Take Up and Read

Lord of the  Rings has become a major world wide phenomenon due to Peter Jackson’s movies. But how much do you know much about the author of those books, J.R.R. Tolkien? Do you know what J.R.R. stands for? Do you know how his participation in World War I shaped his life and his books? Do you know what he taught at Oxford? Uri Brito recently did a study of Tolkien. Here is the fruit of that study.  As usual Pastor Brito has some great applications of his study at the end of the post.

Here is Pastor Douglas Wilson on why we should read Lord of the Rings. It is short quick read on the wisdom of defeating great power with humility.

I enjoyed this post about the friendship between a black woman and white woman where one led the other to Christ. I have thought more about race as I get ready to preach on Christ healing the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28.

If you are a man, you should read with regularity, the website artofmanliness.com. It is not Christian. But it gives good solid old school advice on everything from how to shave and do your laundry to how to dress to how to sacrifice for those around you. Here is an article to whet your appetite about six different images of manliness. The popularity of the website also shows how many men are actually interested in these types of things.

I have never been a big fan of  the New International Version of the Bible. Apparently it is going from bad to worse. Recently the  Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod rejected using the newest version of the NIV. Here is an article on why they chose to reject it. It would be nice if more denominations would make strong statements on what versions of the Bible are recommended and which ones are not. People need guidance in this area.

Finally, Jeremy Walker asks some good questions about humor in the pulpit. He is not advocating humorless preaching. But too much preaching is laced with an unbiblical levity. Are we serious enough about the task we have? Again, this does not mean we are to be gloomy or cold or harsh. But there is to be deep, solemn, joy that dominates our worship, work, and play. Taking the things of God too lightly is a  much greater concern in our culture than taking them too seriously.