Morning Mashup 12/21

A mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.

Did the “Virgin Conception” First Appear Late in History? – A historical look at what the early church believed about the birth of Christ.

How the World Looked When Jesus Was Born – Very interesting piece on what the world looked like when Jesus was born, according to Roman geographers.

Saint Nicholas and the Origins of Santa Claus – No worries, mom and dad. Santa Claus is in fact real. Just maybe not in the way you might think.

Stop Sending Missionaries – Okay, other than the major click-bait title, this article is fantastic. Here is an excerpt: “To be sure, the workers are few, and the harvest is great. But that does not mean that more workers are necessarily better. It seems that the impatience that so marks the current generation has infiltrated the missionary movement under the guise of “urgency.”

Who is a Refugee? – I love infographics. This one helps make sense of a confusing issue.

For Many, Faith Comes at a High Price – An insightful, and excellent reminder from this NY Times op-ed piece.

Jimmy Carter’s Grandson Dies at 28 – Former President Carter relays this tragic information to his Sunday School class.

Does Your Church Need to Die in Order to Live? – Ray Ortlund challenges churches entering 2016.

Own the Awkwardness – Darrin Patrick gives all dudes some advice for those awkward Christmas conversations.

On Long Sermons and Family Feuds – So, apparently the mystical 12 o’clock deadline for preachers was alive and well some 400 years ago. Read this and you will never want to preach more than an hour again.

A Review of Priscilla Shirer’s Fervent – Aimee Byrd offers a thoughtful and fair critique of Priscilla Shirer’s new book, Fervent, based on the movie The War Room. I would never point women to the Lifeway darlings, Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer. I simply do not trust them to faithfully communicate biblical truth. Byrd does a great job expressing these concerns and evaluating one of the most popular new books for Christian women.

The Bible is about God’s kingdom building process—God’s reign over God’s people in God’s land for God’s glory.

— Jason DeRouchie

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