Friday, July 29, 2016

Church Sign of the Week (7/29/16)

This church sign echoes what many of us have been feeling.

It's a good thing they kept the words "sin" and "bad" separated. Otherwise, I'd be curious to learn about this man named "Sinbad Jesus."

HT: Ed Stetzer

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fighting Bullets with Wine

Non-complementarity, eh? Kinda sounds like the Golden Rule. If only we could practice it more as Christians . . .

. . . a true story about a robber who interrupted a back yard dinner party in Washington D.C. with escalating threats of violence…and about how a gentle response changed the moment, and possibly the man doing the robbery.

The entire video is fascinating, specifically the part where they bring in an sociological expert to talk about why these non-violent, non-aggressive methods are so effective.
You can read the rest. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hamilton and Our Current Socio-Political State

I heard about Hamilton and its hype, obviously, and when I saw a sample song during the Tony's, I was disappointed. Just like I couldn't process all types of modern Verona Beach pedestrians speaking Shakespearean, I couldn't process people in 18th-century garb rapping and break-dancing. Some creative anachronisms work; others don't.

But, according to Alex Nichols, there's even more to dislike about Hamilton, and the cultural ramifications of its content and reception are a bit disturbing.

Given that Hamilton is essentially Captain Dan with an American Studies minor, one might wonder how it became so inordinately adored by the blathering class. How did a ten-million-dollar 8th Grade U.S. History skit become “the great work of art of the 21st century” (as the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik says those in his circle have been calling it)?

To judge from the reviews, most of the appeal seems to rest with the forced diversity of its cast and the novelty concept of a “hip-hop musical.” Those who write about Hamilton often dwell primarily on its “groundbreaking” use of rap and its “bold” choice to cast an assemblage of black, Asian, and Latino actors as the Founding Fathers.

You can read the rest (with some caution, as there's some PG-13 language).

HT: Alex Nichols of Current Affairs

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Dangers of Conversion Therapy

A Christian with a powerful life story speaks against conversion/reparative therapy, and why it should not be promoted in politics. Interesting perspective.

We should be encouraging those living with unwanted same-sex attraction to seek Biblical community, Gospel-driven Biblical counseling and discipleship relationships that focus upon wholeness for all people in Jesus Christ. Church ministry that is homosexual specific is not what is needed, and we definitely should not be sending people out to get therapy rooted in debunked psychology that puts orientation change front and center and puts young people in a position to regard their holiness by their heterosexual potential. Jesus is not in this!

You can read the rest.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pokemon Go in a Flattened, Fractured World

HT: Trevin Wax

It would be easy to wave off this game as just a silly fad, and certainly most people who have taken it up are just having a little fun. But perhaps we have an opportunity here to step back and ask a few questions.
Why is this game so popular?
Why is it popular right now?
What need does it momentarily meet?
The popularity of Pokémon Go tells us something about American life in the 21st century. Many people experience the world as flattened out and devoid of wonder, and they worry that our society seems to be fracturing. These feelings create pressure points in our culture, and Pokémon Go provides a fleeting sense of relief.
You can read the rest.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


The Hellenist widows were upset. They were being overlooked—treated unjustly.
They did not believe they were valued like the Hebraic widows.
It was hard to avoid the racial and ethnic issues of the conflict.
The Hebraic widows, who were more ethnically aligned with the majority of the church leaders, were just fine. They did not see the issue. Why were these Hellenists so upset? What’s the big deal anyway? A widow is a widow, right?
But, the Hellenist widows WERE being overlooked; they were being treated differently, and valued differently—because of their ethnicity.
So, they spoke up.
When their experience confirmed to them a pattern of discrimination, they started a hashtag, #HellenistWidowsMatter to explain that they, too, were important. They mattered. Their needs and lives were important.
That made some people uncomfortable.
You can read the rest.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Saying "I Don't Know"

Dead African-Americans.
Dead officers.
These are bad things.
The temptation is to use stronger words, but bad is perfect. The murders and centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, whitewashing, stereotyping, are a decent definition of bad. Thinking a problem is solved when the group impacted by the “problem” knows it continues is itself part of the problem. Everybody who is decent wishes racism was gone and it has not.
Unconscious, unintentional racism (“those people”) is wrong. Being “color blind” is wrong, when color still matters. We don’t live in Paradise and pretending we do is wrong.
So what should Americans do?
I don’t know.
If you do know, then tell the rest of us. I read left, right, and everything in between. I read Christians, atheists, and every religion I can find. I don’t know anyone that knows what to do and I must begin by saying: God help me, but I do not know. I hate dead policemen, racism, and dead African-Americans, but I don’t know what to do.
We need to stop repeating slogans or fitting this present problem into our predetermined paradigms. It is not helping or working.
You can read the rest.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Church Sign of the Week (7/8/16)

What about a parking spot for the more outgoing and extroverted pastor?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Speaking Before We Have All the Facts

“We should not pass judgment on Wilson until we have all the facts.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that in the last couple of days, I’d at least be able to satisfy someone’s Starbucks habit for a week.
The critique has the semblance of wisdom, in fact, some people even call it such. They say that speaking out is “foolish,” rash, inconsiderate of Officer Wilson, even contributory to racial animosity and strife. We would be wise to be silent, they tell us. They’ve always told us that. “Just wait. Time will tell. Justice will be done.” And they tell us this as if they don’t have any assumptions of their own, as if they’re the objective bystanders, as if being “dispassionate” is a virtuous response when someone in any circumstance is killed, as if their rational powers are untainted by what they’ve seen or heard or untarnished by their own experiences, as if there is some moral neutral ground on which to stand, and as if their silence isn’t itself a statement.
You can read the rest.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sermon Censorship in Iowa

HT: Chelsen Vicari

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is interpreting a state Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) law to censor church sermons on Christian sexual ethics when services are open to the public (…which apparently isn’t every Sunday?) and force churches to open its restroom facilities to members of the opposite sex.
According to Iowa’s unelected commission and their vague guidelines, the state’s SOGI laws apply to churches “sometimes.” Churches are susceptible to discrimination suites when open to the public or deemed not in operation for a “bona fide religious purpose.”
You can read the rest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Missionary Tourists

What is a missionary tourist?

HT: Mike Pettengill

A missionary tourist participates in missions for self-aggrandizing reasons. She goes on trips to appear compassionate, to “experience” another culture, to improve her résumé, or to feel good about herself. A godly missionary, by contrast, desires to be a sacrifice poured out so that others might receive Christ’s grace.

You can read the rest.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Jeremiah and American Independence

HT: Jonathan Storment

Americans are not God’s new chosen people; those who love Jesus are.
But we can still be patriotic. Christians are not required to believe our nation has a special relationship with God in order to feel pride in the country in which God has placed them. We should look to Jeremiah for an idea of a Christian’s patriotism.
You can read the rest.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Church Sign of the Week (7/1/16)

There we have it. Scientists, philosophers and a church sign guy.

As Sherlock said to a cab driver, "Oh, so you're a proper genius, too?"

HT: Ed Stetzer