A La Carte (October 13)

It’s Amazon’s Prime Day today and, while that makes it a good day to buy a discounted Kindle device, I was hoping that it would bring us some special Kindle book deals. However, I was able to dig up only a few.

Become a Patron

(Yesterday on the blog: A Thanksgiving Family Update)

The Evaporation of Empathy

Chris Martin is concerned that we’ve been witnessing the evaporation of empathy. “A major consequence of the fact that the majority of us live on the internet is ever-increasing polarization. All kinds of ingredients have melded together to create the white-hot polarization so many of us feel, and one of the most prominent of those ingredients is the evaporation of empathy. But why has empathy evaporated?”

There’s More to the Person Behind The Profile Pic

Trevin Wax’s article is somewhat thematically similar to Chris’s. “Maybe you’ve experienced this: you come across a post from an acquaintance at church or a distant family member, and the person’s opinion is either uninformed or inflammatory, and their responses to comments get heated. You cringe at the leaps of logic, the ‘what-about-ism,’ the tendency toward conspiracy thinking, the articles shared, or the ad hominem attacks. Whatever the subject (politics, the pandemic, or public debates), you’re surprised to see this person engaging this way. How should you respond? Should you respond?”

The Reformanda Initiative and Fratelli Tutti

In this episode of the Reformanda Initiative podcast Leonardo De Chirico and his co-hosts talk about Pope Francis’s new encyclical (a form of Roman Catholic authoritative teaching) which is extremely concerning on a number of levels.

What Is Keeping You From Your Church?

Craig is asking some good questions here. If you could return to church post-lockdown but haven’t yet, be sure to honestly ask yourself why that is. “If your rationale for staying away from your church family hasn’t been carefully defined, you run the risk of never returning to church. If you do not draw a line in the sand right now and determine when you will return to worship, you may never return. You will find other things to fill your Sunday mornings and commitment to your church will wax and wane.”

Bryan Chapell on How NOT to Preach a Message

Bryan Chapell offers a few ways not to preach a sermon.

How Does the Church Respond to Worldly Spirituality?

Jared Wilson: “This particular cultural moment in church history is one of the more curious moments in recent decades, isn’t it? On the one hand, the dominant model of ‘doing church’ in the West is largely one of inspirational pragmatism. It is not uncommon to see the best-selling books in the Christian marketplace pull double duty in the self-help section of neighborhood bookstores.”

Letter to a Christian Protester

When people ask me whether there is a future for blogs I always point out that they neatly fit a middle ground between Twitter and magazines. That’s on display here where Brad Littlejohn can respond in a timely yet substantial way to one form of Christian civil disobedience. Whether or not you approve of his perspective, it’s at least a substantial, thoughtful engagement of the kind that can advance a conversation.

Flashback: What’s the Purpose of … Baptism?

We are justified by faith — not by baptism. And yet, those who are justified by faith are commanded to proclaim their salvation by being baptized.

It should be the Christian’s natural state to feel that the times are out of joint and that we do not truly belong here. —Carl Trueman