Thursday Roundup (2/9/17)

Today’s video asks how God can command us to believe in him. What if you just don’t believe the claims of the Bible? The Answers for Ambassadors episode discusses The God Delusion‘s argument that religious faith is inherently harmful. And the links of the week consider preaching and community in the church, women in the Old Testament, what religion has to do with Tanzanian electricity shortages, and more!

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“Grace is indeed required to turn a man into a saint; and he who doubts this does not know what either a man or a saint is.”
~ Blaise Pascal

Latest Video

The Bible often calls us to believe in Jesus to be saved, but we usually think of belief as something you either have or you don’t. If I just don’t believe what the Bible says, what am I supposed to do about that? This video looks at what “believe” really means in the Bible, and what we should do if we aren’t convinced by Scripture’s claims.

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

Is religion, in itself, a harmful force? In Chapters 8 and 9 of The God Delusion, Dawkins argues that it is, and that raising children in a religious tradition is abuse. This episode counters Dawkins’ understanding of faith and considers his other arguments against religion.

Answers for Ambassadors is available via SoundCloud or by searching in iTunes and most other podcast players. You can also direct your podcast player to the podcast RSS feed.

Best Reads of the Week

Some profound observations from Aaron Menikoff about community in the church. “Certainly churches ought to emphasize themselves as hubs of community, right? Yes and no.”

Amy Hall offers a compelling response to the argument that the Old Testament shows a low, disrespectful view of women.

Mike Gilbart-Smith surveys different types of “expositional imposters,” professedly expositional sermons which… aren’t really expositional at all. The article is most obviously aimed at pastors, but every Christian ought to consider what makes preaching effective.

Millennials are having less premarital sex, but that’s actually not a good sign. The devil isn’t picky about how he corrupts a good thing…

I recently stumbled across this fascinating article by an African missionary about animism, electricity, and political corruption in Tanzania. Worldview matters!

This report on the government-abetted atrocities against Nigerian Christians is heartbreaking, but I encourage you to read it and pray for your brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. If you want to do more, Voice of the Martyrs is one group that is in Nigeria providing tangible help for those who have lost everything.

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Photo of the Week

Blue-tailed skink

I can’t remember where I took it, but I’ve always liked this photo of a juvenile five-lined skink (often called blue-tailed skinks… for obvious reasons).

(Check out other photos at my Etsy shop.)

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