Ah, yes. This old series with which I’ve had trouble because one, I don’t spend nearly the time browsing the internet that I used to, and two, what browsing I do accomplish is mainly job-related—thus I am reading about the local park district, city council, drug-related studies, anything but the sort of links I used to fill this segment with.
But I had a few saved up in my open tabs (Firefox is wonderful for tabs). Most of them were gleaned from Tim Challies’ A La Carte posts, to be fair, but a few of them came from elsewhere.
Now to investigate how much it might cost to get internet at my apartment….
On music and worship in the church:
Contemporary Music: The Cultural Medium and the Christian Message, an article in Christianity Today by one D. H. Williams who visited a Protestant megachurch:
In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education commentary, Timothy Beal observed that "a hallmark of American evangelicalism, at least since the 1940s, has been its ready willingness to adapt its theological content to new media technologies and popular trends in the entertainment industry. Implicit in that openness is an evangelical counterdeclaration to Marshall McLuhan's: The medium is not the message; the message, or the Word, transcends whatever media are used to convey it. But in the long run, is the constant evangelical adaptation of the Word unwittingly proving McLuhan right? I think so. That is partly why we find so little coherence within and among the various groups and movements and productions that pass as evangelical." At some point, style of presentation affects the substance of Christian identity and teaching, often by blunting its sharper edges. It is probably no accident that many contemporary churches offer a diet heavy in biblical images and metaphors, leaving actual biblical theology in short supply.
Singing to Build Up, from the 9Marks blog. I don’t remember how I ran across this link, but it was probably from Tim Challies:
Every Christian has a certain set of hymns and songs that deeply resonate with them---the melody, the words, an experience they had when they first heard it---and our natural tendency is to give those favorites everything we've got . . . but then sort of check out when the next song is one we don't particularly like. But here's the thing: When you sing in a congregation, you're not just singing for yourself; you're singing for every other member of the congregation, for their edification and building up in Christ, too. In I Corinthians 14:26, Paul tells us that when we come together, everything we do--including our singing--is done for each other. Singing hymns is not just an opportunity for each of us, as individuals, to worship God in our own way. It's an opportunity for the church, as a whole, to worship God together.
On keeping young adults in church:
Why youth stay in church when they grow up, from the Gospel Coalition. My old church recently had a discussion night after a movie of some sort discussing the rate at which youngsters stop attending church once they get into college. This article takes the opposite tack, asking what the characteristics are of the few who actually stick around. His third point, that the parents preached the Gospel to their kids, is one I think many churches overlook. But it all starts at home, people!!
Connecting single and married people in community, from Carolyn McCulley’s “Solo Femininity” blog. It suggests a way for the attached and the unattached to mix more. It’s elaborate and could be taken as either patronizing or a disguised “meet market,” but I’m sure it’d be a lot more fun to go to this type of event than to stand awkwardly after the morning service trying to talk to random strangers.
Just for the fun of it all:
Ignore the video, just listen to the song. It’s just plain fun!