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A La Carte (March 28)

thursday

Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple of books. Meanwhile, Westminster Books has deals on some March new releases. They also have a good price on A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible.

(Yesterday on the blog: Budgeting for a Healthy Church)

The (Satanic) Power Of Positive Thinking

Wow. What an article. “The man who approaches Paradise Lost expecting to find the same Satan venerated by Scandinavian black metal bands and Anton LaVey will turn the final page of the poem and suffer sore disappointment. Milton’s Satan never kills anyone, neither does he rape, steal, or utter vulgarities. He does not kidnap children, establish cults, teach magic, participate in Halloween, or teach teenagers to play Led Zeppelin records backwards. He is not even terribly interested in conning others into such foul activities. Rather, one could triangulate the personality of Milton’s Satan using just three figures from popular culture: singer Katy Perry, fictional boss Michael Scott, and motivational speaker Tony Robbins.”

Apparently Having Babies Won’t Make You Happy

Anne Kennedy reflects a bit on the last article and adds some other good stuff as well. “I always like that clever irony of God, using the most prideful selfish creature on the earth—a baby—to cure the prideful selfishness of humanity. You crash into a person who takes over your whole world, whose every cry and gesture captures your body, mind, and soul. But as if that saving unhappiness were not enough, he himself took the selfish in-turning nature of the person, from conception, and healed and restored it. All babies are prideful, except Jesus, who was perfectly humble.”

You Can Doubt and Have Faith without Exploding

“I’d like to suggest that faith and having doubts are compatible and that, when treated properly, our doubts have am incredible valuable for coming to a robust faith.”

On The Gospel and Justice: It’s a Spectrum, Not Two Sides

Trevin Wax makes what I think is a helpful observation about a current conversation. “Unfortunately, in the midst of the increasingly heated debates, a fundamental fact often goes unnoticed: we are not dealing with neatly defined sides, but rather a spectrum—a variety of views on the best way forward in integrating gospel fidelity with pressing social concerns. Evangelicals have never been united on the way forward, even during the days when there appeared to be unity on the surface. But evangelicals have never been totally divided either, as if there were only two poles of thought.”

One Woman’s Insights on Church, Women, and Authority

This is a good read. “I’m a strong leader with the gifts and wiring essential to the call. I thrive when casting vision, making disciples, training leaders, preaching the Word, and evangelizing the lost. I’ve been “thinking in sermons” since I was fifteen. I can’t help but target potential leaders. I constantly wonder how to reach my community. It’s instinctive. When I hear a powerful sermon, I feel a compulsion to preach. When someone leaves the church, I can’t sleep at night. When I study a text, I obsess over theological clarity. But I’m a woman…”

Christians in the Cultural Closet

“There always are closets. Every society ancient and modern has closets. What changes are those who inhabit the closets. Gradually we are witnessing traditional, orthodox Christians being forced into the closets even as the sexual minorities move out.”

That Time We Boycotted E.T.

Mike Leake: “Did you know that in 1988 evangelicals, and especially Southern Baptists (hangs head in shame), encouraged folks to stop buying VHS tapes of the lovable E.T.? If you’re racking your brain, as I was, trying to figure out what was so offensive about E.T., you can stop now. The problem wasn’t with the little alien, the problem was with the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ.”

Flashback: 10 Lessons on Parenting Little Ones

Pray for your children. Pray consistently, persistently, passionately, earnestly, and constantly.

We don’t just need answers for people’s difficult questions. We need questions for people’s easy answers.

—Andrew Wilson

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