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A La Carte (February 6)

I’m looking forward to speaking in chapel today at Cedarville University. It was a long (so long!) and wild ride to get here yesterday via snowy Chicago. But I made in eventually and am excited to see the school and meet the students and faculty.

(Yesterday on the blog: Exploring Ireland: EPIC Vlog 02)

The Power of De-Conversion Stories: How Jen Hatmaker is Trying to Change Minds About the Bible

“When it comes to reaching the ‘lost,’ one of the most tried-and-true methods is the personal conversion story. Whether done privately or publicly, it’s compelling to hear a person’s testimony about how they came to believe in the truth of the Gospel, the truth of the Bible, and embraced the Christian faith. Such testimonies can personalize and soften the message so it is more easily understood and received. But when it comes to reaching the ‘found,’ there’s an equally effective method—and this is a method to which the evangelical church has paid very little attention. It’s what we might call the de-conversion story.” (Also see Denny Burk’s take.)

Why North Korea Isn’t So Good at Olympics

“Say what you will about communists, but they can sure field a solid Olympic team. East Germany routinely spanked not only the larger and wealthier Germany next door, but it repeatedly bested even the United States at both Winter and Summer Games. Meanwhile, even 27 years after its collapse, the Soviet Union still holds second place as history’s most prolific collector of Olympic medals. Which makes it all the more glaring that North Korea, one of the last throwbacks to the Cold War, has such a piddling Olympic record.”

Your Conscience Tells You What not to Do, Wisdom Tells You What to Do

Wyatt Graham draws an interesting distinction here.

Germs in Airplane Cabins Are Bad, Terminals Are Worse

I see lots of people wearing masks in planes and airports, but from this report it sounds like they’d be better off wearing gloves. Also, with all the flying I need to do this year, I’ll probably get sick lots.

New Report is Critical of the Term ‘Spiritual Abuse’

I will be interested in reading analyses of this: “A new report highlights the risks associated with adopting the vague and incoherent terminology of ‘Spiritual Abuse’ … The term ‘Spiritual Abuse’ may be well intended, but it is not fit for purpose.” While no one can deny the reality of spiritual abuse, the term does seem to lack clear and agreed-upon definition.

Voice UI Is The Future. But When?

This has been a long-awaited and fascinating technological development. “Propelled by what we can legitimately call The Alexa Movement, voice is now perceived as the future of the User Interface. But we need numbers: How many of us continue to use Alexa (or Siri, or Google assistant) after the novelty has worn off? What do we use it for? This will help us understand the likely actual future of Voice UI.”

The Lord Is on the Move in the Muslim World

Greg Livingstone writes, “The last 27 years of increased harvest among Muslims has been remarkable! As someone who’s given most of his life to understanding Islam and sharing the gospel with Muslims, I think we have every reason to be joyful, grateful, and hopeful. The Lord is on the move. And though the vast majority of Muslims still need to be reached, the King of kings is not wringing his hands over the massive barriers to reaching them.”

Flashback: The Five Tests of False Doctrine

This world is a murky madness of true and false. For every doctrine we know to be true, there seems to be a hundred pretenders.

Idleness gives great advantage to the tempter. Standing waters gather filth.

—Matthew Henry

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…