Category Archives: Flotsam and jetsam
- How Martin Luther Went Viral: “It is a familiar-sounding tale: after decades of simmering discontent a new form of media gives opponents of an authoritarian regime a way to express their views, register their solidarity and co-ordinate their actions. The protesters’ message spreads virally through social networks, making it impossible to suppress and highlighting the extent of public support for revolution. The combination of improved publishing technology and social networks is a catalyst for social change where previous efforts had failed.”
- The Dark Side of Theology: “there is a dark side to theology. I see it everyday. I pray that this does not infect my students, but inevitably, there are always one or two who take their theological knowledge and create a recipe of sin and shame. These are people I call ‘theologically dangerous.'”
- The Original Heresy? “What was the original heresy? It’s not false teaching with respect to the Trinity, or perhaps it is. It’s not denial of the deity of Christ, or perhaps it is…”
- Can You Care about the Unreached and Stay? “One important question that I’ve been asked is why I — with a passion for the unreached and unengaged peoples of the earth — serve as a pastor in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the most churched cities in America. It’s a great question and one that often perplexes me.”
- Bruce McCormack’s 2011 Kantzer Lectures on the Doctrine of Election are now available, and they look great. Make sure you check them out.
- Jesus’ Top Ten List: it seems that everyone has a top ten list these days.
- And here’s a list of 11 Christmas Songs That Never Really Took Off. It’s hard to believe that the Twisted Sister song didn’t catch on better.
- Here are two must-read articles on the church and culture. First, Tim Keller’s Coming Together on Culture: Theological Issues thinks that there a growing consensus among evangelicals how how/whether to engage culture. And Michael Horton responds with Christ and Culture Once More, arguing that the “two kingdoms” view is more nuanced than commonly appreciated.
- Your Podcast Is Not Your Pastor: “John Piper was right to remind us that we are not pastored by “professionals.” Perhaps it’s time we remembered that we are not pastored by podcasts either.”
- Five Social Media Trends That Are Reshaping Religion: “Over the past couple years, religionistas of all sorts have attempted to navigate a new media landscape in which old constructions of religious authority, identity, and practice are changing almost by the minute. This surely marks the beginning something of a Second Coming of religion in digitally-integrated form.”
- A Critique of Worship Music Criticism: “While I can’t speak for individual motives behind each rendering of criticism, I have found with my own self it stems from a prideful arrogance that somehow my standard should set the precedent for how we worship God.”
- Michael Hyatt offers some great public speaking tips.
- Type “let it snow” into Google for a fun little surprise. (Sadly for those of us who live in the NW, it doesn’t work with “let it rain.”)
- If you’re getting a little burned out by the Christmas season already, Here are 10 Fictional Holidays You Can Actually Celebrate. I’m sure you know about Festivus. But have you ever celebrated Whacking Day, Robanukah, or Yak Shaving Day?
Just for Fun
- Who wouldn’t want to see the opening from the 1966 Batman TV series redone with Legos?
- Christianity 2.0: A Washington Post writer asks, “What will a fresh Christianity look like in America?” I disagree with many of his conclusions, but it’s still an interesting read.
- Four Reasons Christmas Matters: “Today, here and now, what is the significance of Christmas? Why has the church over the centuries cultivated this celebration of the birth of Christ? What do the birth narratives, and the very fact of God’s incarnation in Christ, communicate to the world?”
- Here are two great posts on preaching you should definitely read. Maybe I Do Want Topical Preaching pushes expositional preachers to connect the dots between the text and everyday life. And 10 Steps to Better Preaching has a number of great tips; my favorite, especially given the application focus of the first link, was “avoid trite application.” Amen.
- Rediscovering the Ascended Life of Jesus: “If 25 percent of the New Testament has the ascension of Christ as its central event and theological emphasis, why is this the most overlooked doctrine in modern evangelicalism?”
- If you haven’t heard the news yet, Christopher Hitchens died yesterday at 62 years old.
- Thanks to Craig Beard for pointing out that Richard Oster, NT scholar at Harding School of Theology, is now blogging.
Just for Fun
- Skateboarding looks so much more impressive (and difficult) when you watch it in slow motion (HT 22 Words):
- ‘But He Never Hit Me’: A Christian Primer on Emotional Abuse: “As the church, let’s help people break those patterns earlier, instead of later, and support them wherever they are in the journey.”
- Premarital Sex and Our Love Affair with Bad Stats: I love posts that point out the importance of reading stats carefully and cautiously – especially if it’s a stat that you hear referenced a lot.
- “…your daughters will prophesy”: Rachel Held Evans writes a provocative post calling for women to speak prophetically in the world today.
- Does Tithing Buy Happiness?: USA today looks at the “secular benefits” of tithing.
- Cambridge posts digital pictures of Isaac Newton’s diary, and the quality is pretty amazing.
- If you’re looking for a new hobby, try The Brutal Sport of Modern Jousting.
- Watch the entire opening scene of Indiana Jones recreated in stop-motion animation. It took 6 months to create, and it’s rather impressive.
- Greg Peters questions the practice of going “on retreat” to get spiritually renewed: “What if local churches became the real centers of spiritual renewal in the life of the evangelical church? What if retreats were unnecessary because the local church met its member’s spiritual needs by way of daily or, at least, near-daily worship services?”
- Money Matters: Do I Have to Give? Tim Challis is writing an interesting series answering the questions Do I have to give?, How am I to give?, Where am I to give?, and How much should I give?
- Jesus Ripped Up Santa’s List: “we like the list. We like the neat and tidy categories that the list offers and the obvious ramifications of our behavior.”
- Churchill for Pastors: 5 Leadership Lessons: “Pastors can identify with the ups and downs of Churchill’s career. His quips inspire them. And his triumphs and tragedies can even teach us a thing or two (or five) about leadership.”
- Deals of the Day: Tim Challies lists a number of good Kindle deals. And Credo is giving away some great books from Baker.
- A Brief History of the Apocalypse offers a fascinating timeline of predictions about the end of the world.
- If you’re getting tired of fantasy football or fantasy baseball, try Fantasy Curling.
- For a little self-reflection, try What Your Favorite ’80s Band Says About You.
Just for Fun
- Gospel Centrality: A Warning and Recommendation: “Evangelicals are deeply essentialist. For a variety of historically conditioned reasons, we like to boil things down to their road-ready minimum and get on with life. As I’ve often heard it said, we tend to have two speeds, essential and unimportant.”
- Getting Inerrancy Wrong: “Sadly, though, it is becoming increasingly clear (again) that even some of those who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture have different interpretations of what inerrancy means.”
- Is There Hierarchy in the Trinity? Roger Olson weighs in on a contemporary debate. (Also check out part 2 of the series.)
- The Pen Is Mightier than the Phone: A Case for Writing Things Out: “Writing things down, with your actual hands, is just plain better at getting you to remember and execute good ideas. Here’s why.”
- Deal of the Day: Aaron Armstrong is giving away a plethora of books. Seriously, go check it out. He’s got a great package of books to give away to three different winners.
- All of Church History in 5 Hours: Michael Patton has posted the mp3 files, handouts, and power points for a 5-hour overview of church history. Somebody check this out and let us know how they are.
- America’s View of Southern Baptists Studied: “The majority of Americans have a favorable impression of Southern Baptists, according to a recent LifeWay Research study. However, 40 percent of respondents have an unfavorable view of the denomination; more than a third strongly assume an SBC church is not for them; and the negativity is higher among the unchurched.”
Just for Fun
- Loved this “diary” from a day in the life of a cat and a dog. From the cat: “I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now.”
- Don’t Strive to Be a Great Preacher: a wise warning to younger preachers on the dangers of wanting to be known as a great preacher.
- Living Like Jesus Is the Only Way: Tom Schreiner offers some good advice on how the exclusivity of Christ should impact our scholarship.
- Honor Your Head. Don’t Live in it: “Protestantism allows me to stay in the Comfortable Place—my head; a refuge, a rock, an ever-present help in time of trouble.”
- The Occupy Movement is still getting a lot of attention in the theological world. Check out recent comments from Tony Perkins, Scot McKnight, Brian LePort, Voddie Baucham, and Rowan Williams.
- Ten Things Everyone Should Know about Time is worth taking a look at.
- It’s not possible to “under”rate to many Disney films. But this list was still interesting: Obscure and Underrated Disney Films
- And, if you need some motivation to use the Christmas holiday to get some reading done, here are 40 Inspiring Quotes about Reading from Writers
Just for Fun
- What Would Francis Schaeffer Say to the Gospel-Centered Movement? Trevin Wax offers good counsel to “movements” everywhere.
- What should you do with your PhD? Consider teaching overseas: Getting PhDs into the Mission Field.
- Tim Tebow Uses Words at all Times Because They’re Necessary: a good reminder that evangelism and words are inseparable.
- From Time magazine: A Brief History of Advent.
- Deals of the Day: Credo is giving away a copy of Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith. And Christians in Context is doing a huge giveaway all through advent (here’s today’s giveaway).
- Here’s an interesting history of the snow globe: “How a shiny and shakable souvenir went snow global.”
- A new study shows what people look at on your Facebook page.
- If life is getting a little too serious, here’s a list of 30 Very Funny Books–Seriously.
Just for Fun
- How to Shrink Your Church. Some powerful thoughts on how sentimentalism and pragmatism are destroying the church: “The church’s job is not to grow — not even to survive. The church’s job is to die — continually — on behalf of the world, believing that with every death there is a resurrection. God’s part is to grow whatever God wishes to grow. Growing a church isn’t hard … being faithful as the church, that’s a different story.”
- Why We Need More ‘Chaplains” and Fewer Leaders: “So who told us that the pastor is primarily a leader/entrepreneur/change agent and anything but a curer of souls? And why do we believe them?”
- Did Youth Ministry Create the Emerging Church?: “I think he’s on to something important here–namely that ecclesiology is taught (explicitly but primarily implicitly) well before adulthood.”
- Why I’m Okay with Church Failure. Good thoughts from Mary DeMuth critiquing the commonly accepted formula: “the simple formula is this: God leads + We obey = Outward success.”
- Deals of the Day: John Byron is giving away books by Ben Witherington, David DeSilva, and N.T. Wright.
- Here’s a Twitter account that will post a Bible verse every day for 86 years.
Just for Fun
- And, here are The 5 Best Toys of All Time
- Word Made Flesh, Will Willimon: “This is the story we Christians name as “Incarnation.” It is a strange, inexplicable story that we happen to believe is true, the story that explains everything, the key to what’s going on between us and God. It is the story that we encounter each year at Advent, that season of reflection and penitence before Christmas.”
- Here’s an interesting list of Expositional Preachers Worth a Careful Listen. On a similar note, CNN has a great piece on Fred Craddock, the man who “tilted the preaching world ‘on its axis’.”
- Here’s a conversation with Seth Godin on “the future of books, publishing and blogging.”
- The Sex Addiction Epidemic: Newsweek takes an interesting look at an important problem.
- Ed Stetzer summarizes some interesting new research on megachurches.. And 91% of church will be open on Christmas day this year.
- In honor of Mark Twain’s birthday, here are 10 Things Mark Twain Didn’t Really Say.
- Improv Everywhere stages a surprise Santa musical in the mall.