Archive for February, 2012

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

Bishop Eddie Long and Rabbi Ralph Messer have apologized for their part in a ceremony in which Long was declared “king” and wrapped in a torah.

Apparently, the rabbi has done this before: with Paula White.

Slate writer Alexis Grant reflects on her visits to Houston’s Lakewood Church. (HT)

J. Lee Grady asks, ‘please stop the Holy Ghost smackdown’.

Amy Julia Becker reviews Amos Yong’s The Bible, Disability, and The Church.

Noel Heikkinen with the first review (I’ve seen) of Steve Brown’s new book Three Free Sins.

Krish Kandiah reviews Stephen Khurt’s book Tom Wright for Everybody.

Thom Hunter on struggle, sin, church discipline and spiritual abuse.

Chaplain Mike Mercer’s thoughts on church discipline and relational wisdom.

Jared Wilson on leading and following in a church covenant.

Paul Pastor on The Elephant Room.

A woman got a replacement for her infected jaw from a 3-D printer.

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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Linkathon 2/1: part 2

February 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Eddie Long is The a Kking! 🙄

The Stranger alt-weekly in Seattle published a story about Mars Hill Church, focusing on another former member and his experience with church discipline (HT).

Wartburg Watch posted on how to leave a “Mark Driscoll-like church”.

Skye Jethani: “Books and blogs are filled with recommendations about how to reverse the exodus of young adults, and I have no silver bullet solution to offer here. But I do want to explore one area I believe many churches have overlooked- vocation.

Ben Irwin’s open letter to friends in the pro-life movement.

Bobby Gilles asks if the contemporary worship music industry can be trusted.

Rachel Held Evans reviews Peter Enns’ book The Evolution of Adam.

More fun from the Elephant Room: James MacDonald defends, Phil Johnson responds, and Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor comment.

Thabiti Anyabwile: “if you’re from outside the African-American community, think very long, hard, and carefully about ever calling some African Americans to take your position in defense against other African Americans.  It’s disastrous for everyone, and, frankly, you won’t begin to pay the deeper costs over the longer period that your African American friend will.” (HT to Frank Turk at the Phil Johnson Pyromaniacs link posted above).

Categories: Uncategorized

Linkathon 2/1, part 1

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Christine Sine on how to form community.

An older post from Alan Knox’s blog: an anonymous woman comments on how the church can respond to those, like her, living in poverty (HT: Randall Slack).

D.A. Carson responds to Mark Driscoll’s views on the church in Britain.

Bent Meyer – one of the elders fired from Mars Hill Church in 2007 – speaks publicly for the first time about it.

Wenatchee the Hatchet riffs off a certain podcast, commenting on the Mars Hill/church discipline situation.

Mark Roberts on why we confess.

Driscoll reflects on the Elephant Room.

Andrew Jones with 15 ways pastors get rich.

Bryon Mondok reviews Paul Meier and David Henderson’s book Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain.

A good summary by The Courier-Journal writer Peter Smith on the “new Calvinism” within the Southern Baptist Convention, focusing on an Owensboro, Kentucky church.

Categories: Linkathon