religion sent in another crop of 33 pictures of ugly churches. (We like #5 subtitled ‘Fruitcake as building material.’)
- Clergy lag behind military, teachers, and doctors in Pew survey list of most-respected professions; and this was a survey of churchgoers!
- Prime Minister David Cameron wants the default on UK home internet connections to block pornography unless the customer requests it.
- Women’s Department: A youthful group of women get together in Talking Taboo, a frank discussion about faith featuring a huge list of contributors.
- Bigger, better, louder, faster… in ministry we often want more when the model of scripture suggests maybe we need less of more.
- A song by J.J. Heller is featured in a 30-second tourism commercial for Queensland, Australia.
- Following a great family tragedy, pastor Rick Warren returns to the pulpit of Saddleback Church this weekend for the first time since March.
- Have you heard of churches wherein when the senior pastor resigns, every staff member tenders their resignation? One writer doesn’t like this idea.
- Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart is due to make a rare crusade appearance August 9th in Buffalo, New York.
- Sometimes those eBooks you get for a $1 (or less) are books that were never edited for grammar or spelling.
- The podcast On Pop Theology looks at modesty culture, purity culture, and why Christian dating advice isn’t so good. (Coarse language.)
- Somewhat related: Catholic bulletin announcement — “Dignity & Decorum: Please try not to wear beach shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Thank you.” But the temp is in the 80s at the 7:30 service.
- While missing the stats, here’s another article about college students exiting non-denominational Evangelicalism for ‘high’ liturgical churches.
- Ancient Art Department: You can blame the Egyptian god Bes for how the Devil got his looks.
- Also at the BBC Culture page: They’re building an ark in Long Island, though this one won’t touch water.
- I thought it would be cool to include a Spanish link. Too bad I don’t speak Spanish. Still it’s nice to know these blogs are there, like this one dealing with apologetics, worldviews, moral relativism and ministry to postmoderns. (Maybe I understand the language more than I realize.)
- American Interest Department: What US cities are ‘saintly’ and which ones are ‘sinful?’ You might be surprised.
- A blogger thinks we spent too much time in church facing the front of the room, and not enough time facing one another.
Finally, since Out of Ur is borrowing from us today, we thought we’d return the favor with a link to this post:
Twentyonehundred Productions is the InterVarsity multi-media team. They post an infographic like this each week on their Facebook page. Normally, that would be the end of things here, but since historically, the Wednesday Link List began or ended with a cartoon, I couldn’t resist
stealing borrowing one more graphic from them…
Steven Furtick and Rick Warren saturate themselves in the Word with the NIV Waterproof Bible. Now you know how megachurch pastors deal with stress.
Who needs LinkedIn when you’re linked in here? The picture, Gasoline Gospel is from Shorpy.com; captioned “August 1937. ‘Gas station and gospel mission in Cleveland, Ohio.’ In addition to Koolmotor ‘Gasolene,’ a long-defunct Cities Service brand, we also seem to have at least a couple of the major food groups represented here, as well as two verses from the New Testament. Photo by John Vachon.” Click the image to see the entire picture full size along with more glimpses into history.
- Start with this one: 33 Ways to Know You Were a Youth Group Kid.
- Nick Vujicic, born without arms and legs, is the father of a newborn baby boy!
- Got 19 minutes? Meet Atheism 2.0, an atheism for people who are attracted to the ritualistic side, the moralistic side, but can’t stand the doctrine.
- First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas is just days away from the opening of its new $130 million facility. And don’t miss the three videos which rationalize that expense.
- A sixteen-year old in Texas is suing her parents who are trying to coerce her to have an abortion she does not want. (See update in comments section.)
- Rick Warren has shied away from TV and radio, but is launching a 30-minute daily radio show to air in the top 25 U.S. markets.
- Early artwork has surfaced for the new Left Behind movie; which is actually a remake of the original (book one) story; this one with Nicolas Cage.
- Also at Todd Rhoades’ blog: Should churches have Tweet seats?
- When a U.S. Lutheran pastor attended an interfaith prayer event following the Sandy Hook shooting, he violated denominational rules against ‘joint worship’ with people of other faiths. Now the LC-MS denomination is embarrassed by the reaction on social media.
- Veteran Christian music artist Carman reveals to his Facebook followers that he has an incurable cancer.
- Here’s info on an upcoming conference (April 11-13) in Virginia that I would love to be able to attend; presented by Missio Alliance, it’s titled The Future of the Gospel.
- Home-schooling is banned in Germany, so a family there fled to the U.S. for asylum which was granted in 2010. But now, the Department of Homeland Security is seeking the family’s deportation, which would lead to persecution back home.
- There are some new posts at The Elephant’s Debt, a website devoted to issues of alleged financial improprieties involving James MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel.
- An alternative wording to The Lord’s Prayer — the Kiwi version, perhaps — you never know what you’ll find in used bookstores.
- Here’s what I wrote to my colleagues in the Christian book trade about the dwindling relationship between bloggers and publishers seeking book reviews.
- And since we’re ending on a book theme, here’s the chart — including one title error, if you can spot it — of what people in my part of the world purchased in 2012:
WLL #99, but who’s counting? Besides they existed before the name became uniform each week.
- Fine artist Thomas Kinkade died over the Easter weekend. He chose to highly commercialize his art rather than sell in galleries; and after becoming a Christian many of his works were faith-focused.
- Many local churches are discovering how to do what we call The Lord’s Supper or Communion in something closer to its original context as a meal. Alan Knox shares how that happened in combination with an Easter Sunday gathering.
- You may have seen the Google predictive search results for phrases beginning with “Christians are…” Matt Stone tries Google searching the same phrase substituting other religions.
- An Ontario school board wants to ban the distribution of Bibles, and now board members are receiving threats which are not coming from the Gideons.
- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) ran a report on Easter Sunday on how technology is impacting various world religions. Bobby Gruenewald of livechurch.tv was interviewed, and there was a brief shot of Craig Groeschel, but otherwise, Christian representation was limited to file footage of Billy Graham et al.
- The American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) wandered down the same road on the same day with an interview with Rick Warren, who hasn’t done much media lately. Don’t miss the part on page five of the transcript where he affirms that dogs and cats go to heaven. Yes, he said that. (Video not available outside the U.S.)
- And speaking of heaven, Time Magazine revisits the concept four years later. Here’s a link to their coverage then and now; the ’08 article is available in full, the current article will cost ya.
- The Russian Orthodox Church went to a lot of trouble to airbrush a photo showing Patriarch Kirill I wearing a $30,000 wristwatch, but while they got they watch removed, they missed its reflection in a highly polished table.
- Peter Rollins publicly denies the resurrection. But before you quote me on that, better watch the video.
- Yesterday at C201 we tapped into a series from Mike Breen’s blog wherein a British pastor reflects on the differences between the church in North America and the church in England.
- A graduate student in theology and support staff worker at Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspective Ministries gives a short Christian response to The Hunger Games franchise.
- Rachel Held Evans spoofed her own Sunday Superlatives — the equivalent to this Wednesday Link List — on what happened to be April 1st. Too bad; some of the articles looked promising.
- Blogger John Shore participated in a “Burning of Resentments” ceremony on Easter Sunday. Apparently in 2013 this is going to take place across religious lines in San Diego County.
- What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him is a new collection of essays from author Byron Forrest Yawn. Check out the book trailer.
Jefferson Bethke, aka the “I hate religion but I love Jesus” guy, is interviewed by Trevin Wax on the topic of Student Ministry.
The character in this Motts for Tots packaging looks really familiar, but shouldn't that be tomato juice instead of apple juice?
- The old church annual report is never the same once it goes digital. Here’s an analysis of the one from Elevation Church (Steven Furtick) which includes video links, infographics and humor.
- Want to take your church service online? Check out Church Online Platform and also 316 Networks.
- It’s been ten months now, and this post about regulations at Perry Noble’s church still draws a lot of comments from both sides.
- The Worship Song links in the sidebar at Christianity 201 have finally been updated, and the blogroll here is in the middle of some serious editing. Only blogs with posts within the last 30 days are listed, though some do return after disappearing.
- Christianity Today now requires a subscription in order to read selected articles online. If you find a link here to what is now paid article, let me know and it will be deleted.
Wednesday List Lynx
Link lists are like snowflakes, no two are the same…
- Lots of video links this week, starting off with the ten minute short film, Change for a Dollar. Pour an extra coffee and sit back and enjoy this in full screen.
- So how did all those witches end up in Salem in the first place? Maybe they weren’t there at all. Seems much of the story owes itself to a fired-up minister who believed he was doing God’s work.
- CNN’s John King takes Bob Jones III to task for reopening the whole Obama religion question; and John’s got some fairly solid video clips on his side. (It’s the video here you should see, not necessarily the article.)
- Just in time to tie in with the release of his book, Indescribable, here’s a peak at Louie Giglio teaching about Planets and Stars and Whales, oh my! Listen to the end to sing along with the stars.
- An Arminian blogger reviews Bloodlines by John Piper, and despite his opposite theological perspective, finds reasons to recommend the book.
- And then, on the lighter side, a malapropistic (it’s not in the dictionary) look at The Bear Truth About Calvinism.
- And also at Matt Stone’s Glocal Christianity blog, a 30 second video embed he subtitled, A Catholic Girl’s Worst Nightmare.
- Two pastors issue a defense of Rick Warren who is not — repeat definitely not — promoting some kind of Christian/Islamic syncretism being referred to as Chrislam.
- Also this week, several links to various Christianity Today sites, beginning with this article, John Ortberg is My Dad but Don’t Call Me a PK, by Laura Ortberg Turner.
- So what about that verse in Matthew 27 stating that after Jesus’ resurrection, many other saints also rose from their graves? It’s sure open to discussion, but not usually challenged by a Southern Baptist.
- Because there’s so many of you, here’s another one of a similar list of articles giving five things to look for when choosing A New Church Home.
- A. J. Swoboda — also the author of today’s closing comment — investigates what it’s like for Ryan Saari to do a church plant in a pub, especially when he’s also working at the pub. Well, actually he’s ‘planting’ the pub as well.
- Steve McCoy suggests the next step for some prominent pastors is to take their message and their reputation and hit the road as evangelists.
- Remember the little word, “Selah” which appeared at the end of some Psalms? Well, it’s missing from the new NIV. Scholars aren’t sure what it means, but some think we should leave it in. (This is an excerpt, the full article’s link wasn’t working at the time of preparing this.)
- How about An Open Letter to Worship Songwriters detailing what types of songs we’ve been saturated with? Sample: #1 — STOP writing about things you haven’t experienced personally. Write out of your own experiences with the Lord and out of deep convictions of your faith.
- Here’s a look at Jonathan Brink’s new project, the online magazine, Provoketive. (And he’s looking for contributors!)
- Another somewhat new blog, Alex Humprey’s former Alex Speaks is now Entreprelife.
- If you’re a Wednesday-only reader here — and there are some — there’s still time to voice your opinion about a church telling a 30-something to remove his baseball cap during services. Update: The family actually left the church over this.
- A no-link item–To the proprietors of GodTube: How is it possible for a video to be both your “Featured Video” of the week, and also be “access denied”???
- When Dan Kimball preached on the A/C doctrinal differences, he blogged the following T-shirt picture. I’d seen this before, but didn’t realize that it’s actually the front and back prints of a single shirt. Just think of the implications. Below it is the best of the comments he received:
“I didn’t choose the shirt, but sadly, I was the one who made choices that determined the size I needed ;) ”