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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 3/7, 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.

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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 2/1, 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
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Linkathon 1/25, part 2

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Some follow-ups on the articles linked to on the Matthew Paul Turner threads on Andrew (part one and part two), a former member of Mars Hill Church in Seattle who was placed under church discipline:

Chaplain Mike Mercer offers a ‘better way’ of church discipline (the comments are well worth your while).

The brother of Andrew – the subject of the two posts – talks about his brother’s story at Matthew Paul Turner’s blog.

The Mars Hill Refuge blog has made its debut.

Fred Clark: “Any approach to “church discipline” that doesn’t allow for grace is bound to be as gracelessly cruel as that obscene “Mars Hill Church Church Discipline Contract.”… But then part of the response to Driscoll also needs to be to remind him that the invitation to grace stands waiting for him as well — that forgiveness, even for him, is necessary and available and possible and within reach.”

Wenatchee the Hatchet has a long, and solid, reflection on the matter (and his time at Mars Hill Church).

A former member of Mars Hill reflects on his experience (and it isn’t positive, FYI).

On to other subjects:

Professor Ben Witherington – who tragically lost his daughter to a pulmonary embolism – reflects on the goodness of God and what not to say to those who grieve the loss of a loved one.

Terry Enns discusses what makes a heart hard.

R.W. Schambach: 1926-2012.

Aaron Armstrong on what kills a ministry faster than anything else.

Jim Elliff on when pastors aren’t able to pastor.

Jonathan Fitzgerald: “In 2012, there is no explicitly evangelical candidate where, just four short years ago, Republicans chose John McCain, whose evangelical street-cred was bolstered by his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate, and gave second billing to Mike Huckabee, an evangelical pastor.

Joe Carter, Ted Kluck and Matt Morin debate whether “cage fighting” – known generally as mixed martial arts – is ethical for Christians.

Michael Clawson’s paper on neo-fundamentalism within American evangelicalism was posted on Roger Olson’s blog.

David Fitch asks if the “neo-Reformed” are Reformed or Puritan and if that even matters.

David Sessions riffs on Doug Wilson’s review of Mark and Grace Driscoll’s book Real Marriage (caution: mild language, and discussion of a specific sexual practice as addressed in the book and by Wilson).

Rachel Held Evans on why she’s not discouraged by Mark Driscoll’s popularity.

Crazy religions.

A quite different (and very satirical) church discipline contract.

Wade Burleson: Authoritarianism is the problem.

Tony McCollum on the slow fade.

Michelle DeRusha on a hard heart.

Dan Edelen’s dream. He also asks if the organic house church is a myth.

Sale cereal.

Ryan Couch on qualifications for elders.

Matt Redmond: House of truth, heart of kindness.

Terry Enns on Jesus and nowhere to lay His head.

Al Mohler on why the abortion issue won’t go away.

Justin Taylor links to a short video by David Powlison on healing after an abortion.

Wartburg Watch on Acts29 and a Haiti-based missionary organization.

Christianity Today interviews with Michael W. Smith and Bruce Cockburn.

Fred Clark on creationism.

Jamie Wright says every woman is called to minister.

Russell Moore: “(Carl) Henry, then a young rising star in the Christian firmament, issued a jarring manifesto calling for a theologically-informed and socially-engaged evangelicalism. Henry warned that American Christianity, on the Right and on the Left, was headed for irrelevance, toward being the equivalent of a wilderness cult. His agenda wasn’t simply an updating of style and presentation (although he had written a book on church publicity). The issues at root were about misguided views on the kingdom of God. He was right. And he still is.

More from Scot McKnight on the Hebrews warning passages.

Michael Patton on when God does not show up.

A series by Jeremy Myers on the tithe.

Book reviews: Thabiti Anyabwile’s Keep Your Head Up and Ed and Lisa Young’s Sexperiment.

Phil Naessens interviews a Christian hip-hop artist about the Christian hip-hop scene.

Aaron Armstrong: Your work is your calling.

Stephen Altrogge on the battle you will fight every day.

Matt Dabbs on growing old and bearing fruit.

Bob Kellemen’s series on the pastoral care ministry of Martin Luther.

Adrian Warnock on church as refuge.

Carlos Whitaker on how to use social media for effective and authentic conversation.

Christian Piatt says he continues to fail the poor.

Russell Moore responds to a woman who questions whether she should marry a guy who struggles with p0rn.

A Covenant Eyes interview about what parents should do when they catch their kids looking at p0rn.

Randy Rudder on the future of faith-based films.

Why Jo Hilder doesn’t mind a little bit of religion.

Part two of Matt Johnston’s interview with Tullian Tchividjian.

Father Ernesto Obregon’s story illustrating why it’s not a good idea to lock a cat inside your suitcase 🙂

Tony Campolo’s reflections on the Arab Spring and the persecution of Christians.

Bobby Gilles interviews Austin Stone worship leader Aaron Ivey.

Tim Challies on mutual submission in marriage.

A brand-new Presbyterian denomination (HT). (John Ortberg is associated with this denom)

Don Miller on embracing the sweet, brutal reality of life.

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Linkathon 1/25, part 1

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

In which I catch up here after not posting a thread in several weeks…

This week, we’re starting off with the Mother of All Links – part one and part two of the story of Andrew, a former member of Mars Hill Church in Seattle who was placed under church discipline, as posted on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog. Andrew does not paint a positive picture of his experience nor of the church’s response; you be the judge.

Now, onto a certain book that’s gotten a lot of attention lately….

Mark and Grace Driscoll wrote a book on marriage, which hit store shelves earlier this month. Now why would they write such a thing?

And which Reformed Blogger would critique it? Twice? Along with a seminary professor, an itinerate preachertwice – a former Mars Hill member and an egalitarian blogger/writer?

A Q&A Christianity Today did with the authors.

And, a CNN article on the book and surrounding controversy.

More reviews and commentaries:

Books & Culture

Chaplain Mike

Fuller Seminary’s The Burner Blog

Faith Village

Puritan Board

Dianna Anderson

Dianna Anderson

Mark Lamprecht

Credo Magazine (HT: Denny Burk)

Phil Johnson

The Life Oxford

Word Vixen

Practice of Piety

Christian Manifesto

Relevant Magazine

Emerging Mummy (HT: Bill Kinnon)

Eugene Cho (you’ll definitely want to read the comments)

Ed Stetzer

Doug Wilson

Warning – the book apparently discusses certain topics in an manner that readers may not be comfortable with or feel is appropriate for public discussion. The reviews address (and critique) those discussions, so keep that in mind as you read the reviews.

More commentary on Driscoll, mainly on his book Real Marriage: Ben Irwin (HT), David Fitch, Jonathan Martin, Dave Faulkner, Dianna Anderson, Darryl Dash, Matthew Lee Anderson, Matt Redmond, Joy, Wenatchee the Hatchet and Driscoll himself.

A partial transcript of the interview Premier Radio’s Justin Brierley did with Driscoll (HT), and the link to the full audio interview.

Bill Kinnon comments on the Driscoll/Brierley interview, as does Jason Stellman.

Back to non-Driscoll links:

One great article by Bill Kinnon, and another, and another, and yet another. And a fifth – add this guy to your RSS feed.

Frank Viola interviews N.T. Wright.

An excerpt from J.I. Packer’s recently re-released book with Carolyn Nystrom on God’s will is posted on Christianity Today.

Matt Papa – worship leader at an Acts29 church in North Carolina – pushes back at Christian radio and its “golden calf“. (HT)

A solid introduction to Eugene Peterson (at a non-Christian website).

One woman’s experience with church discipline.

Wade Burleson on the “fatal flaw within” the “Together for the Gospel men”.

Lauren Winner was interviewed by Christianity Today about her upcoming book.

C.J. Mahaney is “fit to return”.

Todd Bentley banned from going Down Under.

Books Christine Sine recommends.

Owen Strachan riffing on Mark Steyn: “Travel, good food and drink, and entertainment are in; children, sacrifice, and building something lasting are out. This is true of the West writ large, it’s true of many young Americans, and it’s influencing the church.  We’re reminded that we are called to something greater by God, to build grand and exciting and world-defying institutions like the Christ-driven family and the local church.”

Rachel Held Evans on evangelical celebrity.

How do you not notice a three-inch nail shot into your brain????? 😯

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For Phoenix Preacher readers

November 16, 2011 6 comments

Michael is taking a break, and when and if he decides to return we’ll announce it here.

I plan to continue to post Linkathons on Wednesdays, here. As topics come to mind, I may write on those as well.

Categories: Uncategorized

Linkathon 11/2, part 1

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment
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Linkathon 10/19-26

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

 Thabiti Anyabwile critiques multi-site churches.

Frank Turk responds, sort of, in an open letter to Chris Rosebrough.

Kurt Willems puts Mark Driscoll and Greg Boyd’s comments on losing one’s salvation up against the other’s.

Willems says the world is cracked and, maybe, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Scott McClellan critiques a recent YouTube video put up by Mars Hill (Seattle) in which Driscoll tells his audience God hates some of them.

Tim Challies on how to know the will of God.

Michael Horton reviews Scot McKnight’s new book.

McKnight comments on a point he raises in his book about the so-called soterian gospel.

Carole Turner asks why no girls in the Elephant Room?

Karen Spears Zacharias on Brennan Manning’s autobiography.

Kevin DeYoung says blame it on Babylon.

Richard Beck contrasts the Churches of Christ and evangelicalism.

Thabiti interviews Christian counselor Bob Kellemen.

Why Kellemen prefers local ministry over the speaking circuit.

Dan Phillips on singles, churches and Scripture.

Dave Miller’s observations and questions for old-earthers and theistic evolutionists.

How Trevin Wax wishes the homosexuality debate would go.

Chuck Warnock looks at the myths surrounding the growth of conservative churches.

James White critiques Roger Olson.

Olson on the best Arminian commentaries on Romans 9. Olson asks what makes someone evangelical.

Speaker highlights from Catalyst 2011.

Tullian Tchividjian is interviewed by Christianity Today about his new book. (HT: Steve McCoy)

NPR’s Neal Cowan talks with Karl Giberson about evangelicals’ “parallel culture”, science and anti-intellectualism.

Jeff Dunn on the naked emperor.

John Piper on Steve Jobs.

Adam McHugh says it’s a confusing time to be a man.

Justin Taylor’s resources for Reformation Day (October 31).

Jared Moore says yes to Halloween.

Ed Stetzer has no problem helping “issue Christians” to “move on”.

Steve McCoy links to all of the blog posts about last week’s Together for Adoption conference.

The next step in Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades.

Karl Giberson and Randall Stephens co-wrote an article for The New York Times which has been much debated on the internet. Its title is The Evangelical Rejection of Reason.

A somewhat related article on the BioLogos website is from Mark H. Mann, in which he says

…it is easy to see why someone like Giberson or Stephens might presume the distinction between faith (religious) and science (secular): because that is what their audience generally assumes.

But this is exactly the division that we as Christians need to reject as we talk about the relationship between science and faith, and especially when it comes to providing a critique of Christian fundamentalism. Science belongs, I wish to argue, just as much to the church of Christ as it does to some so-called secular realm of knowledge. To treat the conversation otherwise is to give in to both the secular fundamentalists, who wish to see Christians surrender their faith in God for faith in science as the fount of all truth, and the Christian fundamentalists, who fear that any compromise with the secular ultimately amounts to selling out their fidelity to God.

A far more appropriate way to criticize the anti-intellectual and anti-scientific positions of Christian fundamentalists is to demonstrate how deeply anti-Christian and anti-biblical these positions truly are…

Three perspectives on Tim Tebow: Brian Phillips at Grantland; Nick Lannon at Mockingbird; and Scott Williams.

Mark Roberts asks if distrust of the government will hurt the church.

Carl Trueman asks what the subjects are that the superstar pastors (my term) never talk about at these conferences.

Michael Patton asks if sola fide means you and I can do whatever we please.

Dave Miller sees some problems with Gospel-centered terminology.

Denny Burk links to a discussion of Bible translations among Wayne Grudem, Douglas Moo and Ray Clendenen.

M. Scott Foster sees a connection between homosexuality and some home-schooled boys.

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