ScribblePreach Awards 04.29.2017

From the Pub: The Church Through the Dark Ages

“If our faith had been a mere fad of the fading empire, fad would have followed fad in the twilight, and if the civilization ever reemerged (and many such have never re-emerged) it would have been under some new barbaric flag. But the Christian Church was the last life of the old society and was also the first life of the new. She took the people who were forgetting how to make an arch, and she taught them to invent the Gothic arch. In a word, the most absurd thing that could be said of the Church is the thing we have all heard said of it. How can we say that the Church wishes to bring us back into the Dark Ages? The Church was the only thing that ever brought us out of them.” – GK CHESTERTON

Kindle Deal of the Week: The Pursuit of God

A.W. Tozer’s classic, with a study guide, for $3.79.

Preaching: Should We Preach Like the Puritans?

This article is a goldmine of quotes and analysis, and it’s spot on.

Apologetics: Bill Nye, Ideology, and Science

I don’t think an argument from nature will ever get anyone anywhere. But I do think Alastair has a great insight into the way ideology is directing the current debate over gender. He has some shall-we-say obvious but awkward reasons for doing so.

Theology: Calvin on the Duties of Political Leaders

“Your duty, most serene Prince, is, not to shut either your ears or mind against a cause involving such mighty interests as these: how the glory of God is to be maintained on the earth inviolate, how the truth of God is to preserve its dignity, how the kingdom of Christ is to continue amongst us compact and secure. The cause is worthy of your ear, worthy of your investigation, worthy of your throne.

The characteristic of a true sovereign is, to acknowledge that, in the administration of his kingdom, he is a minister of God. He who does not make his reign subservient to the divine glory, acts the part not of a king, but a robber. He, moreover, deceives himself who anticipates long prosperity to any kingdom which is not ruled by the sceptre of God, that is, by his divine word. For the heavenly oracle is infallible which has declared, that ‘where there is no vision the people perish’ (Prov. 29:18).” – JOHN CALVIN, INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION

A Glimpse of Truth: Save the Mainline

With the NY Times taking jabs at both “atheists” and mainliners, who could resist, really?

Books and Lit: The Importance of Reading Black and Brown Authors

I’ve been very convicted by this topic lately – have a read, from a professor at SBTS.

Writing: Writing the Music in Your Head

“I strongly believe that writing is an act of courage. It’s almost an act of physical courage. You get up and you have this great idea. Maybe you were hanging out with your friends—you guys were having beers and you were talking about something. You had this idea and they said, “Wow, that’s brilliant! Someone should go write it.” And you sit down to write it and almost always what was brilliant before, when you were sitting around talking, is somehow not so brilliant when you go to write. It’s as though you have a certain music in your head, and trying to get that music out on a page is absolute hell. And so you fail. If you’re doing it correctly, what happens is, the translation of what you hear in your head, what your idea is in your head, will almost always come out really badly on the page when you first write, okay? But what you have to do is you have to give yourself a day, go back, revise over and over and over again until you get something that is at least maybe 70 percent of what you wanted to do. You try to go from really bad to okay to acceptable. Then you know you’ve done your job. I never really get to that perfect thing that was in my head, so I always consider the entire process about failure. I think that’s the main reason why more people don’t write. It’s very depressing in that way.”     – TA-NEHISI COATES

Christians and Culture: Tweeting Yourself Into an Identity

Derek Rishmawy writes on something I’ve been wrestling with the last year. Not a big tweeter, but it applies to all social media.

 

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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.