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Grace And The Summer Of George

Tullian Tchividjian:

For many Americans of a certain age, the college admissions process is an oppressive and extraordinarily stressful area of life. It is performancism writ very, very large. One’s entire worth and value as a person is boiled down to a short transcript and application, which is then judged according to a stringent and ever-escalating set of standards. High-school seniors are called upon to justify themselves according to their achievements and interests, and as the top schools have gotten more and more competitive, so has the pressure under which our top students place themselves. Watching the students at our church go through it, not to mention my own kids, it’s hard not to sympathize. They feel that their entire lives are hanging in the balance, that where they go to school will dictate their happiness for years to come. It isn’t, of course, but that’s usually beside the point.

Pastoring the idle

Owen Strachan:

It’s a standard trope: The young seminarian takes his first pastorate. He’s loaded for bear, brimming with theological conviction, eager to love the people. He’s ready to meet the devil on the battlefield. His first year’s sermons are planned. He’s dreaming big, praying hard, and ready to go.

And then he meets it: Torpor. Indifference. Spiritual laziness.

In his vibrant memoir The Pastor, Eugene Peterson reflects on this. In its early days, his church plant drew “A few seasoned saints who kn[e]w how to pray and listen and endure,” but also “a considerable number of people who pretty much just showed up” (128). They were “the lukewarm,” and there were many of them.

In such a situation, facing spiritual lethargy in a congregation, what should a pastor do?

Stop the Pendulum Swinging!

Josh Blount:

Does it ever seem to you that we Christians have a tendency to regularly flip-flop from one extreme to the other?  I notice in my internal thought world, often after preaching a sermon. Five minutes after stepping out of the pulpit, I’m telling myself my sermon was the worst exposition of Scripture ever inflicted upon God’s people and possibly the origin of several new heresies previously unknown in church history. Then one dear, encouraging saint thanks me and I’m patting myself on the back and acting like I’m a George Whitfield Remix. (I exaggerate…slightly.)

How Mollie Hemingway Introduced the Nation to Kermit Gosnell

Trevin Wax:

Without taking away from Kirsten Powers’ article or the thousands who blogged or tweeted about Gosnell, I believe Mollie Hemingway deserves most of the credit for causing respected journalists to give this story a second look. For example, when Sarah Kliff claimed Gosnell was a local crime story without policy implications, Mollie pressed her on the silliness of that excuse. Later, Sarah admitted she’d been wrongNewsweek followed suit.

So what did Mollie do right? Several things.

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