by John Ellis
I freely and happily admit that I have cribbed this idea from many other writers and bloggers. So be it. A good idea is a good idea, though, right? There is so much content vying for our attention on the internet, it’s often hard to find the diamond in the rough, so to speak. Although, there are plenty of diamonds hidden throughout the interwebs. That fact means that aggregate sites are useful, and websites and blogs that devote articles and posts to serving as an aggregate for interesting and/or useful content are likewise useful. While I have next to zero desire for this blog to become an aggregate site, or even provide daily posts that offer some help to my friends and readers uncovering some diamonds that they may have missed, a weekly post seems fun for me and possibly profitable for others.
Below, are several of the more interesting articles and blog posts that I read over the last week. Enjoy.
Over the last year or so, I’ve increasingly looked forward to Jen Wilkin’s articles. Even in disagreement, I find her winsome, thought-provoking, and, most importantly, driven by the desire to magnify God’s name with her writing and opinions. Her latest piece is a must-read, I believe, for all Christian men (most especially those who serve as Elders). Sadly, we men often do much harm to the spirit of our sisters in Christ. In this article, Wilkin’s gives “3 Female Ghosts that Haunt the Church;” ghosts that sadly inform the ways in which men frequently and sinfully interact with their sisters in Christ. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/3-female-ghosts-that-haunt-the-church
I don’t know a whole lot about Michael Dougherty, but his tweets (I follow him on Twitter) are the thoughts of a man who is thoughtful and interesting. This past week, he tweeted out a link to one of his latest articles titled, “The Arrogant Thinking of Liberal Sports Writers.” I love sports, probably too much. But, as a conservative Christian, I have reached a point where I feel as if I am outside the intended audience of much of sports reporting/op-eds. So much so, that I rarely watch ESPN anymore. It may be time to cancel my Sling TV subscription. http://theweek.com/articles/680886/arrogant-thinking-liberal-sports-writers
This provocative article from my friend Joffre the Giant speaks the truth. If the following pull-quote can’t entice you to click the link, nothing else that I can say about the article will. “One of the distraction tactics often used is to say that we care nothing for women. Women are going to get abortions anyway, and if we got what we wanted, women would end up dying in droves in the dirty back alleys we’d driven them to by making abortion illegal. Is that really what we want? Yes.” http://joffrethegiant.blogspot.com.br/2017/02/yes-i-want-abortions-to-be-in-back.html
By God’s grace, I have been a Christian for twelve years. Eleven of those years have been spend in a multiple Elders-led church. The following article details many of the reasons why I believe that multiple Elders leading/serving a church is best. http://founders.org/2017/01/30/one-thing-i-did-right-in-ministry-i-didnt-lead-alone/
I frequently tell people that word studies provide synonyms; context provides meaning. It’s not that I’m opposed to word studies; it’s that word studies are one tool out of many to aid in delving into the context. Again, context is where meaning is found, not word studies. Dr. George Guthrie has provided a helpful article about word studies. https://georgehguthrie.com/new-blog/why-context-is-so-important-in-doing-word-studies-an-example
People who fall away from the Faith (demonstrating that they never had faith to begin with) operate from a script. One of the first lines on that script is something like, “The Bible is a really old book written by multiple people and edited by many others, and they all had an agenda. And while the Bible contains God’s word, we need to be careful not to make claims of certainty from a very wonderful yet flawed book.” By God’s grace, one of the most helpful and edifying theologians in my own life, Dr. D.A. Carson has written an article for TGC offering a warning about some subtle threats that threaten a robust, God-honoring doctrine of the Bible. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-subtly-abandon-your-bibles-authority
I have Crossway’s ESV Bible app on my phone. Pretty much the only time I use it is during our weekly staff meeting at church. Other than that, I have it on my phone in case I’m somewhere without a physical Bible and find myself in an apologetics or gospel conversation. That being said, I have yet to fully wrap my brain around my opinions/beliefs regarding things like Bible apps. For the record, I’m very strongly listing to the position of “I don’t like the combination of smartphones and the Church.” The following link about how smartphones are changing Christianity (I’m not sure that’s true, but the BBC can be excused for failing to adequately nuance out the discussion) is/may be a precursor to an article from me on the subject of smartphones and the Church. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170222-how-smartphones-and-social-media-are-changing-religion
Continuing my blatant theft of Tim Challies’ “A La Carte” series, I offer this link to a free e-book (to be fair, to me, I’m not planning on linking to free e-books on a regular basis). I don’t read e-books. For no good reason other than I don’t like ’em. Others, however, love e-books. That’s ok; if that’s you, I forgive you. However, I do love The Good Book Company, a small publishing house in England. For a few more days, TGBC is offering a free e-book. In the issue of full disclosure, I have yet to read the book. I have been greatly edified by some of Rico Tice’s other books, though; not to mention the almost dozen books published by TGBC that I’ve read. I’m linking to this in order to help introduce people to TGBC. As a bonus, you get a free e-book that is more than likely worth your time. http://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/free-ebook