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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

April 19, 2012

The Post-Christian Condition - Dr. Mohler writes about “Anders Breivik and the Limitations of Justice,” saying, “The trial of Anders Behring Breivik represents one of the greatest tests of human justice in decades.”

My Brother Can’t Cry - A touching article on disability: “My brother can’t cry. He can laugh — he loves to laugh! — and he can get angry and even sorrowful. But he can’t cry. At least, I’ve never seen him cry.”

Speak for the Unborn - After writing about that Louisville abortion clinic, I received a lot of very interesting feedback. Be sure to read Denny Burk’s article and then go to the blog he links to.

What’s Wrong with Theistic Evolution? - Kevin DeYoung lists “eight problems Wayne Grudem finds with theistic evolution. I realize he may not be an authority on these matters, but in typical fashion he distills the main points nicely and explain succinctly what unbiblical conclusions we must reach for theistic evolution to be true.”

The Elephant in the Room at T4G - David wades into some intimidating territory in this blog post: “Although commentary abounds about last week’s T4G (pros and cons, highlights and disappointments, etc), one question I have not seen raised is, Where were all our black brothers (and sisters)?”

Addiction to Excess - “Suppose we were to consider obesity not in terms of nutrition and health, but rather in terms of how it fits in with the overall picture of America. We Americans have, to put it mildly, a propensity for excess and bigness. We are the nation of big cars, big TV screens, big houses, big stores, and big malls. Obesity, on this account, is merely a part of our overall addiction to excess.”

The depths of our misery can never fall below the depths of mercy. —Richard Sibbes

April 18, 2012

 

6 Unbiblical Methods for Change - “Many professing Christians seek change in their lives using methods which are contrary to Scripture. As a result, they don’t experience the change which God seeks to produce in his people.” Here are six common, but ineffective, methods for lasting personal transformation.

The Gospel Is Insufficient - This is a helpful thing to consider: “For Paul, the gospel is not in itself sufficient to ensure the continuation of the gospel.  It needs men to preach it; it needs men, women and children to tell it to their friends.  And because all of these agents are fallen, it needs a church structure to help to safeguard its content.”

Satan’s Big Fat Lie - “One of the most devious, destructive lies that Satan wants us to believe is that we are the products of forces outside ourselves. He wants you to believe that because your dad was an angry, vicious man, you too will always be an angry, vicious man…”

Pulitzer - The Pulitzer Prizes were awarded this week and at this link you can see the photographs that earned the prize for feature photography.

Child Murder - “Algorithms are shaping how we see the world around us, with big consequences. What a machine thinks we need to know can become what we fear.” This article deals with personalized news services.

The more afflictions you have been under, the more assistance you have had for this life of holiness. —John Flavel

April 17, 2012

Taking Irritability Seriously - Philip Ryken: “Most of us tend to think of irritability as a natural response to life’s little frustrations. We also tend not to worry too much about our irritability, although some Christians may perhaps be wise enough to make it a matter for prayer. When was the last time you asked the Lord to help you respond graciously to that special person who always annoys you?”

Child Sex Offenders - “This month is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As fully 44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18, we hope this post can be beneficial for parents in protecting their children.” These are very helpful warnings!

Dads on the Way Home - This is a good word for dads. As you head home, “Consider what you’re bringing into your house this afternoon. Because you are bringing something…”

We All Need God - This is a beautiful testimony to the Lord’s grace in one man’s life.

Clean Your Inbox - Here are some pro tips on maintaining a clean inbox. If you don’t have some kind of a system yet, you should probably work on one!

Common Grace - I found this a helpful article, especially in the breakdown of three types of music.

The essence of sin is arrogance; the essence of salvation is submission. —Alan Redpath

April 16, 2012

Why Christians Should Read Camus - This promises to be an interesting new series from Leland Ryken. “Every week he’ll lend us his decades of learning to help us understand why these works have come to be regarded as timeless treasures. Have you ever thought, I’ve heard that book is great, but I’m intimidated to read it myself without any help? Then we’ve designed this series precisely with you in mind. You get the benefits of a reading community who will help you along and a gifted professor who will answer your questions.”

Titanic Infographic - Here’s the inevitable Titanic infographic. Even better, here’s a tale from Titanic. “Many movies, documentaries and books have familiarized us with some of the passengers, such as entrepreneur John Jacob Astor IV or the ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown. Yet one of the supreme stories of the Titanic involves a heroic pastor and his passion to save lives and souls.”

Trueman the Girlyman - Of all the T4G reflections, I enjoyed Carl Trueman’s the most. “T4G made me look like a girlyman.  More of that later. When invited to do a breakout at T4G, I had initially said no, not being a big conference person.  I was ultimately persuaded by the fact that the preponderance of attendees are officebearers in the church; and by the fact they put the guy who cries on my case (yes, that bit is truly pathetic, I know).”

Stott the Napper - I enjoyed this little glimpse into John Stott’s life.

Doubting Dawkins - This is a cleverly powerful little video.

If the work be done in Christ’s name, the honor is due to his name. —Matthew Henry

April 14, 2012

Fixing the TSA - “Air travel would be safer if we allowed knives, lighters and liquids and focused on disrupting new terror plots. A former head of the Transportation Security Administration, Kip Hawley, on embracing risk.”

Represent! - “What an awesome thought – Christ represents us in heaven! The perfect, spotless, Lamb of God pleads his own blood and righteousness on our behalf at the Father’s right hand. He’s the perfect representative! He doesn’t forget a single need. He never takes a break. He knows exactly what it’s like for us. He knows just what to say and ask for on our behalf. What’s amazing is that he chooses us to represent him on earth.”

Universalism, Pastors and People - “We released some new research yesterday at LifeWay Research showing 84% of Protestant pastors disagree that eternal life can be obtained through religions other than Christianity. That view is generally called “universalism” or “pluralism.” So, based on this data, Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly not universalists. However, the same cannot be said of their church members.”

Pray for Jerry Bridges - From Desiring God: Jerry Bridges is recovering from a serious, scheduled surgery. You can read an update at the link.

31 Days - Here’s a helpful resource from Frontline Missions: “This prayer calendar, which focuses on many countries known for having the worst persecution and the least Gospel light, is now available for download. Use this calendar as a resource for your daily prayer time—and share it with others.”

I Met a Celebrity Pastor - David Murray: “I met a “celebrity” pastor at T4G yesterday. I can confidently report that he was normal. In fact, he was more normal than many “normal” pastors I’ve met. He was warm, friendly, engaged in our conversation, didn’t try to get away after the initial pleasantries, and wasn’t continually looking over my shoulder for someone more interesting or important to talk to. And I have to say that most of the well-known pastors and preachers I’ve met have been similar.”

Your Children Want You - This blog post went viral last week and, having read it, I can see why. Though it’s from a secular blog, it touches nicely on some important themes.

We often talk of unbelief as if it were an affliction to be pitied instead of a crime to be condemned. —C.H. Spurgeon