1. “I’m a Complementarian, But…” by Thabiti Anyabwile
Thabiti has been hitting it out of the park lately, and this is yet another phenomenal post by my brother. This piece strikes a chord with my own heart on the issue of gender roles. I identify myself as a “soft Complimentarian,” but I am rarely comfortable with the way the subject is discussed and lauded in contemporary Evangelicalism. Thabiti explores his own angst over the subject here. In particular he writes about the lack of positive application of the concept to the lives and ministries of women. He says:
When it comes to practice, too many of us have thought about the negative–how to safeguard the complementarian position–but have neglected the affirmative–how we should equip and deploy our sisters for service.
This is a good and necessary read for pastors and lay leaders.
2. “I’m a Complimentarian, But…Women Must Be Taught, and Must Teach” by Thabiti Anyabwile
Part 2 of Thabiti’s excellent series on Complimentarianism. In this piece Thabiti goes even further to state that women must be taught and must teach. I’ve made the same arguments myself, and I love the way he handles this issue.
3. “The 2014 Christ and Pop Culture 25” by CAPC
It’s an end of the year list and CAPC has a very eclectic and fascinating one. Check out all their favorite things, people, movies, shows, books, albums, etc. of 2014.
4. “Gay Christians Choosing Celibacy Emerge from the Shadows” by Michelle Boorstein
This is an interesting piece run in The Washington Post. As more and more Christians wrestle with their sexual struggles, particular their same-sex attraction the church has a serious challenge to respond with grace, compassion, and truth. There are some good and disconcerting things discussed in this article, but it’s worth reading as it highlights increasing trends within Conservative Christianity.
5. “Should Christian Historians Appeal to Providence in Their Interpretations?” by Justin Taylor
Taylor leads us in a fascinating discussion about the writing and interpretation of historical events. He examines the views of six respected Christian historians who each make their case regarding the use of the “providence card” in historical work. I appreciate the complexity of this conversation and the humility of the many men who contributed to it. A great read for nerds. In his second piece in this series Taylor argues that a balanced view is necessary, both confessional and professional historians can offer their voice to the health of the church and the education of the world.
6. “Can Christians be Gay?” by Matthew Lee Anderson
This is increasingly becoming a perennial question, and Matthew Lee Anderson just took the whole conversation to a new level. This is a brilliant piece interacting with two divergent views on the subject, both orthodox and conservative but at odds. Anderson helps us navigate the problems and tensions at the heart of this debate and gives us some perspective on the claims of each side. Not all will agree with his conclusions, but this is a brilliant piece of work and worthy of your time.
7. “How to Use the Back of a Napkin to Prove to a Jehovah’s Witness That Jesus is God” by Justin Taylor
Taylor gives a lengthy illustration from Greg Koukl, President of Stand to Reason. The illustration offers readers a simple and powerful way to argue for the divinity of Jesus as you interact with those of the JW cult. It really is an intriguing illustration and while it might be over-sold in this post as irrefutable, it does seem likely to spark good conversation with someone. Check it out.
8. “How to Get Long-Term Impact from Your Short-Term Trips” by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
A very insightful post from the two guys who wrote When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself. Short-term trips to materially poor communities don’t always prove to be as effective as they are planned to be, but this doesn’t mean we should abandon such trips altogether. Short-term trips, “as often practiced, need to be reformed – but not destroyed.” In particular the authors seek to help us redefine success for short-term trips. If you plan to attend The Gospel Coalition conference next year I would highly recommend going to Brian’s breakout session to hear him teach on this specific topic.
9. “Can We Identify Those Who Prey on our Children?” by Deepak Reju
Reju has written a great piece here, excerpted from his new book which I hear good things about as well. He reminds us that child predators don’t fit a specific mold, they come in all shapes and sizes. He gives us some helpful guidelines for thinking, then, about how we can be most prepared to meet the challenges of protecting our children. I encourage you to read the article and talk with your children’s ministry director. I am exceedingly thankful for the policies we have in place at CBC and for the hard work that our staff does to protect our children.