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July 11, 2011

Bell’s Hell - This is rather an interesting blog post from the editor of Rob Bell’s book Love Wins. It’s another case of someone marveling that Christians were quick and vocal in defending a core doctrine of the faith. How is that surprising?

A Testimony - I enjoyed reading Phil Johnson’s testimony of how the Lord saved him.

Iranian Pastor to be Executed - “Christians in Iran have challenged news reports that the death penalty for pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has been annulled, saying that in reality the country’s supreme court appears to have added a precondition requiring him to renounce his faith or face execution.”

Get Socialized - This is an interesting article about the inevitability of social media. “A sign of the times is that Vernon Loeb, Post Local editor, has begun mandatory social media training for the reporters and editors on the Metro staff. This means that most editors and reporters, if they haven’t already, will be setting up Twitter and Facebook accounts and using other social media tools to monitor, report and convey the news from around the Beltway.” (HT)

India’s Grassroots Revival - From CT: “With its people turning to Christ in waves, India hosts more believers now than at any time in its 4,000-year history.”

Singing Psalms - This blog has quite a good series on reclaiming Psalms in the church’s worship. “The issue of Psalm-singing serves as a crucible in which our belief in the authority, power, and sufficiency of scripture is tested.  How can those involved in leading the worship of the church reject Psalm-singing if they believe in the profitability of scripture and if they see the command, significance, and benefit to singing the Psalms?”

If you are to have peace with God there must be war with Satan. —C.H. Spurgeon

July 08, 2011

Mahaney’s Leave of Absence - An interesting update from C.J. Mahaney: “With a few potential exceptions, I will be taking a break from updating this blog for a while, and I want to share with you the reasons why and entreat you for your prayers while I am on leave.” Dave Harvey explains further.

Urban Theology - Carl Trueman writes about the contemporary church’s fixation on the city. Make sure you don’t give up on the first paragraph which is an inside joke. From there this is a really good read. “Not that cities are not important: as areas where there are the highest concentrations of human beings, they are inevitably significant as mission fields. Rather, we were thinking of the `from a Garden to a City’ hermeneutic which jumps from scripture to giving modern urban sprawl some kind of special eschatological significance. Was there ever a thinner hermeneutical foundation upon which so much has been built?”

The Gospel Is for Christians - A blurb I wrote for a new book: “Written in an engaging, winsome way, his book will challenge and shape you. It will tell you why you need to believe the gospel to have eternal life and why you need to dwell upon this gospel, love it, feed upon it, depend upon it every day. The gospel is for Christians and so too is this book. I highly recommend it to you.”

Counseling One Another - Paul Tautges has a new blog that looks quite promising. Paul’s passion is in training Christians to do the work of counseling within the context of Christian discipleship. This blog will offer instruction on doing that.

Planned Parenthood - “An in-depth investigation of Planned Parenthood by Americans United for Life, the nation’s first pro-life public-interest law and policy organization (where I serve as Senior Vice President and Senior Council), demonstrates that abortion is central to Planned Parenthood’s business. The AUL Report, however, uncovers much, much more than just the importance of abortion to Planned Parenthood operations. It reveals Planned Parenthood practices that are irresponsible, dangerous, and fly in the face of the organization’s claims of dedication to women in need of medical services.”

World’s Scariest Runways - Here are some hair-raising videos of the world’s scariest runways. I bet a lot of MAF pilots look at this and scoff.

Conscience is God’s sergeant. He employs it to arrest the sinner. —William Gurnall

July 07, 2011

House of Shelves - This is my kind of house. “Floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall shelving defines a compact, 557-square-foot home in Osaka prefecture, Japan, designed by Japanese Architect Kazuya Morita. Designed for a young historian with an extensive book collection in Islamic history, Morita designed the house with interlocking laminated pine boards that slot together to form a lattice of towering shelving units.”

Google+ - John Dyer writes about Google+, Google’s attempt to meet the challenge of Facebook. “The key feature to the whole thing is the concept of ‘Circles’ which is Google’s attempt to solve the biggest problem that has arisen from social networking.”

Ash Covered Landscape - There is something fascinating and almost apocalyptic about this gallery of pictures from southern Chile.

Discovery 360 - Here’s a 360 degree view of the Space Shuttle Discovery’s flight deck. The computer screens look like they are older than I am!

Casey Anthony - Chris Brauns, author of Unpacking Forgiveness, helps us think through the Casey Anthony case.

The Genderless Child - Gene Edward Veith writes about a couple who is raising a genderless child and says “I thought we were supposed to believe that sexual identity is not a choice, but rather an innate condition, that, in the words of Lady Gaga, ‘I was born this way.’” And that brings us to this ugly article in which a professor gender studies talks about how Lady Gaga’s song is actually doing a great disservice. What a mess.

Unity Through the Gospel - I have been writing about Romans 14 over the past few days. Someone sent me this article which makes an interesting point—all of the deep theology in the first 13 chapters of the letter to the Romans has been pointing people to gospel unity. “The way the apostle builds up to this primary purpose is a great reminder that a deeply rich theology of salvation is the basis for unified relationships in the Church.”

One leak will sink a ship; and one sin will destroy a sinner. —John Bunyan

July 06, 2011

Cherish the Book Publishers - The title and subtitle of this op-ed at the Wall Street Journal pretty much say it all: “Cherish the Book Publishers—You’ll Miss Them When They’re Gone.” Call me a snob, but I receive enough self-published books to know that many books are turned down by publishers for a good reason. Having said that, there are a few remarkable self-published works out there. (HT:JT)

If Leonardo DiCaprio Got Saved - If Leonardo DiCaprio got saved just imagine what he could do for the Lord’s sake. And he would, right? So why hasn’t God thought of that plan?

The Next Story - Professor of Philosophy Douglas Groothuis has just published a review of The Next Story. I was eager to read his take on it since I often referred to his writing on technology in my studies. In the end it was quite an enlightening and encouraging review.

Holy, Good and Crushing - That’s what the Law is—holy, good and crushing. The very law that was meant to bring life stirs up a desire for sin and kills us.

What the Enemy Targets - There will be no surprises in the answer to this question, posed by Brian Croft: Which area of sin does the enemy target the most in pastors?

The iPhone Is Too Expensive - We already know that the iPhone is too expensive (though that doesn’t stop millions from buying it). This article explains what Apple may have to gain from introducing a cheaper model.

Please Forgive Me - Bob Kelleman offers up various forms of apology and asks how we ought to respond to each.

If the whole world were changed into a globe of gold it could not fill thy heart. —Thomas Brooks

July 05, 2011

It was quite a quiet day in the blogosphere yesterday. You’d almost think that all of America was distracted or busy doing more important things. Nevertheless, here are a few interesting links I picked up along the way.

The Millennials - The Millennials by Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer is this month’s free audio book from ChristianAudio. It’s yours for the taking.

Think Positive - “The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, who started his ministry in an Orange drive-in theater more than five decades ago, has been voted off the board of Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which has been torn apart by debt and familial disharmony for the last several years.”

When to Start Giving - I always enjoy reading articles that present issues the Bible speaks about from a secular worldview. In this case, Mint.com discusses when you ought to consider giving money to charitable causes. There is a fully secular worldview in full view here.

Dignified Translations - Andy has a list of particularly difficult passages to translate. These are the kind of passages that best align with English phrases that we don’t want to see in our Bibles!

Politics vs Reality - Thomas Sowell: “It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not.” His later jabs on the Canadian health care system seem slightly over the top, but the point of his article remains a good one.

Ocean Sky - I never get tired of these.

Christ and we will never be one until we and our sin are two. —C.H. Spurgeon

July 04, 2011

Happy Independence Day to all of my American friends. Is that the correct July 4 greeting? Of course the greeting may seem a little bit disingenuous coming from the country that currently has a prince and princess touring it…

An Historian Reading Bonhoeffer - Michael Haykin on Metaxas’ biography of Bonhoeffer: “A big book, it looks like an authentic historical read. Of course, Metaxas gets the basic facts right, but is it good history? In portraying Bonhoeffer as a North American evangelical, has he read Bonhoeffer rightly? The scholarly answer is no.”

Texting Teens - An infographic that shares information about teens and their texting habits.

Logos’ Catholic Resources - I was sorry to read this from Logos: “Logos already offers significant resources of interest to Catholics and to those interested in understanding Catholicism, but there will be many more coming soon, including Catholic-oriented packages. These packages will bring together the full functionality of Logos 4 with Catholic Bibles, magisterial documents, as well as exegetical and theological works.”

HardlyWorkin.in - Some people are too ingenious for their own good. This little program converts your Facebook feed into what looks like an Excel spreadsheet so it does not arouse the suspicions of the boss.

Do Leaders Need to Be Holy? - Here’s some encouragement (and potentially rebuke) for leaders. “My answer to this question is that personal holiness is the most important issue to leadership success. I realize that this is a fairly bold statement, so let me take a moment to back it up.”

Cutest Kids - A couple of the world’s cutest kids. They’ll help make your Monday morning just a bit better.

If my heart is right with God, every human being is my neighbor. —Oswald Chambers

July 02, 2011

I enjoyed a fantastic Canada Day yesterday. I spent most of the day in the office laboring in the ministry (which in this case largely involved building new office furniture and setting up a new network) and then spent the evening with friends, even taking in a fireworks show—something we haven’t done for a long time. Good times.

Where Those $ Are Going - In honor of Canada, Mint.com shows how Canadian households are spending their money. Surprises: .5% on gambling and almost 20% on transportation.

Spiritual Depression - This video trailer for a new edition of Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Spiritual Depression is worth watching even if just to hear the Doctor doing what he did so well.

The Anthropogenic Planet - I don’t know what anthropogenic means, but it makes an interesting infographic at any rate. This one shows transportation routes all over the planet.

Refocusing on the Family - CT has a lengthy feature on Focus on the Family. “Like many evangelical organizations that were built in the past 50 years, Focus on the Family is attempting to thrive—and survive—past its founder.”

An Unfinished Progress - This is an interesting article from Bryan Loritts as he reflects on moving from a predominantly black church to a predominately white church and now to one that is multi-ethnic. (HT:JT)

The World’s Luckiest Squirrel - Yes, you read that right. Hopefully he survives with that bit of his tail missing…

The fullness of the earth can never satisfy the soul. —William Bridge

July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day! It’s July 1 which makes it Canada up here in the great white north—a day we celebrate the great nation God has given us. It’s always a good day.

Who Is Coming to America? - An interesting infographic.

Erasing Hell - Monergism Books is offering great pricing on Francis Chan’s new book Erasing Hell (which is, of course, a response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins). They also have a very deep discount on R.C. Sproul’s When Worlds Collide ($3.75) and Carl Trueman’s new Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Good Bible Translators - Andy Naselli shares an excerpt that shows just some of the difficulties that come in trying to translate God’s Word.

Search Committees - Mark Dever asks what’s wrong with pastoral search committees. He also answers the question, of course.

Cruciform Press - I’m encouraged by what this pastor says about Cruciform Press: “Thus far, I’ve received Cruciform, But God and Smooth Stones. I’ve managed to read each book in less than a day (usually two sittings), but each has required significantly longer to consider and think about. I don’t know what your book budget is, but I’m almost certain you can justify $6.49 to broaden your theological scope and widen it’s depth. I honestly don’t think you can afford not to.”

Like Whatever, You Know - You’ll enjoy this, I think. (HT)

Do not give fair names to foul sins. Call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter.C.H. Spurgeon