Friday’s Fantastic Five! 10.4

FridayFantasticFiveKilling Jesus – Tim Challies
Tim reviews Bill O’Reilly’s new and best selling book “Killing Jesus.” O’Reilly and Dugard have done their homework and tell the story of Jesus, his claims, and his death well. Yet the book is incomplete because it fails to explain the greater spiritual significance of Jesus.

Two Is Better Than One – Al Mohler
New economic research shows that marriage is increasingly becoming an upper class phenomenon. Mohler explores briefly the link between marriage and economic success or the lack of marriage and poverty. Turns out two is better than one.

Jim Wallis on the Shutdown: “It’s Unbiblical” – Joe Carter
Well known liberal Christian leader Jim Wallis claimed on a Youtube video that a government shutdown is unbiblical and opposition to the government is wrong. Joe Carter reveals why conflating political ideology and theology is bad for all.

The State of the Church in America: Hint: It’s Not Dying – Ed Stetzer
People both inside and outside of the church love to beat it up with statistics that supposedly herald its impending death. Stetzer, with his skill for stats and trends, shows that the church may be in transition, but it’s certainly not dying.

Saving Our Locker Rooms – Brandon McGinley
The movement for gay rights is shifting to the elimination of gender as a category. The new battlegrounds are sex-segregated public facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms. McGinley warns of this new battle and that conservatives will lose if not prepared.

Friday’s Fantastic Five! 9.6

FridayFantasticFiveAre Late Abortions Politically Viable? – William Saletan
Saletan over at Slate.com examines a recent poll conducted by Planned Parenthood that shows voters oppose an abortion ban at 20 weeks. But as is usually the case with opinion polls, how they phrased the questions makes all the difference.

Dan Savage Launches “Not All Like That” – Denny Burk
Homosexual activist Dan Savage has launched a new website featuring testimonials from Christians who claim that homosexual behavior and support for it is not incompatible with their faith. Denny breaks down the problem with this approach.

I Don’t Remember Chemistry and I’m not Homeless – Stephen Altrogge
Parents today are scrambling to get their children the best education and extra-curricular opportunities available. Yet – as Stephen reflects on his own life – he realizes most of those things left no lasting mark on his life. Have we set the bar too high and missed out?

All His Breakers and Waves: Our Church, Suffering, and Stubborn Faith – Jared Wilson
This is a long but worthy post. It reminds us how suffering is a regular part of life and ministry, that God wants to be glorified in it, that God uses it, but that it can be unbearably difficult sometimes. Read and be encouraged.

Syria’s Rebels: 20 Things You Need to Know – CNN’s Catherine Shoichet
The situation in Syria has dominated the news for the past few weeks as politicians debate aiding the rebels fighting the Assad regime. This article from CNN on the identity of the rebels demonstrates the difficulty of acting on behalf of justice in a complicated world.

Friday’s Fantastic Five! 8.30

FridayFantasticFiveIt Is the Price of Citizenship? An Elegy for Religious Liberty in America – Al Mohler
Mohler looks at several recent trends and court cases that show religious liberty on an increasingly steep decline. In order to participate in society, religious individuals will be asked to violate their conscience and check their beliefs at the door.

When the Popular Youth Pastor Gets Arrested Again – Scott Slayton
Scott tells the story of Matt Pitt who founded a Birmingham outreach called “The Basement”. Matt has now been arrested twice, raising questions about his wildly “successful” ministry to teens and what true faithfulness looks like.

Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still in School – Jessica Lahey
Jessica makes some important observations about the challenge of teaching boys in settings that may run afoul of their natural wiring. Her suggestions are helpful to any teacher, pastor, or parent seeking to truly educate boys.

The Cul-de-sac of Stupidity – Matt Chandler
Matt Chandler reminds us of what we as Christians should know but easily forget: having more of what already fails to satisfy us is not going to make us happy or bring us joy.

Drafted: Why Chris Norman Said No to the NFL
Sometimes we think the path God wants us to take in life is the one that leads to more fame, money, and opportunity. But as Chris Norman’s story reminds us, sometimes God’s path leads us in ways we would never expect.

Friday’s Fantastic Five 8.23

FridayFantasticFiveSchool Has Become Too Hostile to Boys – Christina Hoff Summers
Summers discusses potential reasons our school systems may be failing boys. As zero tolerance policies become the norm and teachers increasingly redirect aggressive or competitive play, boys simply don’t fit in.

Why We Talk in Tongues – T.M. Luhrmann
This NYT op-ed explores why speaking in tongues is spreading in Africa and why it happens at all. For those who come from more formal church traditions, this article provides valuable insight into a practice we may not understand.

Who Will Stand
If we truly believe the unborn baby in the womb is a human being, then we are standing by as the worst holocaust in human history is being carried out.

The Kalam Cosmological Argument
Complex apologetic arguments for belief in God can sometimes be abstract and inaccessible, but this video breaks down a key argument really well.

Redefine Marriage, Debase Language? – Ryan Anderson
Anderson explores ways the redefinition of marriage is already affecting the institution. Not only is male/female optional, but so is the limit to two people, fidelity, permanence, and commitment. Does this spell the end of marriage?

Friday’s Fantastic Five! 8.2

FridayFantasticFiveNo Squishy Love – Timothy George
The Presbyterian Church, USA rejects the hymn “In Christ Alone” because of its reference to God’s wrath. George examines how this revulsion of God’s wrath has a long tradition that ultimately destroys the love of God as described in the Bible.

Yes, Threats to Religious Liberty Happen Here – Ryan T. Anderson
Ryan Anderson, one of the most brilliant defenders of traditional marriage, takes a look at how the government’s acceptance of same-sex marriage is currently threatening religious liberty.

Who Am I to Judge? The Pope, the Press, and the Predicament – Al Mohler
If you just read headlines, you would think the Pope revolutionized Catholic teaching on sexuality. However a closer examination of his remarks in context reveals the opposite. The Pope, like evangelical Christians, is faced with the predicament of proclaiming biblical sexuality to a culture increasingly intolerant of it.

How to Keep Millennials in the Church? Let’s Keep Church Un-Cool – Brett McCracken
Brett responds to Rachel Held Evans’ CNN column about why the Millennial generation is leaving the church. He rejects her suggestion that the church should reflect the ideals of this generation and instead suggests she should boldly be what Christ has commanded.

The Texas Abortion Experiment – Ross Douthat
Will the new Texas abortion restrictions bring about oppression for women, especially in regards to their health and economic opportunity? Douthat examines other nations which have similar laws and sees a very different trend.

Friday’s Fantastic Five! 7.12

FridayFantasticFiveAtheism Has Failed: Only Religion Can Defeat the New Barbarians – Jonathan Sacks
This fantastic article from across the pond serves not only as a critique of atheism and secularism but as an affirmation of what religion has given to civilization and what its removal will mean in the long run.

Let’s Level the Playing Field – Carl Trueman
Carl Trueman applies his sharp commentary to California’s law to allow children to choose their own gender when it comes to bathrooms and sports. If gender truly is just a state of mind, who can argue with these clear implications?

The Deadly Myth of the Consenting Adult – John Zmirak
Our culture which exalts individualism at the expense of community has popularized the “consenting adult.” As long as the other person agrees, we are absolved of responsibility. But this heartless ethic dissolves the foundation on which society is built.

DOMA and the Rock – Rosaria Butterfield
This former atheist lesbian professor turned Christian pastor’s wife tells what its like being on the unpopular side of the homosexuality debate twice and how Christians should think moving forward.

Top 16 Worship Music Typos – Jon Acuff
For those who have ever giggled to themselves at the typos on the screen during worship, this is funny. For those of us who prepare worship lyrics every week for the video screen, this is awesomely hilarious!

Friday’s Fantastic Five! 6.7

FridayFantasticFive

Yes, Marriage Will Change – and Here’s How – Mark Regnerus
A startling article grounded in solid social science that predicts gay marriage’s effect on the institution of marriage as a whole. Sexual permissiveness may be the shape of marriage norms in the future.

Ex-Feminists: Do marriage and parenthood make people more conservative about women and families? – William Saletan
Saletan dissects the recent Pew Research data on America’s views of marriage, parenthood, and working moms. While it may appear that cultural trends make the difference in people’s views, it may be actual experience with family that is driving the data.

Listening to Young Atheists, Lessons for a Stronger Christianity – Larry Taunton
Taunton’s Fixed Point organization interviewed active college atheists across the country to find out what led them to their unbelief. The results are surprising as many came to atheism out of a weak, nominal Christianity. A must read for the church.

Reaching Muslims with the Gospel of God: An Interview with Abdul Saleeb
A great interview with a Muslim who came to Christ and now reaches out to other Muslims. This short interview will be helpful to Christians who are reaching out to or know very little about their Muslim neighbors.

The Graduation Song – Rhett & Link
A hilarious wake up call for all those graduates out there…