Scribblepreach Awards 08.13.16

Kindle Deal of the Week: “A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18″ – $1.99. Heard good things, can’t wait to dig in!

Apologetics: An Essential Key to Understanding the NT Canon – Michael Kruger, balanced as ever, showing four extreme ways we might look at how the NT canon was formed, and how to counterbalance with specifics.

Preaching: John Piper’s Funeral Prayer – Sometimes (most times) the best way to learn to preach is to expose yourself to great preaching. Piper’s funeral prayer is heartfelt, bold, and theologically rich. Listen and learn.

Spiritual Life: Till We Have Faces – “The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing – to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from – my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.” 

Theology: Paul and the Gift – Douglas Moo gives a thorough and incredible review of a new book that proposes to settle many of the “old” and “new” perspectives on Paul…and Moo is very impressed. Worth reading this in depth piece. 

Fun: Squirrel Steals Gopro – Ever wanted to see life from a squirrel’s perspective. This squirrel knows you have. And that’s why he did this.

A Glimpse of Truth: Jared Leto’s Joker and our Egocentrict Culture – I thought this a pretty bold article for the Atlantic, essentially sweeping away the Hollywood hoopla behind oscars and identifying their root: a love for egotistical showmanship. Bravo.

Writing: Diane Ackerman – “My own best advice to young writers is: follow your curiosity and passion. What fascinates you will probably fascinate others. But, even if it doesn’t, you will have devoted your life to what you love. An important corollary is that it’s no use trying to write like someone else. Discover what’s uniquely yours.” That’s my best advice too.

Books and Lit: The Puritan’s Way with Words – Douglas Wilson in rare form (I’ll say no more on that) in bringing us a cogent piece of research on the ways the Puritans’ theology enforced the imagination of the greats they produced. 

Christians and Culture: The Cult of Transgender – I wish every parent of every high-school student I’ve ever ministered would read at least the first half of this article. So sadly true, and it applies to more than just the transgender issue.

Leadership and Productivity: From My Journal: There’s this kind of paralyzing obsession we have with authenticity. Authenticity is a gift, to be sure. But it is also an ideal – we can’t camp out until obedience is “authentic”. The path to authenticity is discipline, even external, if need be. One of my mentors hit me this week with a hard truth, and I admit my first instinct was to run away with: “Well, I’m not the kind of person that could ever do THAT.” But it was the defense – the mask, even – of authenticity. It was an excuse not to do what was obedient.

But here’s the good news. When we do something, over and again, eventually, it does become authentic. Speaking of method acting (above), just ask anyone in Hollywood. In a real way, they “become” the characters they embody.

So strive for authenticity, yes. But don’t ever be paralyzed by it.

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Posted in Leadership, Literature, Preaching, Theology, Uncategorized, Writing.

nick.youthwriter@gmail.com

Nicholas McDonald is a blogger, pastor, and author of the book "Faker: How to Be Real When You're Tempted to Fake it." He studied creative writing and communication at Oxford University and Olivet Nazerene University, and received his M.Div from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Lexington, NC, with his wife and two boys, Caleb and Owen.