Brian Hand, Upright Downtime: Making Wise Choices about Entertainment (Biblical Discernment for Difficult Issues; Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 2008), 5–6:

Entertainment is not simply an activity that rests the mind, since many forms of leisure exercise the mind to some extent. For example, in arguing the dangers of television, video games, and music, some writers exaggerate the mental atrophy that occurs. While it is true that these media tend to relax the rational and cognitive processes of the mind (the left hemisphere), they actually tend to strengthen the emotional, subjective, and reactive centers of the brain (the right hemisphere).

Hand,

I recommended Alex Chediak’s Thriving at College  back in March. It would benefit older high school students, college students, parents, professors, and pastors.

Since it’s back-to-school season, Alex Chediak is giving away ten copies of Thriving at College to pastors and student ministers (with free shipping in the USA). You may enter his drawing by sending him a private note by Monday, September 12. Include “Pastor Giveaway” in the subject line and your church’s mailing address.

Post-Tithing

Andy Naselli —  September 7, 2011 — 4 Comments

Another debate-book from B&H:

David A. Croteau, ed. Perspectives on Tithing: Four Views. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2011. 193 pp.

Here are the four views:

  1. Ken Hemphill and Bobby Eklund, “The Foundations of Giving.” Argument: “Tithing [10%] is the foundational base from which believers can and must be challenged to become grace-givers” (p. 20).
  2. David A. Croteau, “The Post-Tithing View: Giving in the New Covenant.” Argument: “The Levitical tithe, the festival tithe, and the charity tithe are no longer binding on Christians because they are fulfilled” (p. 80). The NT explains how Christians should give (see below).
  3. Reggie Kidd, “Tithing in the New Covenant? ‘Yes’ as Principle, ‘No’ as Casuistry.” Argument: “I do believe, with Hemphill, Eklund, and North, and against Croteau, that the shape of redemption means the principle of tithing carries over into the new covenant era. I believe, with Croteau and against Hemphill, Eklund, and North, that the casuistry of the tithe does not” (p. 56).
  4. Gary North, “The Covenantal Tithe.” Argument: “The tithe is 10 percent of your net income—no more, no less. You should feel guilty if you do not tithe. You should not feel guilty if you do tithe” (p. 51).

Here’s a free PDF of the book’s introduction.

Croteau’s view is most persuasive. Here are two tables from the end of his essay:

Continue Reading…

Courageous

Andy Naselli —  September 6, 2011 — 3 Comments

Last weekend my wife and I watched the film Courageous, which opens at 900 theaters nationwide on September 30.

Trailer

About the Film

Thoughts

  1. This is the best of the four films that Sherwood Pictures has produced in terms of filming, acting, and storyline.
  2. It focuses on multiple aspects of fatherhood and depicts that weighty responsibility as a high calling. It makes a strong counter-cultural statement about fathers courageously leading their homes rather than selfishly abdicating their responsibility. Continue Reading…

God Wins

Andy Naselli —  September 5, 2011 — 2 Comments

One month after Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins came out, Mike Wittmer had already published a book-length response:

Michael E. Wittmer. Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins. Grand Rapids: Edenridge, 2011. 159 pp.

It’s good.

The money chapter is chapter 7, which recently became available online as a free PDF. Wittmer delves past the symptoms (hell and universalism) and explains the fundamental problem with Love Wins.

Some excerpts:

[W]hen the need is great, love isn’t love unless it actually does something . . . Jesus’ death on the cross is an act of love only if it actually accomplishes something. It’s not enough to say that it inspires us to do something. (pp. 94–95) Continue Reading…

Performer vs. Herald?

Andy Naselli —  September 2, 2011 — 1 Comment

I recently read this book:

Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. Communicating for a Change. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2006.

It’s filled with insights about public speaking in general, so it’s worth reading even if you deeply disagree with it at points along the way.

The book compares preachers to performers. In one sense there’s something to that since both preachers and performers—whether stand-up comedians or actors on a stage—must engage their audience. And to their credit, the authors qualify that “acting and preaching are a bit different” (p. 134).

But this is a good example of how a controlling metaphor can slant an argument. Why not choose the metaphor of a herald (κῆρυξ)? After all, the New Testament itself uses that metaphor in 1 Tim 2:7 and 2 Tim 1:11 (not to mention the 61 occurrences of the main verb for preaching: κηρύσσω).

Every Life Has a Story

Andy Naselli —  September 1, 2011 — 2 Comments

This is a Chick-fil-A training video for their employees.

Dan Cathy, president and Chief Operation Officer at Chick-fil-A, writes this about the video:

“Every life has a story . . . if we only bother to read it.”

A video we created to remind us that everyone we interact with is a chance to create a remarkable experience.

How much more does this way of viewing people apply to Christ-followers?