A Prayer for Sunday (Martin Bucer)

bucerMartin Bucer may well be one of the most influential figures of the Protestant Reformation that people haven’t heard of. Working with a group of reformers in Strasbourg, Bucer played a mediating role between Luther and Zwingli, influenced a young John Calvin, led efforts to continue theological dialog with Catholic theologians, and eventually ended up in England where he helped shape the reformation efforts there as well. Bucer was, therefore, one of the few reformation figures who truly impacted the reformation throughout all of Europe.

Martin Bucer died on Februrary 28, 1551. In honor of his amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.

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Saturday Morning Fun…Goats on Wobbly Metal (translated)

The “translation” makes this video. By the end, I was really rooting for Bob to get his act together and help set the record for “goats on metal.”



10 Reasons People Prefer Paper Books Over Ebooks

I have to admit that although I read digital books regularly, I still prefer paper over digital and will almost always buy the paper version of a book if the price is comparable. And apparently I’m not alone. Although a new survey from the Pew Research Center shows that E-reading continues to grow in popularity, it also shows that most Americans still prefer paper over digital. And according to this infographic from The Digital Reader, here are ten reasons why.

why choose a paper book

Flotsam and jetsam (2/21)


Good Reads

  • 5 Quotes that Luther Didn’t Actually Say: Here are a few quotes you’ll often hear attributed to Luther, though none of them are exact actual quotes, and a few of them are things that Luther would have disagreed with! (Justin Taylor)
  • The Age of Ageism: We are in an age of ageism where many of the young men I meet today in the church do not know how to relate to older men in ways that honor them and God all at once. (Bryan Lorrits)
  • Why We Don’t Just Need Community, We Need Church: In libraries and parks and museums, I can marvel at our Creator; I can shiver at his goodness; I can beat out my laments in angry stomps along trails; I can get lost in the created images and words and catch glimpses of Imago Dei along the way. I can worship; I can feel; I can ask. I can learn. But not like I can in church. (Hermeneutics)
  • True Greatness Never Goes Viral: Despite his lack of public fame, my grandpa was truly great in God’s eyes. That’s the funny thing about true, biblical greatness. Biblical greatness almost never goes viral, because biblical greatness almost always involves doing things no one ever sees. (Stephen Altrogge)

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The High Cost of Multitasking (infographic)

This is geared for the business world, but it has clear implications for students as well. Multitasking in class (e.g. texting, Facebook) may seem like a great way to maximize your time, but notice the bit about how multitasking actually lowers your IQ. I could be wrong, but sacrificing IQ in the middle of a class seems like a bad idea.


via Christianity Today

Flotsam and jetsam (2/19)

wayne and darth

Good Reads

  • Islam, the American way: A new generation of Muslim Americans separate what is cultural, what is religious, and what is American, finding that the ‘straight path’ isn’t the same path for all. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Escaping the Prison of the Self: If the celibate person, no less than the husband or wife, is called to go out of himself in the love of friendship and siblinghood and in other bonds of kinship, then he also should want to guard his heart from constructing self-serving fantasies that have nothing to do with self-giving. (Wesley Hill)
  • Not Quite Two Cultures: Headlines regularly illustrate divides between science and religion over issues such as evolution, which many evangelicals reject. But poll results presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science suggest that the divide may be less absolute than many imagine (at least if you go beyond issues such as evolution). (Inside Higher Ed) 
  • The Cold that Bothers Us: The Pixar conquest of Disney—the ongoing effort by the new recruits from Pixar to change the Mouse House’s shallow culture of self-indulgence and self-esteem with something much more morally serious—has been an uneven battle up to now. But Frozen is an unqualified victory for Pixar’s morally serious and culturally edifying storytelling, and its stratospheric success with audiences and critics may well turn the tide of the war. It’s a profound movie on many levels.

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4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching

Preaching is both a high calling and a nearly impossible task. If you read the literature on preaching, you see that the pastor is somehow supposed to be (at least):

  • a biblical scholar—mastering the original languages, exegesis, history, and biblical theology
  • a theologian—well versed in both historical and systematic theology as well as the major philosophies and issues of the day
  • a cultural anthropologist—exegeting the surrounding culture and the forces pressing on and shaping the church
  • a communicator—crafting oral presentations that can present all of this to interested but often distracted listeners and
  • a shepherd—knowing the flock well enough to know what they need to near now to continue growing as the people of God.

Good luck with that. Mastering one of those is difficult enough, but all five? And I’m sure we could easily make the list longer if we tried.

That’s the beginning of my most recent guest post over at PastorsToday. It’s my follow-up to last month’s post Don’t Outsource Your Sermon Prep. Head over there and check it out.

The Three Ways People Understand Their Views


Flotsam and jetsam (2/17)

iron man and magneto

Good Reads

  • The Poor Shall Inherit the Boards: It would be naïve to deny that even some of our best churches and Christian nonprofits select people of affluence for their ruling boards because they crave access to these people’s financial incentives, renown, and business savvy. Having the wealthy and influential involved can be greatly beneficial, but it’s wrong for us to limit board membership to these individuals. (Hermeneutics)
  • How to Survive the Next Wave of Technology Extinction: The trouble arises when you are sold on a tech ecosystem that doesn’t prosper. It’s likely that at least one, if not several, of today’s tech behemoths won’t be around a decade from now. Thus the pervasive worry of choosing tech in these uncertain days: How do you avoid betting on the wrong horse? (New York Times)
  • 21 things shouldn’t be said to sexual abuse victims: As a sexual abuse survivor, I’ve heard my share of insensitive comments. I’ve also talked to enough victims to be able to gather some of the most damaging words here—all for the sake of those who truly, truly want to be loving, sensitive and helpful. (Mary DeMuth)

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Saturday Morning Fun…Church Signs (A Blurred Lines Parody)

Hats off to Dustin Ahkuoi for this creative combination of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and corny church signs. Four minutes of the kind of hilarity that only comes from basking in the awkwardness of reader boards.