OK. So it has been nearly a month since I did this so this one isn’t so much a “weekend roundup” as it is a “monthly roundup.” Because of that there are also more than seven for you to muse. Enjoy!
Finders and keepers: “Has familiarity bred contempt? Do we value the truth as we should? With what eagerness or languor will you go to church tomorrow to hear the Word of God read and preached? Will once be enough? How often do you turn to it during the week?”
Who are You to “Who are You” Me?: Have you ever been in a conversation with someone about abortion or homosexuality and suddenly someone says, “Who are you to judge me?” Jay Watts very helpfully points out that such a response is “lazy thinking, if it can be categorized as thinking at all” and later goes on to say, “If by “Who are you to judge?” they mean to imply judgment is wrong then they are wrong to judge you. If they mean that you are wrong to judge others based on your criteria of judgement, then they need to focus on the reasons offered to support your criteria and not you.”
Jesus, Sex, and (gay) Marriage: In this article, Kenny Burchard puts to rest several often-used rationale from the culture with respect to the Bible and especially with respect to Jesus. I especially found #2 helpful as I have encountered that several times in my own ministry and #5 is especially important. Homosexuals are not the enemy. The enemy are the wolves within the church who are teaching homosexuality is OK and encouraging it as an acceptable lifestyle. As Christians, we must compassionately reach out to every kind of person. We must tell them of God’s love and call them to repent of their sins that they might be forgiven and declared righteous by the Lord God Almighty.
Yes, All Things, In Fact: I couldn’t agree more with Kevin DeYoung thoughts on God’s providence over all things and personally love to proclaim it whenever I can. God’s providence is a pillow for our heads. Especially uplifting is this paragraph – “You can look at providence through the lens of human autonomy and our idolatrous notions of freedom and see a mean God moving tsunamis and kings like chess pieces in some kind of perverse divine play-time. Or you can look at providence through the lens of Scripture and see a loving God counting the hairs on our heads and directing the sparrows in the sky so that we might live life unafraid. “What else can we wish for ourselves,” Calvin wrote, “if not even one hair can fall from our head without his will?” There are no accidents in your life. Nothing has been left to chance. Every economic downturn, every phone call in the middle of the night, every oncology report has been sent to us from the God who sees all things, plans all things, and loves us more than we know.” Now if we could only keep this in mind when the times of crisis or emergency come upon us. It seems we are more often than not practical atheists in times of suffering!
How to Fight the Good Fight for Joy: Seven ways to fight for the joy Jesus promised us.
What Macklemore got wrong…and right: Denny Burk shares the real question everyone should be thinking about post-Grammy’s – “In the wake of the Grammys, the big question is not what you thought of Macklemore. The big question is which God you will believe in. The false god of “same love,” or the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ? Which one will you choose?”
The Biggest “Contradiction” in the Bible: What do you think it might be?
5 Ways Facebook May Be Harming Your Christian Life: Kruger asks, “What effect does “social media” technology have on the way we view church? What effect does it have on the way we conceive of life in the body of Christ?” and then shares 5 characteristics of a “Facebook culture” that we need to reckon with.
The Wikipedia Church: The article begins this way – “Jesus made a definitive statement regarding the church. He said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). From the days of the early church, a pattern has existed regarding the church’s nature and function. The very word “church” indicates a calling out from the world. R.C. Sproul, in his commentary on Ephesians has written, “To be called by God out of the world and into the body of Christ is the highest vocation possible.” However, in our present day, pastors and church leaders seem to be consistently looking to the culture to redefine, reinvent, and restructure church. This type of behavior is much like the modern Wikipedia site where the culture contributes to define terms and provide research. We are living in a “Wikipedia Church” culture.”
9 Benefits of Expository Preaching: I am a strong believer in expositional preaching. It is how my dad preaches. It is what was modeled to me in college and it is what I strive to do every Sunday. I often get asked why I preach the way I do. Now I have a list of 9 reasons! Many of the benefits of it are hard to measure but here are nine practical-theological benefits worth noting.
Map: More than half of humanity lives within this circle: A really interesting population map that shows Asia’s population dominance.