Category Archives: links

Links To Go (March 29, 2017)

Crux listens as Africans ask: Why isn’t it big news when terrorists slaughter our people?

It states that, when tragedy or terror strike, 1000 victims in Latvia equals 500 in India, which equals 100 in Mexico, 75 in France, 50 in England, 25 Canada, five in the United States of America (that’s flyover country) or one Hollywood celebrity or a famous person in New York City or Washington, D.C.
In other words, according to the mathematics of news, not all human lives are created equal. It’s a matter of location, location, location.

What is Worse? Removing from Scripture or Adding to Scripture? (Matt 18:11)

I was asked why all modern translations “omit” Matt 18:11. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost” (KJV). The form of the question betrays the basic problem, that people think modern translations omit verses rather than other translations add verses.

Toward civilization

If war has an opposite, it’s not peace, it’s civilization. (inspired by Ursula LeGuin writing in 1969)
Civilization is the foundation of every successful culture. It permits us to live in safety, without being crippled by fear. It’s the willingness to discuss our differences, not to fight over them. Civilization is efficient, in that it permits every member of society to contribute at her highest level of utility. And it’s at the heart of morality, because civilization is based on fairness.

On Not Having Your Cake, but Eating It

But the real bizarreness (bizzarity?) comes when the abortion lobby get involved. Some of them (though by no means all) say things like “If a woman does not want to have a foetus who is one sex or the other, forcing her [to go through with the pregnancy] is not going to be good for the eventual child*, and it’s not going to be good for [the mother’s] mental health.”
But if we can’t know what gender the child is going to identify as until they’re, say, two or three years old, how can the woman be certain what she is aborting? It may look like a girl, but really be a boy (and Nursie would look like a good liberal, not a daft old woman).
Who would you sue if your IVF doctor, on your instruction, implanted a male embryo, and it turned out to identify as a girl? Pity the mother’s mental health then.

Three Reasons God is a Cessationist

God simply can’t be the Author of what we see today. The gifts that Jesus, Moses, and Elijah had and that were spilled over onto a few of their disciples, were altogether different gifts. God has rarely allowed men to have miraculous abilities, and each time He had specific reasons for allowing it.
Prophecy was infallible, speaking in tongues were actual discernible languages that resulted in the salvation of souls, and miracles were instantaneous and undeniable. God must be grieved with what He sees today, and in no way would He want to be associated with them.

Urgent Church: Nine Changes We Must Make Or Die

  1. We must stop bemoaning the death of cultural Christianity.
  2. We must cease seeing the church as a place of comfort and stability in the midst of rapid change.
  3. We must abandon the entitlement mentality.
  4. We must start doing.
  5. We must stop using biblical words in unbiblical ways.
  6. We must stop focusing on minors.
  7. We must stop shooting our own.
  8. We must stop wasting time in unproductive meetings, committees, and business sessions.
  9. We must become houses of prayer.

12 TED Talks Every Church Leader Should Watch

In no particular order, here are 12 viral Ted Talks we think every church leader should watch.

Spurs set NBA record by beating every team for 3rd straight year

With their victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night, the Spurs have claimed a victory over every team in the league during the 2016-17 campaign, marking the third consecutive season that they have done just that – an NBA record.

Links To Go (March 23, 2017)

How much does science knowledge influence people’s views on climate change and energy issues?

Similarly, Democrats with high levels of knowledge about science, based on a nine-item index, almost all agree that climate change is mostly due to human activity (93%). By contrast, 49% of Democrats with low science knowledge think this is the case.
But among Republicans, there are no significant differences by science knowledge about the causes of climate change. Put another way, Republicans with high levels of science knowledge are no more likely than those with lower levels of knowledge to think climate change is mostly due to human activity.

Princeton Seminary Reforms Its Views on Honoring Tim Keller

In recent weeks, some Princeton alumni voiced concerns that, as a PCA pastor and complementarian, Keller’s beliefs conflict with the seminary’s embrace of “full inclusion for ordained leadership of the church.” A Christian Century post described his belief in male headship as “baptized abuse” and “toxic theology.” Barnes’ letter rescinding the prize referenced this critique.

N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Romans Reconsidered, Part 82 (He Foreknew)

In short,

  • Knowing the future does not make the future happen. God and Jesus did not lose their free will just because they knew what was going to happen.
  • God’s foreknowledge may be much more particular, but the emphasis in scripture is on covenantal foreknowledge. That is, God knew where his actions would take him — to the cross — going back to the beginning. The cross wasn’t plan B or C. It was always the only plan — and it always included Israel and always included the Gentiles coming into Israel by means of God in the flesh dying on the cross.
  • To Paul, this is a big deal. It’s the reason for his career as a missionary! It’s the whole of his life! It’s the reason he met with Jesus on the road to Damascus. It’s the reason he suffered beatings, stonings, shipwrecks etc. to share the gospel with the Gentiles. He was part of the unfolding of God’s plan, a plan that predates the Creation.

Book Review: Food – A Love Story

I tend to overload my reading with theology and devotional books. Occasionally I read through a fiction book. After reading Jim Gaffigan’s FOOD: A LOVE STORY I’m going to have to try to read more humor books.

The NBA’s secret addiction

“Man, I could go for a PB&J,” the player said.
And then Garnett, in an act with historical reverberations, uttered the now-fabled words: “Yeah, let’s get on that.”
Garnett had not, to that point, made the PB&J a part of his pregame routine. But on that night in Boston, as Doo recalls, Garnett partook, then played … and played well. Afterward, from his perch as the Celtics’ fiery leader, Garnett issued the following commandment: “We’re going to need PB&J in here every game now.”
And so a sandwich revolution was born.

8-Year-Old Boy With Rare Skin Disease Meets Dog Across the Country With The Same Condition

A boy with vitiligo is now proud of his skin markings after meeting a dog across the country that shares the same condition, and the same spots.

Links to Go (March 22, 2017)

Preparing Our People for Witness

Engaging our neighbors and sharing the gospel with them requires relationships, apologetics, and more. Our first step needs to be a genuine interest in people and a commonality in culture that gives us sufficient authority to speak on matters of life, faith, eternity, truth, and church.
It’s going to take longer to reach people effectively, and it’s going to take relationships. And it starts with good leadership in church plants that elevate people to reach their full potential in gospel witnessing.

Immigration: My Final Word

But, as T.R. Robertson pointed out in his post this month, too many Christians are displaying bigoted fear against whole races or religions. And too many of us seek political solutions to spiritual problems.

A Statement of Confession and Commitment

A large portion of our communities is weeping. The fear of deportation is real. The anxiety of being assaulted is real. The fear of being forgotten or mistreated is real. Many people of color, women, and other marginalized groups feel increasingly alienated not only in the current national context but in much of the white evangelical culture as well. Acknowledging that pain and woundedness may take many forms, we humbly entreat Christian communities to seek healing, reconciliation, and justice.

Thoughts to Consider

10. You have a God to glorify.
9. You have a Savior to imitate.
8. You have a Soul to protect (save).
7. You have a body to “put to death”.
6. You have Virtue to acquire.
5. You have Heaven to seek.
4. You have Eternity on which to meditate.
3. You have Temptation to resist.
2. You have the World to guard against.
1. Perhaps today you have Death to meet or perhaps the Lord will return.

Five Fascinating Lessons from a “Secret” Guest in Church Worship Services

There are four points of first impression before the guests ever enter the church’s building. They are, in order, social media, mobile site, website, and the parking lot. How much attention is your church giving to these four areas? How many potential guests never show up because of the first three?

Boston Public Schools Are Adopting a More Accurate World Map

German filmmaker and journalist Arno Peters was one of the first notable figures to rail against the Mercator map. He claimed that it provides an inaccurate and Eurocentric view of the globe. The Northern Hemisphere is distorted to look larger, giving the false impression, for example, that Greenland and Africa are roughly the same size (while in reality, Greenland could fit inside Africa 14 times). In 1973, Peters released a map that compressed the upper half to depict the area of all the Earth’s continents more fairly.

Scientists Find How Using ‘Satnav’ Switches off Parts of Brain

Scientists studying what satnavs do to the brain have found that people using them effectively switch off parts of the brain that would otherwise be utilized to simulate different routes and boost navigational skills.

‘My life was ruined by a typo’

In May 2011, officers at South Yorkshire Police were informed by colleagues in Hertfordshire that they had identified an IP address from which more than 100 indecent images of children had been shared in April that year.
The IP address passed on corresponded to an internet account held by Nigel’s partner. But it had been typed incorrectly, with an extra digit added by mistake.

Links To Go (March 21, 2017)

(As always, no agreement nor endorsement implied; these articles are shared to make you think or make you laugh)

Information Avoidance: How People Select Their Own Reality

Even when people cannot outright ignore information, they often have substantial latitude in how to interpret it. Questionable evidence is often treated as credible when it confirms what someone wants to believe — as is the case of discredited research linking vaccines to autism. And evidence that meets the rigorous demands of science is often discounted if it goes against what people want to believe, as illustrated by widespread dismissal of scientific evidence of climate change.

Don’t Just Start a Church; Establish a Family

Operate as a family, not an orphanage. An orphanage is home to undernourished children and overworked caregivers. The kids do not share responsibility. Instead, the caregivers are responsible for the needs of everyone. On the contrary, in a family, every member contributes. A family is driven by responsibility. Family is a community that is responsible for one another and should be characterized by love and the fruit of the Spirit.

Why I Struggle With “Inerrancy”

I’d rather view the Scriptures, scripturally. How funny it is that we who want to restore New Testament Christianity often criticize those who use terms and words as a part of their traditions while we in using inerrancy do the same thing.

My Father’s Anger

But here’s an important distinction. Though I felt Dad’s anger, I always knew what kind of anger it was. It was the anger of, “You, my son, have done something wrong, and I am angry that wrong has been done.” But there’s another kind of fatherly anger that I never felt. It’s the anger that says, “You have done something wrong, and I am angry to have such a son who would do this kind of thing.” The first kind of anger came and left. Even minutes after discipline I knew I was welcomed into the love of my father.
But the second kind of anger sticks with you. It never really dissipates. The emotions will calm, and deed will be forgotten, but there’s just something about feeling the weight of that anger–anger directed, even for just a moment, at the father-son relationship itself–that darkens the heart. I’ve heard from many friends whose fathers were angry in this kind of way. Healing is possible, but the scarring is there.

Five Things the Traditional Church Is Doing Well

  1. The members have a deep love and concern for one another.
  2. They are loyal to the institution.
  3. They are passionate about giving to missions.
  4. They offer stability to the congregation.
  5. The members have a historical perspective that can be healthy for the church.

All Winning Is Not Winning

How do I approach somebody with whom I disagree on religious matters? Am I more concerned with making a point or making a disciple? Am I more concerned about defeating error (as important at that is) or promoting truth? Am I more concerned with people thinking that I am a really great guy or with people submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
Am I more concerned with winning an argument or winning a soul?

Police: Robber breaks leg, calls for help, gets arrested

A robber in Virginia ruined his own getaway — first by breaking his leg in a jump off a balcony, and then by calling the authorities to help him.

Links To Go (March 15, 2017)

The Death Of Expertise

Today, any assertion of expertise produces an explosion of anger from certain quarters of the American public, who immediately complain that such claims are nothing more than fallacious “appeals to authority,” sure signs of dreadful “elitism,” and an obvious effort to use credentials to stifle the dialogue required by a “real” democracy.

Report: Russell Moore Could Lose His Job After His Political and Social Stands

Dozens of SBC churches are threatening to stop financially supporting the denomination’s umbrella fund after Moore made comments against statements made by then-candidate Trump that he believes are unbiblical and don’t represent biblical values. Moore has also been an outspoken advocate for racial justice, even speaking out against publicly displaying the Confederate flag.

Recovering Masculine Friendship

In other words, if you redefine sex, and gender is fluid, and masculinity has no fixed meaning, and the sphere for sexual intercourse is not marriage alone between a man and a woman, and transgenderism and homosexuality is normalized, then you distort or lose proper masculine friendship.
I think Esolen is right. And one result of this loss of true masculine friendship is that insecure boys then view women as potential sexual conquests that prove their manhood. And those who don’t follow that pattern are considered effeminate or sexually repressed and are then marginalized. Surely being effeminate is wrong for a man. But in today’s sexual confusion manhood gets morphed to machismo or passivity.

Of Ministers and Marriages

In all my reading of Scripture, I have yet to come across either a descriptive or a prescriptive passage that intimates that it is the responsibility of a minister of the Gospel to officiate a wedding. Nowhere in the pastoral epistles (i.e. 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) does the Apostle Paul ever suggest that it is part of the God-given role of a minister of the Gospel to officiate a wedding.

Shameless spanker admits to the practice

To clear up any misconceptions, I don’t beat my children. I don’t abuse them. I spank their bottoms. I use my hand.
In my book, to hit anywhere else would be insulting, disrespectful, abusive. In my book, to hit with anything other than the hand would be the same, at least in this time and culture. My hand is a good gauge of how much pain I’m inflicting and gives me pretty good indication of when to quit.

If You Want to Live as an Encourager (Part 1)

  1. Know that your smile really makes a difference.
  2. Know that many people are just one step away from significant life change.
  3. Know that God uses encouragers who are single and married, rich and poor, old and young.
  4. Know that an encouraging word can make an incredible difference to someone who is discouraged.
  5. Know that the encouragement someone receives from another can actually alter the course of that person’s life.
  6. Know that Barnabas (in the book of Acts) was called the “son of encouragement” and played a critical role in encouraging others in the earliest churches.
  7. Know that an encourager tries to catch another person doing right and affirms the person and the behavior.
  8. Know that the role of encourager is about cheering other people on.
  9. Know that an encourager avoids one of the most deadly responses that one can make: silence.
  10. Know that the encouragement you give may seem unimportant.

How Your Work is One Way You Love Your Neighbor

It should be no surprise then that God gave humankind work. Before he gave Adam a wife or before he gave him children, God gave Adam work. In Genesis 1:26 we discover God’s plan for humankind was to have “dominion over…all the earth…” Then in Genesis 2 he “took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” God works and, because we are made in his image, we work too.

March Mildness? Americans Say Sports Isn’t All About Winning

McConnell said the win-at-all-costs attitude doesn’t resonate with most. “Americans see sports as a way to develop character,” he said. “They want children and young players to gain something from athletics beyond merely a drive to win.”
While most seem to want good sportsmanship between competitors, half of the country doesn’t see it take place.

11 Foolproof Steps to Creating an Amazing Presentation [Infographic]

Step #1.) Define One Key Message You Want Your Audience To Remember
Step #2.) Frame Your Structure Into a Story
Step #3.) Write Your Main Points On Post-It Notes, Stick On a Wall and Review Them
Step #4.) Use Metaphors to Illustrate Your Ideas
Step #5.) Use Visuals to Emphasize Key Points
Step #6.) Use a Tool Like PowerPoint or Prezi to Present Your Information
Step #7.) Practice Your Amazing Presentation Using Bullet Points on Prompt Cards
Step #8.) Open Your Chest and Arms and Keep Your Back Straight (Like a Super Hero)
Step #9.) Make Eye Contact with People in the Audience
Step #10.) Don’t Speak Too Fast or Too Slow
Step #11.) Start and Finish With Your Key Message