1. “4 Lies that Cause Pastor to Neglect Their Families” by Jaime Owens
This 9 Marks article is an important reminder for everyone in ministry. #’s 2 and 4 are particularly compelling for many of us and yet I’ve seen what happens to the families of pastors who put ministry first. In addition, just because it worked out for one guy in ministry doesn’t mean it will work out for you, friend.
2. “The 8 Beliefs You Should Know About Mormons When they Knock at the Door” by Justin Taylor
A good, simple introduction to the core beliefs of Mormonism and where it contrasts with the Christian faith.
3. “White Supremacy Makes Jesus Angry, But Does It Anger His Church?” by Russell Moore
Dr. Moore is pointed in his rebuke of white supremacy, and pointed in his challenge to the Evangelical church. He says:
“Blood and soil” ethnic nationalism is not just a deviant social movement. It is the same old idolatry of the flesh, the human being seeking to deify his own flesh and blood as God.
Here he gives a solid exegesis of Jesus’ most angry moment in the gospels and demonstrates how it is, in part, a rebuke of this kind of racial oppression. The question we must each wrestle with, then, is whether we are as angry as Jesus.
4. “9 Things You Should Know About Alcohol Abuse in America” by Joe Carter
A basic list of facts on an important issue, even within the church. “Good” Christian people are often hiding addictions of various kinds, and alcoholism is certainly among them. Familiarize yourself with these simple facts for your sake and the sake of your church members, friends, and neighbors.
5. “To Repair Our Fractured Republic, Get to Know Your Neighbors” by Gracy Olmstead
A wonderful piece on the importance of place and neighbors. Olmstead examines Utah Senator Mike Lee’s proposal on social capital and offers here five important implications of developing local familiarity and fellowship.
6. “I was a Pastor Hooked on Porn” by Garrett Kell
A very honest, vulnerable, and important read. This is way more common than is suggested. The importance of honestly talking about this issue cannot be overstated. Pastors need to know that they can get help o address this issue. Far too many live in fear, shame, and hypocrisy. It is unhealthily for the church and for the individual.
7. “How to Help Families of Addicts” by Sam Hodges
Here’s a good list of three common mistakes families of addicts make. Sam Hodges covers the same things that I did in my series on helping addicted loved ones last year, but he does so in a single post. This is a good, concise, and insightful read.
8. “Race, the Gospel, and the Moment” by Tim Keller
Keller outlines three immediate response to the aftermath of Charlottesville. His brief but pointed responses are worthy of all Christians to read, but especially those in pastoral leadership.
9. “5 Signs of True Repentance in an Addict” by Mark Shaw
Mark explores five indicators that, based on his experience, evidence true repentance from an addicted individual. He draws these signs from Matthew 22:37-40 and offers a bit of insight on each. This is a good guide for counselors.
10. “Christians Should Be Motivated to Minister to Homeless People” by Matthew Spandler-Davison
A fantastic piece on the importance and ways in which the church can care for homeless individuals. I am so impressed to see an article like this coming from 9 Marks. The impact we can have on those in crisis in our communities is huge, and Christians, of all people, ought to be the ones who respond with grace and compassion. A good guide to some basic ideas.
11. “Mindfulness would be good. It it weren’t so selfish” by Thomas Joiner
I have real issues with Mindfulness. For one it completely ignores God from the perspective of my current moment. In addition, it encourages practitioners not to be judgmental about their thoughts, but Scripture encourages us to be very discerning about our own thoughts. Lastly, as this author points out, the popular level development of the idea has become increasingly narcissistic. This author calls out the selfishness present in so many practices and so much training on mindfulness.