Sunday Shorts (07/19)

“He moved out, took all our money, and left me with two children”

A powerful testimony from the Mars Hill Church blog:

After giving my heart to Jesus, he radically changed my life. I stopped being sexually active, changed my circle of friends, started singing in a choir, changed the way I dressed, started treating the people better, and used my free time to get closer to Christ. After college, I met and married a man who was serving Jesus. We had two beautiful boys, we were a part of a church, we served in the music ministry, and things felt right. My life suddenly changed, however, when I caught my husband having an affair. He moved out the same day, took all our money, and left me with two children.

Read the rest at

“Why Johnny Can’t Preach”

Ben Quinn at Baptist Twenty-One offers a concise recommendation for T. David Gordon’s Why Johnny Can’t Preach:

If you’re looking for a good book on preaching, you definitely want to check out T. David Gordon’s Why Johnny Can’t Preach.  I realize that most of you theology buffs are thinking, “The last thing I want to read is a preaching book,” but I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.  The literary quality alone is the worth the price of the book ($9.99 at Amazon), and you can read it in one sitting.

Playing off the titles of Why Johnny Can’t Read (Rudolf Flesch, 1966) and Why Johnny Can’t Write (Linden and Whimbey, 1990), T. David Gordon argues, “that societal changes that led to the concerns expressed in the 1960’s to 1980’s in educational circles…have led to the natural cultural consequence that people cannot preach expositorily” (15).

Read the rest at

Dan Kimball: “The Toughest Chapter to Write and Thank You NT Wright”

Dan Kimball shares his struggles writing about the issue of homosexuality:

The most difficult chapter in this book I am struggling with in the final writing and editing is the chapter on homosexuality. I did write about homosexuality before in the They Like Jesus But Not The Church book and my theological understanding of what Scriptures teach or don’t teach on it. I also addressed it in the DVD curriculum for that book, as I interviewed my gay friend Penny for that session in the DVD. The DVD was important as I wanted people to not just think about homosexuality or read about it, but to see the emotions, the eyes as one speaks, and hear the heart of my friend Penny – so that those that may not understand can hear her perspective and damage Christians and the church have done to her over the years.

But this book I am writing now is a trade book not written to only church leaders like my others. So I feel more weight  because the reading audience is much broader and probably more diverse. With this specific chapter, I am finding myself retyping sentences and thinking through how all different viewpoints will be reading what I am writing. So this one is taking several days wrapping it up.

Read the rest at Dan’s blog.

In case you missed it

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

Everyday Theology: “Money is the Root of All Evil” Exploring the truth that money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit & John Bunyan What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and what we can learn from John Bunyan’s experience.

Everyday Theology: “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child” Seeking to understand the purpose of godly discipline.

Book Review: Deep Economy Emily Armstrong offers her insights into Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy.

Book Review: Deep Economy


Recommended: A solid exploration of the need for balance in how humanity lives.

For a while now, I have held a conviction that a Jeremiah 29 lifestyle is important: to live in the city, know your neighbors, be involved in local organizations, buy from local businesses, and generally seek the welfare and prosperity of those around you. God promises that if you do this, you too will prosper. And so, while visiting our local library, Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future caught my eye.

The premise of the book is simple – the while “more” may equal “better” up to a certain point, there is a threshold after which “more” ceases to be “better” and is just plain burdensome. As the parent of a toddler, I can attest to this truth: I am constantly thinning the herd of stuffed animals that enter the home by way of extended family. I’m sure she’d have over 100 by now if we weren’t actively giving them away (and if you don’t think that sounds like a lot, you haven’t seen 100 stuffed animals in one place – it’s terrifying). We’ve given some to the Women’s Shelter, where there are children who don’t have many toys of their own, and we’ve also sent some down to the Dominican Republic with a friend, where they’re used at a medical center to distract children as they’re immunized. Both are much preferable to collecting dust under the crib.

But back to the book. McKibben is an engaging writer, and takes the reader on some memorable journeys: The miracle that is fossil fuel and how its use accelerated growth in the 20th century. What it’s like to engage in the 100-mile diet (conclusion: you’d better like turnips!). Visits to far-flung villages that make their own hydro power and grow all their own food. A Chinese shower curtain factory where twenty-something Chinese youth can make enough to send their siblings to school, as long as they resist the temptation to spend all their money on Coca-Cola. [Read more…]