Links of the Week

  1. Tiger Woods trangression & the gospel. Great insights as to what we can learn from what has happened in Tiger’s life.
  2. Aaron Menikoff on Preparing to preach.
  3. Cody Brasher on the courage needed to be a leader.
  4. 7 ways to protect yourself and your marriage from an affair. I wrote something similar about the boundaries Katie and I keep, this is incredibly important for every couple, but especially for pastors.
  5. Mark Driscoll on When was Jesus born? This is a common question I get a lot from people and this is a good answer.
  6. Stuff Christians like asks the questions, “How do you invite people to church?” This will make you laugh.
  7. Pastors are always there for people who are hurting, but what about when they hurt? Who Pastors the Pastor? This is a great article in Christianity Today.
  8. Tim Keller on How to handle criticism.
  9. What if Target operated like a church? Great question, they would probably go out of business or at least turn people off.
  10. Perry Noble on 7 reasons church plants fail. This is right on.
  11. 5 hard truths for church planters. If you are a planter, thinking about planting, part of a church plant or support someone who is, you need to read this. It is hard to describe what planting does to a person and their family.

One thought on “Links of the Week

  1. Josh,

    Here’s an even better article about the dating of Christmas and why we have it on the 25th:
    http://www.bib-arch.org/e-features/christmas.asp

    There is of course the theories about Saturnalia’s feast and Sol Invictus. The problem with the Saturnalia feast is it was December 17 (lasting to the 23rd). The Sol Invictus feast on the 25th only comes from a source The Calendar of 354.

    The problem with the argument that the Christians were merely mimicking pagan feasts in the their date picking is two fold: (1) evidence for a pagan feast on Dec. 25 does not ante-date evidence of a Christian feast (at least for Sol Invictus); (2) Sol Invictus had other feasts days that were more important. Some scholars, including experts on Sol Invictus, suggest they might have borrowed the date from Christians.

    I do not agree with Driscoll when he writes: “Without a clear date for Jesus’ birth, it seems the early church simply seized the opportunity that the pagan feast of Saturnalia provided.” I don’t think it fits the evidence.

    While Christians did believe that Jesus was the “sun of righteousness” and associated the feast with the winter solstice, it seems the reason they picked it is because it was 9 months after March 25.

    There was debate in the early church about the date of Jesus’ death: March 25 or April 6. Borrowing from Rabbi’s though there was a tradition that a prophet concieved on the same day he died, so 9 months after the date of his death would be his “birthday” (either Dec 25th for the West; or Jan 6 for the East).

    Of course there is nothing Biblical that says this is the date, but this is the mostly likely reason they decided to celebrate Christmas on Dec 25.

    Sorry to be so long winded, I love the blog post, and always enjoy the links of the week.

    Blessings,
    Tim Bertolet

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