Tag Archives: Culture

My Picks for 10-29-2015

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

Why “God’s Not Dead” Resonated, and What It Missed
– Trevin Wax
godsnotdead“…to see the situation as a “battle of the minds” and the solution as “winning the argument” is to miss the deeper part of the diagnosis. The problem is not merely argumentation, but environment. The environment (created by unexamined presuppositions) is what makes the argumentation so persuasive….

…the answer lies, at least in part, in the very thing God’s Not Dead left out – the Church, the people of God who showcase the reality of the resurrection through our common life together. If college makes it plausible to believe “God is dead,” the Church should make it hard to believe anything other than “God is alive.”

I’ve found myself on both sides of this question at different times and with different people…

Why Play Secular Songs in Worship? Travis Jeffords

“This week I had a good friend of mine ask why we play secular songs in worship instead of just overtly sacred songs. Here’ what I told him…”

I have sung with various groups over many years and I can attest to the truth of this study in my own life…

The Ice-Breaker Effect: Singing Together Makes Us Bond More Than Other Activities Lecia Bushak

And don’t forget:
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My Picks for 10-27-2015

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

Oprah and the trouble with our DIY spirituality – Joel Miller
oprah diy spirituality
“…Stephen Mansfield identifies and describes four pillars of Oprah’s take on faith and spirituality. Nos. 2 and 3? “Opposing religions can be casually blended” and “Religions can be redefined at will.”

Not only does this approach disregard what various religions and traditions say about themselves, it elevates the individual over them, who now arbitrates for himself what’s true, what’s good, what’s beneficial, and so on.”

From another point of view…

In Defense of Oprah’s Belief Series – Jes Kast-Keat

“If one watches Belief and is looking for creeds and confessions to adequately defend the Christian faith, then you will be disappointed. Yet, if one watches with a generous heart to the spirit of lived religion, one might be encouraged to find the words of Jesus — “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” — being lived out in authentic ways.”

Wisdom from Seth…

“No one clicked on it, no one liked it…” -Seth Godin

“…you can architect content and sites and commerce to get a click. But you might also choose to merely make a difference.”

We Cannot Be Silent – book review by Tim Challies
(Click on the image for Amazon purchase info.)

“We Cannot Be Silent is Mohler’s attempt to speak truth into this moment of crisis. He does so with boldness and conviction. He looks first at the cultural shifts that preceded and birthed this revolution. Then he shows what the Bible says about sex, gender, and sexuality. He lays out the current and future challenges to the church. He concludes with brief answers to thirty challenging questions: The biblical authors did not have the category of orientation, so aren’t they talking about something different than we are? Is homosexual sin worse than other sins? Are people born gay? Should a Christian attend a same-sex wedding ceremony? Can a person with same-sex attraction change his or her orientation? If so, how?”

Ever wonder why all those pop songs sound kinda the same? Well, it’s pretty simple; They all use the same 4 Chords!
(Warning: I wish there wasn’t, but there’s an f-bomb toward the end.)


Weekend Picks

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

I was a little surprised to find that I resonated with a lot of what he has to say in this Leadership Journal piece:

Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don’t Care About Any More
Karl Vaters
Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don't Care About Any More“When I say I don’t care about these issues, I mean it. I don’t think they’re bad. I’m not upset. If your church does them, fine. I don’t want to take a sledgehammer to them. I’ve just shrugged them off due to apathy…”

I liked that one well enough that I followed his link and found this one from a few days ago. More good stuff…

Six Church-Insider Issues I Don’t Care About Any More
-Karl Vaters
Six Church-Insider Issues I Don't Care About Any More
“I grew up in the church. But in recent years I’ve found myself caring less about many of the issues I used to think mattered so much. I’m not just apathetic about them, I’m passionately apathetic.

Apathetic enough not to care. Passionate enough to write about them anyway.

I’m not even upset about them. It’s more about setting priorities than being right or wrong….These are issues that church insiders care a great deal about, but outsiders (and most regular church folks) don’t care about at all.

I’ve decided to join them.”

Insightful and frightening analysis on how school shootings catch on.

Thresholds of Violence – Malcolm Gladwell
In the years since Columbine, school shootings changed; they became ritualized.“The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”

I’m part of a church who cares very deeply about communicating the Gospel in ways that touch the hearts of people in our generation. I’ve heard this criticism more than once…

Stop Watering Down the Gospel – Marty Duren
The Areopagus“Is there such a thing as watering down the gospel? Yes, but making the gospel clear is not it. Making the gospel understandable is not it. Making sure hearers comprehend the truth of the gospel is not it.”

I suppose it’s because my new web site is just a week old, but this one hit a little close to home…


Source: Wrong Hands

Thursday’s Picks

The Church is Not a Drive-Through Restaurant Daniel Hyde
“Because of cultural influences on the church in America in our time, we tend to treat the church like a drive-through restaurant. We think to ourselves, “It will always be there and it will always have what I want, when I want it.” So, some of us attend worship once a week, some twice a month, and, sadly, some of us only occasionally. We come to get something and to leave. If it is not there, we go somewhere else.”

The Two Review Technique – Seth Godin
“…if you work to minimize criticism, you have surrendered the beauty and greatness of what you’ve set out to build.”

Ben Carson wouldn’t vote for Muslim president because he takes religion seriously (COMMENTARY) – Trevin Wax
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas on October 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Mike Stone *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-WAX-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Oct. 19, 2015.
“Today, the people who were most astonished at Ben Carson’s comments seem to think that a person’s religious beliefs should be totally irrelevant to how they govern or to how one votes. But that kind of religious reductionism is silly to most religious people. We know that religion really does matter in our daily life and how we think and how we live. So, ironically, Carson is the one taking Muslims and the Islamic faith seriously when he says he would not vote for a Muslim for president.”

If you need a smile today, this should do the trick…


Wednesday Morning Picks

The Rebellion of Song – Michael Kelly

“Christian, sing today. Sing tomorrow. Sing the songs of the rebellion, and fight on.”


How Confidence Makes Us Kind – Russell Moore
“‘This country is spiritually in decline,’ or ‘If God doesn’t judge this country, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.’ Writer Marilynne Robinson notes that those who speak in such a way rarely include themselves, or their circles of friends, in this assessment. It becomes another form of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ demarcation. Moreover, it feeds into a sort of apocalypticism that feels invigorating, like, she says, a panic attack—with a jolt of adrenaline to fire up the passions. But this hysteria is actually a betrayal of Christianity itself, since it assumes that history is ultimately in the hands of humanity.

The opponents of the gospel often picture the onward advance of secularization and of moral “freedom” as the inevitable march of historical progress. Christian orthodoxy is on the ‘wrong side of history.’ They believe this, but, too often, so do we. The culture around us knows what it means when they see a church in perpetual outrage and bluster. They know that we are scared. How different this is from the mindset of Jesus himself.”

Now THIS is how to decorate your house for Halloween!
Monster House
More photos here.