Don’t Miss List: Hello, December Edition

ChristmasTreeI picked up our Christmas tree last night, so I’m in a Christmas-y mood. That might be obvious with some, but not all, of this Don’t Miss List:

Rev. Kevin DeYoung pleads with pastors: Don’t cancel Sunday services for Christmas!

I LOVE THIS! As someone who loves Christmas Eve service but usually has to miss it in order to see all my cousins at our family party, I often wish more churches still held Christmas Day services (yes — that used to be a thing). Since this year, Christmas falls on a Sunday I really want to find  a service to attend.

I greatly appreciated DeYoung’s letter here and the reasons he gives for not cancelling Christmas Sunday services at your church.

Here’s one of them: “It’s Christmas for crying out loud! It’s the day we celebrate the incarnation, the birth of the Messiah, the entrance into our world of the second Person of Trinity. Don’t we want to sing? Don’t we want to celebrate? Don’t we want to preach and praise and pray?”

I do want to sing and celebrate and hear the word. Pastors, please know that some of us really do want to be in your church this Christmas!

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Sad Songs and Lost Souls

PosnerIbiza

I was driving to work recently while listening to my favorite pop music station (yes, pop is one of the many kinds of music I listen to). One of the songs currently in rotation is a radio edit of Mike Posner’s, I Took A Pill in Ibiza, (SeeB remix version). It’s upbeat in an EDM sort of way, but the words are haunting. The acoustic version is just haunting.

The song talks about taking drugs to impress fellow musicians, buying cars and clothes to project his status as “a real big baller,” fame, the inability to open up to people and the hollowness of it all. Continue reading

Don’t Miss List: Conference Live Stream, About the ‘Young Messiah’ and More

Shepherd’s Conference is Streaming

The Shepherd’s Conference continues today at Grace Community Church. For all those who can’t be there, here’s the live stream.

Three posts about the ‘Young Messiah’ Movie

YoungMessiah

Amy Spreeman at Berean Research exposes several problems with the new movie, with these three posts.

Mysticism: Its Origin and Impact on Contemporary Christian Thought

Pastor Zachary Doffelt examines the resurgence of mysticism in evangelicalism, by tracing its roots. An important read.

 

Don’t Miss List: ‘Risen,’ Adam, Shepherd Pastors, the UCC and More

The internet is just so full of things. And it’s been some time since I put a list together, so please bear with me this week.

Risen, Reviewed by Michael Coughlin

RISEN

Michael Coughlin watched and reviewed the new movie, Risen, and his post is available at Michelle Lesley’s site. I saw the film for myself on Sunday afternoon and found Coughlin’s assessment hit the mark. If you’re considering seeing it, check out his review first.

My own brief thoughts about the film: great acting, cinematography and a gripping story that affirms that Jesus did in fact rise from the grave. It also does confront a nonbeliever with the truth of Jesus’s deity, a truth that demands a response: believe and follow or reject it. If was also considerably more accurate in its history and plausible in its fictional parts, than many other made for TV or cinema movies about the Bible or Jesus Christ. It was not perfect though.

My gripes about the film were mostly small, with these notable exceptions: there was little indication of why Jesus died on the cross (Because our sins separate us from God Jesus sacrificed himself to redeem us from our sins and restore that relationship with God if we repent and believe in Him.) and no real mention of sin or repentance (that I could spot with one viewing). As a result it lacked a clear gospel message for the viewer to understand (and accept or reject). Second, the portrayal of Jesus as all about “love” was what I would consider incomplete truth. Certainly Jesus was loving, sacrificing himself for our sins was the greatest demonstration of love in all of history. But he also made it clear He would someday judge the world, and those who did not believe in Him (for example: Matthew 25).

Josephfiennes

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Don’t Miss List: Scripture, Archaeology, Books and TV

This week’s Don’t Miss List is absolutely brimming with content, so let’s get started.

Biblical Context for the Top Ten Biblical Archaeological Discoveries of 2015

If you ever daydreamed about being an archaeologist someday like I once did (blame Indiana Jones) then this should interest you. Bible Gateway builds on a recent Christianity Today story about archaeological finds from last year, and how they fit into the history presented in scripture. Continue reading