Saturday, January 4, 2014

All Around the Web - January 4, 2013

Resurgence - 5 ways you can bomb a sermon to young people
Fail #1: Give good advice instead of Good News
Fail #2: Make someone other than Jesus the hero
Fail #3: Judge your sermon by laughter instead of conviction
Fail #4: Prepare the message, but not the messenger
Fail #5: Attach God’s love to your eloquence for him

Desiring God - Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones
Why am I telling you this story? Well, it’s that time once again. It’s the fodder for blogs, magazine articles, TV shows, and way too many tweets. It is the time for the annual ritual of dramatic New Year’s resolutions fueled by the hope of immediate and significant personal life change.

But the reality is that few smokers actually quit because of a single moment of resolve, few obese people have become slim and healthy because of one dramatic moment of commitment, few people who were deeply in debt have changed their financial lifestyle because they resolved to do so as the old year gave way to the new, and few marriages have been changed by the means of one dramatic resolution.

Is change important? Yes, it is for all of us in some way. Is commitment essential? Of course! There is a way in which all of our lives are shaped by the commitments we make. But biblical Christianity — which has the gospel of Jesus Christ at its heart — simply doesn’t rest its hope in big, dramatic moments of change.

The Cripple Gate - 4 Godly Disciplines Unique to this Decade
1. Pluck the I out of your iPhone.
2. Favor face time over Facebook
3. Tweet to edify, not attract attention.
4. Add value, not noise.

Euangelion - Was Bonhoeffer a Conspirator? | I find this fascinating. If this is true, then everything that has been written about Bonhoeffer is obsolete.
It is a foregone conclusion among many scholars, and certainly the wider public, that by the late 30′s Dietrich Bonhoeffer had changed his view on violence. While earlier in the 30′s he had articulated a perspective on violence that could be characterized as pacifism rooted in his interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount captured clearly in Discipleship, the realities of Nazi German had caused him to see the necessity of violence in the face of such evil. This interpretation of Bonhoeffer finds its plausibility in his later letters from prison and his unfinished Ethics that was later published by Eberhard Bethge.

But a new book robustly challenges this assumption. And it is quite convincing. The thesis of  Bonhoeffer the Assassin?: Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking is that this widely held belief is flat wrong. When one looks carefully at Bonhoeffer’s life and his writings one finds that Bonhoeffer was consistent throughout his life on the question of violence. His work in the Abwehr, which is often pointed to as evidence of his involvement in the conspiracies, does not necessitate his participation in the plot(s) to assassinate Hitler. According to the argument of the book, Bonhoeffer’s decision to join the German Intelligence agency was his way of avoiding service in the military. Further, there is no evidence of his involvement in these plots.

Bonhoeffer was a conscientious objector, but not a conspirator.

New York Times - As the Obamas Celebrate Christmas, Rituals of Faith Become Less Visible | I agree with Dr. Albert Mohler who said, Almost every single aspect of this @nytimes article on President Obama's faith is strange, but worth reading.
President Obama celebrated a low-key Christmas in Hawaii this year. He sang carols, opened presents with his family, and visited a nearby military base to wish the troops “Mele Kalikimaka” — the Hawaiian phrase meaning “Merry Christmas.”

But the one thing the president and his family did not do — something they have rarely done since he entered the White House — was attend Christmas church services. 

“He has not gone to church hardly at all, as president,” said Gary Scott Smith, the author of “Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush,” adding that it is “very unusual for a president not to attend” Christmas services. 

Historically, watching the nation’s first family head to church dressed in their Sunday best, especially around the holiday season, was something of a ritual. Yet Mr. Obama’s faith is a more complicated, more private, and perhaps — religious and presidential historians say — a more inclusive affair.
And his religious habits appear to be in step with a changing America, with fewer people these days reporting that they attend church on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. According to a Pew Research Center study released this month, 54 percent of adults said they planned to attend Christmas religious services, while 69 percent said they traditionally did so as children.

Embedding not available, so enjoy Peyton Manning mic'd up when he broke the single season TD record here.
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