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January 17, 2012

I checked in with Twitter this morning and saw a few mentions of the fact that today is my 3,000th consecutive day of blogging. What’s funny to me is that I had no idea. But that little counter at the bottom right of the page just kept incrementing and I guess a few people noticed. I’ll have to wear a party hat all day today, I suppose.

A No-Win Scenario - Mounce talks about some of those verses that simply cannot be translated well (at least not if you care about trying to make things sound less than awkward).

The Worst Passwords - Forbes has a list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011. Take a look at the list and if you use any of those passwords, change them right away!

On Media and Messages - Carl Trueman brings out some good thoughts about reductionism here. I’m not sure that I agree with him all the way, though. I find that there is a lot of value in trying to take a complex idea and compress it down to 140 characters. That certainly isn’t then sufficient, but it helps you sharpen your own understanding (similar to the way teaching a concept to a child forces you to understand it better).

CT and Spanking - Denny Burk writes about the editors of Christianity Today and their new stance on spanking. Regardless of what you believe about spanking, this is an important issue because of the hermenuetical implications. “The CT editorial relies almost entirely on William Webb’s trajectory hermeneutic—a way of interpreting the Bible that says modern readers sometimes need to move beyond the ethical instruction of scripture to an ethic that supercedes it.”

Empty Praise - Well here’s a shocker: “For decades, the prevailing wisdom in education was that high self-esteem would lead to high achievement. The theory led to an avalanche of daily affirmations, awards ceremonies and attendance certificates — but few, if any, academic gains.”

The Phone Stack - I love this idea! “We usually take a pretty hard line against phones at dinner, but a new trick just popped up that gives us hope for the future. It’s called a phone stack, and it’s a buzzing, flashing reminder of every phone-etiquette rule the world seems to have forgotten.” (HT)

Christianity is no more a bondage to men than wings are to birds. —O. Palmer Robertson

January 16, 2012

 

Pastors and Conducting Weddings - Brian Croft: “I am consistently asked about the circumstances surrounding weddings.  What makes it permissible or not to conduct a wedding in ”this or that” situation?  I am very aware that there are strong opinions and lively disagreements about whether an evangelical pastor should marry Christians, non-Christians, and everything in between.”

Pastors Oppose Evolution - “Pastors overwhelmingly believe that God did not use evolution to create humans and think Adam and Eve were literal people, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research.”

The Man with the Golden Voice - Here is an update on Ted Williams, the (formerly) homeless man with the golden voice.

High-Speed Animals - “With good lighting and a little luck, amateur videographers can use inexpensive digital cameras to transform blurred flight into breathtaking glimpses of animal behavior.” WIRED showcases some examples.

Ordo Salutis - That infographic of the ordo salutis has been translated into Portuguese and is free for the download.

Your Brain on Technology - Mike Wittmer read a bunch of books on technology (including my own) and provides 5 big takeaways. 

The snow covers many a dunghill; so doth prosperity many a rotten heart. —Thomas Brooks

January 14, 2012

 

A Song to the Coming King - David Murray is beginning what should be an interesting series on the Song of Solomon as a song to the coming king of love. “Many Western interpreters have got so lost in analyzing the minute details of every pomegranate and every tree that many have been turned off reading the Song in a Christ-centered way.” In a similar vein, Cripplegate has an article about Old Testament interpretation that’s worth considering. Meanwhile, Peter Leithart is also writing about the poetry of sex.

Delivered from Death - “Belief does not necessarily imply faith. According to Dustin Morrison of New Market, Iowa, believers merely assent to God’s existence while followers devote their lives to discipleship. For Morrison, it took walking through the valley of the shadow of death to understand the difference.”

Civil War Submarine - Here’s an interesting story: “Confederate Civil War vessel H.L. Hunley, the world’s first successful combat submarine, was unveiled in full and unobstructed for the first time on Thursday, capping a decade of careful preservation.”

The Church in New York - “Police Thursday arrested 43 New York City pastors and lay people who were protesting the city’s ban on church use of public schools for worship services. The ban is scheduled to go into effect Feb. 12.”

Open Up the Bible - I like this new campaign by The Good Book Company. “Wherever you are, whenever you can, we want to encourage you to open up the Bible.” They have lots of resources to help get you started.

Top Ten of 2011 - Reformation Heritage Books has their top 10 books of 2011 on sale at 50% off. The sale lasts for just a few more days.

The Page Turner - I need one of these.

God’s works are never above right, though often above reason. —Thomas Fuller

January 13, 2012

Rogue Ringtone - “The final movement of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony is a slow rumination on mortality, with quiet sections played by strings alone. During the New York Philharmonic’s performance Tuesday night, it was interrupted by an iPhone.” Ouch.

The Post-Program Church - This is a good article from 9Marks: “If churches shouldn’t rely wholly on programs to do the work of ministry, this raises some questions: First, should churches ditch all their programs? Second, if not, how should churches decide which programs to keep or cut?”

Bad Attituding - This is some helpful parenting advice from Rick Holland: “When is that last time someone confronted you in anger and your immediate response was something like, ‘Oh thank you, I am so motivated now to do better and try harder.’ Correction packaged in a bad attitude is not motivating, stimulating, or helpful.”

Something We Do Badly - Carl Trueman writes about pulpit prayer. “[P]ulpit prayer should be a vital part of the worship service.  It is at those moments that the pastor has the task of leading the people into the very presence of God.  This is an awe inspiring task, not to be undertaken lightly.”

Infamous TV Firsts - Reading this article, and looking back on a long list of infamous TV firsts, is kind of an interesting study in society’s declining morality.

First Light - This is quite an interesting timelapse video shot in HDR.

Blessed is the man who having nothing to say abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. —George Eliot

January 12, 2012

Tebow Time - I appreciate Nathan Busenitz’s thoughts about Tim Tebow and all the fuss surrounding him these days. “But as believers, what are we supposed to think about the cultural phenomenon that centers around this young quarterback? At the risk of offending someone (and possibly everyone), here are ten thoughts in answer to that question.”

Disagreeing Online Without Being a Jerk - This is a worthwhile read for any of us who spend time interacting with others online.

Your Kids Think You’re No Fun - Douglas Wilson offers 10 reasons that your kids might think that you’re no fun.

Chapel at Harvard - Gene Veith found an interesting article that discusses what chapel is like at Harvard these days. “A few years ago, what was once the multi-denominational and then became the multi-faith worship service would mush all of the different religions in a worship service that would be recognizable to none of them.  Now, though, the distinct worship services of the distinct religions are carried out, but everyone participates in them and honors them all equally.”

Free Book of the Month - Logos has begun a new feature: A free book of the month. This month’s freebie is Sin and Temptation by John Owen.

Haiti Slow to Recover - The Big Picture has a photo gallery showing the slow, slow progress in rebuilding Haiti after the quake from two years ago.

Guilt is to danger what fire is to gunpowder. —John Flavel

January 11, 2012

 

Judging the Morality of God - James White has a strong article over at Patheos: “When Roger Olson announced he was releasing a book, part of a two-book counter-point effort along with Michael Horton, titled Against Calvinism, there was hope for something that might engage the real strength of Reformed theology—the clear and consistent exegesis of the biblical text that the “young, restless and Reformed” have found so compelling. But even before its release, Dr. Olson gave clear indication that its focus was not going to be exegetical.”

Credo Magazine - The January edition of the new Credo magazine is available and free to read. Highlights include a couple of good articles on Love Wins and a really good review of Real Marriage (that adds a couple of new elements to the discussion).

Your Mediocre Sermons - This was comforting to read, especially since I read it while taking a break from sermon preparation.

A Moving Tribute - Pastor Martin Holdt went home to be with the Lord last week after a sudden and short illness. This is a beautiful tribute written by his son.

Learing from Christopher Hitchens - Al Mohler draws five important lessons from the life of Christopher Hitchens.

Narnia 4 - It looks like it will be a few years at best before we see another Narnia movie. I still need to catch up and see the last one.

The Joy of Books - Try and do this with a Kindle!

Today, let us rise and go to our work. Tomorrow, we shall rise and go to our reward. —Richard Fuller

January 10, 2012

 

We’re All Witnesses - This columnist is hardly a Tebow fanboy. And yet… “We’re watching a new reality unfold, right before our eyes, and what we saw Sunday strained credibility. It was incredible. It was fantastical.”

Jesus vs Movies - John Piper asks a good question: “What should you do if you know someone who seems to be more excited about movies than Jesus? Many professing Christians give little evidence of valuing Jesus more than the latest movie they have seen. Or the latest clothing they bought. Or the latest app they downloaded. Or the latest game they watched. Something is amiss.”

Critics, Criticism and Character - Aaron Armstrong has a good article here dealing with being a critic and responding to criticism. 

Evangelical Exhibitionists - One of the consequences of Mark Driscoll’s new book is that a lot of people are thinking about “how much is too much” when it comes to discussing sex and sexuality. Phil Johnson’s critique of Real Marriage is, in a word, devastating.

CNN on Passion - CNN covered the recent Passion conference and its efforts to end modern-day slavery.

Time Is Nothing - This is an amazing timelapse based on a trip around the world.

Your state is not at all to be measured by the opposition that sin makes to you, but by the opposition you make to it. —John Owen

January 09, 2012

 

Parents, Cuddle Your Children - This is my takeaway from a rather interesting article: “No matter how obvious the observation, how eternal the topic, how great the works of literature that have tackled any given theme, or how insightful the philosophers who have studied a matter, the modern mind cannot fathom reaching a conclusion without relying on scientific studies.”

Be in the Film - David Murray: “At HeadHeartHand Media, we’re convinced that depression in the church is an issue that demands our attention, and in light of the warm reception Christians Get Depressed Too has received, we’re excited to be developing a video curriculum on that very topic!” They are looking for people who would like to be in the film.

Digital Music Sales - The only real surprise in this article is that it hasn’t happened already. “The times they are a-changin’. For the first time in history, digital music sales topped the physical sale of music. According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music purchases accounted for 50.3% of music sales in 2011. Digital sales were up 8.4% from the previous year, while physical album sales declined 5%.”

Man Who Said ‘Yes’ to Life - Occasionally The Onion comes up with a gem. Here’s one of them. “Authorities announced Tuesday that the body of 27-year-old screen printer Tom Finnery, a person friends confirmed always said yes to life and no to the idea of limits, had been found lying 20 feet from his mountain bike at the bottom of a gorge…”

God & Sinner Reconcile - I’ve been enjoying Stephen Miller’s new album God & Sinner Reconcile. You can listen to one of its songs in this video (the video begins after he introduces the album).

A sermon wept over is more acceptable with God than one gloried over. —C.H. Spurgeon