Category Archives: Blog Recommendations

High Commendation 1/12/19

Below are some articles, videos, etc. That I highly commend to you. I do not commend these simply because of the author or because of the subject, but because I have found value and help in reading or watching these. I will put a snippet of the article and then the link if you care to continue to read.

Jared Wilson explains why Christian movies are just plain bad. He has a number of points and I think it’s worth noting them. Much of it has to do with two different starting points (mindsets) of secular and Christian movies. And it isn’t what you may think.

Last month, while out at the movies, my wife and I happened to see trailers for two new movies produced by and for the Christian market — “faith-based films” they call them these days. Both trailers distilled their respective stories down to about 3 minutes of earnest dialogue snippets, tear-streamed dramatic moments, and inspirational footage of sports (basketball in one, track in the other). Throughout both trailers — which we saw on two different days before two different movies — the audience was audibly laughing. I was cringing. The paint-by-numbers aesthetic of the new wave of Christian movies persists in making the faith appear trite, inauthentic, corny, and — worst of all, as far as the culture goes — uncool.

To read more, click/tap on the link below:

Why Christian Movies Are So Terrible

 

Contrary to some, people who are dead and gone in Christian history are not old ghosts  who shouldn’t be read. In fact, many (not all) should be read, and then as always made sure that what they wrote in in accordance with Scripture. This is being Berean-esque. The following link is to a video (or transcript) of why we should read the puritans.

The Puritans have influenced me in huge ways throughout my life. I was nine years  old when I first came under conviction of sin. I felt my sinfulness, went to my dad’s bookcase, and I scanned all of his Puritan books. I saw The Life and Death of Mr. Badman by John Bunyan. I thought, Well, I’m a bad boy, so I better read that book. So, I made my way through it.

To watch the video click/tap on the link below:

Why Pastors (and All of Us) Should Read the Puritans

 

Below is a link to a Facebook video that I came across and found to be powerful. It is a young man evangelizing to the Jews in Israel. How he does it is simply astounding to me. To watch the video (you’ll need the sound on; the subtitles are too fast–at least for me) click/tap on the link below:

“The Forbidden” Chapter in the Hebrew Bible

High Commendation 1/5/19

Below are some articles, videos, etc. That I highly commend to you. I do not commend these simply because of the author or because of the subject, but because I have found value and help in reading or watching these. I will put a snippet of the article and then the link if you care to continue to read.

Eric Johnson and Warren Watson writing for Desiring God (This is a very long article, however there is an audio version at the bottom of the article if you’d rather listen than read):

We’ve all known people with a personality disorder. We just didn’t have a label for it.

Ted acts like a know-it-all. He subtly informs others about his accomplishments, and he presents to the world an image of success, happiness, and confidence. But as we get to know him better, we sense a deep underlying insecurity and a strong hunger for admiration and affection.

Cindy always seems to be in a conflict with somebody at work. Although strongly opinionated and boisterous, she easily gets flustered and starts to cry when others push back. At these times, she often can be heard quietly saying to herself something like, “You’re such a jerk!”

Matt is 33 years old and has lived with his mother since graduating from college, shortly after his father died. He has a part-time job at the grocery store, but he rarely leaves the house otherwise, and he has no friends because he is devoted full time to caring for his widowed mother.

Charlotte is quiet at work most of the time, and shows almost no emotion. When she speaks, her comments don’t always correspond to what others are talking about. When others are not around, she often seems to be daydreaming. When she gets home from work, she watches television continuously until it’s time for bed.

Compared to most people, individuals like these have significant difficulties in life, but they are not so troubled that they require hospitalization. As some of the examples indicate, most have jobs, but their performance is often substandard; most also have some relationships, though typically of poor quality.

Such people are characterized by a deep and pronounced disorderedness in many core areas of their functioning: a negative sense of self, conflicted relationships, unbearable negative emotions, strong defenses, irrational thinking, and a lack of impulse control. As a result, they may exhibit inexplicable behaviors, rigidity in the way they do things, unsubstantiated beliefs about others, and unpredictable shifts in their emotions. These patterns of human dysfunction began to be identified only in the early twentieth century, and eventually they were given the label of personality disorders.

Still Saints: Caring for Christians with Personality Disorder

Tim Challies read a book on suffering titled A Book of Comfort for Those Who are Sick, in which he shared his favorite quotes. Below are a couple of quotes from his article. Click on the link for more.

“The waters of comfort cannot run up the hills of pride; they fall down into the valleys of humility.”

“When the sun shines brightly its warm beams draw up the damp fogs from the earth, and they often obscure its lustre. When a lamp is lit, the brighter it shines, the more the insects that gather round it. And so the brighter any truth of God, the more does Satan endeavour to gather about it such mists as will obscure it, if indeed he cannot extinguish it altogether.”

Comforting Quotes for Those Who Are Suffering

Diana Davis is the wife of the former President of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (SCOBI) and subsequently, we got to know the two of them a little but. They have since moved on from SCOBI, but Diana continues to spread new and interesting ideas for churches. Below are a couple of those ideas that I thought to be interesting and desirable. Click on the link for more!

9. Host a free car wash at church for the community.Accept no donations. Print custom air fresheners with a Scripture verse or saying, church name, and website. Offer a friendly, personal invitation to church, and hang a freshener on their rearview mirror.

21. Gather a small group from church and volunteer to host a water station at a local running event. Wear church T-shirts, cheer for participants, and invite.

52 Ideas for Inviting Someone to Church This Year