Morning Mashup 09/28


Injury Interrupted My Idolatry – From time to time, Desiring God will feature an article written by a professional athlete. They are always profound for me. This piece from NBA player Landry Fields is no different. Fantastic perspective.

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Pray for the Persecuted Church – Great post from Ruth Ripken on how to get your kids thinking and praying about persecuted believers.

Sex Belongs to Believers – John Piper: “The pleasures of sex are meant for believers. They are designed for their greatest expression by the children of God. He saves his richest gifts for his children. And as we enjoy his gift of sex, we say, by our covenant faithfulness to our spouse, that God is greater than sex.”

Springtime for Liberal Christianity – Typical excellent cultural and religious analysis from Ross Douthat.

The Cosby Conversation We’re Still Not Having – Thabiti Anyabwile: “What we are not discussing is how to prevent the many Cosbys in our homes, families, friendship networks, schools and churches from preying upon our daughters, sisters, and mothers.”

Don’t Hide Behind “The Gospel” – Barnabas Piper: “Only when we can make the connection between the gospel and the centuries of racial inequality in the United States, the lasting impact on our government and social structures, and the insidious and subtle effects on our own minds and hearts is it a solution.”

The Eight Kinds of Commenters in the Christian Blogosphere – Excellent analysis of commenters on Christian blogs. I’ve experienced each of these. My favorite is the “heresy hunter.” They are so pleasant.

Why I Am a Complementarian – “It seems to me that on a very base level the problem of the feminist movement and the patriarchy movement, and indeed sin itself, is principally a lack of trust. We have, from the very beginning, been attempting to wrench what was not given in the search of what was labeled off limits.”

Why Students Hate School Lunches – Just one of many stellar pieces in the Sunday Review section of the NY Times this week. I love this line: “Consider that in France, where the childhood obesity rate is the lowest in the Western world, a typical four-course school lunch (cucumber salad with vinaigrette, salmon lasagna with spinach, fondue with baguette for dipping and fruit compote for dessert) would probably not pass muster under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, because of the refined grains, fat, salt and calories. Nor would the weekly piece of dark chocolate cake.”

Papelbon, Harper Fight Highlights Nationals’ Deep Problems – The dugout fight between Nationals teammates Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper has sparked much debate in the sports world. Personally, I agree with Papelbon’s principle, but not with his methods. Harper may be a NL MVP frontrunner, but he has a lot to learn.

The Art of Conversation – Tips for how men should engage in conversation.

42 Things We Learned from Week 3 – It usually takes a few weeks to gauge how the NFL season will go. Here is what we know after three weeks.

Spieth’s Stellar PGA Season – Young Jordan Spieth’s spectacular season broken down. I don’t think he’s the next Tiger, but the dude can play.

For us to be in love with ourselves is idolatry. For God not to be in love with himself is idolatry. –Zane Pratt


Morning Mashup 09/14

Don’t Let the Media Control Your Experience of Election 2016 – Trevin Wax: “When Christians fall captive to clickbait and jump from candidate to candidate depending on the polls, we abandon our responsibility as thoughtful and convictional people.”

5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Dating Relationship – Tim Challies: “Dating has become the most difficult thing in the world, probably because they’ve got a million books and web pages telling them how. They can’t just do it—they’ve got to do it by the book. And along the way they are ruining their dating relationships.”

Greetings from Heaven – A very helpful infographic detailing the recent phenomena of near-death experiences.

5 Ways to Talk to Your Children about Death – As a children’s pastor, I’m always looking for helpful advice in speaking to children about difficult issues. This is great.

On the Viral Rise of Divorce Selfies – Tragic.

Planned Failure – Jim DeMint: “The fight to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood will be just that: a fight. And like all the struggles to return sanity and respect for human life and decency to our government, it will be a tough one.  But conservatives should fight to win, not plan to fail.”

Keeping the Spotlight on Planned Parenthood – Stephen Heaney: “Do not be distracted by misdirection. Do not let the horror of abortion be the main issue. Stick to the pertinent facts: Planned Parenthood is profiting from the sale of fetal parts. Planned Parenthood is routinely violating federal law. Planned Parenthood does not care about women.”

A Calvinist Evangelist? – Keith Mathison: “The fact of the matter is that Calvinism is not inconsistent with evangelism; it is only inconsistent with certain evangelistic methods.”

Djokovic Clinches 2nd US Open Title – This was a great match for a couple sets. Federer lost momentum. A thing you just can’t lose against Djokovic.

NFL Scores (Week 1) – Scores from Week 1 NFL action.

Before the throne absolved we stand / Your love has met your law’s demands –Edith Margaret Clarkson

Morning Mashup 09/07

Start your Labor Day off right with a mashup of articles for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.

How Andy Mineo’s “You Can’t Stop Me” Became Baseball’s Top Walk-Up Song – Andy Mineo’s “You Can’t Stop Me” just proved it’s universal popularity by winning Baseball Tonight’s inaugural Whammy award.

(Almost) The Whole Continuous Story of the Old Testament in 11 Books – There are 11 books in the Old Testament, that almost tell the entire story of God’s redemption before Christ.

When Does Your Religion Legally Excuse You From Doing Part of Your Job? – Very helpful article from The Washington Post.

Need We Jail Each Other Over Marriage Licenses? – “The situation in Kentucky reminds all of us that America is extremely divided on issues that show no signs of weakening. This zero-sum culture war cannot continue if the social fabric of America is to have any chance of unifying around a robust pluralism.”

11 Easy Steps to Repenting on the Internet – Barnabas Piper on the brutal realities of repenting online.

The Promise of God in Threatening Pain – NFL center, Garrett Gilkey, offers helpful reflections on the sovereign promises of God in the midst of pain.

Defending the Bible, Protecting the Faith – Dr. Timothy Jones, my current family and discipleship professor discusses how believers should respond to skeptics in this interview about his new book, How We Got the Bible.

Church Discipline, Contemporary Grace Style – Rick Phillips with some weighty questions with those who identify with Tullian Tchjividjian and the Contemporary Grace Movement.

Can a Label Edify? – And here is Ray Ortlund’s response to Phillips. Admittedly, he doesn’t address any of Phillips’ questions or concerns, but does raise legitimate questions over the benefit of labels.

Pop Atheism and the Power of the Gospel – “As conservative Christian convictions continue to be marginalized, I fear the evangelical response might be something other than courageous love. We could be tempted to shrink back in fear if we aren’t properly propelled by the power of the gospel. Like Sayers, we may wish they all would just leave us alone.”

How I Learned to Live Joyfully – I try to read everything J.I. Packer writes. He is a superb teacher. This piece recounting Packer’s personal experiences only proves this to be true.

Faith’s true office is to see life in the midst of death. –John Calvin

Morning Mashup 09/04

“In this World You Will Have Trouble”–Welcome to Rowan County – Albert Mohler with the best response to the Kim Davis jailing I’ve read so far. With social media on nonsense overload in reaction to Kim Davis’ arrest, it is refreshing to interact with an intelligent and sophisticated man such as Mohler. If you want to know a meaningful evangelical position, don’t miss this article.

In Which I Paint With Some Bright Yellows – And then there’s Doug Wilson, whose satirical wisdom is scathing and scintillating. He is one writer that will have you on the edge of your seat while your mind is racing.

Kim Davis: Political Prisoner? Culture-War Martyr? – I fear Rod Dreher is right on the money with his four predictions of what will happen after the dust settles. He may be right that it will not “end well for religious liberty in America.”

Christianity in Three Words – Before reading the article, see what you can come up with. Here is mine: God reigns, rescues.

US Ebola Survivors: Where Are They Now? – Interesting profile of Ebola survivors in the US.

Ashley Madison Exposes More than Just Names – Very important and helpful article on what the Ashley Madison leak really reveals.

Tebow Makes Case for Roster Spot – In the final preseason game, Tim Tebow did what he needed to do. I hope it’s enough to earn him the third string spot.

Judge Erases Tom Brady’s Suspension – Not exactly sure if justice was served or not. The NFL didn’t have any evidence, but it is hard to believe Brady had no knowledge of the deflated footballs. But the most important bit of info is that Brady will be playing every snap this season, which is a very good thing for this Pats fan.

We stress the humanity [of Jesus] too exclusively at Christmas, and the deity [of Jesus] too exclusively after the resurrection; almost as if Christ once became a man and then presently reverted to being simply God. –C.S, Lewis

Morning Mashup 09/02

Kentucky Clerk Not Issuing Marriage Licenses – A Rowan County clerk has stood her ground and continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses. She is at war with her employer, the Kentucky state government. But Ryan Anderson shows there is a better way for protecting religious liberty rights of county clerks as well as civil rights of citizens. If you are at all plugged into this unfolding drama, please consider this piece.

When Jesus Got the Bible Wrong – Uh oh! Don’t you just love clickbait? Nevertheless, this is a fantastic piece about hermeneutics and biblical tensions.

Should We Go Down the Ashley Madison Rabbit Hole? – “Our media-saturated lives offer regular opportunities to make private details public. How do we know when to feed our hunger and when to starve it?”

Tullian Tchividjian Files for Divorce – I don’t know how I missed this news. I’m saddened to see Tchividjian fall. Praying for God’s grace in his life.

Judgment and Grace – Another sad loss in the Reformed Christian community as Ligonier’s R.C. Sproul Jr. was suspended by Ligonier based on his confession that he had signed up with Ashley Madison.

6 Joys and Perils of Full Time Ministry – I think most pastors can identify with these.

The End of the RGIII Era in Washington? – It’s kind of hard to believe, but Robert Griffin III’s tenure in the nation’s capital may be short lived. The former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has already been passed over in favor of Kirk Cousins for the starting gig in Washington. Now the question will be, What’s next for RGIII?

Why All Christians Should Care About Systematic Theology – A helpful excerpt from a book partly written by my current Systematic Theology professor, Stephen Wellum.

Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him. –C.S. Lewis

Morning Mashup 08/19

Our Theology is Meant to Flatten Us – A message we all need to hear from John Piper.

Walking Along the Beach with the Lord – This is hilariously awesome!

Divorce and Spousal Abuse – I usually roll my eyes at statistics mostly because they are often used to skew reality. And while I think the implied and explicit conclusions drawn here are for the most part weak sauce, it is helpful to see what pastors and churches across America are thinking when it comes to divorce.

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains – I read a section of John Frame’s The Doctrine of God aloud while holding our four month old, Jude, yesterday. Does that qualify as a bedtime story? Maybe not. Still, parents, get to reading!

45 Ways to Avoid Using the Word “Very” – Gah! I needed to read this article very, very, very badly!

Planned Parenthood and the Eugenics Movement – Lengthy, but excellent article if you have the time. “There is a haunting familiarity to the arguments defending Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted babies for medical research: an echo of another era of medical innovation amid moral ambiguity. Then, as now, the response of cultural leaders — especially religious leaders — is a story about the corruption, and potential renewal, of Western civilization.”

Teens Think Calling People on the Phone is Awkward – What do teens know anyway though, right? Or, do they have a point? “Researchers found that kids these days primarily think of their phone numbers as being for texting. When it comes to actually vocalizing sentences, however, teens may as well be saying, ‘LOL, bye.'”

No “Deflate Gate” Settlement – Despite a judge’s attempt to get both parties to settle, Tom Brady will go to battle with the NFL in court. I’m curious to see how this turns out.

25 Weird Things Said to Pastors – Yeah, weird doesn’t quite capture the nature of these statements.

For thou hast never said, “Seek ye me in vain.” –Valley of Vision

Morning Mashup 08/07

Lots and lots and lots of articles. Including two videos. An extended mashup of articles and videos for your information, edification, entertainment, and enjoyment.


What’s It Like to Abort Your Own Child? – I almost teared up just reading the title. The story will beckon your tears fall. I’m thankful for Bethany Jenkins for telling it.

3 Reasons the Campaign on Planned Parenthood is Winnable – Doug Wilson with reasonable encouragement for the pro-life movement. “Think of it this way — Planned Parenthood is serving as the designated victim. This is not scapegoating, or unjust in any way, because in this case the scapegoat really is guilty.”

Trump Gets Spotlight, But it Might Burn – We can only hope that the more Trump speaks, the more voters will see how outlandishly insane he is. If Trump cared at all about the GOP winning the White House, he would drop out or back off. He doesn’t. He won’t.

News for Democrats…It’s a Baby! – Kristen Powers at USA Today shows how Democrats are on “the wrong side of history” when it comes to Planned Parenthood and abortion.

There is No Pro-Life Case for Planned Parenthood – Ross Douthat does it again. Don’t miss this important piece: “Tell the allegedly “pro-life” institution you support to set down the forceps, put away the vacuum, and then we’ll talk about what kind of family planning programs deserve funding. But don’t bring your worldview’s bloody hands to me and demand my dollars to pay for soap enough to maybe wash a few flecks off.”

Shocking Videos and the Art of Looking Away – Important consideration for those of us denouncing videos of Planned Parenthood, yet ignoring videos of police brutality.

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions – Whoa. Interesting and important perspective. We in the West can be so blindly arrogant. “Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from ‘The Lion King’?”

Ray Rice on NFL Return – Ray Rice expresses desire to return to the NFL, and hopes a team will give him a chance to “hang them up the right way.”

The Most Meaningless Abortion Statistic Ever – I was directed to this article by Albert Mohler in yesterday’s edition of The Briefing. It was written in 2013, but is very important in light of the Planned Parenthood defense of their actions.

Obama on Killing Humans and Harvesting Organs – He called it an “atrocity” while in Africa discussing the tribal killings of a particular sect of people and the harvesting of their organs for ritualistic purposes. Obama was disgusted by this practice, all the while ignoring an eerily similar situation in his own country. My heart weeps for his blindness. Lewis’ idea of “chronological snobbery” comes to mind with Obama’s simultaneous rejection of tribal killings and support of scientific killings.

If Planned Parenthood Goes, Where Do Women Go? – Answer: many places.

How Not to Pray Against Cultural Decline – Christian historian Thomas Kidd offers advice grounded in colonial America on how to engage the culture with prayer.

Should the Church Divorce from the State in Marriage? – Rick Phillips gives six reasons why the church shouldn’t jump ship just yet.

The Sound of Silence – Kevin DeYoung gives ten compelling reasons why congregational singing may be absent in your church, I love reading DeYoung because he just makes sense.

The Gospel and Porn – Good stuff from Fred Zaspel: “Godliness is not attained by zaps. There is no switch to pull that brings us immediately to perfection — well, not on this side of the grave, that is.”

7 Pieces of Advice for Young Pastors – I don’t love everything Ron Edmonson says or writes, but this is pretty good.

Check out this video that does an adequate job dispelling Planned Parenthood’s 3% abortion myth.

And just in case you missed it, here is the 5th undercover video exposing Planned Parenthood. Please, watch the video. I am afraid many people are coming to solid conclusions about the videos without actually watching them. Watch and share.

We need some standard or rule from outside of us to help us sort out the warring impulses of our interior life. –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 08/05

Chip Kelly’s Image Problem – More than one traded player has accused Chip Kelly of having issues with black players or at least players from a particular culture. USA Today’s Jarrett Bell breaks it down for us.

Pro-Life Dems See Path to Defund Planned Parenthood – Monday’s vote showed us that the defunding of Planned Parenthood will definitely take bipartisan support. Some pro-life democrats see a way for this to happen.

Senators Who Voted to Continue Funding Planned Parenthood – Just so you know, and can maybe make some calls. For the record, McConnell’s no vote was procedural.

Psalm 94 and Planned Parenthood – Excellent. Honest. Pastoral. Helpful words from J.A. Medders.

Satan and Sodomy – John Piper with some very strong, poignant, and convicting words.

John Newton Birthday Bash Book Giveaway – Tony Reinke and Crossway have a generous book giveaway. Reinke has the details at his blog, but the prize is the entire set of the Theologians on the Christian Life series up to date. I’ve entered, so I hope you don’t win.

Kentucky Officer Sued for Handcuffing Child – Wrongly restraining any child can and has led to death. This was unwise, to say the least.

We need some standard or rule from outside of us to help us sort out the warring impulses of our interior life.  –Tim Keller

Morning Mashup 07/31

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


How I Changed My Mind About Abortion – Great confessional article from a feminist who changed her mind about abortion.

From Hashtags to Healing – Dan Darling encourages pastors to lead their congregations in how they should respond to Planned Parenthood and abortion: “Pastors should not shy away from stewarding their influence and addressing this issue. They should model for their people how to think and act in this cultural moment.”

Is Cecil the Lion More Devastating than the Planned Parenthood Videos? – Best thing I’ve read all week. Karen Swallow Prior nails it.

The Dangerous Calling of Christian Missions – Albert Mohler comments on the rising, but historical danger inherent to Christian missions: “This world is indeed a dangerous place — Jesus told us that it would be so. With the rise of both militant Islam and the velocity of secularization in the West, Christians cannot afford to remain silent and cease proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. “

What Can You Do About Planned Parenthood? – Information and advice for contacting congressmen about Planned Parenthood.

Praying As Though Lives Depend On It – An open letter from Heath Lambert to the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors: “I want to invite you to join me and the staff at ACBC in a season of prayer and fasting on Monday, August 3. We will be praying that God would shatter the American culture of death, that he would save innocent lives, that he would protect women from the pain and sin of abortion, and that the representatives of our government would be overwhelmed with a desire to withhold funds from such a wicked organization.”

Whom Do Evangelical Insiders Favor in 2016? – WORLD Magazine reveals polls showing who evangelical leaders are favoring so far for the presidency in 2016.

The Lion’s Roar – Dan Dumas: “If an alien landed on earth this week and surveyed the mainstream television news programs they would hear about Cecil the lion. But they would have to look to internet sources mainly to learn about Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood. The visitor might conclude, quite easily it seems, that we are greatly concerned with the protection of lions. The rights of the unborn, not so much so.”

Meet the Filmmaker Exposing Planned Parenthood – Thanks to this 26 year-old, the pro-life movement has been given new weapons to slay the abortion giant.

The Reinvention of Twitter – Interim CEO of Twitter has plans to reinvent the social media giant. Say it ain’t so!

Robert Kraft and NFL Betrayal – The owner of the greatest football team of the 21st century feels totally betrayed by the league he has served and the commissioner he has trusted for years. It will be interesting to see how the DeflateGate controversy plays out in court.

O Lord, I am astonished at the difference between my receivings and my deservings. –Valley of Vision

Morning Mashup 07/29

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

How the Planned Parenthood Videos Set Off a Renewed Wave of Activism on Abortion – Sarah Pullman Bailey observes the rise in the number and volume of voices speaking out against abortion in light of the release of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos.

Slaying the Abortion Giant – I love reading Joe Rigney. He poetically describes the Planned Parenthood videos as the foundational stones we must give flight to so we may slay the giant of abortion. Think honestly and deeply about the five ways he gives for us to slay this giant.

She’s Having a Fetus – What if women used the euphemisms of Planned Parenthood to talk about their pregnancies?

Planned Parenthood Tells Reporters to Suppress Coverage – Sean Davis at The Federalist writes: “How bad is the baby organ trafficking story for Planned Parenthood? So bad that the nation’s largest abortion provider has hired a pricey PR firm to bully media outlets into not covering the scandal.”

Culpable Ignorance – With the release of the videos showing Planned Parenthood’s practices and abortion for what they are. With that in mind, Denny Burk writes, “If we haven’t seen the images or heard the grisly stories, it’s not because we had no opportunity. It’s because we are choosing not to look.”

Cecile Richards is Right – Discerning article that carefully probes to the heart of the problem with Planned Parenthood.

Seven Facts About Abortion in America – Important facts about the reality of abortion and the views of Americans toward it.

Can Hipster Christianity Save Churches from Decline? – Brett McCracken wonderfully analyzes the hipster church movement. His assessment is spot on.

Southern Seminary Student, Father of 4 Killed in Crash – My heart weeps and grieves for the family of Wade Stephenson. Bob Kauflin also wrote this great piece on how a church continues to meet in the wake of tragedy. You can support Becca Stephenson and her four children with GoFundMe. They have already raised over $40,000 since July 24.

Tom Brady Suspension Upheld – Goodell upholds Brady’s suspension and evidence released that Brady destroyed cell phone. It’s not looking good for one of my favorite QBs.

Preachers should be something like a clear glass through which people can see a gospel-changed soul in such a way that they want it too, and so that they get a sense of God’s presence as well. –Tim Keller