Morning Mashup 09/29

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Prophet, Priest, and King: The Roles of Christ in the Bible and Our Roles Today | Robert Belcher | $14.62

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Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family | Paul Tripp | $16.30

parenting-book

ARTICLES

9 Debatable Thoughts About Contemporary Evangelism | Chuck Lawless

Anyone interested in reaching people for Jesus has to face the reality that culture is changing dramatically – and we have to respond by considering our methods and approaches to evangelism. I understand that reality, but some of the current thoughts about evangelism are worthy of debate. Let me know your thoughts about these positions…

4 Ways to Discuss the 2016 Election with Your Kids | Russell Moore

For families with children, this election year brings unique challenges, since the campaign often feels like a reality show. How do we talk to our kids about what they are seeing and hearing all around them? Here are a few things we do…

The Supreme Court and the Convoluted Case for Trump | Thomas Kidd

The question for white evangelicals, then, is whether we are willing to get behind a non-conservative candidate like Trump, who is so boorish, divisive, and uninformed, because he might appoint judges who can get confirmed and then actually turn out to be good judges? That’s a lot to ask, and a lot of “ifs.” I remain convinced that no major party has offered us a candidate worthy of evangelicals’ support in 2016.

The Price of Trying to Be God | Timothy Paul Jones

To sin is to use a gift that God wove into his creation to point to his glory in a way that the Creator never intended. That’s how God’s good gift of relaxation degenerates into vacations that end in frustration because they fall short of our self-centered expectations.

Singing Man: The Story Behind the Viral Video | Russ Ramsey

The story behind the moving video of students singing to their dying teacher. You’ll find the video in the “Videos” section below.

Crossway Statement on the ESV Bible Text | Lane Dennis

I was a little shocked by Crossway’s recent decision to release a final, unchanging edition of the ESV text. According to this new statement from CEO Lane Dennis, “We have become convinced that this decision was a mistake.”

5 Benefits of Regular Family Worship | Tom Ascol

Regular family worship is valuable and brings many blessings to parents and children alike. Here are five benefits that I have observed.

Pastors Are Not Quitting in Droves | Mark Dance

Each time a pastor prematurely exits the ministry race, I grieve. I also grieve each time I hear the awful pastor retention stats which are unsubstantiated and sometimes exaggerated.

VIDEOS

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Backed Into a Corner: Why I’m #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary

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The presidential nominees from America’s two major parties have forced many evangelicals into a corner we wish didn’t exist. In past elections we may not have been able to agree theologically with either nominee, but we were able to make voting decisions based on policy and platform. We were able to easily denounce candidates who opposed beliefs crucial to the Christian worldview because there was typically a candidate who espoused, at least in rhetoric, positions that eased our consciences. Even on the most basic level, all evangelicals (and Americans in general) have been able to cast a vote for a presidential candidate who was at least morally decent.

I’m only 25 years old, which means I have only had the privilege to vote in one presidential election. In 2012 I was able to cast a vote not on the basis of full agreement with policy or platform, but at least for the candidate I believed would best lead on principles that at least somewhat mirrored that of a Christian worldview. I’ve never believed a presidential candidate has to be a Christian in order to lead well. However, in this election we have two professing Christians whose actions are eons away from Christian ethics or a Christian worldview. We are faced with two major nominees who have built much of their careers on lies, corruption, and positions that are morally abhorrent.

I could never vote for Donald Trump. His rhetoric and stated policies on everything from immigration, women, minorities, and anyone who publicly opposes him is deplorable. His outlandish statements are more than attention-grabbing ploys for ratings. They are a reflection of his heart. And while he barely appeases what conservative evangelicals desire in political policy–defense of the unborn and religious liberty–I simply do not, cannot, will not believe him. Trump clearly doesn’t care for many marginalized Americans who have been born, so I’m more than hesitant to believe he cares about those who are unborn. 

I also cannot vote for Donald Trump because he lacks basic moral decency. While for now I’ll come short of labeling him a dangerous demagogue, he has used abusive, demonstrative, and demeaning insults to win the Republican nomination. And while I’m just as frustrated as my fellow Republicans with the recent track record of high ranking GOP officials and politicians, I’m unwilling to sell my soul for the vague promise to defend the unborn and appoint conservative Supreme Court Justices.

My opposition to Trump has led many of my conservative friends to counter with a few reasons they are able to vote for Trump:

  1. Even though I don’t love what Trump says, he is a lesser evil than Hillary. After all, we are electing a president, not a pastor.
  2. Even though I’m not the biggest Trump fan, voting third party or abstaining means a sure-fire win for Hillary.

I’m sympathetic if your conscience cannot allow you to vote for Hillary to the point that it will allow you to vote for Trump. But these reasons are not enough for me. In the first case, even if Trump is a lesser evil, to vote for him is to vote for great evil. The lesser evil in this election is not encouraging. In the second case, my voting decision cannot be based on the outcome of the election. To vote for Trump would be a direct violation of my conscience. Voting for a candidate is more than just pressing a button. It is an active and affirmative action. Voting for any candidate is an act of volition support of that candidate. Voting for Trump means that you willfully desire him to be president of the United States. I’m entirely unwilling to go there.

On the flip side, I could never vote for Hillary Clinton. She is a champion of abortion unlike other Democratic leaders. No one has championed the cause of abortion quite like her. And while she may have done great work for many marginalized Americans, for which she (and anyone) should be applauded, it all is for naught when she fails to extend this work to end injustice to the most marginalized among us. Plus, her character is no better than Trump. I lament with my Democratic brothers and sisters who have ardently opposed Clinton throughout her campaign.

While I’m no Bernie Sanders fan, the desire for a candidate who at bare minimum seems to possess decency and honesty is commendable. Her frequent lies and the whole email debacle is enough for even the most hardline Democrat to see a lack of trustworthiness. Most politicians are hard to trust, but we’ve never seen anything quite like Hillary Clinton. While Clinton may have some policies and rhetoric in support of some of the weakest Americans that may cause some evangelicals to vote for her over Trump, her blatant and unabashed pro-choice policies and lack of basic character make her entirely unelectable. I’m entirely unwilling to go there either.

So, here we are. The 2016 presidential election has already brought so much confusion, angst, and apprehension. We are left with two candidates who are more disliked than any president in the history of the United States. We have given ourselves two deplorable candidates for the highest office in the land. Many evangelicals like me are backed into a corner. Where do we (or at least I) go from here? Honestly, I don’t know.

I would never presume to hold another believer’s feet to the fire on his or her voting preference. After all, it is a matter of conscience. I would encourage believers to vote based on a conscience that is informed and transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, but the implications of this vary from person to person. Voting in the 2016 presidential election is not the basis of anyone’s standing with God. The finished work of Christ in the place of sinners determines your standing with God. You will be no more or less Christian after November.

I’m not certain how I will vote (or if I will vote) come November. I’m waiting hopefully and maybe naively for a decent and respectable candidate who espouses at least a resemblance of basic Christian ethics. He may never come. But one thing is certain: I will never vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

The good news for Christians backed into this corner with me is that the world’s most evil kings and dictators have seen their reigns come to an end. But the God who reigns with total and sovereign power, justice, mercy, and grace, reigns eternally. His kingdom will never end.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor for Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is a M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. Mathew and Erica live in Tupelo with their son, Jude. You can follow him on Twitter @mat_gilbert.

Morning Mashup 06/03

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A mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

ARTICLES

Fearfully and Autistically Made | Valerie Dunham

“In my experience, autism isn’t simply the narrowing of relationships to people and the outside world; it is the altering of relationships to people and the outside world. Perhaps that’s something that needs to be accepted, not cured.”

Embracing Liturgy in a Digital Age | David Roark

“As we embrace the liturgical practices of centuries past, I fear we’ll forget we live in the 21st century. When used discerningly, today’s technological innovations can both bolster our discipleship efforts and provide new platforms from which we can proclaim and embody the gospel.”

My Husband Doesn’t Put the Kids to Bed, And It’s Really Okay | Melissa Edington

“During the course of our seventeen years of marriage, my responsibilities and Chad’s have shifted and changed. In life, you adapt to your current circumstances, and marriages have to adapt as well.”

Evangelical Leaders: Tell Us to Vote for Clinton | Nick Rodriguez

An interesting perspective with which I’m inclined to disagree. Yet, it’s important to consider. Whether you agree or not, the motivation is valid.

5 Reasons to Read Missionary Biographies to Your Children | Christina Fox

“One evening, I was reading a different genre than usual. As I neared the end of the book, my eyes started to burn. I blinked and my vision blurred. Before I knew it, tears were streaming down my face. This was unusual for story time. I turned to my son, handed him the book, and whispered, “Can you finish, please?” He took over reading for me while I sat there in tears. We were reading a biography of Nate Saint.”

My Carefully Considered Views on the Upcoming Presidential Election | Alan Jacobs

“The Republican capitulation to Trump — complete with rhetorical reversals, especially on the part of Marco Rubio, that rival or perhaps even exceed any Trumpian schizo-inversions — marks the end of that party as a coherent and non-laughable body. If I were thirty I could imagine its renewal in my lifetime. I haven’t been thirty for a loooong time. So long, GOP. It was sucky knowing you.”

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 03/02

A mashup of book deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


Book Deals

Jesus On Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel (David Limbaugh, $2.99)

Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness (Eric Metaxas, $2.99)

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (Tim Keller, $1.99)

Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel (Russell Moore, $2.99)

10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer (Alex McFarland & Elmer Towns, $2.99)

Articles

Why Going to Church Does Not Make You a Christian – John Piper shares how the first few pages of C.S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory changed his life.

What Wouldn’t Jesus Do? – It now looks like a virtual longshot for Trump not to win the Republican nomination, but this NY Times piece shows what (or, who) we are getting and what a growing majority of Republicans seem to want.

Supreme Court to Hear Major Abortion Case – The most important court case on abortion in about 10 years. Moral arguments will be heard today. The morality of these arguments boils down to a battle of convenience vs. life.

Understanding Trump’s Evangelicals – Anthony Bradley offers a unique perspective on the “evangelicals” who are voting for Trump. I think his concerns and claims are valid.

Top 100+ Resources on Reading – David Murray offers a massive list of resources to help in improvement of reading skills.

Visual Theology @ T4G – For all my friends heading to Together for the Gospel this April, Tim Challies will be offering a mini event on his newest work, Visual Theology. Consider registering for this free session.

The Case for an Exegetical Sermon Series – Very beneficial interview with Hershael York on when to preach topically and why expository preaching is best.

10 Reasons Easter Giveaways Are Unwise – Jared Wilson effectively lays out his concerns over Easter giveaways. His points are worth your consideration.

Woman, Behold, Your Son! – Sean Nolan: “Alone he builds community; empty handed he gives gifts.”

March Madness Tournament Schedule and Bracket Predictions – March is here. Which means you will see a lot of college basketball in Morning Mashup for a while. Here is the 2016 NCAA Tournament schedule and predictions of where the Bubble Teams might land.

What Would a President Trump Mean for the World? – CNN’s Jonathan Mann predicts what a world with Trump as President would look like by laying out what Trump has said he would do on various issues.

Videos


God is completely in charge of his world. His hand may be hidden, but his rule is absolute.

— J.I. Packer

Morning Mashup 09/23

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


Should We Elect a Muslim President? – Great stuff from Baptist historian Thomas Kidd. He writes, “real religious liberty requires that law-abiding adherents of all faiths have equal access, in principle, to the benefits and offices of the republic, including the presidency.”

Guard Your Hearts at All Costs in the War with Porn – Brian Renshaw offers four helpful safeguards against pornography.

7 Tips for College Students – John Piper offers seven bits of advice for college students. I especially echo #4.

A Brief History of Complementarian Literature – Owen Strachan offers a comprehensive list of books on complementarianism that should be on every pastor’s shelf.

It’s Time to Increase Our Giving to the Cooperative Program – SBC president, Ronnie Floyd, calls SBC churches to give more to the Cooperative Program.

Yogi Berra Dies at 90 – One of the greatest Yankees and catchers to ever play the game died last night at age 90. Both on and off the field, he was one of the most gifted and interesting people the sport has ever seen.

Is Pro-Life Winning? – Russell Moore: “The cause of the unborn will triumph, ultimately, not because pro-life politicians are alive but because Jesus of Nazareth is.”

10 Surprising Facts About LEGO – Everything is Awesome!!

You ascended from before our eyes and we turned back grieving, only to find you in our hearts. –Augustine

Morning Mashup 09/21

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


Evangelicals Won’t Cave – Lengthy, but good. Russell Moore: “I don’t think American Evangelicals will fold on our sexual ethic…If so, the vibrant Evangelical witness God has called together in Nigeria or Argentina or South Korea or China will be alive and well and ready to send missionaries to preach the whole Gospel. Whether from America or not, a voice will stand, crying in the wilderness”

Dissertation on John Piper’s Life – Justin Taylor’s dissertation on John Piper and Christian Hedonism is available through SBTS. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through parts of this piece. Well done, Dr. Taylor.

Carly Fiorina Surges in Recent Polls – A recent CNN poll shows Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina rising to second in the polls behind Trump.

Why Most Sermons Fail in the First Five Minutes – A helpful look at a common problem as well as solutions for fixing it.

The State of Great Britain – “If Britain were to join the United States, it would be the second-poorest state, behind Alabama and ahead of Mississippi.”

Why C.S. Lewis Told Carl Henry “No” – Excellent brief look at Lewis’ shift from writing gospel explanations and doctrinal defenses to fiction.

4 Fake Grammar Rules – This post will relieve many writers like me.

Treat sin as it will treat you; spare it not for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the world; treat it therefore as a murderer should be treated. Kill it before it kills you. –Richard Baxter

Morning Mashup 09/14

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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 07/31

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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