Linkathon 3/28

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Anthony Bradley will moderate a discussion between John Piper and Tim Keller tonight regarding the gospel and race. This will be live-streamed.

Fred Clark, Elizabeth Rawlings and Joshua Witchger comment on the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

Matt Redmond’s first two blog posts (part 1, part 2) on why the abuse of authority at Mars Hill Church matters.

Albert Mohler recently interviewed former President Jimmy Carter.

Rachel Stone responds to Kathy Keller and argues that Christians can raise kids anywhere.

Amy Simpson on what Jason Russell’s mental breakdown tells us about ourselves.

Todd Hertz reviews the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games.

Zach Hunt: “Once again, I do not say all of this to imply that the Bible doesn’t contain “answers” to the questions we have in life. However, we must be extremely careful in how we glean those answers, for more often than not I am afraid those “answers” tend to be our own creation, rather than the voice of God.

Chaplain Mike Mercer has found an oasis in the mainline church.

Four reasons why Christian Piatt came back to church.

Ian Ebright on the thing that’s higher than the creationism/evolution debate.

Randall Rauser’s dialogue on creation and evolution.

Karl Giberson on Richard Dawkins.


Linkathon 3/21, part 1

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Former Mars Hill Church elder Paul Petry’s new blog, Joyful Exiles, was posted just a few days ago but has already brought out some reaction in the blogosphere.

While neither Mars Hill itself nor Mars Hill-sympathetic churches/bloggers have yet to respond, others have:

Bob Hyatt

Bill Kinnon

Matt Redmond


Wartburg Watch

Ben Irwin

Howell Scott (HT Wartburg Watch)

Wenatchee the Hatchet: “If it were possible to set up a single post that could be used as a “one stop shopping place” to find everything that I, the Alsups, or the Petrys (of late) have publicly discussed about Mars Hill past and present this is a candidate.  I’ve been trying to compile not just what we have separately written but to also compile public statements by MH as an institution and individuals.

Kip’s story from the Mars Hill Refuge blog.

Rachel Held Evans’ 15 reasons she left church and returned to the Church.

Rachel Held Evans spoke at Fuller Seminary.

Karen Spears Zacharias on the conundrum of compassion.

Dan Edelen on when Christian celebrities crash and burn.

Matthew Barrett and Michael A.G. Haykin review N.T. Wright’s When God Became King.

Ben Burleson takes a look at Lent.

A church history reading list from a Catholic perspective.

Frank Viola on the coming revival.

Don Bryant on the reformed as Luddites.

Mike Cosper on social networking and the discipline of secrecy.

Mike Horton on what is antinomianism and antinomianism in church history.

Understanding complementarianism according to Don Carson and Bob Yarbrough.

For “new Calvinists” (and anyone else who’s interested): nine lessons from the life of Charles Hodge.

Al Mohler’s 2012 book recommendations for preachers, via Tim Challies.

Finally: last week I linked to a post by a Southeastern Seminary student, William Birch. Mr. Birch was recently charged with sexual assault (more information here and here). I will remove the link to that particular post, and other posts of his I may have linked to.

This isn’t because I think Mr. Birch has now become unredeemable, or unforgivable; though what he did is sad and reprehensible, if what he did cannot be forgiven by Jesus and covered by His blood…none of our sins can be. This isn’t a statement of excusing his or our sin, it’s a statement of the incredible, undeserved mercy of God.

Still, there are consequences to our sin on this earth, and Mr. Birch certainly will have to deal with the consequences of his. Here, I’m removing the links to assure readers that a) I’m aware of the circumstances b) I’m not overlooking them by keeping the links up c) I don’t want to present a ‘stumbling block’ to anyone who might come here and see those links.

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Linkathon 3/15, part 2

March 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Linkathon 3/14, part 1

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Dan Edelen on grown-cold love.

Two reviews of the movie adaptation of Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, from Tiffany Owens and Mike Cosper.

Via Boing Boing, here’s a tale of a really bad idea at South by Southwest: using homeless people as portable hotspots.

Randal Rauser asks if the church is meant to be “a place for you”.

Tony Jones on the Christian evasion of popular culture.

The Burner Blog asks why churches and seminaries fail.

Andrew Peterson reflects on what he learned from Steven Curtis Chapman.

Jonathan Martin on the Pentecostal elephant in the middle of the room.

Categories: Linkathon

Linkathon 3/7, part 2

March 8, 2012 Leave a comment

For those of you who followed the tornadoes that wreaked destruction on portions of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky this past weekend, here’s a story about a southern Indiana family who survived the onslaught.

John Piper had something to say about the tornadoes. Chaplain Mike Mercer had something to say about what Piper said.

John Fea on Bruce Springsteen’s spiritual vision for America.

David VanDrunen reviews Scot McKnight’s The King Jesus Gospel.

Denny Burk posted the video of Mark and Grace Driscoll’s appearance on The View.

Remember Thief in the Night? Dean A. Anderson does.

Mars Hill Refuge posts commentary from an anonymous former Mars Hill Church leader on the church’s call to reconciliation.

Southeastern Seminary professor Kenneth Keatley posts his concerns with BioLogos teaching on creation/evolution, part 1 and part 2.

Tim Keller on creation, evolution and Christian laypeople, part 1 and part 2.

Fuller Seminary’s Burner blog with summaries of two recent Eugene Peterson interviews, on prayer and simplicity.

Ben Irwin says handle Leviticus with care.

Crossway Books’ blog posted a portion of Greg Forster’s book The Joy of Calvinism, titled Where TULIP Goes Wrong.

Michael D. Bobo: “Losing gracefully, patiently and faithfully is a necessary experience for the Church.

Phil Johnson on how to tell if your repentance is deep enough (HT).

Are you ready for the combination of Doritos and Taco Bell???

A book review I recently wrote for the Alternate History Weekly Blog.

Categories: Uncategorized

Linkathon 3/7, part 1

March 7, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Linkathon

Linkathon 2/22, part 1

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day period observed by much of the Christian church known as Lent.

Mark Roberts offers resources for Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

Amy Sondova: “I know what it is to imagine there’s no God.  I tried to do it for exactly 12 hours one day, and I was so tormented, I had to admit I believed in God.  I was just so angry at Him that I wanted to Him to stay far away from me, and for years, that was the weird ebb and flow to our relationship.  He never left me and I knew that.  That’s how I know He will never leave me, that His promise to be with me always is true.

When Jesus is present where Jesus isn’t present.

Kathy Escobar: there are lots of ways to pastor.

Adam McLane: Why youth ministry can’t become family ministry.

Brian Cosby: Youth pastors, give up your gimmicks.

Gregg Allison – a professor at Southern Seminary in Louisville – gave a seminar recently to Mars Hill Church staff on the theology of scripture.

Tony McCollum: Bob Russell’s nine keys to lasting in the ministry.

Greg Laurie: even atheists have moments of doubt.

Skye Jethani on the “evangelical industrial complex” and the rise of celebrity pastors, part 1 and part 2.

Chaplain Mike Mercer: Grace means saying ‘I’m sorry’ – even in the case of Mars Hill.

Roger Olson: “I will say it straight out: something cultic is appearing among the young, restless, Reformed Christian followers of Piper, Driscoll, et al.

Wanda Martin: “I can’t imagine spending late nights helping my daughters work through their sins, only to get them up the next morning to start the process all over again! … cannot imagine my daughters describing me in such a way.  If they did, it would be terribly upsetting because I spent very little time during their growing up years helping them work through their sin.  That was NOT the focus in their lives.  Instead, my husband and I emphasized God’s love and our love for them.  Of course there were times of correction, but they were few and far between.  Instead of focusing on indwelling sin, we reminded our daughters that they are God’s children, who were created in His image.

Andy and Wendy Alsup review Mark and Grace Driscoll’s Real Marriage. Wenatchee the Hatchet reflects on the review here and here.

Lisa Whittle: “It is why I’m interested in having a different conversation. I’ve grown a bit weary of talking about why we hurt each other in the body of Christ, as if our humanity is not reason enough. Instead, I want to shift our energy and effort to a conversation that is more productive: becoming better ourselves, and helping the church wounded be restored, again, after being hurt.

These and additional Linkathons are always posted at the Phoenix Preacher blog.

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Linkathon 2/15, part 1

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Roger Olson critiques the prosperity/word-faith gospel.

Owen Strachan on Jeremy Lin.

Jefferson Bethke – the ‘I hate religion but love Jesus’ guy whose video went viral – reflects on the video (HT to Justin Taylor).

Ben Witherington critiques John Piper’s views on masculinity (HT to Don Bryant, who comments on Witherington).

Jonathan Leeman comments on that recent 9Marks post on whether churches should allow people to leave for any reason.

Ed Cyzewski broaches the question, does anybody actually belong in church?

Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First?, updated for 2012.

Categories: Linkathon

Linkathon 2/8, part 1

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Linkathon

Linkathon 2/1, part 3

February 3, 2012 1 comment

Here’s an interesting article from 9Marks touching on church membership, focusing on members who may want to leave the church. Bobby Jamieson tells pastors

keep a close eye on the back door, too. Make sure that the sheep can’t simply open the gate themselves and disappear from sight. Refuse to allow people to resign into thin air, both for the sake of your church’s witness to the gospel and for the good of every single sheep—especially those who tend to wander off.

Jamieson frames his argument mainly in regards to a “troubler” – someone who, for example, may be looking to avoid discipline.

The upshot of all this is that a church should not accept a member’s resignation who is not doing what Christians do—in this case, regularly assemble with a church.

His four implications of that idea:

1.The troubler … needs to either reconcile with that church or join another one where he can be more content. He can’t simply resign his membership and sit on his couch on Sundays. If that’s what he intends to do, FBC Smallville’s response should be church discipline, not “See you later!”

2. Churches’ membership procedures should reflect the fact that the church, not the individual member, has authority to accept and dismiss members. A member cannot unilaterally resign. A member can submit their intention to resign to the church, and the church will either accept or reject that intention.

3.Churches’ governing documents (constitution, by-laws) should reflect the fact that individual members do not have the unilateral right to terminate their membership. Instead, that prerogative belongs to the church. Therefore, the church has the right to refuse someone’s resignation and pursue discipline instead. It’s important to have this clearly stated in a church’s documents for both pastoral and legal reasons.

Here’s an example of the kind of language I’m talking about, from the constitution of the church I’m a member of (Third Avenue Baptist in Louisville):

“Clause 3. The church shall have authority to refuse a Member’s voluntary resignation or transfer of  membership to another church, either for the purpose of proceeding with a process of church discipline, or for any other reason the church deems necessary or prudent.”

One important note: Numbers 2 and 3 in this list should probably be well established before a church attempts to resist someone’s resignation, whatever the circumstances.

4. The pastoral specifics of how churches handle individual resignations will vary. For members who have moved out of the area, I’d suggest that a baseline requirement on this front might be something like “they intend to join another evangelical church in the immediate future.”

Your thoughts? Right on, or too strict, or something else?

The ladies at Wartburg Watch are not fans of this approach….

Other links:

In the wake of the Elephant Room, Tim Schrader asks if we can all get along.

Patrick Kyle contrasts the Andrew/Mars Hill church discipline situation with his own church discipline experience in his Lutheran church.

Althea Butler pushes back at Eddie Long’s coronation.

Pete Wilson says Christians should, when they disagree, do so amicably.

Karen Spears Zacharias: “I just wish to God that pastors everywhere would keep to their own bedrooms and out of ours.

RELEVANT Magazine‘s Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira on the rise of Christian libertarianism. (HT)

Rick Patrick asks if the Southern Baptist Convention is gradually being Reformed.

Terry Mattingly looks at the religious/faith angle of Joe Paterno’s final memorial service last week at Penn State.

Robert Crosby on the evangelicalization of American Pentecostalism.

Dr. Winn Griffin on why one should read and study Scripture (part 1, part 2, and part 3 of an ongoing series).

The Under Much Grace blog looks at another Christian group, its issues with abusive practices and their affects, specifically on child rearing and a tragic event which happened eight years ago.


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