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Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • Do the Biblical Warnings Against Riches Apply to Most Americans? In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper responds to the question “I struggle with feeling peace with God when I feel that he will judge me harshly for living as comfortably as I do. I am wondering if God wants me to give up the pleasures and comforts that this country offers?”
  • Should I Attend a Homosexual Wedding? Kevin DeYoung writes “A wedding is not a dinner invitation or a graduation open house or retirement party. Even in a completely secular environment, there is still a sense—and sometimes the wedding invitations say as much—that our presence at the event would honor the couple and their marriage. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to attend a wedding (let alone cater it or provide the culinary centerpiece) without your presence communicating celebration and support for what is taking place. And, as painful as it may be for us and for those we love, celebrating and supporting homosexual unions is not something God or His Word will allow us to do.”
  • What Does It Mean to be Pro-Life? Is pro-life more than pro-birth? Why isn’t the pro-life movement committed to the whole person? These are common questions aimed at the pro-life movement. In fact, one of the most frequent criticisms of the pro-life movement is that those who hold such views only care about ending abortion. In this episode of Signposts, Russell Moore addresses these questions and offer my perspective on the pro-life movement by thinking about what it means to fight for justice and human dignity.
  • I’m Addicted to Pornography. How Can I Defeat This Sin? In this three-minute video, Russell Moore encourages those who are addicted to pornography to seek help by confessing sin to other believers who will preach the gospel to them and encourage them towards holiness.
  • Can a True Christian Have Depression? Watch this ten-minute video as Dr. Jeremy Pierre of Southern Seminary addresses this question in Honest Answers.
  • Are Mega-Churches Biblical? Can a church ever be too big? Dr. Hershael York answers in Honest Answers.
  • What Is Definite Atonement? In this one minute plus clip from the 2012 Ligonier Ministries Theology Night, C.Sproul explains that God’s purpose in the atonement was limited and definite.
  • Brother, Are You Saved?C. Sproul writes “What do you need to be saved from? You need to be saved from God! Not from kidney stones, not from hurricanes, not from military defeats. The thing that every human being needs to be saved from is God.”

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

    • Good News Hearts in a Bad News World. Scotty Smith prays “By the truth and power of the gospel, may a faith-full heart beat within our breasts. Free us to trust and worship you more, and fear and vex less. You’ve hidden our lives safely in Christ; now make us less shakable when shaky things are going on—whether in Syria, our homes, or hearts.”
    • His Head and Heart Were God’s. John Piper writes “If you look at Jonathan Edwards from the wrong standpoint, everything is wrong. Some people look at him as a great eighteenth-century thinker, writer, and preacher, and that is as far as they go.”
    • Puritan Documentary. Puritan: All of Life to the Glory of God is the latest documentary from Steven McCaskell (Luther).
    • Deep Theology. Sinclair Ferguson writes “This is deep theology indeed. Yet virtually the profoundest statement we can make about God is that the Father is “in” the Son and the Son “in” the Father. It seems so simple that a child can see it. For what word can be simpler than in?”
    • What Made Paul Washer’s “Shocking Message” So Very Shocking? This looks like a very interesting series. Tim Challies writes “Today I am kicking off a new series of videos I’m calling The Great Sermon Series. The premise of the series is finding and examining modern-day sermons that the Lord has chosen to use in unusually significant ways. What we will find, I think, is that the Lord uses sermons to save, stir, and edify his people–and that sometimes he does this through unexpected messages and messengers. The series begins in 2002 in Montgomery, Alabama, with Paul Washer’s “Shocking Message.”

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR:

CHRISTIAN MEN:

  • The Final Call of John Perkins. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “After being a janitor, welder, equipment designer, Bible teacher, civil-rights activist, community developer, and author, Perkins wants to “devote the rest of my life to biblical reconciliation.”
  • Ray Hinton Interview. Ray Hinton opens up on Megyn Kelly Today about his wrongful conviction for murder, his time on death row and his book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, an account of his time in prison.
  • Golfing Legend Bobby Jones Was Baptized Three Days Before His Death in 1971. Jason Romano writes “Three days before he died, he was baptized,” said Dr. Bob. “From that moment on, there was almost a peace that passed all understanding perhaps, that kind of came upon him.”

  • Is Civil Disobedience Biblical? Matthew Hall answers this question in Honest Answers.
  • Are There Degrees of Sin?  R.C. Sproul writes “It’s clear that we have different degrees of sin when we consider the warnings of Scripture.”
  • Should We Give Up on Evangelicalism? Russell Moore writes “Should we stop calling ourselves “evangelicals”? Should we just give up on “evangelicalism”? I am asked these questions all the time, usually by Christians who are concerned that these labels no longer accurately define or describe who they are and what they believe. In this episode of Signposts,I talk about these questions and offer my own perspective on the status and future of evangelical Christianity in the United States.”
  • Why Are Christian Women More Religious Than Christian Men? Joe Carter writes “As a study conducted by the Pew Research Center finds, based on a broad range of factors, Christian women in the United States express a higher level of religiosity and religious commitment than Christian men.”

COURTESY OF WORLD MAGAZINE

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • Scott Foster’s Incredible Game as a Chicago Blackhawk’s Goalie. Did you read this incredible story about Scott Foster, who works at Golub Capital in Chicago?
  • Google Snubbed Easter With No Doodle for 18th Year in a Row. Frank Miles writes “For the 18th year in a row, Google has no doodle to celebrate Easter, and Christians are angry on this holy day.”
  • Huge Study Says “Anti-Depressants Work”. David Murray writes “The biggest ever study of anti-depressants has found that they reduce symptoms of depression and are more effective than placebos. The findings also included the first ever league tables comparing different antidepressants, confirming that they all work, but some less well-known drugs work better than well-known ones like Prozac.”
  • BreakPoint: I Can Only Imagine. Eric Metaxas writes “You and I ought to take advantage of films like “I Can Only Imagine”—not only because they’re excellent, but also because, according to the Barna Group, fewer Americans are attending church, and “Millennials in particular are coming of age at a time of great skepticism and cynicism towards institutions—particularly the church.”
  • God and Pac-Man in Ready Player One. Joe Carter writes “Perhaps I was initially too distracted by the novel’s cheery name-check nostalgia to notice the darkness underneath. I originally thought what made it a dystopian story was the setting: “The ongoing energy crisis. Catastrophic climate change. Widespread famine, poverty, and disease. Half a dozen wars.” It wasn’t until a second reading that I recognized the dystopian was embedded in the nihilistic nothing-matters theme.”
  • How Albert Mohler Processes the Moral Failures of His Historical Heroes. In this four-minute video, Albert Mohler discusses how to respond when learning about the sins of major role-players in church history.
  • The Sins of White Supremacy. Russell Moore writes “So, regardless of our backgrounds, it is appropriate that we pause and consider not only Dr. King’s life and legacy, but also our own past and future. As we do so, we are reminding ourselves of how far we have to go as Americans to see the promise of racial justice realized.”
  • I Went to Death Row for 28 Years Through No Fault of My Own. Chris McGreal writes “Hinton, who goes by Ray, was on death row for 28 years until the US Supreme Court overturned two murder convictions for which the evidence was, at best, flawed. Now he has written his own book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, recounting his long battle for freedom against an Alabama judicial system that showed no interest in whether it was planning to take an innocent man’s life.” I’m reading this book now. Review coming soon.

COURTESY OF WORLD MAGAZINE

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • Why Mister Rogers (Still) Matters. Russell Moore writes “This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of public television’s Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The milestone will bring with it a major book, a feature film (starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers), and even a U.S. postage stamp.”
  • The Legacy of Stephen Hawking: The Man Who Searched for the Theory of Everything. Ravi Zacharias writes “The truth is that as brilliant as he was, it was the love of people that got him to where he reached and that lies at the heart of all of our lives.”
  • Sports Spectrum Podcast: Andy Mineo and Trey Burton. “On this episode of the Sports Spectrum podcast, we talk with Trey and Andy Mineo about the Super Bowl, the moment “Philly Special” was called, temptation as a celebrity, boundaries that Andy creates to keep him from falling, Trey’s impending free agency and where he wants to play in 2018, and Andy’s powerful testimony of struggling with doubt in his faith over the last few years.”
  • Time to Push Tackle Football into Retirement. Dan Doriani writes “Sports rarely die, but they do pass into twilight. Horse racing and boxing were America’s leading spectator sports in the 1930s; now they are niche events. If we help football dwindle, we may save a lot of headaches and heartaches in coming years. Beyond that, we follow our Lord, the giver of life, the healer. He became our brother, our keeper. Let’s follow him by keeping our sons and grandsons from needless harm.”
  • We Need an Independent Investigation of Sovereign Grace Ministries. Mark Galli writes “To put it simply: Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC; formerly Sovereign Grace Ministries) and its individual churches and leaders, present and former, who have been accused of failing to adequately respond  to past incidents of child and sexual abuse should submit to a thorough, truly independent investigation.”
  • It’s Time to Reckon with Celebrity Power. Andy Crouch writes “As the power of celebrity overtook the power of institutions in the second half of the 20th century, we could have made a different choice in our churches. Indeed, some churches and some leaders did.”

Courtesy of World Magazine

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

MOVIES:

  • Put God First. In delivering the commencement speech at Dillard University, Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington told the college graduates to put God first in everything they do, adding that everything he has accomplished in this life was due to the grace of God.
  • BreakPoint: The Oscars, Worldview, and The Shape of Water. On this episode of the BreakPoint podcast, Eric Metaxas writes “Sadly, much of this is par for the course these days. But MovieGuide did not simply add up the number of obscenities and scenes of violence and sex; It also identified the film’s underlying worldview: “The Shape of Water,” it says, has a strong Romantic view—that is, it celebrates the philosophy of Romanticism, which teaches that “sexual impulses and the sinful desires of the heart should be lived out” enthusiastically, not “suppressed or rebuked.””
  • A Wrinkle in Timeis Surprisingly Flat. Rebecca McLaughlin. “For a film that explores multiple dimensions of time and space, A Wrinkle in Time is disappointingly flat. I have no sentimental attachment to the book: I read it as an adult, so I have no childhood nostalgia to make the changes from page to screen more painful. But the general flattening felt like a loss.”

STEEPLECHASE:

  • Church Search. Are you looking to join a church? Click hereto browse or join the Church Search from 9 Marks.
  • Trying to Find a Church on Vacation. “Is that a Baptist church? Ahhhh, i’m not sure.” Every struggled to find a church while on vacation? John Crist and Beth Pilgreen try to find a church to go to while on vacation.

  • The Christian Basis for Civil Disobedience. This episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast is a discussion from 2012 when Tim Keller, Al Mohler, and John Yates sat down to discuss how Christians should evaluate situations that may—or may not—call for civil disobedience.
  • Learn to Pace Your Life Race. Randy Alcorn writes “Life is not a sprint to be run with reckless abandon. It is a marathon to be run with care and thoughtfulness, saving bursts of speed for when they are necessary, but allowing time to recover before the next burst.”
  • Why Suicide Is Everybody’s Business. Joni Eareckson Tada writes “Each year, more than 44,000 people die by suicide in the United States. It is estimated that 25 times that number attempt suicide each year. And the numbers have steadily risen since 2006. Add to that the number of individuals who have chosen physician-assisted suicide—in 2015, 301 people died under Death with Dignity acts in the states of Oregon and Washington alone—and we’re facing a lot of people who have answered “Why not die?” with an empty silence.”

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THIS & THAT: A Weekly Roundup of Favorite Articles and Quotes

  • My Amazon Reviews. Check out more than 350 of my Amazon book and music reviews, along with a few movie reviews. My movie reviews are also posted on IMDb, book reviews on Good Reads and music reviews on New Release Today.
  • 2018 Ligonier National Conference. For more than 20 years, the Ligonier National Conference has been an event I look forward to every year. This year was certainly different as it was the first with Dr. R.C. Sproul, who died in December. Read these daily recaps from Nathan W. Bingham. Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3. You can watch the messages from the conference here.
  • 2019 Ligonier National Conference. Registration has just opened for the 2019 Ligonier National Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida March 14-16. The theme will be “He is Holy”. Get the lowest rate by this Saturday, March 17.
  • Evangelical Leader Collin Hansen Believes We Live in “A Culture Full of Fear and Loathing”. Collin Hansen, Editorial Director of the Gospel Coalition is interviewed as part of a series called ‘Uncomfortable,” hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America.
  • Spurgeon’s Orphanage: How One Woman Changed the World. Sara Willcocks writes “Anne was a devout Christian and widow of an Anglican preacher. She is one of the great unknowns behind the remarkable story of our 150-year legacy. The charity exists today because of Anne’s devotion to Jesus Christ and the financial donation she gave to renowned preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon.”

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