Archive for April, 2013

Church is Good for You

April 22nd, 2013 No comments

Not long ago, I blogged the news that it’s better to give than to receive. Now comes the news that going to church is good for you. It’s almost like there was some kind of supernatural agency that wanted us to know how we could have better lives. (I blogged this on the web site at my church, but the original article was in the NY Times.)

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Tab Sweep

April 12th, 2013 No comments

There are categories of people you will only reach using social media, as this infographic depicts. (Data from this Pew survey.)

The Methodist Hymnal? There’s an app for that!

Here’s news about an archaeological excavation of a 1st century synagogue from Magdala.

Pope Francis calls Catholics to leave their comfort zones. That’s good advice. But if you’re a Protestant, and not sure, you can read Faith of Leap by Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost.

New England is the least religious part of the country. But Alaska’s right up there.

The church has been defined (among other things) as “the provisional demonstration of the kingdom of God.” What that means is more or less the same thing as Ed Stetzer says here: we in the church are where the world comes to window shop the Christian religion.

Megan McArdle wants to know Why Do Economists Urge College, But Not Marriage?

Do you really love her more than that flat screen TV? Couples with big debts have more difficulty in their relationship than couples without.

It really is better to give…

April 12th, 2013 No comments

The Apostle Paul cites a saying of Jesus (not recorded in the gospel accounts):

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

According to this New York Times profile of Wharton Business School professor Adam Grant, Jesus just might have been on to something:

For Grant, helping is not the enemy of productivity, a time-sapping diversion from the actual work at hand; it is the mother lode, the motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity. In some sense, he has built a career in professional motivation by trying to unpack the puzzle of his own success. He has always helped; he has always been productive.

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After Matthew Warren’s Suicide

April 8th, 2013 No comments

I feel so bad for Rick and Kay Warren, grieving the suicide of their son Matthew at 27.

Of course, there are no words, but as Greg Laurie said on his blog, there is the Word: God with us. I can’t imagine losing one of my children at all, much less to spend a lifetime watching them battle any type of mental illness. May God give peace to the Warren family.

Adrian Warnack has a nice piece answering the question, can Christians be depressed? (Yes.)

I was grateful to read this reflection, by Beth Moore. I can understand (barely) why people who aren’t Christians might dislike Rick Warren, but it baffles me that so many Christians not only disagree with but even hate him. [Update: Mark Driscoll’s blog entry on this tragedy and the behavior of Warren’s critics is (surprise!) comprehensive and strongly worded.]

Although I don’t know Rick Warren personally, I did get a hug from him once. Two years ago I was attending a conference on the main Saddleback campus in Orange County. Here’s what I said at the time:

I just got a hug from Rick Warren. I’m at Catalyst 1-Day. On a coffee break, chewing on what Craig Groeschel just said (man up, more or less) and Warren comes up from my blind side and says, “How about a hug for a pastor?”, delivers aforesaid hug, and moves on so quickly I didn’t realize at first who it was. Very timely. I really like that guy.

I wish I could return that hug now, when he and his family need it.

Saddleback Church

I do like Rick Warren, as I said. He says we need to be careful about making heroes of living people, because sometimes they don’t finish well, but I think he’s a pretty good model for pastors to aspire to. Not least because he loves other pastors. He did a series of podcasts for people in ministry as impressive as it was brief, and the “Minister’s Toolbox” (subscribe on is certainly worth the time of anyone in ministry.

If you haven’t read The Purpose Driven Life, I recommend you do. I’m just rereading it (actually reading the tenth anniversary reissue) and I’m more impressed now than I was the first time I read it.

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Grace in Motion

April 7th, 2013 No comments

Here’s an excellent example of Grace:

It’s a good place to start the next time you’re trying to imagine how God treats us.

Jesus said, “If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”

Kudus: Althouse. Cross-posted at JLP.

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