This Week's Recommendations

1.      The Danger of Forgiving Too Fast: Mike Glenn tells a story and then offers this sober wisdom, "My mom rushed me back to the oral surgeon who looked at me and said something I’ve never forgotten. “Mike, you healed too fast.” When I asked him what he meant, he said the gum tissue where he had made the incision had closed before the wound could totally drain. When that happened, the bacteria were trapped causing a major infection... I’ve ended up retelling that story a lot—especially to my friends who have been wounded and hurt. They want to forgive. They want to deal with it, move on, and get past the pain. In their rush to get over it, they heal too fast and trap the anger, bitterness, and hurt inside before it can drain out. Just like our bodies, our souls can get infected. If we fail to properly treat our wounds, the anger, embarrassment, and hurt will fester into bitterness and despair."

2.      These Two Statements Changed My Ministry: Dave Travis writes that 30 years ago the first statement shook and changed him, "The first statement came from Kennon Callahan: 'The day of the professional pastor is over. The day of the missionary pastor is here.'"

3.      What if Solomon's Example Was Bad, Not Good? Ian Duguid takes the provocative position that Solomon's example is negative, not positive in Song of Solomon. It's an interesting position. One doesn't have to agree with the position itself to agree with Duguid's main point, " But by connecting the song with the name of Solomon, with all his sexual brokenness, the writer reminds us that there are many dangers associated with marriage and sex. It is not easy to find the right person, or to be the right person, and faithfully waiting for that person is perhaps the hardest part of all."

4.      People Aren't Yes or No Answers: Stephen Altrogge with a great article on addressing the heart behind the pointed questions, "Behind every yes-or-no question is almost always a series of deeper questions, struggles, fears, and challenges. When someone asks me whether abortion is wrong, there’s usually much more lying beneath the surface. The question is simply the tip of the iceberg... When someone asks me whether homosexuality is a sin or whether abortion is wrong, is it simply because they’re curious about my opinion? Are they just searching for a conversation topic? Probably not. Simple questions about massive issues are like weeds with a roots that runs incredibly deep. The questions themselves are connected to things much deeper and more profound happening in a person’s life. Giving a simple answer is like plucking the weed without dealing with the root. It doesn’t solve the issue."

5.      How Evangelicalism Has Shifted Over 50 Years: I wish these graphs were clearer, but their content is fascinating. Some of the interesting facts: since 1970, mainline Christianity has shrunk from 30% of the population to 10% and those who say they don't have any religious affiliation has gone from 5% to 20%.


Photo credit: Ben White/Unsplash