Thursday Roundup (3/9/17)

This week’s video asks what faith is and whether it’s rational. The podcast examines Part 2 of Your Best Life Now, where Joel Osteen talks about the importance of self-image. And the links of the week cover suffering and smiling, Victoria and Veggie Tales, why Christians need church, whether Jehovah is God’s true name, and more!

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“Christians who neglect corporate prayer are like soldiers who leave their front-line comrades in the lurch.”
~ Derek Prime

Latest Video

“Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking,” according to Bill Maher. Is faith nothing but make-believe for grownups? To answer that question we first have to consider what “faith” actually means in the Bible.

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

Part 2 of Your Best Life Now talks about the importance of our self-image. We need to realize that God delights in us, wants us to be happy, and sees us as champions, Joel Osteen declares. But what does the Bible really say about our identity in Christ? And how should those truths shape our self-image and expectations?

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

“Yes, Jesus wept, grieved and suffered. And it’s okay for you to grieve, too.” Laura Thigpen reminds us that suffering is a part of this life, and Christians in particular can expect to “share Christ’s sufferings,” as Paul wrote to the Corinthians. Personally, I am always encouraged by the hopeful balance of Psalm 126: “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” We should not be surprised by some tears in this life, but neither should we let go of our Creator’s promise of shouts of joy to come.

Nicholas Davis offers three reasons why every Christian needs the church.

An interesting article from Michael Brown, asking whether Jehovah is God’s true name (as Jehovah’s Witnesses, among others, allege). I addressed this in a YouTube video a few weeks ago, but Dr. Brown brings up some additional interesting details.

Excellent, biblical counsel from Russell Moore on addressing a teen’s sexual sin, with specific advice for both the teen and the parent.

I enjoyed this piece on Victoria’s edgy morality.” It’s not so much a review of the new PBS series as a meditation on the counter-cultural drama of simply living a morally upright life. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, quoted in the article, “The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has to-day all the exhilaration of a vice.”

I did not expect a thought-provoking take on Veggie Tales from Michael J. Kruger, but that’s exactly what “Veggie Tales, Moralism, and Modern Preaching” is. Kruger defends the series against accusations that it is “just moralism,” making a broader point in the process.

In response to calls for women to mark yesterday’s “Day Without a Woman” by refusing to smile, Jonah Goldberg acerbically points out the danger of assuming that standards of civilized behavior are inherently oppressive.

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Photo of the Week

Pear blossoms

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in North Carolina we’ve been enjoying warm spring weather since early February. The pear tree in our yard burst into bloom last week, and I couldn’t help sharing this little bit of spring.

(Check out other photos at my Etsy shop.)

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