Scribblepreach Awards 09.03.16

Kindle Deal of the Week: Finishing Our Course With Joy – J.I. Packer’s insights on finishing the Christian life well, for $3.99

Apologetics: The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God: “If God is ‘wholly other’, then how can we know or say that He is ‘wholly other’? What right do we have to do theology at all if that is the case? And if God is indistinguishable from the world, why should the theologian even bother to speak of God? Why not simply speak of the world? Is it faith that validates such talk? Faith based on what? Can such faith be more than an irrational leap in the dark?”

Preaching: From My Journal: (this one is unfiltered, so be warned…) I’ve stopped preaching like Tim Keller. Not because I don’t like him. Not because he isn’t good, but because now I’m in the south. Tim Keller’s preaching – *gasp* – isn’t relevant here (I think he would agree, actually). I’ve had way too many pats on the back when I address atheism…which tells me I’m preaching to the wrong crowd. No one is getting offended. I’m realizing why, now: atheists, here, are like Big Foot. We’ve only seen pictures of them in the newspaper. So when I argue with atheists, I get a lot of “Yeah go GET those damned atheists!” which is not at all what I’m trying to do, here.

Before, I needed to address Christian skeptics. Now my apologetic is aimed at “Christians”, who don’t understand the nature of the gospel. The idols here are not couched in atheistic secularism. They are consumer Christianity, Christian relativism, Christian individualism, and Christian gnosticism. More on this soon.

Theology: The Life of J. Alec Motyer – I found myself inspired and warmed by this all week, especially as I enjoy the fruit of his work on Exodus.

Spiritual Life – 8 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism. Wow. This is one of the best articles I’ve read on WRITING (even though it’s not about that, really). This kind of thing hits me square between the eyes, in a motivating/encouraging way.

Fun: 3 Stories by Gene Wilder – Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka, Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein), who passed away this week, tells a couple of funny and charming stories about his acting career.

A Glimpse of Truth: What Makes You So Sure? – The New Yorker has a nice, accessible roundup on the history of philosophy (albeit unbeknownst to the author, it seems, it is all framed by the enlightenment). But I appreciated it for its honest conclusion: philosophy has really only left the biggest questions about life wide open.

Writing: 128 Ways to Avoid the Word “Very”Very awesome infographic on this.

Books and Lit: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Angry Acceptance Speech – Please let me be like her when I grow up.

Christians and Culture: Mike Birbiglia’s 6 Tips for Making it (Small) in Hollywood – This is the best piece I’ve read on Christians engaging culture, and it’s not written by a Christian. Again, more on this soon.

Leadership and Productivity: 20 Quick Tips to Improve Your Productivity. YES. Love when Tim Challies writes on this topic. He’s the best out there.

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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.