Friday, August 1, 2014

All Around the Web - August 1, 2014

Sam Luce - Ask Tim Keller Transcript via @Cambassador21
Q: Favorite puritan?
TK: That’s easy, John Owens because Jonathan Edwards is not technically a Puritan. 

Q: Favorite Lewis book?
TK: Another easy one: Mere Christianity. 

Q: What is your opinion of “praying in tongues”?
TK: I like Don Carson’s book “Showing the Spirit” on this one. Balanced, thoughtful, and rooted in Scripture.

Q: Was there ever a point in the last several years that you questioned your role in ministry? 
TK: When Kathy was sick a few years ago, I questioned if I should leave ministry for a while.

SBC Voices - Suicide, Christians and the Church: A Reflection
I can remember driving down the highway in Virginia in a state of depression. I’ve slipped into depression – probably a milder form than many have experienced – two or three times in my life. One was during my first pastorate, back in the late 80s. Every Saturday I’d get a copy of the Richmond newspaper and peruse the help wanted ads to see if there was a way for me to provide for my family if I threw in the towel on ministry. Honestly, if I’d had a fall-back option then I’d probably not be in the ministry today. As I drove down the rural highway in Southside Virginia my mind was walking through the valley of deep darkness that David spoke of in Psalm 23.

I looked at trees in the median and thought I could just swerve the wheel into one of those and the pain would stop.

I never seriously considered turning the wheel, but I had a deep longing for death that was evidence of the hopelessness and despair in my heart.

CrossTalk - Fighting in Silence: Pastors and Depression
There are no proper words I can use to describe the misery of anxiety and depression. Anxiety spikes you with adrenalin that should have you bouncing off the walls, but instead you’re left paralyzed, like a deer in headlights. Your thoughts run away from you, crashing through the dark corners of your mind so you feel like you’re going insane. Then, like a roller-coaster hurtling toward the earth, depression hits. The world turns grey, and you’re left exhausted, hopeless, and defeated.

That’s if the season is relatively minor. Many Christians suffer with anxiety and depression, even pastors, and they often do so in silence. Some are afraid of looking weak, some believe these are issues Christians shouldn’t struggle with, while others don’t see the benefit of religious platitudes. Scott Sauls, of The Gospel Coalition, believes these are attitudes Christians must swiftly abandon. In a recent article, Sauls wrote about his own struggle with anxiety and depression, how he needed to embrace humility in order to get help, and how it ultimately served to further the glory of God.

Denny Burk - My take on the Bibliotheca project
There’s no way to understand my feeling about Adam Greene’s Bibliotheca project without telling you something about my own story as a Bible reader. I first confessed Christ as a 9-year old. I really think that is when the Lord converted me. I remember some things that immediately changed in my life after that experience. Among other things, I wanted to tell my third grade teacher at my public school that I had gotten “saved” (which turned out to be a bust, but that’s another story). I also remember having a desire to pick up my Bible and read it.

The Bible that I owned at the time was the standard issue King James Version that all Southern Baptist children used for Bible Drill. I remember sitting on my bed, looking at the Bible on my little book shelf, and thinking, “I wanna read that”—which was a brand new feeling that I hadn’t experienced before. I figured I would just start at the beginning, so I opened up to Genesis 1:1 and got going. It wasn’t long before my nine-year old 20th century American brain got bogged down in the stifling, archaic language of the Authorized Version. So I put the Bible back on the shelf and figured that this was a book for grown-ups. It was not something that I could understand.

It would be many years before I took to reading my Bible in a serious way. In high school, my parents bought me a brand new NIV Life Application Bible. I thought it was so fine and elegant that I carried it around in its box for I don’t know how long. What I liked best about this Bible was not the notes, maps, and other extras. What I liked best was that I could understand it. I wasn’t staring at impenetrable prose. I was reading a book that was in the language I knew, and it made all the difference in the world. It ended up being the first Bible that I ever read through cover to cover. I still have that Bible and read from it regularly to my own children in our family worship times.

Christianity Today - The Next Chapter for Christian Publishing
Earlier this month, renowned Christian author Philip Yancey said Farewell to the Golden Age of Christian publishing, leaving authors and readers concerned over the future of the industry. One author shared, "This is why I'm re-evaluating whether I want to be a writer anymore." Another said, "This is just depressing."

Working with my family's Christian literary agency and law firm, Yates & Yates, I've witnessed some of the obstacles and opportunities in today's ever-changing book market. While the industry looks different in the 21st century, many authors who have adapted to the new era find Christian publishing remains alive and well.

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