Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Dane Ortlund on 10 ways to make your preaching clearer.
  2. Getting through a preaching slump. I can relate and this is solid advice.
  3. Luke Simmons on Money is a thermometer and thermostat for your heart, faith, trust in God, and shows your spiritual maturity.
  4. Quit calling your wife hot.
  5. Brad Hambrick on When policies in a church on sexual abuse fail. This is really helpful for churches.
  6. Colin Hansen on The new purpose of marriage. This is our new culture, but one that can be redeemed by what Scripture says about marriage, sexuality and identity.
  7. Thom Rainer on Helpful hints from visiting churches. This list is pure gold for pastors.

Base Jumping off Mt. Everest

Links to Start the Week Off

  1. The gospel coalition on How to win the public on homosexuality. I think the points made in this article as to how we should engage this debate is right on. Our view of this reveals so much about our view of ourselves, God and his plan for our lives. 
  2. What sermon prep really looks like. Yep. 

Responding to the Same-Sex Marriage Debate as a Christian

The debate surrounding same-sex marriage has been all over the news and internet this past week. I’ve gotten questions about how to respond as a follower of Jesus and since so many others have already responded, I thought I’d just share some of the articles that have been the most helpful to me.

Here’s a helpful video of Tim Keller answering the question.


A couple of years ago Matt Chandler did an hour and a half of teaching, followed by 40 minutes or so of answering questions from the audience, on this subject. This is tough to handle well. Some pastors harp on this issue in a disproportionate, condemnatory way. Others, swinging the pendulum in the other direction, don’t want to appear insensitive or right-wing and thus avoid it altogether. So it takes courage to tackle it head-on without being a jerk.

In the first video below Chandler begins by tracing the biblical storyline. In the second video, he gives some basic responses to several street-level objections, like:

1. If you’re not hurting anyone else, what’s wrong with it?
2. Since you’re a sinner, too, who are you to call out others?
3. Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality.
4. Some animals have same-sex relations, so if it’s in nature it must natural.
5. The homosexuality condemned by Paul is a different type of homosexuality than we see today.
6. Revisionist arguments from modern scholarship.

He also talks about the way in which he seeks to engage in dialogue with homosexuals in a gospel-centered way.

In the third video he fields questions via text message—e.g., on how parents should handle their adult kids who are gay with partners coming to visit (via Justin Taylor).


Links of the Week

  1. Brian Croft on How much a pastor/elder should share with his wife. This is a dicey call and one that is helpful to have some input on for a variety of reasons.
  2. Steven Furtick on Grace is power. Really challenging and encouraging.
  3. The Christian divorce rate myth.
  4. Insights on church planting from Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter. A must read for any planter or pastor, wow.
  5. Michael Lukaszewski on 5 steps to a good sermon.
  6. Some thoughts on Sarah Palin and women working outside the home when they have young kids.
  7. Dave Kraft on Leadership made simple.
  8. Tim Keller on Preaching to himself.
  9. Check out Aaron Spiro’s new album “Love.”
  10. Steven Furtick on We don’t pray enough (but not in the way you think).

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.