My Entire Company Avoids Email For One Full Day Every Quarter | Tom Gimbel, Fast Company
“Sometimes we need to be reminded of the great things that can come from in-person communication. I know this type of thing won’t work for every company, but it never hurts to experiment. If not a no-email day, there’s probably something you can do to give your whole team a jolt of energy on a regular basis—and it probably isn’t high-tech.”

3 Reasons Preachers Shouldn’t Publicly Contradict a Bible Translation | Mark Ward, LogosTalk
“I cringe almost every time I hear a preacher criticize a particular phrase from an English Bible translation in preaching—even and especially those times when I caught myself doing it before I could stop myself. We preachers and Bible teachers would do better not to publicly correct the Bible translations on people’s laps. Here are three reasons why.”

Poll: Most Agree With Mike Pence’s Refusal To Eat Alone With Women | Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
“How out of touch are newsrooms that they thought this position was Sharia-like, as opposed to what it turns out to be: completely normal? According to The New York Times, ‘Nearly two-thirds say people should take extra caution around members of the opposite sex at work.’”

Is One The Loneliest Number? | MOS – Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
“Lydia Brownback debunks some common myths about loneliness, offers careful critique of singles in the church, and voices the biblical standards at stake in the sexualized culture in which we live.”

3 Ways Ministry Can Make You Conceited | Tim Keller, TGC
“Here are three ways ministry can make you conceited unless God intervenes. Pastors, be warned.”

Pastor John MacArthur says it is not sinful to provide services for a gay wedding? | The Christian Post
Well, this is deeply disappointing and undermines the stand that many courageous Christians have been making. I fear these words are going to be used against ordinary Christians fighting in the trenches of religious liberty. I’m surprised Macarthur does not see the difference between providing a service to gay people (which no one objects to) and providing a service that involves the provider in the approval and even celebration of gay marriage.

“One of the questions posed to the panelists asked if it’s ‘truly sinful’ for a Christian business person to make a product for a same-sex wedding… MacArthur responded by saying that providing products to same-sex weddings is not a sin. ‘No, it’s not sinful for a cake maker to make a cake for a gay wedding anymore [sic] than its [sic] sinful for a guy who runs a restaurant to serve dinner to somebody who is gay, sits in a booth and eats the food, or goes to the market and buys a loaf of bread and you own the market,’ he argued. ‘What the issue is, is not whether that’s sinful. It’s whether the federal government can demand that people do certain things, which goes against their Christian conscience.’”

Pastor, Are You Prepared to Shepherd Your Flock through Dementia? | John Dunlop, Crossway Articles
“The tragedy of dementia is common and will become more so in the future. It is estimated that over 30% of the average church congregation will die with some form of dementia. That represents an enormous challenge in pastoral ministry. I would suggest th at one of the metrics by which a pastor’s ministry can be assessed is how well the saints are prepared to face this test in a way that glorifies God.”

Slogging Blogging | Tim Challies
“Slogging is doing things that are difficult, things that are repetitive, things that do not return immediate results or pay quick dividends. It’s continuing to advance against obstacles, to find paths around whatever hinders progress. It’s knowing what matters and doing those things with tenacity, with determination. It’s grit. It’s sticktoitivness. It’s believing in what you do enough to keep doing it when you don’t see obvious results and just want to give up.”

New Books

Counsel to Gospel Ministers by John Brown

How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets by Peter J. Gentry

Kindle Books

Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Sterne Randall ($1.99)

Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith by Larry Osborne ($2.99)

On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church by Deepak Reju ($2.39)

  • Andrew Chance

    Concerning John MacArthur’s answer, I thought that he identified the issue. That is, it is not sinful for a person to make flower arrangements or bake a cake for a homosexual “wedding;” but it is sinful for a person to go against their conscience and for the government to coerce someone to go against their conscience.

    Is that not the issue? If that’s not the issue, then I must have misunderstood it. Is it clearly sinful for person to make a cake or floral arrangement for a homosexual wedding? Is it sinful to provide food or sell a dress for that wedding (since that does not require the same level or artistry)?

    Could you explain from Scripture why it is a moral obligation not to participate instead of a matter of conscience only?

    If it is clearly sinful, does that mean that you would begin church discipline and eventually excommunicate an unrepentant person for providing a cake for a homosexual wedding?

    If I understand it correctly, MacArthur supports a person’s right to refuse services on the basis of conscience, with which I think many conservative Christians agree. But further than that, I don’t know that I have seen anyone deal with the moral reasoning behind it.

    So could you elaborate on your disappointment?

    • David Murray

      Hi Andrew, if it’s not sinful, it’s not a liberty of conscience issue. If it’s not sinful then those who think it is need to have their consciences educated and corrected. Those who have been at the forefront of the religious liberty debate and battle have always carefully distinguished between offering homosexuals goods and services (not a sin) and offering goods and services which celebrate the sin of gay marriage and therefore participate in the sin.

      • Andrew Chance

        So, if I understand you correctly, it is sinful to make a cake for a homosexual wedding because it is a participation in a sinful action.

        It would likewise be sinful to attend the wedding, the reception, or an anniversary celebration.

        And if it is not a conscience issue. If a pastor thought it was a simply a conscience issue, then, to be consistent, he would need to explain why it’s not sinful and why they should actually bake the cake for the wedding.

        I just wanted to make sure that I understand. I myself would not participate in those ways, but up to this point, I have not seen it as a moral obligation for a person to refuse a service like cake decorating for a wedding. And I’ve thought that a person should be protected from being forced to participate. But perhaps I’m changing my mind.

        Would you work through the ramifications of that (not necessarily here but somewhere)? If it’s clearly immoral to participate in any way, do we exercise church discipline on those who participate? Does it only count as participation if it is artistic expression (cake decorating, floral arrangements)? Or does it also count if you sell dresses, cater food, or rent chairs and tablecloths?

        I think that it is a certainty that at some point a church member will be invited to attend (or photograph or make a floral arrangement for) a homosexual wedding. And they will want to attend, for a family member or longtime friend or desire for evangelism. How would you counsel them? What would you do if they attended despite your counsel?