1. “Does Same-Sex Attraction Disqualify Someone from Ministry?” by Dave Zuleger
There is a big difference between same-sex sexual behavior and same-sex attraction. The one is clearly sin, according to the Bible, the other is not. This article from Desiring God helps to remind us that we ought not set up qualifications that the Bible doesn’t set up. I am grateful Zuleger’s putting into words this distinction and important point. Same-Sex attraction, when stewarded wisely and accompanied by a fight against temptation and sin, does not disqualify someone from serving as a pastor.
2. “Chick-fil-A to Open 20 Michigan locations within five years” by Ian Thibodeau
This is such good news, and can’t happen soon enough!
3. “Darrin Patrick Removed from Acts 29 Megachurch for ‘Historical Pattern of Sin‘” by Kate Shellnut
This is so heartbreaking and maddening. I really loved some of Patrick’s early work and loved the Journey church. I am grateful that it sounds like both he and they are responding rightly to things and I am hopeful that this is not the last we will hear of Darrin Patrick.
4. “A Reformed ‘Spotlight’: Fighting Spiritual Abuse in the Reformed Church” by David Murray
Murray has launched a constructive campaign against spiritual abuse in the church. Responding to the announcement concerning Darrin Patrick, and a host of other similar cases, he shares his goals over the long-haul at his blog to help the church fight against spiritual abuse. He plans to use his position to highlight four areas: warning, preventing, healing, confronting, and modeling. I am encouraged by the post and hopeful that it will start a trend among Reformed Christians to speak to their own tribe more than they critique others.
5. “The Darkness of Porn and the Hope of the Gospel” by Denny Burk
Burk gives an overview of a recent Time Magazine essay on porn use in America. The article explores the growing the numbers of young men who are against pornography because of the ways it has negatively impacted their own sexual and relational health. Yet, Burk says, the article does not explore the issue from within a moral framework, but rather as a matter of “public health crisis.” This, says Burk, is part of the problem. When sex can no longer be discussed within terms of morality and spirituality we can’t really fight against the wickedness of things like porn. This is a good blog post and I highly recommend it.
6. “You Are What You Love: A Conversation with James K.A. Smith” by Justin Taylor
I am so excited to read this book, and thankful for the dear friend that sent it my way. Smith’s previous work Desiring the Kingdom blew me away and I can hardly wait to dive into this volume. Here Smith answers some questions with Justin Taylor on the book, its goals, it’s thesis, and its application. His discussion about developing “ancient friendships” was particularly good.
7. “How Covenant Makes Us” by David Brooks
Brooks writes about the need for a “rich social fabric” to give meaning to life. Our cultural value of self-determination has become our greatest weakness and we have lost the sense of “covenant.” It’s great that Brooks uses the word “covenant” here and I really appreciated this piece. Increasingly Brooks is one of the most interesting of cultural commentators.
8. “Why Poor Families Are Paying More for Everyday Items Like Toilet Paper” by Ahiza Garcia
This is a fascinating study from the University of Michigan. It is far too easy to make assumptions about those living under the poverty level, this study helps to put things in good perspective.
9. “An African American Confronts the Klan in Accidental Courtesy” by Kenneth R. Morefield
This is an astounding article from Christianity Today on the ministry of Daryl Davis, an African-American man who has made it his goal to befriend members of the Klu Klux Klan and seek to encourage them to leave the Klan. He speaks as a Christian to others who claim to be Christians and seeks to show them the inconsistency of their beliefs and practices. It’s a rather beautiful story.
10. “Why We Still Need Kierkegaard” by Gregory Alan Thornbury
One of my favorite theologians has reviewed this fascinating new book on the Danish philosopher commending both the book and the man to the contemporary Christian. I am excited to read this book and thankful for this gem of a review.