In the News

Lots-o-Links 7.19.13


5 Evangelism Tips at We Are Soma

Earlier this year God woke me up from my sleep and asked me questions about evangelism. Questions like, “How many people did you share the gospel with this past year? How many people did you invite to gatherings? Why?” It was one of those gracious conversations that made me realize I was not evangelizing primarily because of my selfishness. I am too selfish to regularly tell people the best news in the world. I felt relieved that this could change and I am growing in evangelism. Here are 5 things God is teaching me about evangelism

Stop Hate-Watching The Church

But these Internet communities too often aren’t about healing. Not really. They funnel all of these triggers into one place, providing an opportunity for us to direct all of our rage, anger, and malice at what we have deemed to be rightful and deserving targets. These places of supposed healing become places of malice and mockery.

A Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ

In the hope that a time is coming when Christian leaders respond to all sexual abuse with outrage and courage, we offer this confession and declare the Good News of Jesus on behalf of the abused, ignored and forgotten.

16 Ways I Blew My Marriage | When my wife tells me I should read something like this, I listen. We don't agree with everything, but it's pretty good.

I don’t have marriage advice to give, but I have plenty of “keep your marriage from ending” advice (two equivocally different things), and that might be almost as good.

Thornbury's Mission to Revive Carl F.H. Henry

“I want to make Carl Henry cool again,” Thornbury exclaims in the introduction. Given that we can recognize Henry’s thoughts almost everywhere we look these days, such an aspiration is not terribly ridiculous. I would love to see the book cover in many a coffeehouse in the coming days, and would love even more to see Henry himself return as a staple of theological conversations. He was a giant whose legacy deserves to be recovered. As the new president of the King’s College, Thornbury is well positioned to do just that.

When Children Aren't A Blessing

This Huffington Post article by an anonymous writer is one of the most brutal examples of what a lot of parents think but don't say out loud. Here's how "My Wife Is Expecting Twins and I Am Not Happy About It" opens...

I've been doing some spying lately, casually asking friends and acquaintances about their experiences with having twins.

A buddy from college said of the first year: "Think of the worst thing you can imagine. That's what it was like."

An industry contact back from maternity leave said: "I literally couldn't wait to get back to work. Every weekend is way too long."

A former colleague was more blunt: "Twins were always my worst nightmare."

And now it's my and my wife's nightmare; we're expecting twins this August.

Read the rest. It's heartbreaking.

"Deafening Silence" & Kermit Gosnell

Gosnell crop

If I told you that in a small building, in a major metropolitan city, within a state of these United States of America there were over 100 children born into this world and then summarily executed, would you expect there to be a national outcry? Would you expect that there would be candle vigils outside this ghastly and horrific place? Would you expect that our President would call a press conference and ask the nation to be in prayer? Would you expect this to be the subject of discussion over the water cooler at work? Would you expect it to be the main story on the nightly news, the front cover of your daily newspaper, the lead story on NPR, and the subject of call-in talk radio shows? If you would expect this, then your expectations would be unrealized. Our country is in the midst of a national crisis, a crisis of conscience, a crisis of avoidance, and a crisis of morality. And the response is deafening silence.

Read more at Kevin DeYoung's blog from guest blogger Jason Helopoulos

Keep Calm...

For times like these when the culture seems to shift, we need to remember we were told a long time ago that there would be times like these. Actually, all times are essentially like these because at all times we are who He says we are. And getting all worked up about it only shows we aren't settled into the truths God has already told us. Keep-calm-read-romans-one-and-carry-on-2

Baptist Press & Les Miserables

Baptist press

Sometimes as Southern Baptists we simply outdo ourselves. The main article in today's Baptist Press release is titled, "Les Miserables finds support, caution in Christian community."

The main support comes from people like SBC President, Bryant Wright and Trevin Wax over at LifeWay. The article does end with more positive notes about the film, so I want to give some credit to Erin Roach/BP for that. But my concern is the space given to the main "caution" for the film. It's from Travis Ragon, a Kansas City counselor and grad of Midwestern, who...wait for it...didn't see the movie. I'll give you a taste.

Travis Ragon (pronounced Reagan)...said he is confused and grieved by Christians' enthusiastic support of the film.

Ragon cites elements of Les Miserables that he views as directly in conflict with foundational Christian values: instances of the Lord's name being used in vain, pervasive sexual innuendo, gratuitous depictions of sexual acts, and a scene that apparently has left some viewers feeling emotionally raped.

"Perhaps more than anything else this movie has become a review of where we as Christians have chosen to walk," Ragon wrote in comments to Baptist Press. "It seems that we have become systematically desensitized to sin. We are [accustomed] to the effect it has on our souls."


Ragon has not seen Les Miserables. "I try to research any movies which I might watch, including ones in my home," he said. "... I enjoy music and a good movie. In being a good steward, I try to be diligent in what I give my time and money to."

Les mis headerSeriously, Baptist Press? Please edit this article and remove the comments from the guy who hasn't seen the movie. You can't allow someone who hasn't seen the movie describe in detail what's actually in the movie! Even if you wanted to share an opinion of someone who wonders if the content is appropriate, to give it this much space is ridiculous.

As a pastor who saw the film with my four kids, I can confidently say Ragon's descriptors are inaccurate. Statements about the film's "pervasive sexual innuendo" and "gratuitous depictions of sexual acts" are way overblown. Inaccurate. Misleading. Why would you publish such a thing? It's no wonder why my neighbors think "Southern Baptists" are about what we are against. We can NOT see a film, give contrary opinions to the SBC President, and still get plenty of shelf space in an article. We need to do better.

Attempted Chicago Terror Attack - Yesterday

Wow. A snippet... (via)

About 7:15 p.m. yesterday, Daoud met the undercover agent in Villa Park and they drove to downtown Chicago.

During the drive, Daoud led the undercover agent in a prayer that Daoud and the agent succeed in their attack, kill many people, and cause destruction.

They entered a parking lot where a Jeep containing the purported explosive device was parked.

Daoud then drove the Jeep out of the parking lot and parked the vehicle in front of a bar in downtown Chicago, which was the target that he had previously selected.

According to the affidavit, Daoud exited the vehicle and walked to an alley approximately a block away, and in the presence of the undercover agent, attempted to detonate the device by pressing the triggering mechanism.

He was then arrested.

Who Cares About Creationists? They Don't Know Anything

Another attempt at mass internet evangelism toward atheism via CNN & Richard Dawkins. We need to be's game on with this stuff. We need to beware not to react as mere culture warriors, but have answers for the hope that's within us. If you missed the Bill Nye video, it's worth checking out too.

Deny Evolution If You Like, But Don't Make Your Kids Do It

Bill Nye evangelizes the US population toward evolution with this video that's received over 3 million views in just over a week. I've provided a couple of quotes from it below the video. 

"Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You are just not going to get the right answer. ... Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place. As my old professor Carl Sagan said, 'When you're in love you want to tell the world.'"

"I say to the grown ups: If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems. It's just really a hard thing. It's really a hard thing. In another couple centuries that worldview, I'm sure, just won't exist. There's no evidence for it." 

You think this might be shown in a few schools? Share your thoughts on the video, pro or con.

Lots-o-Links 2.9.12

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Mark Beeson on community & mission...

Church is not an event; it's a community. Mission is not an event; it's a lifestyle. 

Tim Chester on meals, discipleship, & mission...

People often complain that they lack time for mission. But we all have to eat. Three meals a day, seven days a week. That’s twenty-one opportunities for mission and community without adding anything to your schedule. You could meet up with another Christian for breakfast on the way to work—read the Bible together, offer accountability, pray for one another. You could meet up with colleagues at lunchtime. to the person across the table from you in the cafeteria. You could invite your neighbors over for a meal. Better still, invite them over with another family from church. That way you get to do mission and community at the same time; plus your unbelieving neighbors will get to see the way the gospel impacts our relationships as Christians (John 13:34–35; 17:20–21). You could invite someone who lives alone to share your family meal and follow it with board games, giving your children an opportunity to serve others through their welcome. 

Mike Wilkersen at Resurgence on Journal of Biblical Counseling's return...

Yesterday, CCEF announced the JBC's return in a new online format, with the new issue freely viewable now.

Tim Keller on NYC ban of churches renting schools for worship gatherings...

I am grieved that New York City is planning to take the unwise step of removing 68 churches from the spaces that they rent in public schools. It is my conviction that those churches housed in schools are invaluable assets to the neighborhoods that they serve. 

Seth McBee on multiplying disciples...

You must regularly talk about multiplication and train the next group for its certainty. It must always be on your lips and prayers, and always on your people’s lips and prayers. If it’s not, then it will be very difficult when it happens–like kicking out your unsuspecting child and telling them it’s healthy.