Trevin Wax

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.       Netflix Thinks You're Bored and Lonely: Trevin Wax pushes back on the way our culture thinks about boredom, "The entertainment industry expects us to see boredom as bad, which is why advertisers, sponsors, filmmakers, and game-makers collaborate to create shows, movies, and games that will capture our attention and keep us preoccupied. There’s money to be made in eliminating boredom. But is boredom always a problem, or could it be a possibility? Talk to people whose job it is to make things with their hands or create things in their head, and they’ll tell you that great things happen when your mind runs free."

2.       Ruth Graham Didn’t Waste Her Life: Dave Boehi reflects on the lessons we can learn from the beautiful marriage of Ruth and Billy Graham. He reflects on Ruth’s sacrifice, “One writer for The Washington Post wrote, ‘What a sign of those times, one might say. Or, how sad. The world will never know what else Ruth Graham … could have accomplished …’ What the world often fails to understand is that God often calls people to set aside their own plans in order to follow Him … and then He uses them in greater ways as a result.”

3.       Evidence of Evangelical Political Pragmatism: A discouraging survey I recently came across. Self-described evangelicals' position on how important a politician's morality is has shifted dramatically since the 1990s. And not in a good way.

4.       High-Stakes Leadership: This Read to Lead podcast with Constance Derickx is loaded with good stuff. Derickx definition of courageous impatience and patience particularly struck me.

5.       Why (almost) No One Wants to Host the Olympics Anymore: The 2004 games garnered 12 bids from around the world. Zeeshan Aleem reports that the next two summer and winter Olympics received a total of two bids each. Why? Former cities who hosted the Olympics are littered with unsightly abandoned facilities and a huge price tag for the honor: "Pyeongchang, South Korea, built a brand new Olympic stadium to host the Winter Games this year. The 35,000-seat stadium cost $109 million to build. And it will be used just four times before it’s demolished."

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.       Always Looking, Never Wanting to Find: Mark Loughridge considers a reality for us in our cultural moment, "It’s cool to search for God, but uncool to find him. People talk about wanting to find spiritual reality and deeper meaning, about wanting to get in touch with God. The idea of looking for him sounds good—the search, the journey—but the reality of actually finding him is too much."

2.       Ordinary Beauty: Melissa Edgington shares an ordinary story of God's grace, "At the cash register stood a young girl with a nose ring. Her hair was pulled back, but long blonde ringlets framed her face. There is no telling how many hours she had been on her feet in that store, but still she smiled and asked how my night was going. And then, while I fished in my gigantic black hole of a purse for my wallet, she told me that I look pretty tonight. Just like that. She handed me that grace. That generous gift to a tired mama who almost certainly doesn’t look pretty tonight. And I was surprised by how shocked I was."

3.       Accept Your Leadership: Tim Challies with a call to men, "Your family needs to be led. Your wife and children need you to be the leader God calls you to be. He calls you to lead in love, to study the life and character of Jesus Christ, and to imitate him. Do that and God will be pleased. Do that and your family will be blessed. Run to win by accepting and embracing your leadership."

4.    When Should a Church Address a Current Event: In light of the recent outbreak of racist events, Trevin Wax processes whether or not a church ought to publicly address a given issue. He begins by sharing the online response from a certain quarter regarding the Charlottesville protest, "On social media, multiple people counseled churches on how to respond the next morning. Some called for condemning white supremacy and Neo-Nazis by name. Others offered prayer for pastors who were revising their sermons or penning statements to read before the church. This sentiment popped up a few times: If your church doesn't address this tomorrow, find another congregation. The social media fever implied that failing to speak on the issue indicated you were taking the side of white supremacists."

5.       Is that Hate Speech? I encourage you to take this New York Times baffling quiz on what and what does not qualify as hate speech on Facebook.

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.      Pastor, Fall on the Sword Before You Wield It: Trevin Wax with a piercing exhortation: "'Rightly handling' this sword means we should teach it correctly, and the pastor must experience the piercing of this sword before he wields it in battle."

2.      How to be a Friend to those who are Same-Sex Attracted: Bekah Mason provides sage advice birthed through her own story: "In the end, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me seeking more contentment and completeness than either could offer. One group had fallen short of acknowledging the genuine nature of my feelings and the other had overlooked the very real conviction I held about human sexuality by explaining it away as 'residual guilt from my legalistic childhood.'" Side note: I dislike the title that the editors gave this article. Please don't be put off by it.

3.      31 Questions to Help You Be a Better Parent: Some gems in this list, like these: "3. When I’m honest, what top five values do I feel most compelled to instill in my children? Would those line up with the top five values God would want my children to have? 8. How do I believe other people see each of my children? How do I feel about that? What portion of others’ opinions could I learn from, and what should I set aside? 9. Are my children developing more into givers than takers? 11. What are the events on the timeline of my children’s lives that have the most impact? 19. In what areas are my children most vulnerable? 28. How am I doing on teaching them biblical conflict resolution? Am I teaching them to be true peace-makers … or peace-fakers, or peace-breakers?"

4.      12 Pastoral Commitments (Or, How to Pray for Your Pastor): Kevin DeYoung's list is spot on. May God shape us into pastors like this!

5.      This Octopus Hunts... on Ground: Yikes. I think I might find another beach if I witness this in person.

Signaling Consumption

Signaling Consumption

I still remember how aghast my dad was when the Nike Swoosh became prominently displayed on apparel. “I can’t believe people are paying money to be walking advertisements!” he said in disbelief, “Nike should be paying them!”

No one bats an eye at such branding any longer. A brand stands not just for the product itself, it is a social signal, marketing not just the company, but the consumer.[i]

“Nowadays you shouldn’t have a company that is not contributing in some fashion or form or sense to a cause, because the people today who buy a product, they want to know what you have done for somebody else lately,”[ii] Fubu’s Daymond John reflected on his experience investing through Shark Tank.

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.      Alpine Adventure Video: Gorgeous Alpine footage taken in Europe.

2.      Advice of Two Older Saints: JI Packer and John Stott's advice from near the end of faithful Christian lives.

3.      The World and Everything In It: My go-to daily news podcast from a Christian perspective. Some of my favorite segments are the Legal Docket where they report on cases before the Supreme Court and Culture Fridays with John Stonestreet.

4.      5 Ways Porn Lies to You: Every sin speaks lies. Tim Challies verbalizes the dangerous lies porn tells us.

5.      Why Does Everything Have to Be Politicized? A timely post by Trevin Wax on consumerism and how signals we send out to prove who we are. My series on consumerism will conclude with a post that makes similar connections.