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53 Responses

  1. filbertz says:

    I wouldn’t only recommend the guide to Andrew Peterson’s music, but the music itself.

    The only song at my son’s funeral was Peterson’s “When the Last Tear Falls.” Given the lyrics, the backdrop, and the singer’s simple rendition, it was an incredible moment of ministry and perspective.

  2. filbertz says:

    Madeleine L’Engle’s interview is profound.

  3. filbertz says:

    I liked “America’s Quiet Carnage” as well…it was not what I expected, but worth the read.

  4. Michael says:

    fil…agree on all counts…

  5. Duane Arnold says:

    #2 fil

    Madeleine was a dear friend. The interview is a very good representation of her thinking.

  6. filbertz says:

    Duane–that type of awareness of literature and narrative is sorely lacking in society and specifically in christian circles to the detriment of all. It creates a faulty approach to scripture rendering some assumptions and conclusions unsustainable/indefensible.

  7. filbertz says:

    …and allows The Left Behind series to be a best seller. 🙁

  8. Corbatron says:

    Throckimorton says, “I have noticed in my little corner of the Christian world less awareness of [Driscoll] and the Mars Hill history.” While what happens on the internet stays on the internet, it also has a very short memory. Unless people are talking about something now, no one is going to know about it now, and I suspect most people don’t go looking for things that used to be “a thing” like Mars Hill unless it’s brought up for some reason.

    For example, how many average CC people know what CSN is or was? (Sounds like the opening to a joke in poor taste!).

    It’s an interesting side effect of our instant-access culture. Probably due to the ability to instantly advertise and steer content in a way that makes money by social media outlets. Mainstream news sources have an increasing shorter news cycle as well.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    #6 fil

    Indeed! If you can find it, a relatively unknown book of Madeleine’s is “Two Part Invention”. It’s an account of her marriage and is very good…

  10. Jean says:

    “A Lenten prayer….”

    Wonderful, beautiful, humbling!

  11. JoelG says:

    “America’s Quiet Carnage” was enlightening. Rest is undervalued in our society. I’m on my kids a lot about grades. Our oldest was an A student and I never had to worry about her. Our youngest is failing classes right now and I’m frustrated with her. Perhaps I should have more compassion. All we can ask of kids is their best. If that’s an F or D, then so be it, I guess.

  12. Jean says:

    “Jesus doesn’t need religious freedom….”

    “Pastors’ goals should not be to win arguments against unbelievers but to win over unbelievers to the immeasurable grace of God! The Church’s goal should never be seen as passing laws to make the world more moral but to bring people to repentance and to faith in the free gift of God’s grace.

    How dare we confuse people into thinking Jesus is just some way-of-life religion or that His work of salvation depends on whether a country allows Him to enter! How small such a god looks who needs people to fight or him.”

  13. John 20:29 says:

    Pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands is sinful?
    Well, well… The JWs have been telling us that for decades…. Next on the list, since we’re not really citizens should be an exemption from income tax, property tax, lawsuits and military service … and further, what about S.S.#s, contributions and birth certificates?
    Aren’t we mature enough to handle the secular and the Divine? Or as the Lutes among us prefer, the two kingdoms?

  14. JoelG says:

    #12 – Amen

  15. bob1 says:

    ‘The Church’s goal should never be seen as passing laws to make the world more moral…”

    Sounds good and pious.

    But in fact,the world needs the church’s direction. Sex trafficking and slavery, abortion, inequalities, you name it…

    While I agree the church should be independent of whatever the current regime is, I believe it does have a moral responsibility to lead in some situations. Take slavery, for example. The abolitionist churches led the fight to outlaw it. In England, Wilberforce overturned the slave trade.

    Maybe these aren’t ‘eternal’ concerns (though some parts of the church would here talk about the Kingdom of God as not just something in the next life, but starting now).

    But maybe Jesus really wanted us to make a difference when he changed the Great Commandment from “:Love God with all your hsm&s,” and added “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

  16. JoelG says:

    #15 – I think the point is not putting the cart before the horse.

    From C.S. Lewis:

    “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither” – Mere Christianity

    When our life begins and ends in Christ, everything else will follow regardless.

  17. bob1 says:

    #16

    I agree.

    I think it’s a matter of balance.

    But I still strongly believe that our world needs our good works — indeed, that’s how
    Jesus said to let our lights shine (Matt 5:16)

  18. JoelG says:

    “But I still strongly believe that our world needs our good works — indeed, that’s how
    Jesus said to let our lights shine (Matt 5:16)”

    Amen Bob1. The world needs the comfort, peace and hope of Christ… right now.

  19. Xenia says:

    This is completely unrelated, but I am shutting down my FB account in a bit. I I’m not unfriending anyone, just offloading the whole thing.

  20. John 20:29 says:

    Christian conduct in this fallen world… hmmm … the old fallback teaching that we serve this corrupted world as salt and as light works for me…
    Can we fight and overcome evils such as child endangerment, crass TV personalities, or lying politicians? Probably not, but we can teach, stand, pray against them… If we’re labeled “goody two shoes,” psychotics, or even hypocrites, as long as we’re identified as followers of Christ, we’re okay…. Our weapons and our training are carefully laid out in Ephesians 6

    I admit that deep inside i’d like to just cut to the chase and wipe out all the bad guys, but that is Christ’s task – when Father says, “go” it will happen… But for now it’s about saving souls, isn’t it? Hell isn’t the place God wants to send anyone… He is sifting and sifting and sifting now… separating wheat and chaff, perhaps?

  21. John 20:29 says:

    Xenia, congratulations! 😄

  22. JoelG says:

    #20 – IMO the best we pew-sitters can do is be present with the world as much as possible. This might mean going to places that we find uncomfortable with people that, if it wasn’t for Jesus, we probably wouldn’t bother with. That means choosing to love and be with people that may not return the sentiment. It means sticking by them through thick and thin, maybe even for a lifetime.

    I think Christ changes our view of “the world” as much as He changes their view of Christians when we do this.

  23. John 20:29 says:

    #22- i confess that, with a few precious exceptions, the unchurched folk ive associated with over the years were just as honest and pleasant company as most church folk… if not more so… if anyone was apt to label a serious Believer as a “holier tha thou,” it would be the Sunday go to meeting crowd. .. haven’t spent enough time thinking on the why of that… Do most pew sitters see the leaders as real Christuans and the pew sitter as amateurs? 😳 dunno …?

  24. John 20:29 says:

    Praying that the guy setting off bombs in TX now is stopped asap or sooner

  25. John 20:29 says:

    Where these links have had my mind today… Reading Steve Brown’s never work for God was very helpful… for my ficus anyway…

  26. JoelG says:

    “Do most pew sitters see the leaders as real Christuans and the pew sitter as amateurs?”

    Em my #22 is from my own personal experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to be with and serve folks who I think most would consider “undesirable.” My heart is for these “outsiders”. Now I’m not an evangelist, preacher or theologian, but I can be a friend and always be ready to give a reason for the hope we have in Christ. My best friend is an obnoxious atheist, but I love the guy and will never give up on him.

    My point is even if we aren’t gifted speakers or have dynamic personalities, we can still be present with unbelievers and listen and love them unconditionally.

  27. bob1 says:

    My point is even if we aren’t gifted speakers or have dynamic personalities, we can still be present with unbelievers and listen and love them unconditionally.

    I totally agree. I was considering the ministry when I was younger. But then I decided I could be more on an influence for Christ by just being part of the average, every day life of most folks. I think folks with church careers and who are pastors/priests tend to be more isolated from day to day folks.

    The church needs more ‘regular’ folks, IMHO.

  28. John 20:29 says:

    Joel and Bob, you should read the link above, Never Work for God… He’s tracking right with you both, i think
    God keep

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    #27 Bob

    “I think folks with church careers and who are pastors/priests tend to be more isolated from day to day folks.”

    Agreed, but often the isolation is promoted by the folk in the pew and their expectations. The reality should be the ministry/priesthood of all believers…

  30. Michael says:

    Em,

    I didn’t come away from Preston’s article thinking that pledging allegiance was a sin.
    It may be a sin for him to do so, but I doubt he’d impute such to others.
    Having said that, I agree with his essay whole heartedly and constantly wonder why others don’t wrestle with the facts he presented.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – many of us have wrestled with this – a generation ago so it may not need to be revisited.
    I can’t ask Preston but I will ask you – if Christians should not offer up a pledge of allegiance to a nation, would you be advocating that a Christian should abstain from military service as I think you are required to offer up some oath of allegiance – it’s been more than 45 yrs since I served so I don’t remember.
    Also, what is the Christian immigrant to do when obtaining citizenship and they are asked to pledge allegiance to their new nation?

    Preston may be a bit lacking in a 2 kingdom theology and sees ‘church’ as us and civil society as ‘them’ instead of seeing that God rules in both entities.

  32. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think both are a matter of conscience.
    I don’t pledge allegiance for all the reasons Preston stated…but I do stand so as not to bring offense.

    I will also confess that I find patriotism a confusing concept and one that I have great ambivalence about.

    God rules over all….but my best understanding today is that Christians are to consider themselves as people in exile longing for their real home.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – you probably not much fun around the BBQ at a 4th of July pool party. 🙂

  34. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I’m not much fun….period. 🙂
    I think the term “dullard” applies…

  35. Steve says:

    Andrew Peterson’s music is indeed amazing.

    What’s more amazing is that, unlike most who try to parlay success in one area into another, he is ALSO an amazing writer. The Wingfeather Saga is wonderful!

    And to top it off, he’s a great businessman (how many artists can say that?). He’s started the Rabbit Room as a way to market the music & writing of himself and many others, and his Kickstarter to do an animation of one of his books did over $250,000, way more than double.

    I try not to have heroes in this world, but Andrew Peterson seems like one…

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    Andrew Peterson sounds like dated CCM to me. Don’t get it, but I’m glad that some do.

  37. Michael says:

    I like Peterson…as an artist and a person.

  38. Josh the Baptist says:

    Don’t know him, seems like a solid dude. Just sounds derivative for Steve Green and Rich Mullins, neither of whom I enjoyed.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    #38 Josh

    Who have you liked? (Apart from U2 :-))

  40. The New Victor says:

    1 Peter 2:17 “…honor the emperor…”

    Surely this doesn’t mean “worship,” but what might it mean with regards to present day?

    I’ve struggled with whether or not the pledge was idolatry. Is this freedom in Christ to do so or not? If one struggles, is one the brother or sister with the “weaker” faith or conscience?

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    Victor

    In the Roman Empire the oath of loyalty to the emperor was called the sacramentum. In the late empire the annual giving of that oath created difficulties (especially in the army) for Christians. Tertullian thought it incompatible as the only sacramentum permitted Christians was baptism.

    Just a historical perspective…

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Duane, I like almost everything, though not much in the CCM realm.

    John Mark McMillan is still sorta Christianish and I think he is brilliant.

    needtobreathe’s Rivers in the Wasteland album was fantastic.

    I actually like Lauren Daigle a lot.

    Outside of Christian music I’m listening to Brandi Carlisle, Avett Brothers, Marc Broussard, ummm, a whole bunch of stuff. These are just on my list right now 🙂

  43. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    Agree with you on John Mark McMillan – really like ‘Borderland’…

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    Borderland is probably one of my top ten records of all time. So deep and beautiful. Not a bad song on it.

    And as far as all time – Motown / Stax stuff is my favorite ever.

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I like ABBA & Queen and I did post a KC and the Sunshine Company on Facebook the other day.

  46. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh

    Check Melissa Etheridge – ‘Memphis. Rock and Soul’… you won’t be disappointed.

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    Cool! it’s on prime! Listening now.

    MLD – a disco guy. Who knew?

  48. John 20:29 says:

    #30 – i get your point, i think…
    In light of the tendency to equate God and country today i can see the possibility for angst – concern over being identified with that view
    I think my generation and those before me did see this nation as a gift from God – “liberty and justice for all…” President Eisenhower inserted ” under God” in the pledge and i think the sum total of our national mindset has been moving out from under God ever since. …?…
    Even our attempts in the last 50 years to achieve liberty and justice for ALL has been corrupted … or so it seems to me… but then the direction of the tide in light of prophesy is correct … i think

  49. Jean says:

    “KC and the Sunshine Company”

    Bro…

    Better check your band names…

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – here in the desert I wear bell bottom shorts 🙂
    I like older more classic country also

    Michael – you should come down here – beginning tonight through the weekend Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee are an hour up the river in Laughlin doing shows.

  51. bob1 says:

    I heard this maxim well before the current regime and I still think it’s wise:

    Patriotism yes.

    Nationalism no.

    I tend to think the idolatry of country starts with the latter…

  52. JoelG says:

    I just got around to reading the Lenten prayer link. Gosh…. so good.

    I am convinced that one of the reasons some feel the need to bang on fellow Christians for not being “radical” or not being “fully engaged” is that some churches don’t preach God’s Love and Forgiveness for sinners on a weekly basis. We need to sit and rest at Jesus’ feet more often, otherwise we will run out of gas and feel condemned because we aren’t doing “enough”.

    We won’t ever do enough, be good enough. We need to rest in Jesus and know His unconditional Love for us and everything else will follow.

    Great article!

  53. JoelG says:

    Looking forward to the Center Prayer article. I think this is something we should do more.

    Thank you! Great links this week! (My meds must have just kicked in. 😉 )

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