this week’s round-up (august 4)

Steve Sjogren: Bullhorn Evangelism. Interesting article, especially when I saw this very thing being played out at the U2 concert in Lansing – outside a handful of guys with a bullhorn condemning everyone to hell, inside a stadium of people singing songs of hope.

Dan Dick: Paradoxology. Be sure to read the whole thing, as with most of his posts it is pretty convicting, including this bit:

“The process by which God provides is in place. That process is us. Our current problems are not those of quantity, but distribution. We don’t lack resources, we simply lack love, faith, compassion, and trust. We bow before the god of fear at the expense of trusting the God of love. It feels safer and more comfortable to take care of ourselves than to perhaps give aid or comfort to someone we don’t know, like, trust, or agree with.
And this is why our church is in the state it is in. At least for United Methodists, we lost our way when we jumped the mission and social justice ship for the church growth cruiser.”

Chad Holtz: Christians Need a Ramadan and The Idolatry of Belief

Lifehacker: Best Windows Downloads and Best iPhone Apps. Several of the Windows programs I use on a regular basis (Google Chrome, Thunderbird, Dropbox, Picasa, Microsoft Security Essentials, and I’ve started playing with Spotify); the iPhone apps I don’t know as well, but these are both pretty solid lists for good (and largely free) software for your systems.

This next link it a little more advanced in the techno-nerd realm, but Michael Hyatt has a nice post on How to Get Your Kindle Highlights into Evernote. This has been one of my frustrations as I’ve experimented with ebooks – how can I mark passages for future reference, and fortunately Michael notes a (relatively) simple solution.

I never really expected myself to agree with John Piper on much of anything, but his article on How Do I Think About Tweeting actually makes a lot of sense to me, especially since I know I don’t use the platform to it’s potential (most of the time you’ll just find me retweeting what someone else has written).

Great article from Roger Olsen: A bigger problem than heresy: folk religion.

One more for the “must read” list: What If Jesus Isn’t as Reasonable as Us? by Ed Cyzewski:

“Theology can only take us so far. We’re dealing with approximations at best when we talk about God. We can study the Bible all we want, but at the end of the day we’re just talking piles of dust and spit trying to define a deity that we can only see in a mirror dimly.
We know some things about God, but as NT Wright says, we can’t be 100% sure that all of our beliefs are right. And if we one day discover that God is different from us, what will we do?
I don’t think you can blog a rebuttal after standing before the judgment seat of God. Actually, I’m pretty sure about that one.
At a certain point we bump into our limitations and the likelihood that we have been wrong about God in some ways. We have to decide whether we’re willing to stick with God even if he dashes parts of our theology to bits, even if he appears unreasonable, intolerant, or too inclusive.”

Mike Friesen posted this video on a day I really needed to see it:

I’ve had this song by the Avertt Brothers stuck in my head the past couple weeks… I really don’t know much about the band other than the appearance they had on the Grammys with Mumford & Sons, and Bob Dylan; but checking their wikipedia page shows that their grandfather was a Methodist minister, so they get bonus points for being cool…