Sola Wednesdays

SolaWednesdayFinal

1) Book Review: Killing Jesus

Killing Jesus is another account that will be here for a while and then disappear and be forgotten. In the meantime, it will take Jesus out of the realm of fantasy and place him squarely in history, but even as it does that, it will neglect to tell why his life, his crucifixion, his resurrection are of eternal significance, a matter of his life and death and our own.

Woopedy doo. An attempt to “historicize” Jesus as a non-religious figure. Coming from the Religious Right.”

2) As Lambs in the Midst of Wolves

Over the weekend, enemies of Christ made themselves apparent by attacking his followers. One of the attacks was carried out by the Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab, in a Nairobi mall. The attackers killed at least 62 people, injuring 175. Witnesses say they let Muslims go free before they began shooting people. The other attack occurred at the hands of two suicide bombers in a Pakistani church of 500. 81 were killed, and 120 are wounded. The terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attack is a “splinter group” of the Pakistani Taliban.

How are believers supposed to respond to such violent opposition? From 1 Peter, let me suggest six godly reactions.

3) Isaiah’s Upcoming Mission Trip

Isaiah is probably the only seven-year-old who loves to watch sermons on his iPad. One of his favorites is the John Piper video podcast. He’ll pull them up all by himself and just sit there and watch them over and over again. One day I asked him why he liked to watch sermons so much, and he just smiled and said “happy.”

4) Can I Tell You About My Friend Jesus?

Here are the tweets about my friend Jesus. I hope he is your friend too.

SolaWednesdayFinal

1) “You Can’t Use the Bible to Prove the Bible” . . . And Other Stupid Statements

In the end, the story of Christ has plenty of independent documentation, all of must prove or evidence the rest. So in this sense, we must use the Bible to prove the Bible or else we are not being historians, but religious zealots, fighting to keep hold of our unbelief through stupid statements.

2) Is It Good News That Cohabitation Rates Are Stalling?

“Another possibility is that cohabitation has become so common and socially accepted that it now is following the same pattern as marriage,” Shah writes. Those who wish to avoid commitments are now “shying away from cohabitation the same way they might avoid marriage.”

3) Why Men Have Stopped Singing in Church

And so the church has returned to the 14th century. Worshippers stand mute as professional-caliber musicians play complex instruments, sung in an obscure language. Martin Luther is turning over in his grave.

4) 10-Year-Old Banned From Writing About God By Memphis Teacher, Told to Remove Paper From School Property

A Memphis-area mother is angry with her daughter’s elementary school after a teacher told her 10-year-old she could not have God as the subject of her class assignment to write about her idol.

5) Challies Best Commentary Series

Series Introduction: I live in a small house. I work in a small office in a small church. For those reasons and others I will never have a huge library. When I add a book I almost always remove a book, a practice that allows me to focus on quality over quantity. Over the past couple of years I have focused on building a collection of commentaries that will include only the best volumes on each book of the Bible.

SolaWednesdayFinal

Well, I’m married.

Since I already posted one “Sola Wednesday” listing my top 5 read posts so far of 2013, I figured I should follow up with 5 of the least read posts so far. Have you read them all?

1) They Were the Best of Times, They Were the Worst of Times

My first post. The one that started it all.

2) Love-Fueled Bible Study

My Bible Study series was largely left unread. Here is the final post in the series – have you read them all?

3) From the Vault: Thomas Cranmer

I’ve really been enjoying discovering new dead guys to post on the blog. This might be my favorite so far.

4) Languages, Part 3

I wrote a three-part series on the purpose behind studying the original Biblical languages. I really enjoyed writing this up for people to read!

5) Undeserved Grace

Sometimes I feel most in communion with God when I write, rather than speak, my prayers to Him.

SolaWednesdayFinal

“Sola Wednesday” is going to look a little different for the next two weeks.

As many of you know, I’ll be getting married this Saturday (WOO HOO). Then I’ll be on my honeymoon next week.

So this week I give you a list of the top 5 read posts of 2013 so far. I’ve been at this thing since April 2013, and there are already plenty of posts with quite a few hits!

Have you read them all? Please comment on and share your favorites!

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1) Bacon, Jesus and the New Covenant

“Being the complete nerd that I am, I couldn’t help but think about the relationship between bacon and my faith as a Christian. Which naturally led to me thinking about what it must’ve been like to be held in bondage under the law as the Jews once were (and many still are). From there I began to think about how many times in our current culture I’ve heard Christians being blasted as hypocrites for eating pork (and/or shellfish). After all, doesn’t the Bible say we can’t eat them? The common analogy I hear is that Christians treat the Bible as if it is trail-mix, picking and choosing the parts that we like or don’t like. We’ve all seen it right? The email-chains being forwarded around about all the commands in the Bible Christians don’t keep (especially those from Leviticus), the blasts on Facebook about how we’re hypocrites and Jesus just wants us to be nice to one another (is a half-truth still truth?).”

2) Why the Marriage Debate has Already Destroyed Us

“Let me begin by simply stating the premise of this article: I am issuing a desperate plea for rationally-based, hope-filled, tolerance-understanding, people-loving discussion on the subject of marriage not only in the United States, but across the globe. I truly believe that we are currently in the middle of an issue that has our culture more polarized and divided than any other in history. I realize those who lived through the civil-rights movement may disagree with me, however with the spread of technology and social media we are now able to relay information and arguments faster than ever before causing the polarization of people to increase at never-before-seen rates. My fear is that, because of the rapid spread of information and growing trends in our society, we have officially lost the ability to have calm discussion and solve problems together.”

3) Man of Steel: Our Modern Desire for a Savior

“I was recently talking to a friend (thanks, Tom) about the level of gospel-related imagery present in many Hollywood movies today. We specifically talked about the latest Batman trilogy – one of the reasons everyone loves Batman is that he’s the unlikely hero who is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of others. Isn’t that why we love the idea of heroes today? One of the subplots in last years Avengers was that Tony Stark wasn’t a true hero until he learned what it meant to sacrifice himself and put his own life on the line. Captain America is the selfless boyscout who, despite being mocked and humiliated by his peers, continually demonstrates that others lives are more valuable than his. Selflessness, humility, sacrifice – things we love to see in our ideal heroes – are all things that Christ demonstrated through his earthly ministry and ultimate death on the cross.”

4) Judge Not, Lest Ye Be a Hater

“The truth is, everybody want’s Jesus on their side. We live in an age where the majority of the population is Biblically illiterate, and rather than investigate what they hear for themselves they trust the first thing they hear that already agrees with their beliefs. Those who hold to the belief that Jesus’ followers aren’t to judge anyone will often reference either John 8:7 (“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”), or Matthew 7:1 (“Judge not, that you be not judged.”). From a plain reading, one might conclude that Jesus did in fact teach that his followers are not to make any judgment whatsoever. The Bible has a lot to say about judging one another – but since even non-Christians like to quote Jesus to make their point, let us look specifically at these verses in their appropriate contexts to see what Jesus really had to say about judging people.”

5) Macklemore’s Mackled Love

“It has been requested of me for some time to address the song Same Love by Macklemore. I don’t really listen to Pop-radio, so I am both blissfully ignorant and culturally unaware of the music circulating today. At first I denied the request to write on this issue – after all I’d already waded in the boiling water with this post, so two posts on a similar subject seemed too close to beating on the aforementioned dead horse. However, after some brief discussion and further thought on this song, as well as the recent DOMA/SCOTUS decisions, I’ve decided to once again put my thoughts out there for the interwebs to read. It is my hope and prayer that this will contribute to the discussion on both sides, and that it will be edifying to anyone who reads it regardless of their position.”