In Case You Missed It

At The Gospel Coalition, Trevin Wax shared an article discussing why his son does not have a smartphone. Trevin writes:

Our son wants a smartphone with an Instagram account. He’s 12. He’s in seventh grade. He wants to be able to text his friends, send pictures, and chat in the afternoons and evenings.

 

His mom and I say “no.”

 

Keelan Cook posted an article at The People’s Next Door discussing if we can love people on social media.

February 4, 2004 was a very significant day in the world.

 

It was the day that Facebook was created. Whether you love it or not, Facebook was a catalyst for the online “social media” movement. There are now 1.6 billion active users on Facebook, which is nearly one quarter of the world’s population. Along with Facebook, there are several other social media outlets that have massive followings as well. I say all of that to point out two obvious conclusions. First, literally billions of people have decided they want to connect with other people around the world via social media. Second, it shows that people want to be heard and engage in dialogue with the rest of the world (or at least the hundred people that follow them). But what should our dialogue look like?

 

At The Intersect Project Sam Morris shares three reasons why we should engage in political discussion on social media. Sam writes:

Politics are everywhere — especially our social media feeds. After eight months of fierce campaigning, we now are watching the political divide play out in real time on social media.

 

People are getting frustrated with what they see on social media. Some claim that they’re “quitting Facebook” or other social platforms (save for perhaps Instagram).

 

But don’t delete that Facebook account just yet.

 

Bruce Ashford shared a post at his personal blog discussing how we, our nation, and our churches should respond to Trump’s refugee ban.

One week into his presidency, Donald Trump fulfilled one of his campaign promises to ban immigration from countries compromised by terrorism. In an executive order signed on Friday, he banned all people from seven nations, refusing them entry for 90 days. Those nations are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

 

In light of the uproar caused by the executive order, and especially the refusal of Syrian refugees, this article will address six questions. The first three are more theoretical, while the last three address tangible actions that can be taken by nations, churches, and individuals.

 

At the Center for Great Commission Studies, Chuck Lawless shared ten reasons we must connect our churches with cities. Dr. Lawless writes:

We are called to get the gospel to all peoples of the world (Matt. 28:18-20), and we will not do that if we shy away from the world’s cities. Please read on, and pray about how your church might tackle a city – then encourage others to read this post as well.

In Case You Missed It

Recently at TGC, Trevin Wax published an article giving tips for reading better while retaining more. In his article Trevin writes:

Last week, I posted a video to my Facebook page in which I gave some tips for reading faster, better, and wider. Also last week, Hubworthy released book recommendations from people associated with The Gospel Coalition. (My list of “essential reading” is here.)

With so many good books to read, it’s natural to want to read better and wider. Here is my response to a few questions that were sent to me on Facebook, prompted by the video.

In a guest post on Art Rainer’s blog, Sam Morris gives five helpful tips for becoming a better public speaker:

Whether it is a sermon full of ‘umms’ or a prayer spoken at the speed of sound, if the audience has lost track you are not communicating effectively. As a pastor, this could quite literally be the difference between redemption and condemnation.

There are a myriad of reasons why a pastor should always continue to develop as a public speaker. Here are  five communication tips for pastors to consider.

Elizabeth Wann published an article earlier this week at Desiring God explaining the hidden ministry of motherhood. Elizabeth writes:

[T]he main role God calls us to as wives and mothers is our home and family. God made women to bear and nurture life and men to provide for and protect the lives of women and children. The heart disposition in these matters manifests itself in where our priorities lie.

At the Baptist Press, Don Whitney explains how he started praying the Bible:

It was the first of March 1985. I remember where I was sitting when it happened.

I was pastor of a church in the western suburbs of Chicago. A guest preacher was speaking at a series of meetings at our church. He was teaching on the prayers of the apostle Paul in his New Testament letters, and encouraging us to pray these inspired prayers as our own.

Then, at one point he held up his Bible said, “Folks, when you pray, use the prayer book.”

In that moment I suddenly realized, “The entire Bible is a prayer book. We can pray not only the prayers of Paul in Ephesians, we can pray everything in the Book of Ephesians.”

Chris Martin recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Russell Moore about his latest book ‘Onward’.

I do not count it coincidence that a leader as articulate and gracious as he has been made the leader of one of the most influential Christian organizations in Washington, D.C. amidst our present culture context. The Lord knew what he was doing when he led Dr. Moore to lead the ERLC, and I’m thankful for that. People who get on TV to represent Christianity sometimes make Christians look silly. Dr. Moore has done quite the opposite, and I’m thankful someone like him represents evangelicals on CNN and other places.

In Case You Missed It

 

Marty Duren recently published an article on life’s changing narrative. In his post Marty writes:

I wonder, at times, if we are as concerned over lost people as we are uncomfortable being around some of them. The New Testament does not record Jesus getting goosebumps while dining with sinners, religious or otherwise. If love for our neighbors means less comfort for ourselves, then we should become comfortable with the lack of it.

Sam Storms looks at the humility displayed in the book of James in this post.

The only thing James says about himself is that he is a “servant” or “slave” of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Note that again. He doesn’t refer to Jesus as “my half-brother” (“So you better pay attention to what I have to say!”), but as the “Lord” to whom he owes unqualified allegiance, the “Lord” to whom he bows his knees, the “Lord” who has redeemed him and to whose glory and praise his entire life is wholly devoted.

Thus we see the heart and humility of this man both in what he doesn’t say about himself and what he does say. “If you are inclined to listen to what I say and heed my words, do it because my life belongs to the one who is my Lord, not because he’s my brother.”

Kelly Rosati, Vice President at Focus on the Family, writes about our callousness to the life and death of the preborn.

These wake-up call videos have done more than just energize the weary pro-life advocates—those in the trenches who continue to believe (naively, some cynics would say) that a day is coming when society will once again protect the human rights of preborn children. The Planned Parenthood scandal has also brought to life many “regular” pro-life people who are not usually engaged with this issue on a daily basis. They have been living their lives, minding their own business, not wanting to be zealous crusaders.

Sam Morris has written three blog posts so far related to topics surrounding the Planned Parenthood videos:

Sam is a communication and social media specialist at SEBTS, and in his lastest post regarding social media he writes:

My prayer is that we, as Christians believing that every life is valuable, speak out clearly on social media to #DefundPP. Our collective voice cannot be drowned out, and we are offered video upon video upon video of proof that shows the horrific carnage that is Planned Parenthood.
If history remembers anything of this online conversation let it not be that Christians were silent. Speak up. Be heard.

Finally, Hershael York writes about the funeral he most dreaded preaching. No spoilers here; just read the post.