Sunday Best: youth and suffering, heaven's myths, Thomas Kinkade and video games in church

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Today the Seedbed staff presents a wide-range of articles and videos from around the web. Enjoy!

 

With a pulse on culture and a handle on new census data about religious affiliation, Ross Douthat delivers an interesting and sharp editorial for The Washington Post about the state of religion in America today. In A nation of Osteens and Obamas, Douthat attempts to explore what a foreign visitor might think of religion in the United States. Highlighting Obama’s shift on same-sex marriage and Osteen’s sold-out service in Washington D.C., readers see a view of religion wrought with polarizing politics and an American temptation to make God in our image.

Growing up many of us thought heaven was full of harp-playing cherubs lounging on the clouds, but this perception has plagued our society. N.T. Wright’s latest book aims to debunk the cliches and marks a turning point for a serious rethinking of heaven. How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels, forces us to rethink our perception of heaven. Read N.T. Wright asks: have we gotten heaven all wrong?

Ok, fair warning, this next one is a bit of a rant. Parts of it anyways. But I’m sharing it because it speaks into our culture about a growing sub-genre among evangelicals, “Muscular Christianity.” Michael Horton calls his readers to “to rediscover the ministry that Christ has ordained for making disciples of all nations, all generations, and both genders.”

Syler Thomas writes a guest post, Youth and a Theology of Suffering, at Jesus Creed about how the questions youth ask call attention to suffering and crisis. He urges the church to develop a theology of suffering which relates Jesus to us as one who identifies with us in our suffering.

Daniel Siedell recently posted, The Dark Light of Thomas Kinkade, a critical yet insightful warning about the theological danger inherent in Kinkade’s much loved and constantly ridiculed idyllic paintings. Thomas KinKade, self proclaimed “Painter of Light,” died on Good Friday of this year of acute alcohol and valium intoxication. He was 54.

A new trivia game show about the Bible is making national headlines — Foxworthy Hosts ‘Biblical’ New Game Show. On the show, producers build in time for contestants to share how they became Christians. Glad CNN is covering such a story, but I could do without the anchor’s commentary. (“Who knew the Bible could be this much fun!”) Also did the questions seem a little odd to anyone else? I guess I’ll have to tune it and see what that’s about.

Blogging is all about the content and it takes time to compose a post. Jon Acuff discusses some of the dangers of having unreal expectations about blogging frequency and he shares some best practices for writing a series of posts. If you’re a blogger, watch this helpful video, The #1 Reason Blogs Die. (And do you need a blogging break? Rachel Held Evans will help you self-diagnose to find out if you need a four-day haitus from the internet like she does: 12 Signs You Need a Break From the Internet.)

Video games in church. Need I say more? Read it: PlayStation to be used by cathedral during worship.

 

Which articles are your favorite? What would you add to our list this week? Engage with us in the comments section.

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Lindsay is a brand journalism advocate who’s always looking for inspiring marketing ideas. Director of Brand Management at the International Coach Federation.

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