Wednesday, June 25, 2014

All Around the Web - June 25, 2014

HT: Mic

Thom Rainer - Six Surprising Traits of Effective Pastors
  1. They are persistent. Their lives could be characterized as “three steps forward, two steps backwards.” They have setbacks, but they remain persistently pugnacious.
  2. They have a good sense of humor. They take their ministries seriously; but they don’t take themselves too seriously.
  3. They are highly intentional about connecting with unchurched persons at least once a week. In fact, weekly intentionality is the norm. They put such interactions on their calendar. They take unchurched people to lunch. They are involved in non-religious community events.
  4. They look in the mirror. These pastors have clear self-awareness. They are not only evaluating themselves constantly, they typically have a trusted advisor who tells them on a regular basis what he or she sees.
  5. They are intentionally consistent learners. These pastors read a lot. They attend conferences. They expand their educational opportunities, both formal and informal.
  6. Their most consistent discipline is daily Bible reading. This time in the Bible is beyond sermon preparation. This discipline is kept with greater rigor than any other discipline in their lives.

Michael Bird - The Bible’s Attitude to Rape

John StonestreetBreakPoint This Week: Faith Under Fire
The Bible warns us to expect trials and tribulations this side of Heaven. And no trial tests faith more for parents than a child in a life-threatening condition. During this week’s broadcast, John Stonestreet welcomes Fox News anchor, Bret Baier, whose new book, “Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love,” looks at growing faith in the most challenging of situations.

Most of us know Bret Baier as the host of the Fox News segment, “Special Report,” succeeding household name Brit Hume as one of the most recognized faces in the American news media. But to one special young boy, Baier is much more than the man on TV. He’s a father who never gives up, and whose faith in God only grows with each trial their family faces together.

Bret and Amy Baier’s oldest child, Paul Francis, was the most anticipated arrival of the couple’s lives. What they didn’t anticipate was the medical challenge their son would suffer from the beginning, and the taxing journey they would have to endure together to see him healed.

Justin Taylor - What’s Wrong with “The Wrong Side of History” Argument
Michael Hanby:
The appeal to history is thus a nifty little piece of rhetorical violence, a ‘performative utterance’ that seeks to bring about the fate that it announces and to excuse the opposition’s loss of agency as the inevitable triumph of justice.
William Voegeli:
Upon inspection, “X is on the right side of history” turns out to be a lazy, hectoring way to declare, “X is a good idea,” by those evading any responsibility to prove it so.

Tim Challies - The Bestsellers: Jesus Calling
Compared to other bestselling authors, Sarah Young is a mysterious figure. Notoriously secretive, she has written a book that has sold in the millions, but to my knowledge has never spoken in public, has never appeared on television or radio, and has completed only the smallest handful of written interviews (and even then only through a publicist).

What we do know is that Young is American, was a 1968 graduate of Massachusetts’ Wellesley College, is married to a Presbyterian missionary, lived in Japan for many years, and has recently returned to America after living in Australia. Also, she suffers from significant health concerns related to vertigo and Lyme disease.

Thomas Nelson published Young’s first book Jesus Calling in 2004. Though sales were slow at first, the book began to hit its stride in 2008, tallying over 200,000 sales that year and growing year-over-year from there. To date it has sold over 10 million copies and has outpaced many better-known New York Times bestsellers. The Daily Beast, writing for their non-Christian audience, rightly referred to it as “The Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of.”

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