The Spread of Islam, Building a Cast, and a Little Child Will Lead Them

Review

Take a few minutes of your wonderful Saturday to check out these links:

The folks at Global Initiative talk about why training local churches to reach Muslims is imperative.
One of my favorite fiction writing blogs/podcasts talks about how to build your cast in a way that makes sense and serves the story.
This 3 minute video of interviews with Christian children who have escaped war in the Middle East may make you seriously think about Jesus’ call to forgive.
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The Links 3.9.11

The Links

We’re going to try something new for your Wednesdays, and it’s something I like to call The Links.  It will be 4-5 links to other pages that we think has value (theological, psychological, political, technological, or artistic).  Enjoy:

  1. Visualizing the Bible:  Chris Harrison, a fourth year PhD student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University , and Christoph Römhild, a Lutheran pastor, put together a beautiful piece of art that is actually a visualization over 63,000 cross-references in the Bible.  Recently featured on Wired.
  2. A live recording of the late Gary Moore playing “Messiah Will Come Again” at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1990.
  3. Because of the recent stir in the Reformed blogosphere over Rob Bell’s as yet unreleased book titled “Love Wins”, Dale M. Coulter at the Renewal Dynamics blog of Regent University Divinity School and the Center for Renewal Studies posted about the controversy (1) and then the possible synergistic perspective that the Reformed may be reacting against (2):

    “It may be worth recalling at the outset that all synergists (Wesleyans, Arminians, Orthodox, etc.) begin from the perspective that the atoning work of Christ is universal in scope, if not in application. “For God so loved” (John 3:16) is understood to mean that God’s love reaches out equally to all individuals on the cross, which is a different starting point than the Reformed claim that the atonement is limited in scope. This may seem basic, but it is important because it presumes that God does not want anyone to perish and the corollary that God does not directly will to send individuals to hell.A second corollary of this point is that synergists usually think that there will be more people in heaven than Reformed folks do although there are clear and important exceptions. For example, because of his eschatology and in light of the Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards thought that there would be many persons whom God would bring to heaven through his electing grace. Reformed folks in the revivalist stream tend to be more optimistic about the numbers of God’s elect than those not in the revivalist stream.”
  4. Mike Burnette discusses the differences between ministry networks and denominations:

    “My Denomination is not necessarily my strongest network. I love my fellowship. I feel called to this fellowship for life, honestly. But I am realizing that while many of those in my network are in fact of the same fellowship, most are not. In Clarksville, for example, my ministry network is made up of folks from many denominations, and none of them from mine. My closest compadres are GCI, Nazarene, Independent, and pseudo-Vineyard.  None of the AG folks in my town are really connected to each other, much less to me.”
  5. Phil Monroe writes about sharing your emotions through blogs:

    “Not too long ago, someone read my blog and took offense at something they thought I was saying. While I wasn’t saying what they thought I was saying, the truth is I left the door wide open by not being all that clear–leaving something unsaid when discussing a controversial topic can get you into trouble as well as what you do say.”