ScribblePreach Awards 04.08.2017

From the Pub: Learning to Ride

“To shrink back from all that can be called Nature into negative spirituality is as if we ran away from horses instead of learning to ride. There is in our present pilgrim condition plenty of room (more room than most of us like) for abstinence and renunciation and mortifying our natural desires. But behind all asceticism the thought should be, ‘Who will trust us with the true wealth if we cannot be trusted even with the wealth that perishes?’ Who will trust me with a spiritual body if I cannot control even an earthly body? These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may some day be free of horses altogether but that some day we may ride bare-back, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts, those winged, shining and world- shaking horses which perhaps even now expect us with impatience, pawing and snorting in the King’s stables. Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else— since He has retained His own charger—should we accompany Him?” – CS LEWIS, MIRACLES

Kindle Deal of the Week: Outlaws of Time

This YA book by ND Wilson has 120 reviews on Amazon at 5 stars. I’m in, for $1.99

Preaching: 15 Lessons from Calvin’s Biography

I’m posting this one for what will probably go down as one of my life quotes now that I’ve stumbled upon it,  since it encapsulates so much of what I try to do here at ScribblePreach, and since the failure to distinguish between these two is the cause of so much bad critique: “There are, as you know, two kinds of popularity: the one, when we seek favor from motives of ambition and the desire of pleasing; the other, when, by fairness and moderation, we gain their esteem so as to make them teachable by us”.

Apologetics: Why Practicing Catholics Have the Best Sex

Of course as a protestant I don’t share the Catholic view on contraceptions (though I’m probably closer than most). However – I love the way First Things is highlighting the positive vision of sexuality in the Christian life this week. We need so much more of this. Well done.

Theology: Graceful Law

I’m linking to the first of two sermons I gave on the role of the law in the Christian life. I don’t normally link to my own sermons (have I ever?), but I feel like this was revolutionary for our congregation, and that’s because this topic is so severely misunderstand in evangelicalism. Here’s part two. I benefited greatly from putting these together, and I think you will too.

A Glimpse of Truth: The Strange Persistence of Guilt

David Brooks nails it in the NY Times, here. Share this with your secular friends.

Books and Lit: 10 Essential Terms for Poets (And Everyone Else)

I didn’t know most of these – this is a little long, so set aside a bit to get your bearings.

Writing: Self Doubt Can Be an Ally

“Self-doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it. If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” – STEVEN PRESSFIELD

Christians and Culture: Campus Wars of Religion

I’m not a Wall Street Journal Subscriber, but I appreciate the excerpts from a recent WSJ article on how the campus hysteria we hear about goes also by a different name: religious fervor.

Micro Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy

This was an easy read that was enjoyable – though difficult at times in content – from beginning to end. It’s not brilliant prose, but it’s also not icky and self-conscious, which makes it better than most. But the book isn’t about style – it’s about opening our eyes to a slice of the American pie that gets smothered in the news: hillbillies. J.D.’s story journey from mountain town to Yale shows just how many hoops the white poor have to overcome to make it…anywhere other than home.

I can’t say I resonated with the stories here like others did. This simply wasn’t my context. But it does help me to understand the stories of so many around me.

A fair, critical yet compassionate, but above all honest view of impoverished white culture makes this book a superb and necessary read for every American.

4 out of 5 stars.

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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.

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