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Archive for September, 2006

The Media and Islam

Paul Marshall says “much of the media is intellectually unequipped to report on the Muslim world,” in a recent piece he wrote for The Weekly Standard. He’s thinking more broadly of the forced conversions to Islam of Fox News reporter Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig, and dealing with the journalistic aspect (not the theologiacl issues involved). In my opinion, I don’t think most of the American media is intellectually equipped to report on the Christian world, either. Just my two cents.

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Stan Guthrie has some interesting thoughts on Christians and our involvement in culture. He says, “Granted, Christian cultural engagement is risky – but disengagement is even riskier.” Read the rest of the article here.

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Thanks, Steve

Until about six years ago, I had never heard of Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin. Now, I’m familiar enough with him to be saddened by his death.

A friend told my wife and me that we had to make sure to catch this guy on TV who wrestled crocodiles and said things like “crikey!” and “She’s a beauty!” We followed our friend’s advice and were drawn to Steve Irwin like a magnet. His energy, excitement, enthusiasm, and passion were infectious. You found yourself caring about and being interested in animals because he was so engaging. You rooted for him to succeed. You waited to see what he would do next and what animal would crop us this time. He loved his vocation and calling – that was obvious – and had a passion for teaching and trying to persuade others.

Steve Irwin left a mark. He had a strong influence upon our culture. All it took to be convinced of that was a trip to a Taco Bell. My wife and I ate dinner at that establishment of fine dining this evening. As we went up to the counter to order, there was a piece of paper taped to the counter which read “R.I.P. Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin.” To the best of our knowledge, we’ve never seen a sign like that before. Irwin’s death is no small thing, to be sure.

Irwin has a lot to teach those of us who follow Christ. How excited are we about Jesus? Are we enthusiastic, passionate, and engaging or dry as dust? Do we draw people around us like magnets or drive them away like last week’s garbage? It seems to me that we need a few more men and women who follow Christ with an enthusiasm and personality that is infectious and engaging. Imagine what might happen.

Pray for Steve’s wife and two children – they’ll need it for a long time to come.

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Whitney on Labor

Can our work be spiritual? Does it have any value in the kingdom of God, especially if it isn’t what we’d call “ministry”? Don Whitney has some answers in an article called “The Spirituality of Work.” You can read it here.

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Labor Day

Chuck Colson has a good Breakpoint commentary today on the importance of work and labor from a Christian perspective called “The Value of a Good Day’s Work.” The God who labored to create the heavens and the earth and man is His image and likeness also gave us work to do. Have a happy Labor Day!

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How do people become pro-life? Fred Barnes answers that question here as he explains his own journey. Well worth reading.

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My wife and I just finished reading a book called Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God by Joshua Harris. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Harris’ point is that too many Christians “date” the church when they should be making a lifelong commitment to it. The author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl continues the relationship metaphor by applying it to the church and those who make it up. The metaphor itself is very clever – I’ve never seen them connected and correlated in this way (that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, it simply means that I haven’t encountered it).

Harris’ metaphor, and the way he develops it, makes the Christian’s relationship to the church much easier to understand than many books or speakers have. This is one of the great strengths of the book – he explains in plain language why the church is necessary in the life of every Christian and why it’s important to commit to a church rather than “church hop” (the equivalent to “two-timing” according to Harris). Stop Dating the Church is short (129 pages) and very good.

Among the chapters are “Can This Relationship Be Saved?: What We Miss When We Date the Church”, “Why We Really Need the Local Church: Thinking Globally, Loving Locally”, and “Rescuing Sunday: How To Get More from the Best Day of the Week.”

This book could and should be read by anyone, and anyone who does will benefit greatly.

You can learn more about Joshua Harris here and here.

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