This is a new thing. In an effort to write more regularly, I'll be starting a weekly post that recaps notable articles, resources, videos and whatever else I think of, in one place for your enjoyment and benefit. Since I'm finding this stuff anyway throughout the week, I figured I'd pass it along to you. There are three categories: News, Reading, and Podcasts (be sure to listen to the first recommended podcast if you're a parent). Enjoy!
China Cracking Down On Christianity - "Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, religious believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982."
5.4 Million Under Hurricane Warning On East Coast - Be praying for those on the east coast that are hunkering down for Hurricane Florence.
Is Anyone Born Gay? - Christopher Yuan tackles a tough question from a Christian perspective. "Unfortunately, we have pigeonholed ourselves into this secular and humanistic paradigm of defining selfhood through sexuality. We think there is no other option. However, when there’s a choice between a biblical framework and a secular one, should not Christians favor the biblical over the secular? And might God’s word provide us a better framework for understanding the capacity to experience unchosen and persistent sexual and romantic desires toward the same sex?"
Why Millennials Are Coming to the Church - "There have been plenty of articles about why Millennials—those twenty somethings—are not coming to church. Plenty of time and attention towards what would bring them back. Well, in our church at the moment plenty of Millennials ARE coming."
Kindle Deals - Here are some deals that Tim Challies has found. I especially recommend that biography Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas. If you aren't particularly into biographies, Metaxas might change your mind.
The Danger of "I" in Christian Prayer - "The word “our,” at first glance, seems like an insignificant little pronoun. But Jesus is making a tremendously powerful theological point by beginning his prayer with the word “our.” Jesus is reminding us that when we enter into a relationship with God we enter into a relationship with his people. When we are saved by Christ, we are saved into his body, the church. In fact, this emphasis on our place in the corporate identity of the church is reiterated throughout the prayer."
15 Common Sacred Cows in Church - "Sometimes they are called idols. Though the sacred cow terminology has its origins in Hinduism, it is commonly used in churches to describe those facets of church life that are given undue (and sometimes unbiblical) respect to the point they cannot be changed."
Can You Explain the Gospel in 3 Words? - "There’s much more to be said, of course. That’s why we need 66 books of God-breathed Scripture. That’s why we need the Spirit of Christ to teach us how to hear from him in that Scripture. We need many words, and God has given us many words. But we can start the conversation, I think, with three: 'Lord Jesus Christ.'"
The Witness of a Gospel-United Church in an Ever Fragmenting Nation - "The gospel that lifts high the name of Jesus transcends the personal goals we seek for ourselves and makes it possible for people to come together into one community—a community that transcends political affiliations, racial and ethnic distinctions, generational preferences, and class divisions."
12 Priorities for Parenting in a Digital Age - Tony Reinke gives practical advice for parenting digital natives. IF YOU ARE A PARENT, YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS. (34 Min)
The Briefing (Tuesday 9-11) - If you aren't familiar with The Briefing by Al Mohler, you should be. It is a daily podcast that examines news from a Christian worldview. In this episode, Mohler examines the situation in China and the Supreme Court nomination here at home. (27 Min)
The BAR Podcast (Rosaria Butterfield) - Rosaria Butterfield takes up the topic of hospitality and shares some insights from her book The Gospel Comes With a House Key. (31 Min)
Theology Nights (Man-Centered Theology) - Episode 13 is all about the dangers of man-centered theology AND we discuss the beauty of Hebrews 1. (45 Min)
Jon is husband to Carlee, Papa to Finleigh, Ainsley, and Olivia, a pastor at Arbor Drive Community Church in York, Ne, and co-host of The Pastor Discussions Podcast