Colin Smith

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.     Do You Treat Church Like a Cruise Ship? Or a Restaurant? Trevin Wax considers just how powerful the consumerist mindset is among American Christians: " The problem with viewing the church as a restaurant is that it amplifies the cruise liner mentality in that the service is all directed one-way. The attender pays with time or money and expects a religious service. This is consumerist, not missional. But the bigger challenge is that the person isn’t even committed to the cruise."

2.     Breaking Down the Living Organisms By Weight: Among the fascinating factoids here are that there are three times more viruses by weight! than human beings.

3.     What is the Rapture? David Chapman concludes that the best interpretation of the "rapture" passage is, " This would imply that, at Christ’s appearance, Paul expects the dead in Christ to be raised, followed by the lifting up of the living believers to welcome Jesus in the air, before Jesus descends to earth with his people in order to judge the world and establish fully his kingdom on earth."

4.     The Seven Bitter Fruits of SinColin Smith considers what happens when we live a life in rejection of God, "What you believe about sin will shape your convictions about missions and evangelism. How we engage in this work, and what we think needs to be done, will in large measure be shaped by what we believe the human problem really is."

5.     Aerial Tucson: I love our city and I love these videos.

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.      Good Grace from God with Us: Gretchen Ronnevik on parenting, true and cheap grace: “I don’t need cheap, well-intentioned grace. I need the resurrection-power grace. I need the grace that never asks me to pretend I’m fine when I’m not. I need the grace that’s there when I have nothing left to give.”

2.      Top 10 Discoveries in Biblical Archaeology in 2018: Gordon Govier reports on some fascinating discoveries including the possible signature of Isaiah the prophet and the seal ring of Pontius Pilate.

3.      Christianity Today's 2018 Books of the Year: Solid list. A number on here I want to read including Russell Moore's A Storm Tossed Family, Rosaria Butterfield's The Gospel Comes with a House Key, and, two from friends of mine: Amy Julia Becker, and Matthew Kaemingk.

4.      2018: A Christian Music Review: I appreciate Jeremy Howard’s year-end reviews. I actually disagree quite a bit with Howard, but he always introduces me to new music and has a high regard for strong theology in Christian music, which I appreciate.

5.      The Dark Before the DawnI love Andrew Peterson's music that is so rich lyrically. If you haven't listened to him before, this is a great place to start. 

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.     Misspellings by State: What word does each state struggle to spell? Rhode Islanders struggle with liar. Four struggles struggle with pneumonia. Louisiana and Arkansas struggle with animals: the chihuahua and the giraffe. New Hampshirites concern me with their need know how to spell "diarrhea” frequently (note to self: next time, bring immodium) Most hilarious is perhaps the south, not doing itself any favors, needing help with the very difficult words: "angel," "gray," and "nanny."

2.     The Pervasive Selfie: Phil Cooke shares, "Teen Vogue magazine reports the average millennial focuses about one hour of every week to selfies. (Shooting them, editing them, retouching them.) Writer Matt LaBash reports that, “In 2015, the social scientists at Luster Premium White, a teeth-whitening brand, calculated that at their current selfie rate, your average millennial will take up to 25,700 selfies in a lifetime. Considering that the average lifespan is only around 27,375 days, that amounts to taking nearly one selfie per day, no small feat when subtracting all the years that people are too young or too old to operate a camera phone.”...The advertising magazine Adweek, indicates: 74% of all photos on Snapchat are selfies."

3.     If only I had been saved by merit! Tim Challies exposes our hearts, "If I had earned my salvation, I could negotiate with God for more favor, for more privileges, for more benefits. I could hold up my list of accomplishments and demand fair compensation. I could compare what has been given to others and make the case for why I am deserving of all that God has given them and more besides." 

4.     Six Things You Need to Know About God's Wrath: Colin Smith tackles this difficult but important topic: “At the core of the human problem is that we are sinners under the judgment of God, and the divine wrath hangs over us unless and until it is taken away.”

5.     The Shift in America's Morality: Christianity Today reports on a recent Gallup poll about America's ever-shifting morality: "Of the 19 issues queried about, Americans have become more liberal on 13 of them (with 10 hitting record highs) and stayed consistent on 6—most notably abortion, which 43 percent of Americans and 34 percent of Protestants deem morally acceptable."

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.       Spring arrives at Central Park: perfectly orchestrated breathtaking short video.

2.       How to Raise Your Children as Best Friends: I was so grateful my sister was my best friend growing up and have been so blessed to watch our children grow up as each other's best friends. Jen Wilkin has a helpful reflection on how to cultivate that friendship.

3.       Living the Victorious Christian Life: Michael Bird on what victory in Christ looks like, "Remember, when Jesus hung upon that cross, he did not feel victorious, he felt abandoned, he felt betrayed, he experienced the full extent of human misery. And yet that is where we are told God has won his victory, his triumph, where he conquered the world, the flesh, and the devil."

4.       Schools Kill Creativity: this Ken Robinson TED talk has been watched over 45 million times and you should watch it too. I love his point that, because of our fear of being wrong, we grow out of creativity.

5.       Six Things You Need to Know About God's Wrath: Colin Smith tackles this difficult but important topic: “ At the core of the human problem is that we are sinners under the judgment of God, and the divine wrath hangs over us unless and until it is taken away.”