Saturday, October 8, 2016

Weekend Reading and Book Deals: 8-9 October 2016

Should the Lord tarry, may you have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow. Remember to prepare your heart today for congregated worship tomorrow and may God bless you. Here is some reading for your edification:

Pastors, Stop Texting Your Church Members

Steve Bezner:
A great deal has changed in the way communication is done since I began serving in local churches. With the advent of texting, e-mail, social media, and the Web, our modes of communication have become a hallmark of effectiveness for us, sometimes leading pastors and church leaders to believe that using those forms of communication is a mark of our efficiency and “with-it-ness.” I’m not anti-technology, but I’ve also come to recognize that while there are times to use digital communication, there are also plenty of times to move in a different direction.
A Few Tips on Raising Boys

David Murray:
I’ve had a few conversations with fathers recently about the challenge of raising teenage boys. Similar to my own past experience, these Christian Dads have been struggling to get their boys to study, to do homework, to respect their mother, and do a few chores around the house. They are easily distracted, often moody, and totally obsessed with digital media. I usually try to share some of the hard-won lessons from my own parenting, most of them learned through many painful failures.
Is Religious Liberty “Hanging by a Thread?”

Bruce Ashford:
When religious freedom is threatened, every other freedom is threatened as well. Religion alone can check the government’s perpetual intrusion on the liberties of individuals, groups, and mediating institutions. For that very reason, however, certain governmental and non-governmental actors in our nation wish to restrict religious liberty. Confining religion to the realm of privately held beliefs and semi-public houses of worship would allow government to function in all manner of capacities beyond its Constitutional mandate. This is the very outcome being sought by certain progressive organizations and political actors. 
What the Church Needs Is a Reclamation of Biblical Supernaturalism

Jared Wilson:
Creativity and intelligence can certainly adorn the gospel of grace, but there is no amount of creativity and intelligence that can waken a dead soul. Only the foolishness of the gospel can do that (1 Cor. 1:18). Not even sacrificial good works and biblical social justice can wake a dead soul, for the law has no power to raise in and of itself. Only the foolishness of the gospel can do that. And it is a shame that there are an increasing number of churches(!) that are blanching at the foolishness of the gospel these days. But Paul knows that the hope of the church and the world is the alien righteousness of Christ announced in that scandalous historical headline. 
Shut Down the Bus Tours: What Older Church Members Should Really Be Doing

Carey Nieuwhof:
The default in many churches is simple: provide programming for over-50 adults that caters to their needs: potluck lunches, Bible studies and social gatherings for their demographic, and, of course, bus trips. The purpose of this post is to ask one simple question. Really? 
3 Quick Questions Before Quitting Your Church

Tim Challies:
More often than not, we leave churches for what we might consider discretionary reasons. We don’t need to leave, but choose to leave. And we typically do this when we feel weary of the people, when we feel like they aren’t interested in us anymore, when relationships feel cool rather than warm, when we feel like we need a fresh start. 
Why God’s Sexual Ethic is Good for the World
That’s the question Sam Allberry (author of Is God Anti-Gay? and a founding editor of Living Out, a ministry for those struggling with same-sex attraction), Rosaria Butterfield (author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert and Openness Unhindered), and Jackie Hill Perry (spoken word poet and hip-hop artist) take on in this new seven-minute roundtable video. You can’t get three better people talking on this issue. 
Good manner and Good sales
Chick-fil-A massively outsells its competitors even though “all Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays, due to a national corporate policy—whereas most of their competitors are open seven days a week.”
InterVarsity Responds to Pro-LGBT Outcry
WORLD: “InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, an evangelical ministry serving more than 41,000 U.S. college students, is taking flak for reaffirming its biblical stance on human sexuality and requiring its employees do likewise.” 
The Holiness of God and Chosen By God
“You can stream all of the messages in Dr. R.C. Sproul’s classic series’ Chosen by God and The Holiness of God for free. You can also stream these series for free on YouTube.” 

Kindle Deals for Christians

Tim Challies' very helpful list of Kindle deals for the week is available here. Here's a look at this week's list.
60 People Who Shaped the Church by Alton Gansky
Each for the Other by Byran Chapell
Pastors Are People Too and Survive or Thrive by Jimmy Dodd
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson
Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell
If God, Why Evil? by Norman Geisler
Tried by Fire by William Bennett
The Printer and the Preacher by Randy Peterson
Everyday Church by Tim Chester & Steve Timmis
Found in Him, Give Them Grace, Counsel from the Cross, and Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick
The Colson Way by Owen Strachan
Tyndale by David Teems
Jesus, Continued by J.D. Greear
Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace
Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch
Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Preaching with Passion by James Draper