Monday, March 30, 2015

International Palm Sunday Art

I know this is a day late, but a professor of ethnodoxology posted more pictures of international Palm Sunday visual art, and I thought I'd share the links with you.

Here's the link to set 1.

Here's the link to set 2.

HT: Paul Neeley

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Fun: New Bulletin Blooper?

I've heard a lot of bulletin bloopers, etc., but I hadn't seen this one before.

But is it really a bulletin blooper? What if it's a Calvinist church?

HT: Ed Stetzer

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spiritual Stage Parents

HT: Michelle Van Loon

There is a particular strain of stage parenting that is especially noxious. Spiritual stage parents are those who live out their own need for the affirmation of their peers and/or their own church political ambitions through their children. Scripture tells us that one measuring stick for potential church leaders is a well-ordered family: “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Tim. 3:3-4). 

You can read the rest here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ISIS and the Old Conquest of the Canaanites

HT: Chris Castaldo

New York Times article recently described the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians in Iraq and Syria as “a slow-motion genocide.” Atrocities such as beheadings, burnings, crucifixions, and mass burials (sometime of live victims) defy human comprehension. Islamic mujahideen(holy warriors) smile at the camera, waving flags and holding up AK-47s, proud of their brutal accomplishments. One does not have to be a Christian to be sickened by such horrors.
In this cultural moment, with daily reports of genocide throughout the world, the question of Canaan’s destruction under the ministry of Joshua occasionally enters the conversation: “How could the God of Scripture command the violent slaughter of an entire society?” In other words, doesn’t the Old Testament practice of á¸¥erem (Hebrew word meaning “to place under a ban” or “devote to destruction”) amount to genocide? How can we reconcile this history with our belief that “God is love”?
You can read the rest here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Meditation on Loneliness

HT: Samuel James

The irony is obvious. Millennials sit perched atop the most dazzling machines of communication in the history of human race. Of all the emotional ills that could possibly afflict someone, chronic loneliness seems like something that should be thoroughly vaccinated against by now. Yet not only are we still lonely, we are lonely in an intensity and frequency that very well may exceed any generation in our country’s history.

You can read the rest here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ministry in Albuquerque

As someone who's visited the Southwest on occasion and currently has a relative living there. I found this interview very interesting.

You can read about the demographics, challenges and beauties of ministry in Albuquerque here.

HT: Ryan Kelly and Gavin Ortlund

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Fun: Barnyard Composers

Here's something to give my fellow classical music lovers a little chuckle, courtesy of an author who writes some of our kids' books.

Maybe I can think of a few others: Shostakowvich? John Udder?

Can you come up with any others?

Have a good weekend!

HT: Sandra Boynton and Paul Neeley

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Benefits to Cultural Diversity

Is there a diversity dividend? Yes, according to an elite panel of business leaders at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. In the BBC’s report on the discussion, chief business correspondent Linda Yueh cites the following evidence to support the panelists’ advocacy for diversity:
  • Boards of directors with greater diversity generate more dividends.
  • Numerous studies show that adding women to the labor force increases national output, or gross domestic product.
  • An MIT study found that changing from all-male or all-female workforces to equal numbers of both sexes could raise revenues by around 40 percent.
Walgreens CEO Randy Lewis’s book No Greatness Without Goodness: How a Father's Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement advances this “profit-from-diversity” narrative by demonstrating how Walgreens increased profits and reduced staff turnover by hiring more employees with disabilities and other special needs. As creative companies like Apple and Google have also found, this profit-motive is proving more powerful at building diverse workforces than enforced quotas, threatening legislation, or guilting companies into action.
So why aren't we using the profit-motive to build more racially diverse churches and to increase racial diversity in our Christian lives?
You can read the rest here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Who Was St. Patrick?

The question in the title of this post is worth asking for at least two reasons: (1) many Americans will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today and (2) most of those Americans won’t have the foggiest idea of anything remotely historical about Patrick.
And he’s worth knowing something about.
You can read the rest here.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ferguson Police Report

HT: John Mark N. Reynolds

The police departments like the one in Ferguson are one of the great moral challenges of this Republic. We can argue endlessly about the analysis but even the police in Ferguson agree they harass and brutalize citizens of color. How much of the abuse of police power in Ferguson, Missouri is a function of racism?  How much is hatred of the poor? How much is “mere” abuse of power? In a way these academic questions are distractions: Nobody argues that the police in Ferguson are not deeply troubled and act in manners incompatible with conservative political and Christian moral values.

You can read the rest here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Fun: Funnel and Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger

Up north in Appleton, WI, they're selling some crazy foods in the stadium for the minor league baseball team, the Wisconsin Timber-Rattlers:

-The Funnel Burger

-The Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger

You can read about them here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tim Keller on Sabbath Rest

HT: Tim Keller

In the Bible, Sabbath rest means to cease regularly from and to enjoy the results of your work. It provides balance: ‘Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God’ (Exodus 20:9–10). Although Sabbath rest receives a much smaller amount of time than work, it is a necessary counterbalance so that the rest of your work can be good and beneficial.

You can read the rest here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Bible is Clear?

It's come up a few times recently on cyberspace about the use (more so the misuse) of the phrase, "the Bible clearly says . . .". I stumbled over this article, which I think has some creative insight as to the clarity of the Bible and its interpretation.

Jesus knew, all too well, that lots of people who read the Scriptures did not really understand them. It’s true today, and it was true in the first century. Modern Christians disagree over all sorts of issues—baptism, spiritual gifts, the end times, church government, and so on—and if you read church history, you’ll soon discover that we’re not the first generation like that. So Christians often ask: “Is the Bible clear? Surely, if it were, we’d all agree on what it meant, right?”

HT: Andrew Wilson 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Report from Nepal

Distorted faces. Gnarled fingers. Thick leathery skin. No fingers. No eyes. A thick smell of urine wafting through the air as heavy as the smog in the air. Not the sort of images that come to mind when you think of beauty. But when it comes to humanity, God breaks all the rules. These people, though rejected by the world, are beautiful to God.

You can read the rest here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Worshipping Outside Sunday Morning Services

HT: Bethany Jenkins

Worship is more than singing songs and saying prayers. It’s more than tithing and taking communion. 
Indeed, John Piper says, “Romans 12:1-2 portrays all of life as worship,” and Don Carson defines worship as “the proper response” of human beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to him, “precisely because he is worthy, and delightfully so.”
Worship, therefore, is a posture of the heart that we carry with us throughout the week—even to work.
You can read the rest here.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Fun: Abbey Road Closed Due to Snow

I thought I'd get at least one more snow-related photo in.

Have a safe weekend everyone!

HT: Paul Neeley

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How Honey Helps Us Taste God

The wonders and delights of the things of earth pose a serious practical problem for Christians who want to glorify God and flee from idols. On the one hand, we know that God’s wrath is revealed against those who exchange his glory for created things. And we know that idolaters—those who love creation more than God—will not inherit the kingdom of God. Aware of this danger, some Christians have sought to wall themselves off from the world, escaping from the danger of idolatry with a well-timed stiff-arm to pleasures that we can see, smell, hear, taste, and touch.
But the Bible teaches us that we can’t solve the sin problem by rejecting creation outright. If we do, we simply move from being sensuous idolaters to foolish lackeys of the Devil (1 Tim. 4:1–5). But most of us aren’t about to become hermits living in the desert, far away from all possible temptations to indulge our appetites. We have no interest in becoming monks, so the warnings in passages like 1 Timothy 4 and Colossians 2:20–23 don’t hit home.
You can read the rest here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HGTV and Redemption Stories

HGTV/Scripps Networks
HT: Melanie Rainer

Some may balk at the idea of HGTV as art, but the creation of beautiful spaces is a creative gift, to the homeowner and to the world. When Rehab Addict host Nicole Curtis takes a condemned house in the fallen city of Detroit and restores it to its original glory, we can be grateful for her contribution to the common good. Curtis in particular commits to restoration, using as much recycled and original material as she can find. Her dedication to not using new resources can also inspire us as Christians to seek recycled or vintage materials when doing our own home projects instead of always purchasing new.

You can read the rest here.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Origins of the Religion-Science War

HT: Justin Taylor

Ronald Numbers, an Agnostic scholar who is one of the leading historians on the relationship of science and religion, writes:
"The greatest myth in the history of science and religion holds that they have been in a state of constant conflict."
Timothy Larsen, a Christian historian who specializes in the nineteenth century, notes:
"The so-called 'war' between faith and learning, specifically between orthodox Christian theology and science, was manufactured during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is a construct that was created for polemical purposes."
You can read the rest of the fascinating piece, including its links and resources, here