Monday, September 23, 2013

All Around the Web - September 23, 2013

HT: 22 Words

WORLD Magazine - The Southern Baptists’ not-so-secret agent for Jesus | On Dr. Russell Moore of the ERLC.

Russell Moore delivered the case for Christian involvement in the public sphere as the Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday inaugurated a new Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) president for the first time in a quarter-century.  

Moore, formerly the dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, takes over for Richard Land, who led the ERLC for 25 years and is now the president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C.  

Addressing a crowd of about 200, Moore said the culture in which Christians find themselves is no different than past generations. The Bible Belt is collapsing and with it the idea that Jesus is an add-on to the American dream, he said: “Good riddance.”

Slate - Richard Dawkins defends “mild pedophilia,” says it does not cause “lasting harm”

In a recent interview with the Times magazine, Richard Dawkins attempted to defend what he called “mild pedophilia,” which, he says, he personally experienced as a young child and does not believe causes “lasting harm.”

Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.

Plus, he added, though his other classmates also experienced abuse at the hands of this teacher, “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

Koinonia - My Advice to Students — Tom Schreiner Says "Don't Specialize"

Thom Rainer - Three Changing Trends in American Churches

Changing Trend #1: Entry Point or New Member Classes

When I wrote High Expectations in 1999, I talked about the very early trend of churches requiring a class before granting membership to someone. In other words, a membership class was an emerging facet of expectations for church members.

Today, membership classes are pervasive. In an informal survey I did this year of churches with over 250 in worship attendance, more than 80 percent had some type of entry point class as a requisite for membership. In 1999, that number would have been less than 10 percent.

Changing Trend #2: Churches with Multiple Venues

I have to admit that the growth of multiple venues in churches has caught me by surprise. More and more churches have multiple campuses. More and more churches have multiple venues on the same campus.

One of the studies I am hoping to tackle in the next few months is the growth of larger churches with multiple venues versus the churches with one venue or site. I’ll let you know how that develops.

Changing Trend #3: The Growth of the Executive Pastor Role

Just a few years ago, the executive pastor role was largely reserved for very large churches. Indeed, there was a time when I rarely saw an executive pastor on staff in a church under 3,000 in worship attendance.

If current trends continue, the executive pastor will become the second full time pastor to join a church staff in a majority of churches. That is quite a change from ten years ago! The executive pastor is now seen as a complement to the senior pastor. In other words, the executive pastor is typically gifted and wired in ways that the senior pastor is not.

Slate - At Last, the "Netflix For Books" Is Here

Meet Oyster, the book subscription app that wants to do for books what Netflix did for movies and what Spotify did for music; provide an all-you-can-read experience for a monthly fee. For $9.95 a month, you can download and enjoy titles from HarperCollins, Workman, Melville House, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Boasting 100,000 titles so far, Oyster is still working to procure more publishing companies to add to its roster. 

Instead of focusing on a tablet experience to compete with other various e-readers, founders Eric Stromberg, Andrew Brown, and Willem Van Lancker shared on the company blog that they're concentrating on making a seamless app for smartphones.

I love Bluegrass (and I'm from the Bluegrass state). Here is a great bluegrass cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman."

HT: Denny Burk
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