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A La Carte (July 12)

thursday

As usual, there are a few Kindle deals for those looking for a little summer reading.

(Yesterday on the blog: Are You Living Worthy of the Gospel?)

Women, Don’t Be Weak-Minded

Glenna Marshall: “No, the colorful book jackets and podcast logos of today’s Christian pop-culture don’t often bring up terms as antiquated and demoralizing as sin. No, it’s more like flaws, or the Christian favorite, struggles. If anything, the term must deflect fault to something else: society, upbringing, victimization, hypocrisy in the church. Someone else’s sin, but not yours. That’s the whole point of these books, sometimes: excusing our flaws by explaining them. Or hyper-focusing on one moral code that will lead to genuine happiness, no matter where you fall on the infallibility of Scripture.”

Whiteman Magic and Deceptive Europeans

Here’s an interesting one from Cameroon. “I walked away wondering why there is such a common misconception that Westerners also practice magic. You have to understand that nearly every Cameroonian I have met believes that one can talk to and manipulate spirits. They believe that there are certain spells, potions, incantations, dances, drumbeats, and even sacrifices that can enable the performer to succeed in life, find a lover, or kill someone else.”

Essential Latin for Reformed Christians

I’m rather enjoying this series on key Latin terms. “In theology, words matter supremely. Just one word can make a huge difference. So, the next time you confess the Nicene Creed in public worship, don’t gloss over ‘who proceeds from the Father and the Son.’ Think about that and then honour and adore also the Son for his role in blessing us with the Holy Spirit.”

How Satan Seduces Bitter Believers

“Apparently, one evil device of the enemy – one design he unleashes – is to convince the church that they don’t need to respond to repentant sinners with forgiveness. Here is the key question: How do you respond when you feel sinned against? Or, like those who aligned themselves with Paul (1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4): How do you respond when someone you know has sinned against you, or maybe people you love? The way we answer these questions is really important. In fact, I’ll go one step farther: How we respond to moments of hurt, pain, and confusion around other people’s weaknesses or sins reveals our true grasp of the gospel.”

The Tech Industry’s War on Kids

Parents, you should probably read this one. “These parents have no idea that lurking behind their kids’ screens and phones are a multitude of psychologists, neuroscientists, and social science experts who use their knowledge of psychological vulnerabilities to devise products that capture kids’ attention for the sake of industry profit. What these parents and most of the world have yet to grasp is that psychology — a discipline that we associate with healing — is now being used as a weapon against children.”

Low Visibility

“While modernism has morphed into postmodernity and postmodernity has provided a platform for intersectionality, the failure of so many–in both the world and the church–to clearly define terms has resulted in the widespread propagation of error. As a result of the cultural redefinition of terms and socially constructed agendas comes the need to defend and protect whatever narrative is being bandied about.” The point: Be careful to define terms.

Middle Children Are Going Extinct, Just When We Could Use Them the Most

Middle children are becoming a thing of the past as the birthrate falls. Here’s a tribute to them. “Not the lionized firstborn, adored and groomed to succeed, and not the coddled lastborn, the baby of the family, who benefits from inexhaustible attention and experienced parents. No, the middle child is just that — the middle. Excluded, forgotten, shoved into the role of de facto peacemaker among squabbling kinfolk, stripped rudely at an early age of the privileged status as the youngest and taught instead to accept benign indifference from siblings, parents, and the world.”

Flashback: 3 Errors of Musical Style that Stifle Community

It is ironic that music, an element meant to draw Christians together in mutual love and service (see Colossians 3:16) has become a force for significant division within the church. It just goes to show, I guess, that we can make a mess of pretty much anything.

We will not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited on us.

—C.H. Spurgeon

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