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
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Linkathon 2/1, part 1

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Linkathon

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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