Category Archives: Flotsam and jetsam

Flotsam and jetsam (12/23)

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Good Reads
  • 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.”
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Flotsam and jetsam (12/19)

Good Reads

  • 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.”

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  • 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.”)

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  • Who wouldn’t want to see the opening from the 1966 Batman TV series redone with Legos?

Flotsam and jetsam (12/16)

Good Reads

  • 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?”

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  • Skateboarding looks so much more impressive (and difficult) when you watch it in slow motion (HT 22 Words):

Flotsam and jetsam (12/14)

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Good Reads
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Flotsam and jetsam (12/12)

driving in the snow

Good Reads

  • 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.”

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  • If you’re getting tired of fantasy football or fantasy baseball, try Fantasy Curling.

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Flotsam and jetsam (11/9)

gotta love Arrested Development

Good Reads

  • 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.”

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  • 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.”

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  • 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.”

Flotsam and jetsam (12/7)

Good Reads

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Flotsam and jetsam (12/5)

Good Reads

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Flotsam and jetsam (12/2)

Good Reads

  • 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 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.”

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  •  Deals of the Day: John Byron is giving away books by Ben Witherington, David DeSilva, and N.T. Wright.

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Flotsam and jetsam (11/30)

Good Reads
  • 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.”

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  • Improv Everywhere stages a surprise Santa musical in the mall.