Thinking Out Loud

April 17, 2013

Wednesday Link List

Build a Pharisee

Wednesday List Lynx

Wednesday List Lynx

Lots of good stuff this week. Take the time!

Now Go Do It

About the Blogroll:

This blog has a rather interesting link list in the sidebar. Blogs mentioned are chosen because they are (a) faith focused and (b) posting regularly. The doctrinal flavor of the blogs listed is quite varied, but I don’t include blogs that appear to have more “agenda” than content. Some blogs are listed somewhat permanently, some disappear and return a month later. Together, they represent almost one fifth of the bloggers that I have bookmarked in my computer and read regularly. Some of the blogs appearing in the Wednesday link list end up on this page later on, while others have a key post that I feel is worth mentioning, while at the same time I haven’t gotten to know them well enough yet to establish them as a link or imply endorsement. Recommendations are invited.

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November 28, 2012

Wednesday Link List

Some extra graphics this week for your Facebook page or tumblr blog.

  • UPDATE from yesterday’s post here concerning Two-and-a-Half Men actor Angus T. Jones: Journalist Maria Cowell has asked all the right questions in this interview posted at Christianity Today.
  • Christmas songs: How soon should they start and how many should you do? For worship leaders, Jason Hatley offers a programmatic approach to building Christmas music content. (Mainline churches don’t have this problem as tradition pretty well dictates content.)
  • Or you could do this song. (Nobody would ever forget it.)
  • Which reminds me, our 2010 post, Should Audiences Stand for the Hallelujah Chorus still gets a lot of readers and the odd comment. (But you should probably stand for And Can It Be and All Hail The Power, too.)
  • Lots of music-related stuff this week, like Rich Kirkpatrick’s list of questions about worship ministry that weekend service attenders might like answered. (Some of which I hadn’t thought of before.)
  • Of course you can’t please everyone with church music; here’s a classic Perry Noble response from 2007 — five years ago — about loud music in the church.  (He’s running a top ten list from each of the last seven years of blogging.)
  • Or you might prefer Perry’s 2006 post on seven reasons why Jesus wouldn’t qualify as a pastor in most of our churches. (He’d certainly be under review by now.)
  • Mark O. offers some great advice for the parents and youth leaders of middle-school teens on how they see themselves.  (It actually does involve using a mirror.)
  • I’m not sure why I made this a ‘page’ and not a ‘post’ — probably the extreme length of it — but we still get lots of hits on The Eight Things That Destroyed Our Marriage, culled from eight different blog posts by Justin and Trisha Davis. (I think Justin turns up occasionally on Pete Wilson’s Sunday service online feed.)
  • Sometimes the things that turn up in a week of faith-based web-surfing are just bizarre, like this April-released movie, Seventh Gay Adventists. (I think it’s more about gay than the SDA church.)
  • Greg Boyd — a major proponent of what’s called ‘open theology’ — defines the phrase in terms of ‘unrealized possibilities’ in this four minute video.  (But does God know if you’re going to click on this link or not?)
  • Here’s another review of a 2009 book that is proving to be the sleeper title of 2012: The Lost World of Genesis One. (Note to friends and family: Since you can’t get review copies of 3-year-old books, this one is at the top of my Christmas list.)
  • A word of the week for preachers and public speakers: Fermata.  (Hint: It’s a music term.) (HT: Darryl Dash‘s Saturday Link List for pastors.)
  • Ken Ham responds to a website written for teens who need encouragement in living as atheists, including a section on how they can ‘come out’ to their parents. (He encourages parents to have a counter-response.)
  • There’s an app for The War Cry, the Salvation Army magazine that traces its history back to 1879 enters the digital age. (Canadian readers: Ours is a different edition; not sure if it’s online.)
  • Are there people at your church you try to avoid? Just asking. (Maybe I’m the guy everybody else is avoiding.)

I love this well-marked Bible; it’s my current desktop theme.

November 27, 2012

Two-And-A-Half Men Actor Says, “Don’t Watch”

The entertainment press today is all over the story of Angus T. Jones, who gets more than a third-of-a-million U.S. dollars per episode to play Jake on the Chuck Lorre series Two-And-A-Half Men; a role he’s no longer comfortable with. Yes, this is the same show that once starred Charlie Sheen until he appeared to either go off his meds or take too many. Probably the latter. But Jones’ rant is calm, collected and rational. And his command of scripture is both impressive and authoritative.

I’ve seen some press coverage of Angus Jones over the past year and he’s always portrayed as a very refined, decent young man whose mom sometimes accompanies his studio appearances, to the point where I once questioned out loud what he was doing acting on that particular show. Entertainment Tonight’s coverage of remarks he made recently seem to link him to a Seventh Day Adventist church, which is confirmed in an update to his Wikipedia listing.

But the blog specializing in mainstream coverage or religious stories, Get Religion, notes that the interview containing the “Don’t watch” message was posted to YouTube by Forerunner Christian Church, whose webpage advertises upcoming meetings with two names known to charismatics as well as some readers here, Mike Bickle and singer Misty Edwards.  But did Get Religion get it wrong? The show he was interviewed on is called The Forerunner Chronicles.  Similar name.  It is clearly an SDA-friendly site — see the about page — and outwardly bears no resemblance to the church GR linked to; however, the SDA denomination says that the website and the program host aren’t part of their body.

Jones is not scheduled for the next two episodes, which were scheduled well in advance of what’s taken place.

The video itself is rather strange, cutting from an extreme close up at the 0:22 mark mid-sentence to a wide two-shot where he suddenly wearing glasses; with more of this weirdness at 4:53.  I’ve never seen anything like that before.

But I digress.

It’s wonderful to see the young actor take a stand. The show, like so many other prime time sitcoms, is filth. As far as I can remember, I’ve never got much past the five-minute mark on the handful of times I’ve watched.

“You can’t be a God-fearing person and be on a show like that;” he concludes. So wither his contract? Will Chuck Lorre release him from the show? How can you have two-and-a-half without the half? Here’s some wisdom from Chuck posted on the latest vanity card — the production slide that appears for one second at the end of his programs:

I’ve been told that if you change your mind, you change the world – or at least the way you experience it. Let’s take a moment to examine that. The presumption is, if you thought the world was a hostile, ugly place filled with awful people doing awful things, that is what you’d see. Your mind would naturally seek out confirmation for its preconceived ideas (e.g., if you’re intent on buying a red car, as you go about your day you’ll see lots of red cars). If, however, you were able to sincerely change your mind and see that we are all God in drag, that we are the conscious aspects of a perfect universe which had to create us so we could bear witness and stand in awe before its loving magnificence, then that is the soul-shaking reality you’d be greeted with each and every moment of each and every day. In other words, it is entirely our choice as to what kind of world we live in. With a simple decision, we can suffer in the darkness or play in the light. We can be angry, frightened and enslaved, or loving, joyous and free.

Well that clears up everything.


10:30 PM — UNFOLDING STORY UPDATE: Angus has moved into damage-control mode with a somewhat qualified and somewhat limited apology concerning his remarks. More at MSNBC. Meanwhile Charlie Sheen declares the show is “cursed.” More here.

WED. 2:00 PM – FURTHER UPDATE: Journalist Maria Cowell has asked all the right questions in this interview posted at Christianity Today.

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