Here’s the monthly roundup of articles and resources from the web for January 2019.
Church, Ministry, and Christian Living
A Pastor, His Dying Wife, and Their Church—A Group Text. A pastor shares updates with fellow pastors through a group text on his dying wife’s situation that are heartbreaking yet incredibly moving and inspiring.
When Does Bible Neglect Become Sinful? Diminishing Bible reading and meditation is becoming sinful when it is owing to a loss of desperation for what the Bible alone can give.
The Power of Showing Up. “To change something, to enact a difference, to impact lives, to influence a group or anything of significance starts by us showing up. In fact, it can be one of the most powerful actions we do.”
Don’t Ignore the “Speed Limit”: How the Sufficiency of Scripture Should Make Us Patient. Unbelievers see things more clearly than we think. They sniff out our attempts to market Jesus. They see through our sales pitches…Why do we carelessly condescend in trying to reach our unbelieving friends? We could list a few answers. Here’s one. We ignore the speed limit we see in the Bible.
Bible and Theology
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. “Nothing about the [second coming of Christ] will be up for grabs or subject to individual interpretation. While human beings are marrying and being given in marriage, while it is business as usual in the rumour factory, while the world may chatter and twitter and fight, Christ’s appearing will throw all of this activity and expression into silence.”
Ethics and Social Issues
A Prayer for Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Our prayer today, and our earnest desire, is for the conversion and salvation of Governor Cuomo, as well as for all the legislators of New York who voted for, and who rejoiced in, the full-term abortion measure that was recently signed into law…We pray that the governor might become one of history’s great trophies of grace, and that we might be privileged to spend eternity together with him. We unreservedly pray for his repentance and salvation.
American Psychological Association Claims ‘Traditional Masculinity’ Is ‘Psychologically Harmful’. What we need is a plan to counter our androgynous future by showing the world that beauty is found in the binary gender design as male and female (Gen 1:26–28). What we need is a renewed commitment to showing all men and women that their only hope in life and death can be found in our Savior Jesus Christ (Rom. 15:13).
New Year, New You? The Allure of Transhumanism. At root, transhumanism is a commitment to use whatever we can to move to the next stage of human evolution. If humans have the ability to take more control, why shouldn’t we? Why shouldn’t we change in the ways we want to?
Dementia in the Trans-Physical Age. A vision of the future as something embodied—with hair and sweat and feasting, and with spit flying out of your mouth as you laugh at a friend’s jokes—this is at the heart of the Christian hope of eternity. That is why we treasure and honour the body, even that of a dying person.
The Freedom of the Gender Binary . Western culture tells us that the male-female gender binary is oppressive and harmful and that people like me should just accept that we’re somewhere on a spectrum between male and female or even that we are women with male bodies. Culture’s answer brings complexity and confusion. But the God-ordained gender binary is liberating and life-giving.
Evangelism and Apologetics
6 Needed Shifts for Reaching the Next Generation. After 20 minutes of what I felt was the most brilliant and relevant gospel presentation I’d ever shared, he interrupted me: “I think I’m understanding what you’re getting at.” I nodded with great pride at my astuteness and cultural savvy. Then, he continued. “I just have one question: Who the hell is Adam? You keep talking about Adam. Is he one of campus ministry people I haven’t met yet?” Danny had never set foot in a church. Yet I made the mistake of assuming he knew about Adam and Eve, at least from a childhood story. I wish this were an isolated incident. But over and over, my team is ministering to an audience completely unprepared to hear the gospel.
What If They’re Happy Without God? How do we witness to happy people, who seem to be just fine without God? The answer: “joy-based apologetics.”
Evangelism Must Explain What’s Wrong with the World. “People around us today often scoff at the notion of sin. Our world has new names for what ails us: poor self-esteem, neurosis, addiction, anxiety, psychological wounding, and so forth. It isn’t that these issues aren’t a reality; it’s that such analysis doesn’t go deep enough to reveal the root cause.”
Mitch Bedzyk serves as a teacher and worship leader at Elmira Christian Center. He received his Master of Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and works in IT for the NY state Office of Mental Health. He and his wife, Sarah, have one son named Oliver Paul and are foster parents. In his spare time he enjoys reading, coffee, guitar, following the Bundesliga and MLS, and supporting Bayern Munich. You can follow him on Twitter @mitchbedzyk