Reading for Your Weekend—2/19/15

I hope your week has gone well! Here are some of the latest resources to check out from around the web. weeklyreading

Around the Blog

What if My Husband Refuses to Be a Spiritual Leader?

Spirit Led Change (Acts 11:1-18)

Praying the Psalms: Psalm 20

Around the Web

When Millennials Meet Ultrasounds

Why is this significant? Because younger Americans intuitively understand, as parents always have, that the life growing inside the mother’s body is more than an accumulation of gelatinous tissue. Instead, in watching the ultrasound images projected on a screen, they recognize a living person, developing and small and, in appearance, unlike a full-term baby, but undeniably a human being.

3 Ways Our Culture is Different from Every Other Culture in History

We live in a turbulent cultural moment. The world around us is rapidly changing, and we face many challenges unprecedented in the history of the church. Augustine fought the Pelagians; Aquinas synthesized Aristotle; Luther strove with his conscience; Zwingli wielded an axe; but probably none of them ever dreamed of a world in which people could choose their gender. Secularizing late-modernity is a strange, new animal.

Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Safety?

Most families—rich, poor, or middle class—have an image, maybe even a dream, of what their child’s life will look like once they reach adulthood.

If pressed to describe it, the image might include impressive academic credentials, a high-paying job, good medical benefits, a solid retirement package, a house in the suburbs, a lovely spouse, and as many grandchildren as possible (but not to the point of financial endangerment). Behind the high-pressure academics, ACT tutors, private coaches, and race to optimize college acceptance lies a target at which many Christian parents are aiming. I once asked a parent what the college arms race was all about.

Pastoral Competence

One of the accusations leveled against conservative believers is the common charge that our pastors are not professionally trained or certified, and consequently, when it comes to counseling parishioners, are in way over their heads. Whether the issue is clinical depression, or dealing with childhood abuse, or fighting addiction, or any other number of serious but common afflictions, the charge is that however exegetically adept a man may be at exposition of the book of Romans, when it comes to issues like these, he is necessarily out of his depth.

Reading for Your Weekend—2/5/16

I hope you all have had a great week. Hard to believe that Friday is here again. Here are some links from around the web that are worth checking out. weeklyreading

My Posts from Around the Web

The Impossibility of Worldview No Man's Land

The Spirit Falls on the Gentiles (Acts 10:34-38)

Praying the Psalms: Psalm 19

I was honored to contribute a guest post over at For the Church. You can check out the post called God's Word Bears Fruit in God's Time.

Posts from Around the Web

Must Every Church Be Multi-Ethnic?

A Great video, discussing the challenges and implementation of multi-ethnic churches.

5 Reasons You Should (Probably) Leave Your Attractional Church

Jared Wilson, provides good council of when it is a good idea to leave your attractional church.

Your 7 Responsibilities as a Church Member

Church members have responsibilities. Jonathan Leeman identifies 7 key ones.

Ipso Pronto

Doug Wilson, always provocative, discusses the recent issues involving planned parenthood.

Nine Keys to Maximizing Your Church Facebook Page

We at Forest Hills are trying to maximize our Facebook page as a way to outreach. These nine tips were helpful.

Reading for Your Weekend—1/29/16

It's Friday, so it's time for another edition of Reading for Your Weekend, a list of links to posts and resources that are worth checking out. You will find both links to stuff I've posted this week in addition to links around the web that are worth checking out. weeklyreading

My Posts Around the Web

History of the Church — Session 3: The Beginnings of Christendom


From Around the Web

Hermeneutics of Humility — Chris Dunn

God is worth His word being studied well. In fact, the words of God are immanently crucial for believers and unbelievers alike. Of course arriving at the meaning of those words is a daunting task; nonetheless, it is a task we must engage in. In contemplating this serious endeavor, the gravity should lead to what might be called a hermeneutic of humility. Several applicable considerations can help in cultivating such a posture.

Ways to Recognize a "Church Control Freak" — Chuck Lawless

Slightly humorous, unfortunately true, this post by Chuck Lawless will help you identify those control freaks in your church.

The Great Ebook Battle of 2016 — Trevin Wax

I've always enjoyed reading about the debate between physical and digital books. With these recent posts from Michael Hyatt and Tim Challies, I find myself more in line with Trevin Wax.

Why Are Pastors Leaving Churches So They Can Pastor? — Collin Hansen

A thought provoking piece, exploring the misconceptions and tension within pastoral ministry.

he church needs both kinds of leadership—pastoral and executive—in that order. The pastor cannot do his job according to Scripture if he’s tied up in administration. But the church can’t fulfill its mission unless servants step forward to carry this burden. Pastors don’t need to leave the church in order to pastor. They do, however, need realistic expectations.

Kill Your (Celebrity Culture) Worship — Mike Cosper

I would argue that the problem isn’t contemporary innovations, and the answer isn’t (necessarily) tradition. The problem is with the church’s understanding of the purpose and goal of worship. What are we seeking to accomplish with our gatherings? Is the church gathering for the purpose of robustly forming people with the story of the gospel, with remembering and renewing her covenant with God? And is everything that happens in the gathering serving that end?

From Augustine's Conversion to 'Confessions' — Gerald Bray

I've been working on a Sunday night lesson on Augustine this week. This post came out at the right time.

Reading for Your Weekend—1/22/16

It's Friday, so it's time for another edition of Reading for Your Weekend, a list of links to posts and resources that are worth checking out. You will find both links to stuff I've posted this week in addition to links around the web that are worth checking out. weeklyreading

My Posts around the Web

Sermon: A Father to the Fatherless (Notes, Audio, and Video at the link)

History of the Church: Session 2—The Early Church Father's (Notes and Audio at the link)

Around the Web

Pastor, Mind Your RBM or Risk Burnout - Jared Wilson

Most faithful ministry leaders I know are tired. Many are the good kind of tired — they work hard, stay diligent and productive, and love their churches and ministries well. But many are the bad kind of tired — they overwork, they over-commit, they’re one or two more ministry crises or conflicts away from falling apart. So how can a pastor work to protect himself from crashing and burning? Incorporate the necessary ministry rhythm of RBM.

What’s RBM? Rest. Boundaries. Margin.

The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy - Albert Mohler

Christians who lack biblical knowledge are the products of churches that marginalize biblical knowledge. Bible teaching now often accounts for only a diminishing fraction of the local congregation’s time and attention. The move to small group ministry has certainly increased opportunities for fellowship, but many of these groups never get beyond superficial Bible study.

Going All-in With Ebooks - Tim Challies

Challies describes why he is converting to all digital books. His thoughts are amusing and interesting as he wrestles with the decision. Although I don't think I could ever go all e-books, his insights are intriguing.

How Pro-Life Christians Honor a Pro-Choice President - John Piper

How can we as pro-life Christians honor President Barack Obama when he supports the right to kill unborn children for any reason up through the age of viability?

Who Would Palin Comparison? - Doug Wilson

A humorous, insightful, and well-written piece of political commentary by Doug Wilson. I'll share my favorite paragraph:

The fourth consideration is that there will be others (many others) who will adapt to the prospect of a Trump administration with remarkable flexibility. Where there is money, where there is power, powerful rationalizations will necessarily follow. The throne rooms of history have more than once been occupied by miscreants and demagogues, and whenever that happens, the number of flattering courtiers does not go down.

Reading for Your Weekend — 1/15/16

Its been a great week. As the weekend approaches, may God give you rest and refreshment. At your leisure, here is some reading for your weekend.


Blog Posts this Week

Your Presidential Candidate Isn't the Messiah

Millenial Angst: Adle, Getting Older, and Discontentment

Praying the Psalms: Psalm 16

Around the Web

2 Chronicles 7:14 Isn’t About American Politics by Russell Moore

We tend to replace the word "Israel" with "America" in our Bibles. That's a terrible mistake many well meaning Christians make. Moore helps us spot the danger with a common verse often used in churches every where on memorial day and the 4th of July.

If that is true, then let’s crucify our generic civil religions and our discount-rate prosperity gospels and hear behind all of them the gentle lowing of golden calves, and let’s instead define ourselves not by the generic god of American values. We do not serve that god. We serve the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God and Father of Jesus Christ. The promises that he has made will outlast Mount Rushmore. He is the one who tells us who we are and tells us where we are going, because he’s promised us, in the short term, a cross on our backs, and in the long term, a crown of life.

Why 734 Pastors Quit (and How Their Churches Could Have Kept Them) by Christianity Today

This is an interesting study from Lifeway, overviewing why pastors quit. Better yet, it provides some answers for how Churches can help there pastor. The lesson to be learned: pray for your pastor. The ministry is far more dangerous than the average church member could ever understand.

Three Common Idols in Churches by Eric Geiger

Churches have idols. If you stay in a church long enough, your bound to accidentally stumble over one. You can spot a church idol when a smilingly incidental, preferential item creates a congregational uproar when prodded.

Why I'm Putting Ebooks on the Shelf for 2016 by Michael Hyatt

Ebooks are useful. I pick up kindle deals when they go on sale to add to my collection. They have a purpose, but yet for many of the reasons mentioned by Michael Hyatt, I prefer a physical book.

Programs, Paths and Healthy Church Growth by Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan tends to be a little overly pragmatic for me, yet he gets at a crucial idea in this article. I sent this one to our pastoral team at Forest Hills, because it connects with so much of our own struggles as a church. We are in the pernicious process of moving away from a programatic ministry to a process ministry. Unfortunately, so many churches are unclear on their vision and discipleship process that a myriad of messy programs clutter up the church calendar, creating an illusion of effectiveness.

4 Principles for Parenting in a World of Video Games by Trevin Wax

The digital medium provides great challenges to parents. Trevin Wax helps provide some counsel for parents.