Posts Tagged ‘books’

January 18th, 2016 No comments

Good grief. The brain trust at World HQ published the PC(USA) Book of Confessions as a PDF without a table of contents. Way to move (cautiously) into the 1990s!

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The Bible as an Enjoyable Reading Experience

July 30th, 2014 No comments

The Bible as an enjoyable reading experience — does that sound wonderful to you? Or maybe even ‘unimaginable?’ Watch this video:

Bibliotheca Kickstarter from Good. Honest. on Vimeo.

I’m not enthusiastic about doing so much work on the reading experience while using an older translation. The ASV, for example, predates the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Still, it’s much better than the KJV, and the archaic word forms are being eliminated, so it’s not bad.

What do you think? Should the Bible be enjoyable to read, as well as practical to study?

(I was originally alerted to this project by Jason Morehead, via Tim Chailles.)

(Cross-posted from Pastor Luke’s blog at JLP.)

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Spam Countermeasures

November 19th, 2013 No comments

I just implemented a bunch of spam countermeasures. Send me email if you got caught in the crossfire.

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C. S. Lewis – Where to Start

August 7th, 2013 No comments

Have you ever wondered what makes C. S. Lewis such a great writer? Or would you like to get started reading him? In this video, John Piper and Tim Keller talk about how to get started with Lewis:


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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.

Tab Sweep

August 14th, 2012 No comments

As you might guess from the scarcity of blog entries here lately, I’m a net consumer (not a net producer) of internet content. Here are some links to things I’ve read this last while.

Hero boy, 4, dies after saving 3-year old girl in pool. Heart-breaking.

Card swipes in church make giving easier. Why yes, I’d imagine they do. The story is sort of unfocused, but worth a few minutes to read.

One big player is a service called ParishPay, which works with many Catholic churches and a few synagogues to help sign up worshipers to pay via credit or debit card or automatic payment from their bank accounts. Nearly 1,000 institutions have joined the service, and it claims a 20 to 30 percent increase in giving by individuals who enroll.

Miss. church blocks black couple’s wedding. Appalling.

Wilson said he had been attending the church for about a month and his now wife had been attending for more than a year. His wife’s father also attended the church, and her uncle was custodian at the church.

Are Lavalier Microphones Dead? No. Watch late-night TV. Well, okay, but what about in church?

I wish every church said what this church says in their bulletin.
This is a little old, but worth reading.

Giving Vacation Bible School an update for the 21st Century.

This month, his brainchild drew nearly 10,500 children between kindergarten and fifth grade, and every one attended free of charge. Two-thirds of them do not even belong to Second Baptist, and somewhere between one-third and half come from single-parent homes, a particular target of Mr. Young’s ministry. After the Bible school session ended, each child’s parent received a hand-delivered thank-you letter, homemade cookie and invitation to church.

Defining Religious Liberty Down. Ross Douthat sees a troubling trend exactly where I did … maybe he’s smarter than I sometimes think he is.

You can see this confusion at work in the Obama White House’s own Department of Health and Human Services, which created a religious exemption to its mandate requiring employers to pay for contraception, sterilization and the days-after pill that covers only churches, and treats religious hospitals, schools and charities as purely secular operations.

Haunted demographics: Cells and church towers. As is typical of Get Religion, this article points out all the things that would have made an interesting story better.

These churches are earning, readers are told, about $1,000 a month — per carrier. That’s not a lot of money, but, if you read carefully, it’s clear that these churches — the ones with the prime locations — tend to need the money. … The story never addresses the membership trends in these flocks.

What kind of disciples are we making/ Stay PC(USA).

We don’t want to make disciples like the prodigal younger brother, nor the unloving older brother. So if you are staying in the PC(USA), you have to clearly explain to your people that we are not staying to tolerate heresy, but in love for our siblings who seem to be wandering astray—and to make disciples who stand in community even through disagreement.

A Hungry World Population? Oh Well, Let Them Eat Ethanol! The problem with “think globally, act locally” is that it’s hard to do the first part but really easy to do the second part.

Despite the wailings of Paul Ehrlich and his tiresome compatriots, there were no great famines because of some fantasy “limits to growth” that were forecast to soon to be breached. Instead, corn yields continued their steady climb. A good year now yields around 160 bushels.

In defense of eating at Chick-Fil-A.

Where’s the beef? What the Chick-fil-A boss really said.

A Formula for Cutting Health Costs? Alaska’s native-owned Southcentral Foundation in a New York Times editorial.

In the Aftermath of a Massacre: the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program responds to gun violence. Sigh.

This attack, along with the mass shooting earlier this week in Tuscaloosa, AL in which a military style assault weapon was used, reawakens us as a church, a nation, and as people of faith to the immense and ongoing epidemic of gun violence in our country.

Methodists in Northeast Approve Pro-Gay Resolution.

A Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church has approved a pro-gay resolution denouncing the denomination’s Book of Discipline’s opposition to homosexuality.

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Religious News Blog

May 17th, 2012 No comments

I stumbled on Kate Shellnutt’s Believe It Or Not blog at the Houston Chronicle. She’s doing a good job of curating interesting articles, albeit with a Texas emphasis.

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Administrative Note

April 26th, 2012 No comments

Well, I haven’t blogged very much here lately. I’ve been awfully busy coming up to speed on things over at the church. (I posted a picture here of my new computer at work.) I hope to begin posting a little more frequently here, but the reason I’m posting today is to make sure everything is back to normal after the Event.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I will point out two useful pages. One tells you how to restore your WordPress blog. The other tells you if Google’s afraid of your site.

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Dawkins is Agnostic, Not Atheist

February 25th, 2012 No comments

“New Atheist” Richard Dawkins describes himself in this interview (which includes a brief video snippet) as an agnostic, rather than an atheist. Interesting, coming from the author of The God Delusion. And fair enough. Atheism is a belief every bit as much as faith in God. Dawkins is smart enough to realize that claiming a faith in God’s non-existence undermines his arguments against those who claim a faith in God’s existence.

I haven’t read much Dawkins, but I saw he also wrote a book called The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True. I’d be more interested in reading that than The God Delusion. I wonder, as well, if you replaced Rowan Williams in that interview with a postmodernist thinker, how he’d react to the idea that reality is just a social construct.

Tab Sweep – Small Groups, Hitchens, Mainline Planting

January 16th, 2012 No comments

A quick list of some things I’ve read lately that are worth sharing:

First, the short but provocatively-titled “Taking Our Groups Off Life Support.” Key graf:

If we are going to take our groups off life support, we are going to need permission to re-imagine what gospel-centered community looks like. We will not change the preconceived view of groups by making participation a requirement for membership or by changing the names of our programs from “ministries” to “groups.” Small groups will thrive when they become the place where we experience life-giving transformation.

Second, “Learning from Christopher Hitchens,” an appraisal by Albert Mohler that is less a eulogy than, well, what it says: “Lessons Evangelicals Must Not Miss.” Mohler lists five such lessons, such as this one:

4. Hitchens did not hide behind intellectual scorn and he did not fear the open exchange of ideas. … Hitchens … was willing to debate evangelical Christians and to allow the debates to be publicized and published. He did not attempt to shut down debate by insulting his ideological and theological opponents.

Very much worth reading. If an outspoken atheist were admirable in so many ways, should not Christians be equally so, if indeed, not admirable in many other ways as well?

And finally, Landon Whitsitt tells young mainline pastor types to plant a church:

Am I the only one who sees a problem here? Not only do we want to “screw up the church,” but we also want the little old ladies pay for it? And then we have the audacity to be aggrieved when it doesn’t pan out? Come on. I thought we were smarter than this.

I’ve had concerns about the local-church-as-fixture (you know, “First XYZ Church of Anytown, U.S.,” celebrating a hundred years of doing the same thing) ever since I read Alan Hirsch’s The Forgotten Ways. I’m not sure convinced a local congregation was ever meant to survive for more than a brief season. Our expectations to the contrary seem to me to be baggage we’re carrying from Christendom. See also Whitsitt’s follow-on.

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