Sunday A La Carte (January 26)

It was such a good week for interesting articles and videos that I collected more than I could fit into this week’s A La Carte columns. For that reason I’m adding an additional A La Carte today. Enjoy!

Become a Patron

You’ll find some general market Kindle deals as part of a one-day sale.

Why We Shouldn’t Ditch the Traditional Sermon Just Yet

I quite agree that we shouldn’t even seriously consider ditching the traditional sermon!

A Lesson (or Two) in Death

Eleazar Maduka shares an important lesson or two about death. “To the average churchgoer in many Christian circles in Nigeria, untimely death occurs when a person dies before their God-appointed time. It’s when the plan of the devil (or a person’s enemies) prevails over God’s plan. When a person dies young. Or dies just before a major breakthrough. Or immediately after a major breakthrough. Anything short of a ripe, old age is untimely and isn’t God’s plan. It’s a work of Satan.”

America’s Favorite Poison

It has been a long time since I’ve read any serious engagement with the possible drawbacks of alcohol, especially from a non-religious source. Yet here’s just such an article from The Atlantic. “Regardless of how much Americans love to drink, the country could be safer and healthier if we treated booze more like we treat cigarettes. The lack of serious discussion about raising alcohol prices or limiting its sale speaks to all the ground Americans have ceded to the ‘good guys’ who have fun. And judging by the health statistics, we’re amusing ourselves to death.”

The Eternally Wounded Christ

Here’s some theology worth pondering. “Jesus, under the figure of the slain lamb is the centerpiece of heaven. There is, in these words, a clear depiction of the ongoing visible reminder of the sufferings of Christ for the redemption of His people. There are several reasons why Jesus bears the wounds of His sufferings for all eternity. Consider the following…”

Bart Ehrman Has a Change of Heart

Bart Ehrman has always been a fascinating and frustrating character. Lately he seems to have had a change of heart about the non-existence of God.

Reading Challenge Spreadsheet

If you are participating in this year’s Christian Reading Challenge, you may want to grab a copy of this spreadsheet. (Click on File, then Make a Copy, and it will add it to your Google Drive.)

Scientists Finally Pin Down Why Stress Turns Our Hair Gray

It’s always funny to me how many very “normal” occurrences (like hair turning gray) have remained a mystery to scientists. But maybe this one has now been solved. “According to a study published today in Naturethere is in fact a direct link between stress and graying. Over the past two decades, researchers have found preliminary evidence that stress plays at least a small role in initiating the graying process. But our understanding of how that works has been murky — until now.”