A few things I’ve spotted around the Internet recently:

  • The end of the year means the inevitable “year in review” lists.  Here is a list of “Top 10 Theology and Church Stories” (with many supporting links) from Colin Hansen.
  • Accordance recounts a brief (and recent) history of the study Bible.  [Accordance is my Bible study software of choice.]
  • I admit that I have not read many of Francis Schaeffer’s works, but he is one of the most influential theologians and thinkers of the last century.  And you can now hear many of his lectures on theology and thought.  Justin Taylor has compiled a list of available audio.
  • I’ve been thinking about possible sermon series after I finish the book of Ephesians sometime in late spring or early summer next year (2011).  One possible topical series I’m thinking about I’ve tentatively titled, “Truths We Need to Know; Practices We Need to Do.”  The series would be a short consideration of core truths and practices that are essential for growing spiritual life.  In a similar vein, J. C. Ryle made a list of “4 Great Doctrines to Always Keep in Mind.” That’s the sort of list that is growing in my mind as well.
  • I recently picked up Nancy Pearcey’s book, Saving Leonardo — I hope to begin reading it very soon.  In the meantime, she penned a short article entitled, “How Critical Thinking Saves Faith” that is worthy of being read by every parent, particularly parents of teenagers.  She cites a study that examines the factors that contributed to young adults maintaining the faith of their parents —

The study indicates that students actually grow more confident in their Christian commitment when the adults in their life — parents, pastors, teachers — guide them in grappling with the challenges posed by prevailing secular worldviews.  In short, the only way teens become truly “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks” (1 Pet. 3:15) is by wrestling honestly and personally with the questions.

  • At the holidays, many people suffer particularly from discouragement and despondency.  Luther suggests a cure for such a malady:  fight lack of faith with faith.
  • Leah Ward Sears writes, “Why the Marriage Gap is Hurting America.” Most of the column addresses the problem, and while written from a secular perspective, her solution is moving in the right direction of cultivating a biblical worldview:

…we should help couples, too, achieve the stability for which they long.

This means, among other things, reconnecting marriage and parenthood in the public imagination, encouraging both religious and secular civic organizations to reach out to Americans from less-privileged backgrounds, and also urging state lawmakers to reconsider how existing divorce laws are helping — or hurting — our families.