Weekend Reading: December 12, 2014

Welcome to the weekend! Only 13 days until Christmas, which means that if you’re reading this you’ve somehow stolen away a few precious moments of down-time away from the craze of the season. That being said, let’s get right to it – what are the best articles, videos and blogs I read this week? See for yourself!

First, there was an amazing video posted on the Gospel Coalition website by Joe Carter. The video and blog detail the journey of a former sociopath wanna-be killer who became a Christian. This guy talks for 35min about his life and his thinking. He’s obviously a deep thinker – and its a fascinating video.(h/t Tony Romano for posting on FB).

And, I’m not sure how to introduce or categorize this, but…the Pope stated this week that dogs go to heaven…this must be pretty embarrassing for Catholics, right? I mean, don’t you have to pretty much believe whatever the Pope says as de facto truth? Apparently conservative catholics disagree with his statement for the obvious reason that dogs don’t have souls. This raises some questions though, doesn’t it? I mean besides the fact that this particular pope is obviously not the brightest bulb in the box, its probably well past time (a few hundred years past?) for those who claim the Catholic faith to start reading more of the Bible and comparing that against the statements of their church leadership (Acts 17:11). (h/t Dennis Lankford)

On to other items…did you know that most Vegetarians lapse back into eating meat after only a year? And, when I say “most” I’m talking 84%!!!!  Frankly, this isn’t a surprise for anyone who’s acquainted with the power of bacon…

Since its the Christmas season, people will be abbreviating things here and there…like “xmas” – R.C. Sproul says we should just chill out about all this abbreviation! It’s okay…this isn’t an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas.

Got any packages delivered by the big brown bus lately? Well here are some little known things about the UPS company (from Tim Challies)

In other news, TIME mag has come out with their “person of the year” award, and Stephen Colbert is wrapping up his show on the Comedy Channel with one last interview with a Member of Congress…

David Mathis over at Desiring God had a really nice article on giving during the holiday season. And, not sure you noticed or not, but you’re not the only one spending YOUR money…

And if you’re studying Revelation, you might be interested to know that G.K. Beale is releasing a new (shorter) commentary on the Apocalypse this coming January. I have his bigger one and its about 1,000 pages and pretty technical at times, yet very good.

Meanwhile…Denny Burk was teaching through the pastor epistles and took some time to draft a thoughtful (but short) post on the possibility of church deacons being women. It’s not a very long or thorough treatment, but should raise some awareness on the matter if you’ve never considered it before.

And, oh ya, did you know we tried to rescue some captive journalists in Yemen recently? It didn’t go too well…

Also – and this is a little on the long side – a lady named Rebecca Reynolds posted a blog called ‘A Mother’s Repentance’. It’s a pretty good read. I’d imagine that many of her thoughts about raising kids along with the emotional pain of miscarriage, are likely to be familiar to many of my readers. (h/t Alison Payden)

Of course the big to-do this week in the news revolved around “torturing” terrorists. The basic two questions are 1. What is ethical and what is not? and 2. Do these enhanced techniques actually work? Here’s the NYT on it, here’s the 13 methods the CIA were using, and here is an article standing up for the use of these techniques. 

Okay back to consumerism and christmas and stuff…did you know there are many ways that retailers try to send you subliminal messages in order to get you to pony up the dough? Challies linked to this article which discussed at least 10 of these strategies. 

Challies also posted this great article on abortion from an organization called ‘Stand to Reason’. Thanks to my mom who read the article and pointed me to it and the short audio clip at the end. These guys look like a great resource for anyone wanting to logically think through their faith.

Speaking of faith and great organizations, John Piper wrote a blog post this past week which was basically a fundraising appeal for DG. I know, I know, its kinda weird to post something like this, but I just had to shake my head in admiration. There are many para-church orgs out there that could learn from the graciousness of Dr. Piper.

And, finally, on the fun side, did you know there’s a video out there – and we’re talking professional movie quality stuff here – that depicts a dual between Darth Vader and Batman? Pretty cool stuff for nerds like me! (h/t Mike Murphy)

That’s it! Now go get some shopping, giving, and celebrating done – it’s the Christmas season!

PJW

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