Thursday Roundup (3/30/17)

Want to know more about Islam and how to reach your Muslim neighbors? My “Islam: Understanding and Apologetics” online class starts one week from today at 7:30 EST (I moved the start-date back one week because I have lost my voice today due to a cold), and it’s recorded too, in case the time doesn’t fit your schedule. Click here for more information.

Today’s video asks whether God is “interested in relationship, not religion.” The weekly podcast looks at Joel Osteen’s call in Your Best Life Now to stand strong and trust God amid trials. And the links of the week range across catechisms, productivity, intimacy, tithing, and more!

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“A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity… The same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever… Let us, then, each morning, resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever.”
~ Adoniram Judson

Latest Video

“God is interested in relationship, not religion.” We’ve all heard someone say it, but is it true?

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Answers for Ambassadors Podcast

In Part 5 of Your Best Life Now, Joel Osteen encourages us to remain confident through trials and trust God’s timing. There is much biblical truth in these chapters, but also some reasons for caution which lead to a key question: What is biblical faith?

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 thought-provoking observations about the value of catechisms. “The catechized Christian is not just one that knows how to rotely repeat antiquated phrases, but ideally, one who has the tools to translate belief into action.”

Which do you value more: productivity or virtue?

Another take on Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option, this time from Brad Littlejohn. “But when you look at the forty-seven (or forty-three) concrete proposals that make up Dreher’s blueprint for the Benedict Option, you find instead a primer on thoughtful Christian discipleship… I really do think we all need to settle down and realize how ordinary and obvious most of the proposals in The Benedict Option really are.”

Even if we set aside the verses which specifically address homosexual acts, the Bible clearly teaches from Genesis to Revelation that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a very important point which Alan Shlemon articulates well, though I don’t like his use of “pro-gay” to describe the position of those who affirm homosexuality as biblical. (Is it “anti-gay” to love our same-sex-attracted neighbors enough to call them out of their sin?)

Ed Shaw lays out how our culture has lost the idea of non-sexual intimacy and why it’s important to restore it. A lengthy but important read.

Should Christians tithe? Arguments pro and con. Note that both authors agree that, regardless of where you fall on the genuinely debatable question of tithing, the Bible is quite clear that we must give generously and sacrificially to the church and the needy.

Kevin DeYoung makes a compelling biblical case that “the least of these” in Matthew 25 are not the poor generally, but “specifically, itinerant Christian teachers dependent on other Christians for hospitality and support.”

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