Thursday, August 28, 2014

All Around the Web - August 28, 2014

Trevin Wax - President Obama’s Mythical 21st Century
The beheading of journalist James Foley has shocked the world and elicited outrage from virtually every corner of civilized society.

Unfortunately, this kind of brutality is no longer uncommon. The ISIS rampage has delivered grisly videos of executions, reports of religious minorities being maimed and killed, and beheadings in the Middle East, all designed to draw attention to the bloodthirsty antics of terrorism’s most recent villains.

Foley was not an outlier. He was the public victim of Islamic militancy’s newest wave of terror.

The threat of ISIS should concern anyone who loves freedom and justice. But I fear that the moral convictions needed to confront such unspeakable evil may be missing in the United States today. We seem to be gaining our moral bearings from an overly optimistic vision of the world’s future and human nature.

Brian Croft - How does a pastor’s wife care for her husband when he is attacked?
There is one place more difficult than being a criticized pastor—that is, that pastor’s wife.  I assume most men are like me in that you can attack me, but if you attack my wife—well it’s on!  The fact of the matter is this attitude usually represents our wives feelings about those who attack us also.  Yet, a pastor’s wife cannot fight back.  It almost always ends badly or makes the situation worse.  At least when we as pastors are attacked or criticized by those in the church, we have the option to defend ourselves.  We can fight back.  We can argue our case.  In most cases, it is a “lose-lose” battle any time a pastor’s wife embraces the task to defend her husband.  Therefore, what is she to do?  Here are 3 suggestions:

Philip Bethancourt - 4 Keys to Gospel-Centered Cultural Engagement

Thom Rainer - Five Reasons Many Churches Are Not Growing Evangelistically
  1. We fail to be biblically responsible for doing evangelism ourselves. Instead we think it’s the responsibility of another person, a program, or a denomination.
  2. We fail to put evangelistic opportunities on our calendars. Many of us are evangelistic in theory. But we will never be evangelistic unless we are intentional about it and set aside time each week. It may be as simple as taking a co-worker or neighbor to lunch.
  3. We fail to be consistent in our evangelistic efforts. What if we committed to doing just one thing evangelistically each week? Think about the impact we could have with 52 evangelistic encounters. Think about the impact a church would have if 100 members had 52 evangelistic encounters.
  4. We fail to pray for evangelistic opportunities. What if each of us, whether we are a pastor, church staff member, or church member, prayed each day for the opportunity to share the gospel in word or deed? Imagine what would happen if we combined the power of prayer with intentional evangelism.
  5. We fail to do what is most important because we are busy doing the less important. Church life can keep us very busy, so busy that we neglect our families, and we neglect doing ministry outside the walls of the church. Many of our church members may not be evangelistic because church activities keep them too busy to engage the community around them.

Washington Post - Why you might want to ditch your e-reader and go back to printed books
If you’re one of those Luddites who still clings, technophobically, to the printed page, then a team of European researchers has some good news for you:

You have again been vindicated.

This latest study on the differences between e-readers and printed books — which was presented at an Italian conference last month and reported this week in Britain’s Guardian newspapaer — asked 50 people to read a short story and take a comprehension test afterwards. Half the readers got the story on a Kindle; the other half got paperbacks; everybody got the same story. But when it came to the test, results diverged: The Kindle readers, it turned out, were far worse at remembering the story’s plot than were the print readers.

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