Flashback Fridays (June 6)

Tim Burton's Batman came out 25 years ago this summer. I was in second grade and it was the last day of school. As a treat my cousins took me to see it and it was the "most awesome movie experience ever". At least  that's what eight year old me thought. Here's the original trailer, and if you have the time, take check it out on netflix. It still stands up as a gritty, sometimes corny, superhero movie. I was giving it a second a while ago and was surprised to see just how much more screen time the joker got than Batman. Looks like there was a deal made with Nicholson to get top billing, and to make way more money on that movie, and its sequel. That's the power of Jack.  


Morning Links (June 5)

Tasty Kindle Deals
Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard  .99
Christian History Made Easy by Dr. Paul Timothy Jones 3.99
What's Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life's Big Questions by James Anderson 7.39

Tasty Links

Defending the faith is about life, not just doctrine
From Trevin Wax: "The apostles’ view of orthodoxy is all-encompassing. It steps on all our toes. It doesn’t let any group get their “aha” moment, because it convicts and challenges us to expand our vision of orthodoxy, not look for a minimalistic substitute."

Four Modern Versions Of The Bible That Are Ruining the Bible
Over at On Faith, Bill Irwin looks at the problems of having too many different kinds of Bibles. 

10 Things to do at the SBC annual convention
Convention is coming up for us in the SBC and Todd Benkert challenges those going to find ways to be considerate of those they might disagree with. 

3 Steps to Studying the Bible
Michael Patton shares a short, but helpful, intro at Crossways blog. 

What is a photocopier? A funny short film based on actual testimony

Just watch it to the end. And remember, this really happened.


Morning Links (June 4) : Kindle Deals and Thoughtful Links

Kindle Deals
The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung .99
The Forgotten Trinity by James White 1.99
Preaching for God's Glory by Alistair Begg 4.61

Tasty Links

Tim Challies gives shares some books that help parents on when and how to talk to kids about the birds and the bees

Nones are a new demographic of people who have no religious affiliation one way or another. And they are on the rise. James Emery White's new book deals with how to reach this group by becoming an Acts 17 kind of church. 

If you're thinking of joining somewhere this year, here are a few things to think about before joining. Pastors, these are questions you need to answer as well.  

Matthew Shmitz is an editor of First Things magazine, and here he gives advice he gave a young lady who was dealing with gay marriage. In the article you'll also see an interview he gave with Slate Magazine. 


Morning Links (June 2): Southern Baptist Convention Edition

Kindle Offers
Lost and Found by Ed Stetzer and all 2.99
The Mission of Today's Church: Baptist Leaders Look At Modern Faith Issues by Ed Stetzer and Other's .99
God and the Gay Christian: A Response to Matthew Vines  by various .99
Understanding Sexual Identity: A resource for youth ministries by Mark A. Yanrhouse 7.99

Convention is just a few days away and there's a lot of issues we will be voting, and hopefully, thinking about about. Here are a few thoughts from well known SBC leaders.

4 Trends for Churches to Consider 
Ed Stetzer, a leading SBC missiologist and pollster, has written about four trends the church is currently facing that will also become important in the near future. Mainly we're getting smaller, which has some benefits (Christians of conviction will outnumber nominal believers) but there is much to be concerned about. Mainly, we have to find ways to reach out to millennials.

Southern Baptists' Millennial Problem
Speaking of Millennials, Trevin Wax gives his own ideas as to how to deal with the loss of this age group. He appeals to leaders to consider that our outreach has to take into consideration that millennials are staying single longer.

There is no "Third Way"
Al Mohler recently wrote about the so called "third way" many churches are following in regards to same sex relationships. It was spurred on by a recent decision by a pastor here in Southern California who changed his views on the issue, leading to an exodus of people from the congregation. A church split is always heart breaking, and always the last option, but in this case it was warranted. Mohler challenges the convention to remember one thing in all this: there is no third way. Either you're for it or against it.

A Resolution on Transgender for the SBC
Denny Burke has written about issue of transgender people in the church here. The idea that someone was born male, but identifies as a woman (or vice versa), is now the new issue facing churches. In a great sign of foresight, Burke has drafted a resolution (read it here) that would make clear what the SBC believes on these issues, namely that gender is a gift from God, and to do violence to the body in the form or surgery of hormone therapy, is wrong. Russell Moore also writes about this issue here


Morning Links (May 30)

Kindle Deals

The Forgotten Trinity by James White 1.99
A Treaty On Earthly mindedness by Jeremiah Burroughs .99
Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World by Andreas Köstenberger 4.99


Conservative Christianity and the Transgender Question Russell Moore tackles the question with wisdom and grace

What I didn't do today A short, yet hopeful poem

What does the Bible say about swearing?  Sometimes we ask the wrong questions when thinking about this issue

A Summer Reading List For Your Teen

It's a big world, prepare your teen to face it

Yesterday I gave some simple guidelines to help you pick books for your teen to read during summer vacation. Today, I give you a list of book recommendations to help get your started. They cover everything from theology to money. 

Do Hard Things by Alex and Bret Harris
The Harris twins have one message for teenagers: Do something hard. Teens today might find it hard to believe, but life does not begin after college. It starts now, and they can actually do something great for God no matter what their age. They wrote a follow up book called Start Here

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
John Piper is a small, unassuming man who happens to have a fiery passion for God. His message is simple: God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him. Spend your life living for the glory of God. This book, and the conferences and music they have spawned, have been a huge hit in college campuses. This is a great book to give a high school grad. 

The Universe Next Door by James Sire
Aimed at college students, this book can still be helpful in preparing older teens to face the variety of points of views they are going to encounter in college. Looking at views like marxism, secularism, and new age thinking from a Christian perspective, this book will prepare your teen to think about the world they live in. 

What's Your Worldview? by James Anderson
Dr. Anderson is a philosophy professor who challenges people to think about how they look at the world. This isn't a normal book either. It's more like a choose your own adventure book that takes a look at different worldviews, and how they as Christians can see from the lens of the Bible. 

So your teen is ready to date? Time to bring out some helpful guidance on dating. In a time when dating is just seen as a rite of passage where two people can just hang out, mess around and not think about the consequences, Harris call teens to date in a way that that will be both honoring to the other person, and glorifying to God. See also Boundaries in Dating

After a doing survey of the toughest questions Christians hate being asked, Mark Mittelberg decided to write a book answering them. If your teen is vocal about her faith, then this book will help her answer the though questions she's going to be asked. The questions range from gay marriage to the problem of evil. See also Tactics: a game plan for discussing your Christian convictions

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne and Elliot Grudem
Grudem has written a very short intro to theology. It covers twenty topics (each coming from his massive book Systematic Theology) and gives a bite sized overview to help young Christians learn about the foundations of their faith. A great book for a teen or college student who wants to learn theology. 

In a college finance class I remember a teacher telling us that we had a responsibility to raise kinds who were money smart. Seeing how kids today are being called "the most indebted generation," that responsibility is even clearer. Dave Ramsey teams up with his daughter to teach parents how to train kids in the ways of wise financial planning. This is a book for parents and teens to read together. Who knows, maybe it will inspired your teen to find a summer job? 

What's going to happen to your teen when they go to college? Pastor and college prof. Alex Chediak fills them in on the ups and downs and the best ways to get ready for their time in school. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
If you've read the original, then you know the advice here is solid. Based on the character ethic, Covey gives sound advice on the habits that can make anyone effective at what they do. 

Life on the Edge by James Dobson
Say what you will about Dobson, but he cares about kids and wants them to thrive in their teens and college years. This book covers a lot of the problems they are going to face: drugs, premarital sex, peer pressure, and more. I read this book in high school and I am pretty sure it played a role in keeping me out of a lot of trouble. This is one you want your kid to read. 

I love graphic novels. And someone decided to turn the Bible into one. It's been done before, but not like this. The art is amazing and would make for a great way for your teen to see what the entire Bible is about in a very unique way. 

I'm sure there's a lot of worthy books I could add to the list, but I wanted to give you a place to start. If you have any recommendations please feel free to leave a comment. 


Bible Word Cloud

Over at 66 Clouds they've created a couple of word clouds that mention which words are frequently used in the Bible. It doesn't surprise me that Lord is the top word. As John Frame has said in his books, Yahweh is Lord is the cry of the Old Testament, and Jesus is Lord is the cry of the new.