Dec 182012
 
  1. Which is why, right now, amid the pain, confusion, and heartbreak that our country is feeling and processing, we (as in America’s evangelical churches) should be asking lots of questions. And we should be asking these questions now, while we’re still in the emotional shadows of Friday’s shooting.
  2. There are limits to your freedom.” (warning: language)
  3. Today, as Lee and Sinitiere point out, evangelicals draw millions of followers by reimagining Christianity, and part of this reimagining has been enabled by the normalization of the entrepreneur:
  4. We’ve seen how Washington insiders write the rules of politics and the economy to protect powerful special interests, but now as we enter the holiday season, and a month or so after the election, we’re getting a refresher course in just how that inside game is played, gifts and all.
  5. Sometimes it is downright embarrassing to be an evangelical.
  6. Christianity Today picks the top 12 albums of the year.
  7. Dead Sea scrolls now available online
  8. If you doubt whether God is real, the gospel is true, and sinners really can be transformed, watch this three-minute video.
  9. Credit card skimmers aren’t just at ATMs anymore
  10. Greg Boyd is doing a series of video blogs on why we can trust that the Christmas stories, as told in the Gospels, are reliable. Very insightful.
  11. If Starke wants to claim for Protestant missions continuity between Geneva and Wheaton (the headquarters of Crossway Books and therefore of the Gospel Coalition), he should leave the task of history to licensed professionals.
  12. Pastor Jim McClarty…provides very good (biblical) responses to a critic of Reformed theology
  13. “Bart Ehrman’s new essay in the soon to be out-of-business Newsweek magazine is simply crazy talk.” (quotation comes from last link)

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 Posted by at 7:29 pm

  51 Responses to “Linkathon 12/19”

  1. first, Nice list thanks

  2. I love all things Andrew Peterson. I have Wrecking Ball by Springsteen but was surprised by how many dismissed the album. This 60’s kid still marvels that Dylan and Van Morrison are still making music. But I have to admit I don’t really get most critics one bit. Reminds me of an old Woody Allen movie. He and Diane Keaton are in line for a movie or play (I can’t recall) and the man in front of him is going on and on about what the author he’s going on and on about is really saying in his work. Suddenly the author appears and tells him he has no idea what he’s talking about. I dig that dude!! :mrgreen:

  3. I found the clip. It’s worth the advertisement and the payoff. :)

  4. I apologize for sexual references in the above clip. I should have included this with the clip. If the clip is offensive feel free to remove it.

  5. 1. I don’t know what these questions have to do with Evangelicals.
    2. Tony Jones should be able to express himself better than that. The more I learn about him, the less I want to listen to him.
    3. Very interesting read.

    5. The good thing is, she doesn’t have to be an evangelical. I’m Southern Baptist, and don’t think I’ve ever defined myself as evangelical. It’s a made up word. You don’t have to accept it.
    6. A little surprised by the choices there. Some good stuff, some I don’t love. Only a couple that really fit in the “Christian” genre. Not much variety of style in the list, but pretty artistic and interesting, none the less.

    8. Didn’t do anything to solidify the existence of God for me, but a good testimony, anyway.

    12. Mclarty’s answers are remedial Calvinism 101. Nothing good, or really scriptural here. Mainly just the same old snarky stuff that people don’t like about Calvinists. If he would actually engage the questions, depend on Scripture rather than sarcasm, and allow a little nuance in understanding, I think he’d do more good. But I don’t think he’s too concerned with my opinion. Seems to just be preaching to the choir. Luckily, they are predestined to be the choir, and I am not.

    13. Ehrman’s sloppy scholarship is shameful, and has been exposed over and over. He is a smart guy with an ax to grind against Christianity. He is not an unbiased observer reporting the facts. That being said, I disagree with the response, that if there are historical inaccuracies Christianity. Not true. Something doesn’t have to be a historic fact to be useful. Jesus spoke in parables himself. Symbolism, metaphor, and imagery are powerful and important…I think moreso than science and history. We have let our world be taken over by concrete thinkers, and unfortunately Christians are choosing to play on that field. Don’t be afraid of a little mystery, embrace it. If you can completely wrap your mind around something, that something is not God.

    Good links, BrianD!

  6. Josh,

    I think those questions have everything to do with evangelicals, or at least American evangelicalism.

    “Are we (the evangelical church) good at helping outcasts? We’re often great at helping jocks and princesses plug in. But what about the unpretty, unpopular, unfriendly few? Can our gospel help them? And my question is serious. Because even though most outcasts will never commit murder or suicide, most evangelical churches aren’t known for helping the loners find hope. In fact, we often suck at it.”

    I lost count a long time ago of the number of emails I’ve received on that very point.

  7. @6 – I guess my point is that…why in the shooting in Ct an Evangelical issue, anymore than it is an atheist issue, or a Catholic issue, or a human issue? Yes, ask the questions, but not in a segregated way. If the next shooter is not evangelical, then it won’t help. Ask the question at your job, or at school, or at home, or at church. Just seems wrong to me to try to claim a different evangelical answer for a problem that is clearly not ours to solve. If we want to help in this, we need the outside world far more than they need us.

  8. i think Josh gets the 2 kingdoms … the earthly kingdom lost a beautiful mind today and i am mourning its loss as well … nuff said

  9. Josh,

    I so wish I had more time this morning to answer that comment.
    The only people that have an answer for evil are Christians…if I and a few others are correct in perceiving that this hemisphere is receiving a visitation from hell, then we are the only ones who can make a difference.

  10. “The only people that have an answer for evil are Christians.”

    I agree with that Michael, and I think we are talking from two different sides of the same point. I’m saying it is not necessarily evangelicals who are shooting up schools, so to sit in evangelical churches and ask these questions may be a good thing to do, but it won’t stop the school shootings. If we want to stop school shootings, we need to engage the mental health community, the firearms community, the education community, and the government.

    Mark Driscoll preaching another sermon will not stop one school shooting. Do you get what I’m saying? It’s not an evangelical issue, it’s a human issue. If Christians want to fight evil in the world (and we DO have the only real solution) we have to engage the world.

  11. do we make a difference by reaching out (avoiding preaching or compromise)? or by opening our doors and inviting in (hospitably)? how and where do we make our stand (remembering the pearls and swine principle)? the dying world needs Christ, not platitudes – praying for wisdom and anointed words

    with apologies for pontificating without answers

  12. Linkathon #1 … skip the blog and read the comments

  13. gotta say, it isn’t just Christians who forget their own …

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20780780

  14. “The only people that have an answer for evil are Christians.”

    Excellent.

    So often we are challenged as not having that answer, when in fact we are the only ones who do.

    Word.

  15. ““The only people that have an answer for evil are Christians.”” amen – with a caveat of sorts: the answer is Christianity and we can do no more than offer the answer, i think

  16. As long as much of the American Chruch remains obbsessed with Image and outward appearacnes, then the loney outcasts will not be welcome. For example at my former place of fellowship in Montebello, many hard core ex gang members, drunkards, drug users etc. attend but yet on their website they put good looking young people of every race to promote the Church there, yet that is not representative of most of the attenders.

  17. Sol Rod, your number 16, that is very interesting. Something I really have respected about our pastor is that he has told short term mission teams from the USA, that he was not interested in them sending young people who are doing music (rock n roll type praise) outreaches on the streets of our city and having them send people to our church. He said that kind of music and ministry did not truly represent what our church was like. Therefore we have encouraged short term missions teams who wanted to come to our city to do evangelism, to just share one on one with folks and if someone was interested , then they could give the our church details. I really respected his decision.

  18. Nonnie,

    Yeah I feel that it is better not use gimmicks to attract people but rather just preach the gospel

  19. i think (dunno) that hidden in the soul of every good scientist is an artist and doesn’t it follow that Faith in God, His redemption is not antithetical to the discipline either?

    link below has no redeeming value, but wonder …

  20. explanation of #19
    BrianD’s links are a cornucopia (IMO) of wealth of good food for thought this week – as i was sitting here thinking about what i was readin and really regretting that my mind was too tired to process them – as i sat here feeling that i was wasting some choice ponders because i was simply too mentally tired to think, i came across the above and only posted it for others in my condition today … and i’m going to try bookmarking this page of links to revisit

  21. well, i didn’t expect to shut down the Linkathon with magnetized ferrofluid – there’s lots of good stuff up there in the Linkathon for today … and it’s safe to come back now i’m gone ….. :roll:

  22. 2. I dislike Westboro so much it isn’t funny, that being said I would never sign that petition because the somewhere down the line there will be one declaring me to be part of a hate group.
    Plus, I have been known to cuss some myself, bad habit from the military, lot less than it was. I am not against every once in a while online using a strategic word here and there. I think about it before using it and I try not to go to far. I have always thought that you should try to leave it out of writing as much as possible, because it distracts and doesn’t sound like you are thinking your writing through. But, Tony jones gratuitous use of the f-word just tells me that he doesn’t have much else than that. Okay, I see you are mad buddy, but guess what that just tells me that you need to work on your anger.
    7. Cool for scholars, but since I can’t read hebrew then…meh.

  23. An interesting few articles, first there is one concering an Earth like planet around another “close by” star.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/dec/19/habitable-planet-discovered-tau-ceti

    From my perspective, on its face to think we are the only sentient beings in this universe is the utter height of arrogance. It also offers a Corporeal hope. It is one reason I long for the nativity story to be true. That eternity actually entered into historic time to save us. I will admit I, at times as some have pointed out, hoped for some Alien intervention or lived on some Syfy reality. My hope was aways someone would save those suffering. To my shame and I mean this because it is something a true christian should never ever ever ever ^100x ever need. Healing for those I loved, and me but if God needed more blood to satisfy His holy anger I would be glad to be that satisfaction. I know that sounds strange but we often pray strange prayers when we see people suffering.

    The second truth, and this one is much more profound and effectual, the human hand evolved from punching, now this is an evangelical faith I can relate to. Where violence and threat overcome grace and hope. And they always and I do mean always will, I get that. But I found it rather prophetic.

    http://news.discovery.com/human/human-hands-evolved-for-punching-121219.html

    I actually hoped for an open hand of grace in the real world, a hug, smile, a prayer of hope. I have repented of such nonsense given the modern apologetic. It is almost the advent of Christ and I am left with my old refrain, it is not good news, it really is not, for the vast majority of all humanity it is not, never has been, and ever will be good news.

    But being the heretic I am, I hope it is, I know it is, I cling to it nightly when the dreams and dreads come, the fears and the idea that God does not exist. I cling to His hope. Of course that is apostate nonsense and I should grow up. It really is a rather strange faith it really is.

  24. i heard the report on the human hand also … but i never take science as “gospel” :smile:

    still … if Eve had just punched that serpent …

  25. brian,
    The coming(s) of Christ is always bad news to those who are perishing.

    It was like when Eric Gagne pitched for the Dodgers and had 152 saves between 2002 – 2004 including 55 straight. His coming (in from the bullpen) was always good news for the sheep (Dodgers’ fans) – but that same “coming” was always bad news for the goats (the other team’s fans)

    Note how I wove “saves”, “comings”, “sheep & goats” along with “good news” into my example.

  26. 1. While this country has just gone thru a horrific tragedy we must all remember to have some perspective in regards to crime and gun control. Crime is down in almost every major city compared to the past. Gang violence is also down. While this mass murder in CONN. was awful overall we are a safer country than in years past. The media has shamelessly tried to use this tragedy to push a liberal agenda and like sheep to the slaughter many are walking right into the ditch. Athletes and sports celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon as well. You would think from all their talk that we are living in the Wild West. The bottom line is that we are safer in this country than we have been in decades.

  27. FWIW – food for thought, perhaps … somebody sent me this link – if it’s bona fide, half way down the article is an interesting chart …
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

    (a huge list of countries from Albania all the way to Zimbabwe)
    % of homicides by firearm
    Number of homicides by firearm
    Homicide by firearm rate per 100,000 pop
    Rank by rate of ownership
    Average firearms per 100 people
    Average total all civilian firearms

  28. I’m new here, I don’t know if these link-a-thons are suppose to be articles that encourage others in Christ, or are controversial and meant for discussions.#5 is downright embarrassing to read as a Christian, so many contradictions in her article… how dare I be a Christian and own a gun! Oh dear, God Bless middle-class America. I’d love to see how she’d feel about her 2nd Amendment if she had to spend a week in my neighborhood.

    The best quote about the entire tragedy at Newtown came from Samuel Jackson (yikes, a heathen of all people!)
    ““I don’t think it’s about more gun control,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. “I grew up in the South with guns everywhere, and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the VALUE OF LIFE.”

    Amen, Mr. Jackson… Focus shouldn’t be about gun control/education, although it is important, the focus should be to teach our country the value of life from God’s perspective.

    I think we, as a country, need to go back to God, and to the Scriptures, and re-learn how precious each and every one of us are to God. Only when we remember who we live for, and why we are created, only then will the violence stop. You can take away our guns (I hope not) but you can’t take away our hate/apathy/anger. Only God can remove those things.

    So yes, the country’s only solution is Jesus, but if the country’s focus is Jesus, these tragedies may not happen with such regularity.

  29. Hi Fly,

    They are selected articles that I think might be of interest to others, intended partly to provoke discussion (in a good way).

  30. I have to admit this has been a very good and rough year, as some of you may know I “fight” for the program I work for on an almost daily basis. Because we all know people with down syndrome, CP, Autism, fill in the blank are all faking it. I had this wonderful week, great Christmas parties, wonderful memories and unique views of life my students always give me. The guy at the sandwich shop did not know what happened in Connecticut, strange. Brian D gives us a view the Christian life in America with his linkathons and they are much more enjoyable then praiseathons though not as lucrative, Got to work on that Brian. :) Gun control, when I first started posting here I was in total favor of it, then I met Alex, now I am not so sure.

    I will admit it, I wish there was a conceal carry tactically trained person that would have taken that guy out right there. Before the first innocent fell. Heck I wish I could have thrown my fat backside on top of the clown just for one other person, child or adult, it would have been a good way to go out. Of course on other blogs I was reminded that each and every one of us, including those little kids killed were just a second away from doing the same thing to others, we are all Jeffery dahmer jr. ready to take out some poor sap, who is also a Jeffery dahmer wannabe but just did not metastasized quite fast enough to become a full fledged serial killer. Yup no good news there so I moved on.

    Speaking of life from God’s perspective, just finished my 4th book on the black death at the end of the Roman Empire “Justinian’s Flea” along with some works on the chronicler of the plague of 1348-50. I will admit it, to my shame I cried my eyes out, those people are no different then me, many, no most much better. They died by the carload entire families, villages wiped out, no rime no reason. Well actually a good reason, we had not yet developed an effective communicable disease and effective agents to combat this spawn from hell.

    Amen to #5 on a daily basis I am embarrassed then I reflect on the 1000bazzion good things I have seen Evangelicals do on a second by second basis, I am still embarrassed, but at myself, because I forgot to really look at the real works of God, through the noise.

    Bart Ehrman gives me a head ache, he needs another shtick he is a smart guy but he seems to have fallen for his own press releases. Dr. Ehrman if you by some small chance read this, you can do better and you know you can.

  31. An aside and I am totally ashamed of this as I should hate these people, their family, their pets etc. Having dealt with people whom have mental illness, not saying the gunman had, but just saying, I felt for his family, his mother right before she had her face blown off by a shotgun, and those left behind trying to find a reason. I felt real bad, I even prayed for them. It all broke my heart, but these type of tragedies happen daily across the world, some drone drops a bomb on your village, some lunatic thinks God wants him to blow himself up, some child is abused and the abuse goes unreported, or it is reported an it is ignored. Of course we agree, people who think God wants them to kill, sacrifice, or what other nonsense another human being is stupid on its face. No offense but if God wants to kill someone let Him do it Himself, I mean He is God.

    Did you know that some folks actually got upset at the dress of one of the teachers murdered in Connecticut, now stupid is that, her picture was not as “modest” as it should be. Of course that is pathetic on its face, grow up for goodness sake. She was blown into eternity to save her kids she was working with, It was not some nice transition, she was snuffed out protecting her students. Of course we wont go into what parasitical Satan worshipers public school teachers are. I know I heard that way to much. Kiss my backside, we all give what we have to serve our students. I grow tired of defending why I take another breath from with in the faith community. I really do.

  32. There is a rumor that Lenya Heitzig has passed away.

    Does anyone have any information on this?

  33. We could be headed for a Police State, 1984 is here. I would rather have dangerous freedom than peaceful slavery

    http://news.yahoo.com/nra-calls-armed-police-officer-every-school-162851713.html

  34. I’ve heard nothing.

  35. Just a dumb rumor. She’s fine.

  36. She ran a 5K this morning. It’s also her birthday. Happy Birthday Lenya.

  37. There’s a rumor going around that the world ended today. Can anyone confirm that?

  38. Scott said:

    “There’s a rumor going around that the world ended today. Can anyone confirm that?”

    I don’t know about the World but Jersey Shore ended last night. I don’t know what’s worse j/k

  39. Where’s TGIF?

  40. #4 – amen – i remember when it was different :roll:
    just as the Church is waking up to the corporate model chicanery and profiteers among us, i hope that the whole nation wakes up to our corrupted corporate model for doing business it’s permeating the economy – we point fingers at WalMart and miss the real corruptions entirely IMV – for instance, the healthcare industry is right up there with the likes of the finance and arms industries in their ability to buy politicians, and bureaucrats, driving out good established medical practice … our healthcare crisis has absolutely nothing to do with healthcare (it’s not the boots on the ground healthcare workers: doctors, nurses, techs etc.) IMHO
    the Church has God looking out for it … the nation? dunno who they’ve got

  41. Michael flew down to S. Mexico to prepare for the end. He is currently in a state of harmonic convergerence and the only way to receive his TGIF message is to connect telepathically.

  42. I’m happy Lenya is okay. Her sister used to post here back in the day and I admired her greatly. Hope she’s doing fine as well.

  43. I believe TGIF is delayed because Michael is swamped at work. That would be my guess. Praying for grace for him..

  44. while i too love TGIF i’d feel guilty if Michael was posting it this week … anyone here who has worked in retail knows what he’s up against at this time of year … it’s when the stores get their best chance finish in the black or face the alternative of not being in business another year – their employees take the hits from upstairs and the customers

    besides BrianD’s great links up there take more than one day to process (at my age, they do anyway)

    aaand …
    i confess that i didn’t know Lenya Heitzig from my neighbor’s poodle until her name showed up here today and i googled it … she is just beautiful, i’ll bet that half of Skip’s male congregants are secretly, but tastefully :roll: , in love with her – a woman who is pretty on the inside and the outside?

    just sayin

  45. The Lenya that died was Levi Lusko’s young daughter. She died as the result of a severe asthma attack today.

  46. had to google again … Lenya Lusko this time and another breathtakingly beautiful little girl has died … we fought asthma with our second daughter from birth – praying for this family

  47. Oh, that poor family. My heart is breaking for them. Oh, Father of all comfort and mercy, embrace them in your peace.
    Praying for them.

  48. Oh my, I’m saddened by that report.

  49. Oh my….so incredibly sorry to hear this.

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