God Mad Boys to Play with Dolls. I didn’t see Owen Strachan’s blog on Sesame Street until I had read this article by Caryn Rivadeneira, but both are worth your time and I think they reflect the need for evangelicals to balance gender roles with the Scripture (Disclaimer, I plan to write on this later and I have a son who plays ball, shoots guns, and helps care for his sister’s dolls…and I think thats OK).
Denny Burk shares a story about Dan Cathy showing Christian love in the face of criticism by befriending a leading gay activist. This is a great look into a man who seems really serious about honoring Christ with his whole life.
There is no Moral Majority according to Colin Hansen, and we as believers need to Dare to Be Immoral in the eyes of our culture. The tides are turning (and have turned). Standing on biblical principles of morality will be deemed immoral by the culture. This is nothing new in the history of Christianity, but for American evangelicals, this is a foreign landscape that we must embrace.
The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? Albert Mohler weighs in on the recent news release about a fragment of papyrus mentioning Jesus’ wife. Mohler argues here that scholarship has been traded for sensationalism.
There may be legitimate reasons why you aren’t feeling encouraged about the course of your preaching. It could be the result of insufficient work in the text, sloppiness in crafting a message, or failure to prepare yourself spiritually. I’m not saying that is definitely the case, but it is possible. Try to get input from godly people in your church about your preaching in order to make sure that you’re not missing something.
Can Mega Be Missional? Ed Stetzer encourages us all to consider that mega churches can continue to have a place in the future of the church and that they can be missional communities making an impact in their culture.
Ten Myths about Premarital Sex. Sean McDowell is a good guy to follow for apologetics and worldview. In this case, however, Sean has distilled 10 myths about premarital sex from a new book. Of the book, Sean writes “I recently picked up a copy of Premarital Sex in America by Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker and was pleasantly surprised at some of the insights.
Faded Bit of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife. Trust me, TLC is going to have a field day with this; I can already envision the two hour special. “The notion that Jesus had a wife was the central conceit of the best seller and movie “The Da Vinci Code.” But Dr. King said she wants nothing to do with the code or its author: “At least, don’t say this proves Dan Brown was right.”
A Coach, His Quarterback, and Painkillers. This article examines some of the dirty underside of college football; a culture that celebrates toughness and winning at all costs. It also highlights the levelheadedness of Missouri QB James Franklin and his family.
“Guys are medicating themselves and running into 300-pound people, and now your body is numb to it, and then after your career is over it comes back at you and you can’t even spend time with your families because your body’s breaking down,” said Willie Franklin. “So one of the things we want to do in our family is look after ourselves, stay healthy. It’s self-preservation. There is life after sports. One day you want to have a family and enjoy your kids so you look after yourself. You take care of yourself. So any decision he makes, I support him 100 percent.”
Christian celebrity comes when we assume that the songwriter must be a noteworthy teacher, that the YouTube phenom is worthy of our pulpit, and that the guy who sells so many books must be able to craft a sermon on any topic or any text. Merit in one isolated field convinces us that this person has earned the right to every other platform. When we do this we have elevated not on the basis of merit, but of celebrity.
The American Propensity to Celebrity Culture. Following the death of John Stott, Carl Truman wrote about the celebrity culture within evangelical Christianity. In light of Challie’s contribution above, we are well to consider Truman’s critique:
critical appreciation seems to be a lost art these days. My suspicion is that this derives from the rather effeminate nature of modern culture where we regard any criticism as deeply personal and a fundamental attack on character. Add to this the American cultural proclivity of investing unreasonably huge amounts of hope and expectation in single individuals and you have a powerful sedative which will dull the senses to matters of real concern.
Do people invite themselves to your home? I was encouraged by this because just this weekend, Angela and I invited ourselves to the new home of some friends. Tim Challies examines the inconvenience of being inconvenienced.
Do people feel they can come to your home only for formal Bible studies or can they come to your home for a personal chat or simply companionship? Do people feel they can drop by at a moment’s notice or do they wait to receive a formal invitation?
Is organic food more healthy? I admit to eating only organic venison, but that’s because I shoot it, not because I seek it out in the store. A new study says I may not be more healthy for that organic meat.
Stanford University scientists have weighed in on the “maybe not” side of the debate after an extensive examination of four decades of research comparing organic and conventional foods.They concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, which tend to be far less expensive.
Religion is a specific set of beliefs about God and the practices those beliefs require. If we don’t believe Jesus is God, who became a man, lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father, died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead, we won’t be saved and can have no relationship with the Father or Jesus Christ. Without religion there is no relationship.
What makes her so interesting, however, is her career before marriage: she was a successful English literature professor at Syracuse University who specialized in Queer Theory and was herself a committed lesbian. This book is the story of how she came to be who and where she now is.
Young women today are convinced that their bodies are all their own, that they can hook up with whomever they want whenever they want without emotional scars. What is tragic is that they think this is their own idea, that they are the revolutionaries. What they don’t see is that they are swimming downstream from someone else’s sewage.
So often, Southern Baptists are chided in the media for everything that they are against. Times of natural disaster highlight just one of the great things for which Southern Baptists are responsible, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, one of the three largest disaster relief organizations in the United States.
With Tropical Storm Isaac continuing to churn toward landfall as a potential hurricane on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning — somewhere along the Louisiana and Mississippi Coasts — Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders already are planning where major storm responses will be deployed.
John Piper writes about Norway’s travesty of justice in the sentencing of Andrew Breivik, who is responsible for killing 77 people in 2011. Piper is correct, Life is Cheap in Norway.
In fact, the news story explains that, after his 21-year smack-on-the-hand for killing 77 people, Breivik “could be kept there indefinitely by judges adding a succession of five-year extensions.” There it is. The issue is not what he deserves. The issue is not justice. The issue is power in the hands of judges who will decide if he has been “rehabilitated” sufficiently, and if his detainment has served the community to a suitable degree.
By Grace Alone is a great book by Sinclair Ferguson. It’s on sale for $5 today through Ligonier Ministries, if you don’t have it, this is a great deal.
In By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me, Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson laments that “we have lost the joy and energy that is experienced when grace seems truly ‘amazing.’” In an effort to restore the wonder of divine grace, he reflects on it from seven angles, each built around a stanza from a rich but little-known hymn, “O How the Grace of God Amazes Me,” written by Emmanuel T. Sibomana, a pastor in the African nation of Burundi.
Everything you might want to know about the great day of baseball turned in by the South Carolina Gamecocks in the CWS yesterday.
Montgomery acknowledged he felt “some pressure” about starting USC’s second elimination game of the day, as the Gamecocks were trying to become just the third team ever – and first since that baseball powerhouse Holy Cross in 1952 – to win two games in the same day in the College World Series. They did it. A team hadn’t even played two full games in one day at the World Series since 1980.
One political party is completely dedicated to legal protection of abortion on demand. The other political party is completely dedicated to repealing Roe v. Wade. If you talk too much about abortion, others will define you, and if you’re defined how can you be independent?
One of the greatest, most common, and most bloodthirsty contemporary competitions is motherhood. Yes, motherhood. It may be that motherhood has always been competitive, but the Internet in general, and social media in particular, have widened the field. You are no longer competing against only neighbors and sisters-in-law and fellow church members, but the professional moms, the ones who are reinventing motherhood.
Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality? In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times. Christians must be concerned about adultery, pornography, injustice, dishonesty and everything the Bible names as sin. But when my phone rings with a call from a reporter these days, the question I am asked is never adultery or pornography. It is about homosexuality.
I began making a list of questions that mothers receive (I’m sure I missed some here, ladies, feel free to fill in the rest):
Will you use prenatal vitamins? How much do you exercise? Do you drink anything with caffeine? Are you going to have a natural child birth? You’re surely going to breast feed, aren’t you? Co-sleep, no sleep, or let them sleep? Cloth diapers or disposable? Are you going to stay at home or send them to daycare? Do they know their letters yet? It’s really important that they have social interaction with other children their age. What type of potty training methods will you use? Public, private, or home school? Organic food or Happy Meals? Vaccines or no-vaccines? You really aren’t going to let them play in this weather, are you?
Mothers, let mothers mother.
A very helpful article by Sam Rainer on the Trap of Availability. Accessibility is not the same thing as availability.
Despite the adoption of coffee bars, powerpoint presentations, and full-stage lighting, churches are seldom on the cutting edge when it comes to addressing demographic trends. Here are six dramatic trends that are not being addressed adequately by local churches, church networks, or denominations.