Combing the Net – 7/7/2012

Kickstarting the Arts: Rob Bironas — Who says sports and music don’t go together? Titans kicker Rob Bironas is a big supporter of music education! (HT: School of Performing Arts)

The Crime of Circumcision — Michael Gerson’s editorial about the German district court which recently ruled that ritual circumcision is a crime is worth a read. (HT: Denny Burk)

The Apologetical Power of the Existence of Israel — Christianity Today recently published a four-part dialogue between John Piper and David Brickner (head of “Jews for Jesus”) about the relationship and attitudes American Christians should have toward Israel.

Our New Pastor — While it’s probably long overdue on this blog, and old news to folks around here, I do want to direct your attention to the blog of the new pastor at Stevens Street Baptist Church, Sam Rainer. He’ll be joining us here in Cookeville full-time beginning on Sunday, July 29. We’re very excited to welcome him! You can also follow him on Twitter, and check out his book Essential Church: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts.

Free Music from Josh Garrels — One of my new favorite singer/songwriters (who just passed through Tennessee on his summer tour) has just launched a new website, complete with a free download of an 8-song EP. If you haven’t already, go check him out!

The FAQs: God and the “God Particle” — In case you missed it, there has been a HUGE development in the realm of particle physics this week. The folks at the Large Hadron Collider announced the possible discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson (nicknamed the “God Particle”), a subatomic particle which has been only theoretical since the 1960′s, but never observed. This website helps give you the run-down on what all this means. You can also watch this short video for a more graphic presentation of the basic idea:

Combing the Net – 5/14/2012

What’s a Homemaker Really Worth? — As somebody married to one, that question is nearly impossible to answer… but this article is a pretty valiant effort to exalt the worthiness of homemaking! Definitely an encouraging read for stay-at-home moms, but also  one which others will enjoy as well.

SSBC Pastor Candidate Q&A — From this link you can see updates on the entire pastor search process at Stevens Street Baptist Church from the last two years, but most notably, the May 10 update includes the responses of our current candidate (who will be preaching here in view of a call on June 3) to a list of questions on theological and ecclesiological matters. Overall, I am very encouraged and excited to meet him!

Leo Tolstoy: Youth Group President? — Eric Geiger, VP of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources, draws an interesting parallel between the moralistic effort of author Leo Tolstoy and the way children’s and youth ministry work in most evangelical churches. This is a problem which LifeWay hopes to address with its upcoming new curriculum for children, students, and adults called The Gospel Project. Our church will be taking a closer look at this curriculum over the summer, but so far it looks GREAT!

A Critical Mind vs. A Critical Spirit — I try hard to cultivate the former, but frequently display the latter. This post by Trevin Wax has been a great encouragement to me today.

[Exercising loving discernment] doesn’t mean we should turn off the critical mind. It doesn’t mean we no longer test everything according to the Word. It doesn’t mean we just accept every sincere message as being helpful and positive.

It does mean that when we critique, we do so with a spirit of love. We overlook small flaws and winsomely talk to our brothers and sisters when we see big issues. We refrain from insisting on agreement for every jot and tittle of theological precision. We don’t dismiss an idea outright just because it comes from someone outside our theological camp.

The Wild Things and Us — Here’s an article from World magazine by a Christian mom and grandmother who, like me, finds much to praise about the recently deceased Maurice Sendak’s greatest work.

And now for something amazing… check out this guy who can whistle two notes at once! (Skip the first 25 seconds or so to get to the good stuff):