Flotsam and jetsam (11/6)

creepy dude

Good Reads

  • Does Worship Divide Or Unite? Can people of different religions, or different interpretations of the same religion, pray together? In religious history, that has been a very thorny question. (The Economist)
  • 6 Reasons Not to Abandon Expository Preaching: Puritan theologian William Perkins wrote that preaching “has four great principles: to read the text distinctly, from canonical Scripture; to give it sense and understanding according to the Scripture itself; to collect a few profitable points of doctrine out of its natural sense; and to apply, if you have the gift, the doctrines to the life and manner of men in a simple and plain speech.” (Gospel Coalition)
  • Multisite Evolution: Whatever your opinion of multisite may be, there can be no doubt it is the new normal. (Ed Stetzer)

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3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Turn Homework in Late

We’re rapidly approaching one of those times in the school year where it’s easy to fall behind. (Or, for many of us, fall further behind.) With syllabus deadlines rapidly approaching and the demands of your non-academic life refusing to go away, it’s easy to decide that maybe you’ll just hand a few things in late. What difference could a few late assignments really make?

deadline (500x389)

So you do the math. The syllabus probably says something about losing points for turning things in late. So you try to figure out how a little academic tardiness might impact your final grade. If your grade can handle it, why not hand that paper in a little late?

Grade impact should certainly be part of the equation when you’re faced with this situation. But it’s not the only one. I’d like to suggest a couple of other reasons to think twice before handing that assignment in late, reasons that may not immediately come to mind when you’re trying to decide if seeing Catching Fire on opening night is worth a little academic slippage.

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The Danger of a Single Story

I am not sure how I missed this when it came out a few years ago. But in case there’s anyone like me who hasn’t seen this yet, I thought I’d pass it along. It’s a powerful reflection on what happens when we lock ourselves into a single perspective, forgetting that there’s more than one way to tell a story.

And if you’ve seen this before, it’s worth watching again.


The Neuroethicist Strikes Again

neuroethics (550x3361)

via SMBC

Flotsam and jetsam (11/4)

leaving for Nepal

Good Reads

  • The surprisingly badass birds of the Bible: They fly all over the Bible – from beginning to end – and they have a prominent place in the founding narratives of almost every culture and religion. They are not just bones and feathers. They are strength or hope, omen and oracle. (CNN)
  • 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living: though I feel utterly unqualified to give “advice” in that omniscient, universally wise sense the word implies, here are seven things I’ve learned in seven years of making those choices, of integrating “work” and life in such inextricable fusion, and in chronicling this journey of heart, mind and spirit — a journey that took, for whatever blessed and humbling reason, so many others along for the ride. (Brain Pickings)
  • Fellow Christians: I’m Rich and I’m Sorry: Do pastors owe apologies for getting rich? That’s the way we’d prefer to word the question, especially to avoid examining our own stewardship responsibilities. (Hermeneutics)

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More Saturday Morning Fun…The Star Wars Trailer: Derp Edition

Star Wars fans everywhere got a treat last week when a Star Wars blooper reel hit the internet (see below). But not content with just a random collection of bloopers, someone has now transformed that blooper reel into a fantastic Star Wars ”trailer.”



And here’s the original blooper reel. (The sound doesn’t come on until 0:48. So don’t think there’s anything wrong with your computer when you can’t hear anything.)


Saturday Morning Fun…A Digital Recreation of St. Andrews Cathedral

Check out this stunning recreation of what St. Andrews Cathedral would have looked like if it hadn’t fallen into disuse during the Scottish Reformation. I may be a little biased since I did my doctoral work in St. Andrews and used to walk by the cathedral ruins every day, but I thought this was quite well done.


And here’s what the cathedral looks like today.

St Andrews Cathedral

Top Posts for October

top fiveWe seem to have finished October when I wasn’t looking. Not quite sure how that happened, but it’s true. So here’s a list of the most popular posts from last month. Enjoy!

Flotsam and jetsam (11/1)

and the "costume of the year" award goes to...

and the “costume of the year” award goes to…

Good Reads

  • Is youth ministry killing the church? The young people at my current congregation—a church that many families would never join because “it doesn’t have anything for youth”—are far more likely to remain connected to the faith and become active church members as adults, because that’s what they already are and always have been. (Christian Century)
  • ‘Happy’ Reformation Day? Of course, the recovery and foregrounding of crucial gospel truths should be remembered…but is Reformation Day not as much a time to mourn our divisions, to fast and pray that all who are baptised in the triune Name may together confess one Lord, one faith, and one gospel, and share one Eucharist around one table? (Steve Holmes)

Other Info

Just for Fun

  • The Honest Movie Trailer guys are at it again, this time with a trailer for Thor – or, as they call it, the movie that only exists so non-nerds will recognize the blonde buy in the Avengers.


8 Principles for a Gospel-Centered Systematic Theology

on target (275x273)Anyone who writes a book has to wrestle with one painful question: Does the world really need another book on this? And browsing the categories on Amazon, it’s hard to answer that question with a “yes.”

That’s particularly true with introductions to systematic theology, where we already have solid contributions from people like Millard Erickson, Michael Horton, Shirley Guthrie, Stan Grenz, Daniel Migliore, and Alister McGrath, among others. And that’s not even counting Wayne Grudem’s perennial best-seller. So why would we need another introduction to systematic theology?

According to Mike Bird’s new Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction (Zondervan, 2013), there’s one simple reason: we still need a systematic theology that is truly centered on the gospel.

I’m working my way through Bird’s book and will eventually post a full review. But it’s a long book, so it’s going to take a little while. And there are some great snippets that I thought we could chew on along the way. This is the first.

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