Links To Go (October 23, 2018)

How Our Culture Justifies Its Sexual Freedom (the 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity #9)

The final step in the justification of sexual sin is to enlist the help of Jesus. To do so, Gulley trots out the standard cliches about Jesus being more gracious to sinners than to the legalists. He even appeals (not surprisingly) to the story of Jesus being anointed by the sinful woman (166).
What Gulley leaves out, however, is that the woman came to Jesus not defiant in her sins but repentant of them! Indeed, Jesus indicates that “her sins. . . are many” but that they “are forgiven” (Luke 7:47). Yes, Jesus forgives sinners. But we must acknowledge and admit we are sinners.

Sexual Sin Isn’t Only Wrong, It’s Just Plain Stupid

Proverbs is a book written by a wise father for his son. It reminds us that we need to not only tell our children and ourselves and our friends to obey God because it’s right, but also because it’s SMART. Sin is never in our bests interests.
Sometimes, even though we should be, we aren’t sufficiently motivated by what’s right and wrong. In those times Scripture teaches us to be motivated by understanding what’s smart and what’s stupid.

Almost Half of U.S. Births Happen Outside Marriage, Signaling Cultural Shift

The data show such births in the U.S. and EU are predominantly to unmarried couples living together rather than to single mothers, the report says. The data suggest that societal and religious norms about marriage, childbearing and women in the workforce have changed, said Kelly Jones, the director for the Center on the Economics of Reproductive Health at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Why Evangelicals Voted Trump: Debunking the 81%

In other words, evangelicals voted more along Republican values than traditional social conservative values. The fact that abortion and the Supreme Court ranked so low is counter-intuitive to the prevailing narrative that evangelicals are single-issue voters.
Put another way, Republican Party issues were more important than pro-life issues.

How the Baby Boomers Introduced One of the Gravest Spiritual Dangers of Our Era

I hope we learn to go to church not so much for what it gives us but because this is Christ’s body; this is where the Holy Spirit is at work. If we are constantly searching for a better place, we’ll miss what he put us on the earth for, we’ll live small and shallow lives, and we’ll get older and grouchier. We’ll be like those boomers who are now going on eco-vacations because they’re looking to do some “good” in the world, when we could have just shown up right where we live and made a difference for eternity.

Life in the Spirit Isn’t Just ‘Doing’ Differently, But ‘Being’ Different

The first thing to notice is how this list of Spiritual fruit differs from the previous list of “works of the flesh” (5:19-21). Notice that the works of the flesh are more generally just that—works. This second list, though, the fruit of the Spirit, largely consists of what we might call qualities or conditions. If we can take anything away from a blunt comparison of the lists, it might be this: the solution to bad things we do isn’t good things to do but good things to be.

Preach Simple Sermons

Just a few days after that event, 23,654 would gather in that same venue to hear Spurgeon preach. However, just days prior, only one verse was thundered from the pulpit and God used it to convert a lost man. The converted man would tell that story upon his deathbed. The next time you’re preparing a sermon or a lesson to teach in the context of the local church—think about how you can simplify the message and make sure that it’s clearly understood by everyone who will be in attendance. That includes both the carpenter and the surgeon—the little boy and the elderly woman. When you prepare to preach or teach, think about your goal of causing people to be impressed with God rather than you and your gifts.

Stephen King’s 20 Rules for Writers

  1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience.
  2. Don’t use passive voice.
  3. Avoid adverbs.
  4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”
  5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar.
  6. The magic is in you.
  7. Read, read, read.
  8. Don’t worry about making other people happy.
  9. Turn off the TV.
  10. You have three months.
  11. There are two secrets to success.
  12. Write one word at a time.
  13. Eliminate distraction.
  14. Stick to your own style.
  15. Dig.
  16. Take a break.
  17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings.
  18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story.
  19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing.
  20. Writing is about getting happy.

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