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Weekly Wrap Up

Here are some links to get things going for you this Labor Day weekend. Lest we forget that Labor Day was originally created, as a way to give hourly wage earners a needed day off after a long summer, the Department of Labor has a wonderful reminder of its history. The irony is that in this present day, hourly wage earners are more likely to have to work on Labor Day than to have it off.

Anyways, here’s a list of some articles and posts that I’ve found interesting:

Thom Rainer recently posted an informalish (that’s a word) poll from his twitter followers about Ten Things Pastors Enjoy About their Jobs. The number one answer is intriguing and I’m thankful that the number two answer was put in the number two spot. Perhaps we think too highly of it.

Matthew Barnett talks about why pastors should preach from a physical text.

Matthew Barnett talks about the real need to bring physical texts of the Scriptues with us to church. It’s an interesting proposition. When I teach or preach there is always a physical text with my notes on an electronic device. However, when I’m part of the crowd, I prefer my iPad. Frankly, it has more access to more info and I usually have an English window open with the original languages on a lower portion. He argues a helpful position

The NET Bible folks have some wonderful news. Great news, the NET Bible now has a app for iOs devices.

Ben Witherington III, offers a solid review of Candida Moss’ The Myth of Persecution. It’s a rather good review that helpfully notes where the majority of classics scholarship is on this issue and how Moss’ text is wrongly directed at a kind of revisionism.

Here are some seminary tips from the 18th century. It’s beautiful that they continue to be helpful today. So much is the same across all these generations.

How to respond to less frequent church attendance. As we’ve mentioned on this site, folks are attending church less frequently these days. Here are some well thought out suggestions about how to understand that trend and how to create opportunities to connect with falling attendance frequencies.

 

Nicholas Batzig has a simply wonderful post on the biblical theme of exile/restoration through the OT prophets.

 

A helpful piece from Gunnar Samuelson about the nature of crucifixion in the ancient world using classical texts.

 

And last but not least, Brian LePort has posted the August 2013 Biblical Studies Carnival over at his site. It’s a great list, especially that part about Genesis 1.

01
Sep 2013
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Weekly Wrap Up

It’s been a couple of weeks since our last weekly wrap up, but here’s another one from around the web.

Here’s a great YouTube clip from Walter Bruggemann. In it he gives three primary marks for the Church which distinguishes them from the culture in both the OT and NT. His marks are: hospitality, not pursuing vengeance, and generosity.

Nijay Gupta has a good post on six, or seven, academic journals that every pastor should be reading. He’s absolutely right.

David Williams posted a two part feature on the IVP Emerging Scholars blog about what it takes to be a Christian scholar. Here’s part one and part two.

If you’re looking for 70 online resources on the Psalms, David Murray has them for you over at his blog.

Though I don’t read The Christian Post with any regularity, it had a good piece about how, globally, atheism is declining and religion is increasing. This shouldn’t be too surprising, I believe Alister McGrath’s assessment in his text The Twilight of Atheism was spot on.

Here’s a wonderful photo gallery of a monk who has lived atop a 300 foot pillar for 20 years. You’ve gotta see this view…

Thomas Hudgins has an intriguing post about whether Greek is more expressive than English. For my money I’d say that Greek is more specific than English, but that is mostly from it being an inflected language.

On a less ecclesial side of things, but something that is absolutely worth exploring for any church, the Harvard Business Blog has five ways to increase your pace of innovation. That is certainly worth a read.

Well that’s it for now. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep this up some more in the coming weeks.

04
Aug 2013
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Weekly Wrap Up

It’s been a busy week here and apologies for a day between posts. My theological French is taking a bit more time than anticipated. Nevertheless, here are some links that might be interesting…

Here is some rare video footage of Jim Jones preaching from Matthew Paul Turner. It was a really compelling video to watch.

Over at the Good Book Blog, Dr Gary McIntosh breaks down six central factors that lead to growing churches. Since Dr McIntosh has been part of the church growth movement since its earliest days, his insights are certainly worth reading.

Here’s a Fact Checker from the Gospel Coalition. It asks whether young adults do lose their faith in college at the rate we always hear about. Having done plenty of research in this area and also working with young adults I’ve been dubious as to the stat, if we only use church attendance in our metric we are definitely using the wrong metric.

Near Emmaus has a good interview with Danny Zacharias on his book Surviving and Thriving in Seminary. This is a good book and worthwhile to read whether you’re thinking about seminary, in seminary, and even to help those considering.
Dan Barnes asks if “Blogging is Ministry?” over at SBC Voices. He gives a quick thought about three central practices for any blogger.
I was a pretty big fan of “The Office” on NBC (well, at least before the writers strike and way before Michael left) and always thought Jim Halpert was a great character. Think Christian asks if his role in the last two seasons offers some insight about what a devoted complementarian should look like. I don’t disagree, but check the article its worth your time.
Thanks to Jim West over at Zwingli Redivivus we got to hear about a new smartphone app. There is an app in development that will be able to use augmented reality on your smartphone at archeological sites in Israel to see what that site might have actually looked like in its heyday. That is a pretty great thing.
29
Jun 2013
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Weekly Wrap Up

Well after a busy week I have a few links that might be worth perusing. Hopefully these are some things that will encourage and challenge you. Enjoy.

Are senior pastorships that last 20+ bad things? It isn’t often that I disagree with good churchmen like Dr Gary McIntosh, but on this one I respectfully disagree. Long pastor tenures should be the norm. I can’t imagine a greater calling than to serve one people for 20+ years.

Here’s part one of a three part review of Amos Young’s Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace from Near Emmaus blogger Daniel James Levy. This is a wonderful review worth your time.

In another kinda review, Rob Bowman over at Parchment and Pen reviews the latest John Shelby Spong text The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic. I didn’t realize Spong was still publishing, but Bowman does well to cover the essential things in the text and provide a righting commentary.

Nathan Finn has a good post on the challenge of historians when working on revivals historically.

What is a new framework for Customer Segmentation analysis? This Harvard Business Review post is worth your time. I know a lot of churches don’t do segmentation analysis, but we all should. This isn’t about who to reach but about who we are reaching and prioritizing ministry for them.

Millennials are approaching the housing market in different ways than their generational predecessors. Though we aren’t talking about housing, what arises from this piece is how Millennials’ overall financial habits are changing our economy…and likely church giving.

 

A Few SBC Posts

Since my home denomination of the Southern Baptist Convention had its annual convention, here are a couple of links that might be worth checking out to get some feel for the whole thing. I dropped by, though I didn’t attend any of the sessions. It was good to see many friends.

Over at Between the Times there is a pretty good roundup of some thoughts and videos of leaders talking about the convention.

Out of Ur had a brief blog adding some levity about the confusing Twitter hashtag for the convention.

The always sage insight of a young leader like Jonathan Merritt is important to note. His piece on the decline of the SBC is worth your time.

Dave Miller wonders if the spirit of Houston will last. Specifically, he is looking at the unity and hope which he saw in the meetings.

15
Jun 2013
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Weekly Wrap Up

Here’s the weekly wrap up from around the web. Hopefully these will provide some good reads for you.

Michael Hyatt is talking about how shifts in our vocabulary can also shift our attitudes. This is a good read for leaders who struggle with imbedded negativity or defeatism.

Over on Nathan Finn’s blog, he gives a synopsis on the thoughts from noted Baptist historian James Leo Garrett about the future of Baptists in America. There are some really good thoughts here, from both Garrett and Finn.

Will Mancini talks about how Willow Creek is getting back to their 5G strategy. Will always has insightful thoughts about church strategy and here he talks about getting back to what made a movement successful.

For all of my friends who revel in antiquity, maybe the Romans had a better recipe for cement that could be better than what is supporting your dwelling place.

Along these lines, a good joke is pretty hard to find. Maybe the Bible has some examples of a couple of good ones. This blog from Oxford University Press gives some good examples.

Have you ever read the Bible all the way through? Its sort of one of the things that defines a good Christian or a not-so-good Christian in the eyes of many church leaders. Here are some stats on how actual cover-to-cover Bible reading stacks up in the real world.

Here in Houston next week, my home denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, will be holding their annual convention. In advance of that event, here’s a good piece about whether Baptist groups will ever be able to heal and reunite.

Well, have a great weekend!

08
Jun 2013
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Weekly Wrap Up

TSA Might Not Be a Bad Idea at Children’s Check-In

7 Critical Areas of Church Security free eBook via church relevance.com

Happy Pastors are Productive Pastors

Let’s create a happy work culture…especially in church. Here’s a good piece discussing it.

Southern Baptist Futures

Ed Stetzer Wonders about the future of the Southern Baptist Convention…though his thoughts on the unstoppable move towards post-denominationalism are worth reading too.

Sola Scriptura Thoughts

Kevin Vanhoozer on Sola Scriptura via Credo Magazine…if there is a better evangelical philosopher working on hermeneutical issues, I don’t know about them.

On Christian Century Magazine

A good Hufington Post piece about the mainline Protestant magazine Christian Century.

Worst. Sermon. Ever.

Michael Bird has some thoughts on a contender for the worst sermon ever. I’d say worst sermon this decade, but ever seems a bit too far reaching.

Then we get another take

And here’s another take. Just hop down to the Update portion.

You Should Hire a Better Boss for Yourself

Hiring a Better Boss is critical for those in all fields. Notice the questions at the bottom of this post.

Cooperating in Ministry

Chad Brand asks if churches are independent or interdependent in the New Testament. He says both, I’d agree but add…and then some.

Is Myers Briggs a Good Thing?

Are you using Myers-Briggs? It has some shortcomings, but it isn’t that bad of a tool.

The Pope said what?

Here’s a recent piece on the Vatican Radio website which gets into a bit of Pope Francis’ soteriology. I’m not nearly as excited about this as other things the new pontiff has brought. This is concerning.

Makoto Fujimura’s Commencement Address

Before you do anything else, read Makoto Fujimura’s commencement address at Messiah College last week. You’ll be thankful for him and his gracious ministry.

25
May 2013
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