We all know how difficult it is to stay in the loop with everything that goes on. Each week more worthwhile articles, podcasts, videos, books, and more resources, are produced than are possible for us to keep up with. So, in light of this, here’s a roundup of things you may have missed recently.
7 Questions to Ask Before You Preach (Francis Chan)
From a number of years ago but I only just came across it. I plan to use this as a basis for questions to ask myself before preaching. Question 6 is particularly pertinent in our celebrity-pastor culture.
A Wrath-less God Has Victims (Jason Micheli)
On older article on why removing God’s wrath creates more problems than it solves. Some of my favorite quotes from the article:
Christianly speaking, forgiveness is a vapid, meaningless concept apart from justice.
Despite the queasiness God’s wrath invokes among mainline and liberal Protestants, how could one think of Alfred Dewayne Brown [a wrongly convicted man sentenced to death and whom the authorities and not hear the above lines as good news? The example of Dewayne Brown points out the problem with the popular disavowal of divine anger; namely, what we (in power) find repugnant has been a source of hope and empowerment to the oppressed peoples of the world.
Single Is Never Second Best (Desiring God)
Actually written for those who are mid-life and single, but the number of young adults I know that struggle with this, I believe this is a worthy article to read. There are also a few comments that will hit home in how honest and real they are (“It’s what 40-year-olds feel when others make an erroneous link between their singleness and their sexual orientation.” Not just 40-year olds…)
Gospel of Luke Ch. 24 (The Bible Project)
The final video in The Bible Project’s multi-video series on The Gospel of Luke looking at Luke 24! The biblical & theological, and artistic & production, quality of these videos are phenomenal, and it’s only improving. The sound effects of this one were particularly good…
“What is some advice for those entering the ministry?” (Tim Keller)
Helpful and challenging. Point 3 hits home: “prayer is much more important than you think it is.”
Isn’t the Bible Sexist? (Peter J. Williams)
I’m rather a big fan of Peter J. Williams. For those of you unfamiliar with him, Peter J. Williams is the principal of Tyndale House research centre in Cambridge, UK (to find out more about him, read this interview). He’s a fantastic apologist and scholar, particularly in regards to the Old Testament (also, for those of you interested, he’s just been involved in producing a new version of the Greek New Testament).
The Theology of Superheroes: Engaging Secular Society with Modern Mythology (Khaldoun Sweis)
Never heard of Khaldoun Sweis before, but this is a great talk. Worth the watch to be able to engage with the number of superhero films from a gospel perspective.
This week doesn’t seem to have been amazing for podcasts, so here are a few notable resources from the past month or two.
Streetlights Bible – 2 Corinthians
An audio Bible with a hip-hop backing track. A few preliminary thoughts: the music can be distracting when I try to listen to it as I would an audiobook (focussing on the words) but it’s fantastic as background music/audio for when working or doing something else. FYI, the translation they’re using is the NLT – it flows well. (They have a number of other books of the Bible available to download, or stream on their app, as well.)
What Movies Should I Watch? (Indoubt #91)
“There are very few people that don’t enjoy watching movies/TV shows. It’s become such a normal and regular part of our lives. Throwing up Netflix on a Tuesday evening before you go to bed is just normal. Binge watching TV shows on a Saturday morning is normal. Now, because watching movies/TV shows has become so normal in our lives, it’s crucial that we, as Christians, look at it carefully. We need to ask the questions, “What movies should I watch?” and “How should I watch them?” To help us answer these questions is Brett McCracken, a Christian film critic.”
Gaming to the Glory of God (Culture Matters #57)
The Village Church podcast Culture Matters continues as they talk with Richard Clark “about video games, looking at their value and cultural influence, as well as how Christians should engage with and even play video games in a way that glorifies God.”
New Book by John Lennox
Oxford Mathematician and Christian Apologist John Lennox has just released his new book, Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith, and Human Responsibility. Lennox is always worth reading and I’m confident his thoughts on this subject will be helpful and insightful.
Devotions on the Greek New Testament, Volume Two: 52 Reflections to Inspire & Instruct
Does what it says on the tin. 52 devotions on the Greek New Testament. Loved the first volume; this will be going on my wishlist.
Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Josh & Sean McDowell) – $3.99 on Kindle
Completely revised and updated classic on apologetics. Very comprehensive. I love the previous edition and it’s been super helpful. Also, happy to that see Sean (Josh’s son) has helped in updating this – he’s a stellar scholar. Not sure when the deal is on until.
My Book Shelf
- Started: Acts Tyndale Commentary (I. Howard Marshall) – readable, accessible, and food for my soul.
- Continued: Further Confessions of a GP (Benjamin Daniels) – a humorous (but at times very serious and honest) autobiography from a General Practitioner. Maybe somewhat surprisingly, I would encourage every pastor to read this as well as the first book; the parallels between the two roles, for instance, the breadth and variety of individuals that you encounter, are intriguing.
- Finished: The Duties of Parents (J. C. Ryle) – the old 19th-century bishop of Liverpool has some very relevant things to say about parenting in this sermon-turned-book. Some things never change.
- Finished: The Freedom Movement: 500 Years of Reformation (Michael Reeves) – a brilliant, short introduction to The Reformation. Very well designed. Maybe a bit too succinct; some of the transitions between the chapters/sections feel quite sudden.