Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Old, Old Gospel is Newest Thing in the World

We ought not, as men in Christ Jesus, to be carried away by a childish love of novelty, for we worship a God who is ever the same, and of whose years there is no end. In some matters “the old is better.” There are certain things which are already so truly new, that to change them for anything else would be to lose old gold for new dross.

The old, old gospel is the newest thing in the world; in its very essence it is for ever good news. In the things of God the old is ever new, and if any man brings forward that which seems to be new doctrine and new truth, it is soon perceived that the new dogma is only worn-out heresy dexterously repaired, and the discovery in theology is the digging up of a carcase of error which had better have been left to rot in oblivion.

In the great matter of truth and godliness, we may safely say, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Charles Spurgeon

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The Tide is Turning

I just came across another AP article on abortion doctors being charged for murder. The story is disturbing, of course, and just one more indication of how the culture of death marches on.

And yet, I was strangely comforted by the outrage in the comments section, particularly from those who still call themselves “pro-choice.” In fact, I’ve been perusing the comments and haven’t found anyone yet who defends the aborting of a viable fetus. It’s only a matter of time before the our society’s revulsion at late-term abortions is pushed back toward the beginning of the pregnancy.

When it comes to abortion, the tide is turning. Take a look at some of these comments.

    36 weeks? isn’t that almost nine months?
    An abortion at 36 WEEKS??? People, that’s a 9 month pregnancy! Who in their right mind would abort a baby who is at full term to be born?! O.M.G.
    What about the mothers. They should be arrested and charged as they knew what they were doing.
    I agree, both the doctors and the mothers should be held responsible. Most states have made it somewhat easy to drop off a baby at local hospitals, churches, etc…if the child is not wanted.
    While I am pro-choice, even I am appalled and baffled at the thought of aborting a 36 week old fetus. What were the participants thinking? There MUST be a cut-off point; even I think ending the life of an about-to-be-born baby is murder.
    My son who was born into this world at 32 weeks was …

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Friday Funny: Snow

I love this snippet from Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl about snow, as well as this 31-second clip from The Mary Tyler Moore Show that has Betty White explaining the beauty of snowflakes (and their consequences). She’s hilarious.

Snow is so overused. One sentimental, overly structured ice flake might have some value. But God never seems capable of moderation or of understanding the basic concepts behind supply and demand. He constantly devalues His own products. Give me one flake, a cool room, and a magnifying glass and I will admire its artistry.

But right now, I’m sitting by my window on a Christmas night, staring out at winter wastefulness in the extreme. Miles of clouds, clouds larger than states, have turned into crystal stars and now streak silently past my window to their deaths. Well, not quite silently. The stars are falling fast enough that if you step outside, like I just did, you can hear the whisper of collisions and delicate frozen impacts, each six-pointed perfection complaining as it arrives— “They told me I was special. There’s two and a half bazillion of us in this hedge and more falling. Does anyone here care about overpopulation? A market crash? Close the sky. Lobby for a moratorium.” But the storm-whispers sound more pleased to me. Excited even— “I knew I was different from the rest of you plebes. Look how silly and gothic you all look with your skinny, knobbed arms. I’m unique. Neoclassical.”

Try counting the flakes. Really count them. I’ll step back outside for …

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Worth Another Look – 2011 Wrap Up

The nature of the blogosphere is that blog posts come and go rather quickly. It’s easy for great articles to get lost in the flood of information that we process every day. So, as a service to readers, I went back through some of my “Trevin’s Seven” and “Worth a Look” posts from 2011 and chose some content from other blogs – articles that deserve another look.

Here are ten blog posts from 2011 worth revisiting:

1. Kevin DeYoung: Parenting 001

2. Zach Nielsen: The Giver is the Gift

3. Tim Chester: Mission as Hospitality

4. Ed Stetzer: Proselytizing in a Multi-Faith World

5. John Mark Reynolds: In Defense of Disney Princesses

6. Russell Moore: Gospel or Justice – Which?

7. Scot McKnight: King Jesus Gospel Evangelism

8. Tullian Tchividjian: Remember the Duck!

9. Tim Challies: How to Start a Blog

10. Sam Rainer: Ten Unexpected Trends to Surface in 2020

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Kingdom People: Top 10 Posts of 2011

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is typically quiet in the blog-world. So for today, I’ve put together a list of the most-read posts this year at Kingdom People.

1. How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go (October 18, 2011)

Just once, I’d like to see a TV interview go more like this…

2. Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition (April 27, 2011)

Those of us who are entrusted with the task of expositing the Scriptures in a local church must take care to verify our sources, illustrations, and stories. No matter how helpful an illustration may be, it is dishonoring to God if it is untrue. Here are a number of urban legends that get repeated in sermons. Some are more pervasive than others, even appearing in commentaries and scholarly works.

3. James MacDonald, David Platt, and the Question of Radical Sacrifice (April 6, 2011)

The MacDonald/Platt discussion was tense at times, perhaps because the practical ramifications of how we think about money always hit close to home.

4. N.T. Wright on Rob Bell and the Reality of Hell (May 24, 2011)

Jesus didn’t “stir things up” by backing off the truth of final judgment. He stirred things up by reaching for the most gruesome, horrifying images imaginable in order to communicate the horror of God’s judgment. I don’t think “stirring things up” among those who think they have it all figured out is the best way to increase evangelistic fervor today. Instead, I want God to use …

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Worth a Look 12.28.11

Confessing Courage – Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

In light of Bonhoeffer’s willingness to die for the faith, the call to mutual confession may seem minor, even trite. Not to him. He knew that dictators rise and fall. Persecution comes and goes. But the Church endures, and, until Christ returns, she is full of sinners. The courageous sinner, redeemed by the blood of Christ, will fight his sin by being honest about it, confessing it both to God and a brother or sister. Such courage may not make the history books, but it will mark those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Mitt Romney on his work as a Mormon missionary:

“We knocked on doors from morning until quite late in the evening,” he said. “We didn’t convert one person in five months. So, you understand the rejection, you know that’s a pretty high level of rejection and you get used to it. You say, ‘okay, what do I believe, what’s important to me,’ and you don’t measure yourself and your success by how other people react, but instead by how you’re doing and how you feel about the things you care about.”

The Gospel Coalition staff recommend 2011 Books:

Some of The Gospel Coalition staff have compiled a “recommended” list of books published in 2011. These are the books that stuck with us, that will continue to teach us in the coming year and beyond. We’d gladly hand out these books to friends, family, and neighbors. After you read our …

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Top 5 Weather YouTube Videos of the Year, 2011

Denny Burk puts together a great rundown of the funniest YouTube videos each year. Taking a cue from Denny, I’d like to post a year-end collection of weather videos. Here are five newsworthy weather events that were caught on film.

As you watch these weather events, ask God to break your heart for the brokenness of our fallen world, and remember to pray for the people whose lives were affected during these storms. It’s also a good reminder to pray for the churches in these areas, as God’s people display the beauty of the gospel in their response of compassion.

1. The first-person, street-level view of the tsunami in Japan. Within six minutes, a small wave pushing cars along becomes a monstrous wall of water moving whole buildings.

2. High winds cause the stage to collapse at the Indiana State Fair. (I can’t embed this video because of the graphic nature of the fall.)

3. Here is a group of people huddling in the cooler of a gas station as the tornado passes through Joplin. You can’t see much, but the sound is pretty intense.

4. Here’s the same guy as he returns to the gas station where the previous video was filmed.

5. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago on February 2, 2011.

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Worth a Look 12.27.11

Todd Rhoades posts Rob Bell’s good-bye letter to his church. (Just a heads up. It’s a little long.)

Fred Sanders on spiritual disciplines and physical bodies:

It’s the instructions for how to live a life characterized by receiving life on the other side of death. That’s the right place to talk about the (somewhat trendy, at least in its jargon) subject of spiritual disciplines.

What to Do If You Wake Up Feeling Fragile:

There are mornings when I wake up feeling fragile. Vulnerable. It’s often vague. No single threat. No one weakness. Just an amorphous sense that something is going to go wrong and I will be responsible. It’s usually after a lot of criticism. Lots of expectations that have deadlines and that seem too big and too many.

Stop worrying about leadership behaviors, and focus on this instead:

Wondering how you can get it right on the inside instead of working so hard to act in a prescribed way on the outside?  Here are some ways to get started.  These are based on answers to the question, “Who was your best boss?” and “What made them so special?” that Blanchard consultants have been asking in classes and presentations over the years.

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Read the Bible as One Story

There are a variety of ways to read the whole Bible in a year. I have found it helpful to read the Bible chronologically in order to better understand the flow and framework of the Bible’s grand narrative.

Union University professor, George Guthrie, has developed the Read the Bible for Life Chronological plan. You can download the plan in a two-page format here for free. If you’d like to go ahead and get a Bible that is structured according to the plan, you can do so with the HCSB “Reading God’s Story” Bible. It comes with a companion piece written by Dr. Guthrie – summary paragraphs offering some guidance for each day’s reading.

There is also a free booklet version of the Read the Bible for Life 4+1 Reading Plan. The plan is similar to the Discipleship Journal plan, but in addition to reading in four different places in the Scriptures, you read a psalm a day and cycle through the psalms twice in the year. Also, the plan is semi-chronological, placing the prophets and the NT letters in rough chronological order. This plan can be downloaded in booklet form here.

For other options, check out 3 story-focused ways to read the Bible, as well as storied approaches to evangelism (including the excellent resource: The Story of Hope).

 

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Worth a Look 12.26.11

How Luther Went Viral:

The internet offers a new perspective on this long-running debate, namely that the important factor was not the printing press itself (which had been around since the 1450s), but the wider system of media sharing along social networks—what is called “social media” today. Luther, like the Arab revolutionaries, grasped the dynamics of this new media environment very quickly, and saw how it could spread his message.

 7 Things Highly Productive People Do:

Want to be more productive and get your focus back? There are no secret tricks here… do one thing at a time. Stop multitasking—it’s just another form of distraction.

Cool pic – Niagara Falls Frozen Over in 1933. (Put the mouse over the picture to get a close up view.)

World analyzes the trailer for The Hobbit and speculates on the potential plot changes:

Our first look at Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Expected Journey gives some hints as to what audiences can expect when the film hits theaters in December 2012…

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