Just one book to highlight as far as Kindle deals are concerned: Teach Us to Want by Jen Pollock Michel ($1.99).
This article on the need for Barnes and Noble is interesting:
If Barnes & Noble were to shut its doors, Amazon, independent bookstores, and big-box retailers like Target and Walmart would pick up some of the slack. But not all of it. Part of the reason is that book sales are driven by “showrooming,” the idea that most people don’t buy a book, either in print or electronically, unless they’ve seen it somewhere else—on a friend’s shelf, say, or in a bookstore. Even on the brink of closing, Barnes & Noble still accounts for as much as 30 percent of all sales for some publishing houses.
Well, the same gospel that by its nature unifies also tends to divide. We don’t usually expect this kind of division in a local church — we are typically otherwise fearful about conflict arising from music styles, programming choices, and personality types — but the gospel can divide a church just as easily as it might a family. But actually there’s nothing more prone to stirring up mess than the grace of God that has arrived to create order.
Whenever the gospel is faithfully preached, people get poked in the idols. And people don’t like that.
Here’s a good check for every leader, or really anyone at all: when is the last time you said, “That’s a good idea, let’s do it your way”? God is the only one who never changes his mind. He’s the only one whose ideas are perfect the first time around. For the rest of us, we must be willing to change–not always and not when it comes to truth, but probably more often than we think. At the very least, the humble leader knows how to incorporate the good ideas of those around him. He’s not too proud to admit, “You know what, that’s much better than the way I’ve been doing things.”
About a decade removed from my first struggles with this story I find myself engaging this passage as a pastor. And I realize how much I’m like Uzzah. I’ve got dirty and sinful hands and I touch holy things every week. I’ve got extensive training in how to properly handle these holy things and yet I can so often slip into the idea that God needs a little help keeping His treasures from teetering. And so I raise up my trembling (yet somehow also pride-fueled) hand and try to steady the wobbling effects of the sovereign activity of God.
And some how I’m not struck dead.
Some sectors of religious activism chafe when we say that Christianity has always been and will always be a minority viewpoint in Western culture. Minorities do not exert influence, they will contend, on the culture or the systems around it. The temptation is to pretend to be a majority, even if one is not.
Really happy for my friend Chris Martin. Looking forward to reading his book from Rainer Publishing.
So why would I think online friendships can be dangerous? Because they easily can feel like something they are not. While online friends are indeed real people for whom we may have genuine affection, it’s essentially impossible for them to actually know the real you. This doesn’t mean these friendships have to be ended, but they do need to be regulated.
Online friendships can be great blessings when placed in their proper perspectives, but perilous when they replace local community and the local church.