Alabama: Our hearts go out to, and our prayers go up for, the people of Alabama. Jay Guin is one of the elders of the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa. His personal website, One in Jesus, should be one of your browser’s bookmarks; it’s simply one of the best out there, day in and day out. Some of Jay’s most recent posts speak to the devastation wrought by the recent tornadoes. They will assist you in your prayers for the folks out that way. Here are two examples of such posts: Tornado information and Tornado: maps & stories.
Bible interpretation: Rachel Held Evans’ post Discussing the Bible: Seven Rules of Engagement is full of healthy thinking.
Children & faith: Unfortunately, Thomas Weaver’s Five Ways to Make Your Kids Hate Church are virtually guaranteed to work … and are too often attempted.
Church and church buildings: Matt Dabbs has pegged it in his post entitled The New Anti-Institutionals.
Confidentiality and transparency: Kurt Willems’ post Floaties, High Dives, and Spiritual Questions: Is the Church a “Safe Place? is required reading. What a huge issue that affects everything we do whenever and wherever Christians come together as a church! Do read Dale Hudson’s To Tell or Not to Tell? when you’re through with Willems’ post.
Faith healing: Derren Brown is a British illusionist and skeptic. In a recent post, Mike Cope shared a 70+ minute video of Derren Brown attempting to expose faith healers for what they are, charlatans. This video has some foul language in it, but aside from that, you’ll find it fascinating, disturbing, and instructive. If you use no other link I list here today, this is the one to choose: Miracles for Sale. Come to think of it, Tim Woodroof’s Painted With the Same Brush would serve as a good intro to this video.
Kindle: Here’s a tip that couldn’t be more easy and has greatly expanded the way I use my Kindle. Clip Web Pages and Send Them Straight to Your Kindle.
KJV: The King James Version of the Bible will be four hundred years old this Monday. You might enjoy this infographic on the KJV.
Oklahoma: You know the song Swing Slow Sweet Chariot. Did you know it just recently became Oklahoma’s official “state gospel song.”
Persecution. Pray for all who believe. Underground Christians Fear China Crackdown.
Praise: Brief and inspiring. Turn on the closed captioning. Easter Mob Song in Beirut.
Prosperity gospel: It’s a common teaching in many circles today that if a Christian is of genuine, growing faith they will experience less and less suffering in life and more and more material abundance. How this teaching – radically contradictory to the experience of our own Lord Jesus – ever got traction is beyond me. This much is certain: it isn’t a new teaching. In my junior high school days, David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade was required reading. David Wilkerson died in an automobile accident this week, but you can still hear his passionate, weeping denunciation of the health and wealth gospel online. Tim Spivey’s brief excerpt of a quote from Charles Spurgeon is good to note along this line as well.
Repentance. In Nov. 1864, Col. John Chivington, a Methodist minister and well-known (as he was called in the day) “Indian fighter” led an attack on a village of friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, butchering a great many women, children, and elderly. In 1996, the United Methodist Church expressed repentance for Chivington’s actions and initiated a series of steps expressing that repentance. Chris Herlinger’s post Methodists Express Repentance for Massacre of Native Indians speaks to the latest expression of those steps of repentance. Repentance brings healing and it’s never too late to repent. On a related note (file this under “courage”), not all of Chivington’s men followed his order to participate in the massacre. The story of Silas Soule is one that should not be forgotten and will inspire you to do the right thing, no matter the personal cost.
Wedding: Whether you were one of the one-third of the planet who tuned in this week to Will and Kate’s wedding or you’re just glad it’s over, you’d enjoy two excerpts from their wedding ceremony. The first is the thoughtful, penetrating reading of Romans 12 (in its entirety) by Kate’s brother, James. The link is to a video clip of it. And the second, is the terrific text of the wedding sermon (homily). Well done, chaps! Jolly good show!
Urban legends. Trevin Wax’s post Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition is good stuff.