A few things I’ve spotted around the internet lately:

  • Can six seconds a day protect your marriage?  Jani Ortlund says it can — if it’s a six-second kiss.
  • Unbelieving pastors?  Say it ain’t so.  And yet there are some.  Perhaps (probably?) the report by new-atheist proponent Daniel Dennett is biased, but if he could find five pastors as he evidently has done who continue in their pastorates despite their unbelief in God and their belief in atheism, then Al Mohler is correct when he posits:  “‘Preachers Who Are Not Believers’ is a stunning and revealing report that lays bare a level of heresy, apostasy, and hypocrisy that staggers the mind.”
  • What about exorcism?  Is that the way to help people who seem to be controlled by the devil and his evil minions?  Not so, writes Al Mohler, who says that “We should respect the power of the Devil and his demons, but never fear them. We do not need a rite of exorcism, only the name of Jesus. We are not given a priesthood of exorcists — for every believer is armed with the full promise of the Gospel, united with Christ by faith, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.”
  • “Five dangers young men face” are also five dangers all people face.  J. C. Ryle’s assessment and advice are still relevant today.
  • Thinking about Christmas shopping already?  Are you wanting to make some purchases that will help others grow in their walk with Christ?  Then you might want to pay attention to some of the coming opportunities on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, per Tim Challies.
  • With the perspective of time and history, revivals appear quite easy to determine.  But when they are happening, they are probably not so easy to identify.  So J. I. Packer suggests that, “Some evangelicals need to be asked, Are you not expecting too little from God in the way of moral transformation?  But others need to be asked, Are you not expecting too much from God in the way of situational drama?”
  • Tim Challies asks whether perverse assumptions (assumptions which are often wrong) have in fact led to an increase in loneliness and increasingly distant friendships among men.  Concerns about what assumptions might make of close friendships among men might keep men from allowing those friendships to deepen.  Challies warns that,  “While Christians must continue to insist that homosexuality cannot be reconciled with Scripture…we must also not allow it to usurp friendship and to reframe the way we, as Christians, and Christian men, view and understand friendship. We have far too much to lose.”
  • Ted Turnau encourages believers to be wise as serpents in “how and why they engage with popular culture.” He offers many helpful pieces of advice, including gems like, “Every piece of popular culture is a complicated mixture of grace and idolatry.”
  • Reformation Day is past, but it’s always appropriate to think of the issues that continue to shape our faith.  Stephen Nichols did just that in a series of messages on the Reformation at Omaha Bible Church.
  • It seems like the debate about the Reformation issues should be over.  But it’s not.  Clarity concerning the gospel is critical.  Definitions are important.  Words have meaning.  So it was good that there was interaction recently at the Evangelical Theological Society over the exact meaning of justification.  It’s not merely a theological debate.  It is a debate on which the essence of our faith is defined.  I haven’t read the article carefully yet.  But this one is important.
  • Paul Tripp says that because wisdom is a rare commodity, it is easy to fall into the trap of fooling ourselves.  He identifies four ways that “You’re fooling yourself.”
  • The earth as art? Yup.  (The pictures really are amazing.)
  • The NIV is coming out with an updated translation in 2011.  Here is a chart that demonstrates just how different it will be.  Will it be better?
  • “Visiting Jake” is one very, very small window into what it means to care for a child with a significant disability — and the sustaining grace of God.