Saturday, June 23, 2012

All Around the Web: Links For the Weekend - June 23, 2012

Ed Stetzer - The Gospel Project: A New Video | This'll wet your appetite. I'm considering the Gospel Project for our church. Perhaps you should too.

Ed Stetzer - Calvinism and the SBC | Interesting. The debate over Calvinism in the SBC will only get hotter I suspect . . . unfortunately.

In that research, we did see an increase in Calvinism.  My friend, Collin Hansen, wrote a book on what he called a “resurgence” and popularized the term “Young, Restless, and Reformed.” However, other studies pointed to a different reality.  When we surveyed Protestants, we found no such resurgence.  Other studies found the same.

Yet, facts are our friends.  We have differing datasets so what is the answer– well, for some, they say “it can’t be true.”  Some of my Reformed friends were a bit hard on Barna’s numbers– unnecessarily so, I think. There are always methodological issues, but that study was a good one. Ours was larger (and dare I say better, grin). It found the same thing.

So, where is this resurgence? We found it– it is in the SBC.

Tom Rainer - Reflections on the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting |

  • The big news going in was the impending election of Fred Luter as the convention’s first African American president. The big news coming out of the annual meeting will be his actual election. It is good that such an historic moment dominates the conversation. Until this moment took place, I don’t think we have truly been able to move from our past of racism and segregation.
  • There is healthy conversation taking place about how big the doctrinal tent of the SBC should be. Much of the discussion has been between Calvinists and, for lack of a better word, non-Calvinists. To this point the discussion has been good without name-calling and ad hominem attacks. I pray that such an irenic spirit will prevail and continue.
  • The SBC voted on whether to allow churches to identify themselves as “Great Commission Baptists” or “Southern Baptists.” The new descriptor is an effort to move away from our perceived regionalism to a more global and missional name for those churches that choose to do so.
  • I am encouraged by what I perceive to be a desire of most of the messengers to move away from matters of less significance to matters of greater substance. Indeed, I have had more conversations of that nature than anytime since I’ve been president of LifeWay. Southern Baptists will always have their opinions on almost anything, but the mood and the trend is encouraging to me.
  • My final note for today is my high level of encouragement about the discussions, preaching, and presentations related to the Great Commission. It was articulated in a number of ways: reaching unreached people groups; sharing Christ personally; having an evangelistic church; and proclaiming the gospel in every sermon.

New York Times - An E-Book Fan, Missing the Smell of Paper and Glue | I love my ereader (iPad), but nothing replaces having a physical book in hand.

IPads and Kindles, in comparison, don’t necessarily smell like anything.

For those of us who have switched to e-readers, the e-book shopping experience, while immediate and painless, is about as sentimental as a trip to the family doctor. There are no creaking doors, or bells that announce your arrival so someone can smile at you as you walk inside. There isn’t even anything distinctive in the size, shape or feel of the book you’re buying.

There is no nostalgia in online book shopping.

Before the days of the iPad, one of my favorite Saturday afternoon activities was to go to a local bookstore, wander the aisles picking out books I might like, then plop myself down in the corner to examine the first few pages of each, deciding what to buy. . . . 

Yes, I miss physical books. I miss bookstores, too. I miss them a lot. I only hope that someone figures out how to give their digital counterparts a little more feeling.

Kevin DeYoung - Pastoral Theology: Some Book Recommendations | Here is an example:

1. General Pastoral Ministry
Charles Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students – One of my favorite books of all time. I reread chapters often.
D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry – Destined to be a classic exposition of the gospel-centered nature of our calling.
Ajith Fernando, Jesus-Driven Ministry – An honest and challenging look at what spiritual leadership really looks like.
R. Kent Hughes, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome – I read this early in ministry; a good idea.
John Piper, Brothers We Are Not ProfessionalsI can’t think of a Piper book that moved me more than this one.

Politico - Poll: Faith in school hits record low |

Confidence in public schools has dropped to the lowest point in nearly 40 years, according to a new Gallup survey, as American opinion turned against a variety of social institutions, such as religion, banks and television news.

Only 29 percent of Americans said they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the country’s public schools, just half the 58 percent who had confidence in the schools when Gallup first started asking the question in 1973.

This year’s drop in confidence was substantial — 5 percentage points lower than it was in 2011, when 34 percent had faith in public schools.

Attitudes toward public schools come in the context of generally eroding faith in many of society’s institutions. Americans had record low confidence in the church or organized religions (44 percent), banks (21 percent) and television news (21 percent).

And institutions of government come off quite poorly as well: only 13 percent had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress; a mere 37 percent felt the same way about the U.S. Supreme Court; and 37 percent had confidence in the presidency.

The institutions Americans had most confidence in include the military (75 percent), small business (63 percent) and the police (56 percent).

MSNBC - No charges for Texas father who killed daughter's alleged molester |

SHINER, Texas -- Hearing his 5-year-old daughter crying from behind a barn, a father ran and discovered the unthinkable: A man molesting her. The father pulled the man off his daughter, authorities say, and started pummeling him to death with his fists.

With his daughter finally safe, the father frantically called 911, begging a dispatcher to find his rural ranch and send an ambulance. "Come on! This guy is going to die on me!" the man is heard screaming on the 911 call. "I don't know what to do!"

A recording of the tape was played during a news conference Tuesday where the Lavaca County district attorney and sheriff announced that the father will not face charges.

In declining to indict the 23-year-old father in the June 9 killing of Jesus Mora Flores, a Lavaca County grand jury reached the same conclusion as investigators and many of the father's neighbors: He was authorized to use deadly force to protect his daughter.

"It's sad a man had to die," said Michael James Veit, 48, who lives across the street from where the attack happened in this small community run on ranching and the Shiner beer brewery. "But I think anybody would have done that."

The Blaze - America ‘As You’ve Never Seen It Before’: What Exactly Are You Seeing in These Incredible New Satellite Photos? | Here's my favorite: truck routes of Dominoes delivery trucks.

The new aBook.

HT: NT Blog
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