The Worship Industry: “I’m Sorry, Lord For the Thing I’ve Made It”
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
2w ago
Earlier this week I posted an article at Christianity 201 which, in both style and content, had more in common with the type of articles I once posted here on a daily basis. So today I thought I’d share it here as well. In case you’ve never been to C201, we do a thing where the scripture verses are set in green, because of my belief that the scripture verses contain life. “I’m Sorry, Lord For the Thing I’ve Made It” When Matt Redman penned the above words, he was desiring to see his church return to “the heart of worship;” the thing that’s left when “all is stripped away.” Many worship leaders ..read more
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Mass Media and Social Media Market Distraction
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
2w ago
It’s interesting that back in the day, I started this blog as the next natural evolution of what had been an email newsletter, and now today, I don’t get around to posting because I’ve gone back to focusing on a weekly email newsletter. Anyway, those readers got this in their in-box today, and I thought I’d share it here. There was probably a time when the internet seemed like a good idea. That day is no longer with us. Instead — see the graphic image above — art was swallowed by entertainment, which was then swallowed by distraction. Today, the internet manufactures distraction. Not that thi ..read more
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Worship Songs that Have Reached Their Best-Before Date
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
3M ago
At the risk of putting words into peoples’ mouths, this morning after church one of the worship leaders was speaking with me about chord structure, and the she started say, “There’s only 7 notes in the scale…” and then we got interrupted. I think I know where she was going with this. It’s the argument that all the possible songs have been written. While I disagree with that premise, I think it’s more accurate that God is writing new songs on the hearts of people that have a style that is unique to these times. There is a certain freshness about them, and congregations recognize this and their ..read more
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Theology and MAiD
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
5M ago
In our part of the world MAiD or MAID refers to “Medical Assistance in Dying.” It possibly goes by a different name where you live. Over the past few years I’ve been increasingly sharing my blog platform here, and especially at our sister blog with Ruth who is now an ordained pastor in a longstanding Canadian denomination. When she told me about this project, I offered to make it available to our audience here as well. Note that this is much longer than regular articles that appear on this site. by Ruth Wilkinson I have a friend who works at a hospice — a medical facility dedicated to the care ..read more
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Brant Hansen’s Unique Audience
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
5M ago
Review: Life is Hard. God is Good. Let’s Dance. by Brant Hansen The elephant in the room is that I am at an age, and have tracked enough years in Christian life and service where I should be reading and reviewing serious authors, right? I’ll own that. Looking back over the books reviewed here, which occupy seven shelves of an Ikea bookshelf, there are things that, working in Christian book marketing as I did, seemed so important and relevant then and seem completely frivolous and unimportant now. And there are also places on those bookshelves that I wish were occupied with other more phil ..read more
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Catching Up with Readers
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
6M ago
Has it really been eight weeks since I posted anything here? I thought you might like a short personal update. First of all, even though I don’t post much here anymore, I’m delighted — and somewhat amazed — to report that last weekend our affiliate blog, Christianity 201 marked 5,000 consecutive daily posts; some of which I wrote, and others of which were begged, borrowed or… (well, you know how that phrase ends). That includes weekends, holidays, and… (okay, now I run the risk of boasting). What I greatly appreciate about having this body of devotionals is that now I can do topical searches o ..read more
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Heaven: Reconsidering What We’ve Been Taught
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
8M ago
Review: What if Jesus was Serious about Heaven by Skye Jethani Having reviewed two previous books in this series here and here, I’m no stranger to the format, and perhaps that is why I found the use of short 3-page chapters and “napkin doodle” illustrations especially effective in this fourth book in the series. For those of us who grew up in church, Heaven is something we were told about, but as our capacities for theological understanding grew with age, we often had to unlearn some aspects of things and go through a process of relearning. The game changer for me was the 530-page book Heaven ..read more
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Characteristics of the Neo-Reformed Community
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
9M ago
About three years ago, the church where my wife was working graciously decided to rent their auditorium to another church. From the outset, one of the glaring differences was that this other church was complementarian, and the church employing her was egalitarian. But her church had always held — rightly or wrongly — to an 11:00 AM start time, and the other church was willing to meet at 8:55. So the relationship began. I should also add that both of the churches use the term “Baptist” in their name, or did until the other church underwent a name change a few weeks ago. (To make matters worse ..read more
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Why The Passion Translation Isn’t on Bible Gateway
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
1y ago
This is neither new or newsworthy in 2023, but it is a recurring subject, and having taken the time to write this for a Facebook comment I thought I would share it here as well. The FB post itself was prompted by a recent post by Bill Mounce at Zondervan Academic. As someone who engages with Bible publishing and Bible marketing, the challenge with The Passion Translation (TPT) is largely not being able to determine where the text ends and the commentary begins. My understanding is that this was the primary reason Bible Gateway removed TPT from the site. With a study Bible (any one of many) the ..read more
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When it Seems Like God’s on ‘Silent’
Thinking Out Loud
by paulthinkingoutloud
1y ago
A review of God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer by Pete Greig (Zondervan). I’m still blessed with being able to request books from time to time, but with this one, I made it clear that I might not do a review. This book, on unanswered prayer, was for me; something personal I needed to read right now. Also, it’s an older book, at least in book review terms, published way back in 2020. Almost ancient. But one author leads to another — if you allow that to take place — and so just as through John Mark Comer we were introduced to Tyler Station, so with Tyler we’ve been introduce ..read more
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