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April 30, 2012

Suffering Is a Gift - I found this excellent article both encouraging and challenging. “In the last number of years, especially as a Christian, even though I ‘knew’ in the back of my mind that none of us is guaranteed a long life, I didn’t think much about dying young. But, when I was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia in December, it only took a day for me to accept that very real possibility.”

On Writing a Book on Lin - Ted Kluck reflects on writing a book about Jeremy Lin (Do you remember Jeremy Lin?).

Racism and George Zimmerman - Thomas Sowell brings out some important points here. “An amazing proportion of the media has given us a painful demonstration of the thinking — and lack of thinking — that prevailed back in the days of the old Jim Crow South, where complexion counted more than facts in determining how people were treated.”

On Watching Bad Movies - I’m glad that there are people out there who watch movies and tell us which ones the rest of us shouldn’t see. One of those people writes about how he can do this.

Nature - There is some amazing nature photography on display in this gallery.

Whither the Seminary Model - There are interesting discussions these days about the future of the seminary model of training pastors. Here William Evans offers some thoughts on an article posted last week at The Gospel Coalition. This is a discussion worth having!

The Digital Gender Divide - “In a report released this morning, Nielsen found that women, overall, are significantly more likely to engage with social media than men.” There are some interesting implications to this, some of what are brought out in the article.

As for beauty, one of its most potent charms lies in its modest unconsciousness; it is greatly marred when accompanied by vanity. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 27, 2012

The Flight from Conversation - Sherry Turkle writing for the New York Times: “We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.”

Ligonier Connect - Ligonier Ministries offers courses you can take online and they’ve just made it even more accessible with new and lower pricing. “For only $9 per month, you’ll gain unlimited access to all online courses in the catalog and be able to create as many groups as you want. There is no minimum commitment and you can cancel at any time.”

On Voting for Mitt Romney - Douglas Groothuis just posted an article titled “Why A Principled-Conservative, Bible-Believing Protestant, and Counter-cult Expert Will Vote for Mitt Romney.” It’s worth a read.

Stop Your Cheatin’ Ways - Kevin DeYoung writes about slee p and the way we think we can steal time when really we’re only borrowing it.

Why Batteries Degrade - You know you’ve wondered this!

Father Absence - Christianity Today looks at Lecrae’s Man Up mission. “Lecrae, whose outspoken faith and creative rhymes have gained the attention of John Piper and BET alike, has skyrocketing album sales for a Christian hip-hop artist, landing on Billboard’s top 200 and independent album charts. But the Houston native is determined to steward his recent fame to address chronic social ills affecting communities nationwide, one man at a time.”

If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. —C.H. Spurgeon

April 26, 2012

Consistent Complementarianism - Merely being complementarian is not enough. Michael McKinley says “I see a lot of men who assert their headship in their home, but who do not take a consistent approach to the authorities set over them by God (or God himself).”

A Beautiful, Dirty Mind - Someone sent me this article, which talks about the man who may be the most intelligent person on the planet. Yet he is consumed with lust and envy and jealousy. Luke 12:48 comes to mind: To whom much is given, much will be required.

Slow Mastery - This is a simple article that lists ten examples of great achievements (granted they’re not all quite so great) that took time.

Doubting Darwin - Marvin Olasky: “The sky is falling! Many interest groups and journalists raced to tell that to the public when a modest but important bill became law in Tennessee early in April.”

Make that Digital Elephant Disappear - Nathan Bingham has some good things to say about ministries in a digital age. The heart of it is this simple statement: “Quality online resources often take a team of people with great skill, at great cost, with a great investment of time.”

That Idol Doesn’t Love You Back - It’s always true: the idol that you love doesn’t love you back.

It is right that our hearts should be on God, when the heart of God is so much on us. —Richard Baxter

April 25, 2012

3 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor - R.C. Sproul Jr. offers up three really good ways to encourage your pastor. As I read these, I realized that though I am a pastor, I ought to be more deliberate in encouraging the other pastors at my church!

Building Healthy Churches - 9Marks has just released a helpful new series of study guides along with some new books on church discipline and church membership. Westminster Books has it all on sale; now’s the time to stock up!

Jane Goodall and Worshipping Chimps - This is truly an odd article to find at Christianity Today. They interview Jane Goodall who says that chimps have souls and that they worship.

2012 Band of Bloggers - Just prior to T4G, I and a bunch of other bloggers got together to discuss the state of modern Christian blogging. The audio is now available if you want to listen in.

Joel Osteen and Mormonism - Joel Osteen continues to lead astray: “When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God–that he’s the Christ, raised from the dead, that he’s his Savior—that’s good enough for me.” And, “Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ.”

The Ugly American - Dr. Mohler writes about a blight on America: “By the end of the last decade, American officials were aware that sex trafficking was taking place in cities large and small. Women, along with boys and girls, were being kidnapped in far parts of the world and on the streets of American cities, to be sold into what could only be considered as sexual slavery.”

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than the man who tries to do nothing and succeeds. —Martyn Lloyd-Jones

April 24, 2012

The Hunger Games - With tongue in cheek, Wes Bredenhof pens what he calls the definitive Christian review of The Hunger Games. While it may not be definitive, I think he makes some interesting points.

Monergism Books - Monergism has a pretty good selection of new and not-so-new books available at a deep discount (50% or greater).

A Strange Thing - Julian writes about the strange vocation that is pastoral ministry. 

When to Flee Your Church - Trevin Wax wrote recently about not being to hasty to leave your church. Today he circles back around and suggests times when it is well and good to leave.

The Whole Big Story - I’ve been enjoying Kristen Gilles’ new EP The Whole Big Story. It releases today and is available for free (or donation) at Noisetrade.

Live Wire - You’d have to pay me an awful lot to do this job.

When we have given God all we have and are, we have simply given him his own. —William Plumer

April 23, 2012

Kony 2012 in Numbers - This post, which also includes an infographic, discusses Kony 2012 as a phenomenon (rather than talking about the ideology of the campaign). Studied from a social media perspective, it’s a complete triumph.

Extreme FOMO - “We are living in an era of extreme FOMO, more commonly known as Fear of Missing Out. As the tweets, Facebook status updates, check-ins, Instagram photos, and Tumblr posts pour in, it can start to feel like your friends, coworkers, and even your frenemies lead lives that are infinitely more interesting than yours. Social media is a blessing and a curse that way.”

Malls - “These land-devouring, car-dependent malls were invented 60 years ago, with Seattle among the pioneers. Now they are in terminal decline. There was a better idea in Kansas City, but unfortunately it was eclipsed by our mania for malls.”

Introducing The Stranger - Last week I mentioned that Leland Ryken was beginning a series discussing literature. This post introduces Camus’ The Stranger and gives us the kind of format Ryken will be using as he goes through various books. It looks like a promising series.

Pastoral Reflections on Homophobia - This is an article worth reading.

Why Do Old Books Smell? - It’s distinctive, isn’t it, that old book smell? This video explains it.

One may live as a conquerer, a king or a magistrate; but he must die as a man. —Daniel Webster

April 21, 2012

State of the Bible 2012 - “The good news about the Good Book is that it’s still the No. 1 seller of all time, with an estimated 6 billion copies sold. The not-so-good news though, according to a new survey by The American Bible Society, is that it’s lost a bit of its prominence in affecting people’s lives.”

Character, Influence - Here’s a good quote—food for thought—from Douglas Groothuis. 

Where Were the African-Americans? - A few days ago David Murray asked where the African Americans were at T4G. Thabiti Anyabwile pens a helpful response.

Spring JBMW - The spring edition of the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is now available. Be sure to check out the review of Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage. I think it may prove the definitive critical review.

Where Kindles Are Sold - It’s interesting that ebooks are reaching different kinds of readers than traditional books. “It turns out all of our preconceived notions about e-reader adoption was wrong. When you dig into the data about where Kindles are actually bought and sold, the most ‘cosmopolitan’ cities in America are soundly beaten by mid-sized cities in the Midwest and South.”

There is nothing that human pride resents so much as to be rebuked. —G.B. Duncan

April 20, 2012

Multisite and Presence - The multisite discussion is an important one; I find myself learning a lot about the nature of the church by reading both sides. I find Carl Trueman’s latest reflections helpful in thinking about the importance of real presence.

An Office for Pastors’ Wives - “What role should a pastor’s wife or elder’s wife play in the church? What are her responsibilities? How can she serve as a helpmate to her husband in the ministry?” 9Marks has some helpful reflections on the topic.

SGM Relocated - Sovereign Grace Ministries announced yesterday that they are relocating to Louisville, Kentucky where C.J. Mahaney will also be planting a church.

And the Winner Isn’t… - I was wondering why there was no Pulitzer awarded in the fiction category this year. Ann Patchett talks about why it matters. “What I am sure of is this: Most readers hearing the news will not assume it was a deadlock. They’ll just figure it was a bum year for fiction. As a novelist and the author of an eligible book, I do not love this. It’s fine to lose to someone, and galling to lose to no one.”

The New Conversion - “Evangelicals are undergoing a sea change understanding when it comes to this pivotal moment in the believer’s life.”

The wonder of the cross is not the blood, but whose blood and to what purpose. —Donald English