Midweek Roundup - 10/30/13

Every Wednesday we like to share a few recent links that you may find informative, insightful, or helpful. The articles and posts will often be related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting break for the middle of your week, encouraging your faith and equipping you for life and ministry.

1. Michael Ives challenges Christians to think carefully about Halloween

I realize that there are many good believers who don’t see a problem with the festivities, and I’m not prepared to discount the evident grace of God that they have. Further, we are, every one of us, filled with sins and blind spots, myself included. But it is troubling to me how little argument is made against Halloween within the Church. So if you’re on the fence – and even if you’re not – may I at least challenge you with the following questions, friend?

2. Carl Trueman on the increasing power of subjective emotion in our society

More seriously, I am struck once again at how the personal preferences of nebulous groups of people and the language of subjective emotion seem to be exerting an increasingly intrusive power over the politics of everyday life. Even the concept of airline security is now coming to be influenced by such. Perhaps this is merely material for wry reflections on contemporary life; maybe it is an ominous sign that the language and logic of public discourse are being permeated and indeed overwhelmed by those psychological and subjective notions of oppression to which there is no possibility of reasoned response and which are thus ultimately inimical to civilized debate and civic freedom.

3. Video: Mike Bird offers some advice to seminarians

Some good advice below from Mike Bird, author of a new biblical and systematic introduction to Evangelical Theology. For more along these lines, see the forthcoming How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell.

4. John Piper encourages parents to require obedience from their children

The defiance and laziness of unbelieving parents I can understand. I have biblical categories of the behavior of the spiritually blind. But the neglect of Christian parents perplexes me. What is behind the failure to require and receive obedience? I’m not sure. But it may be that these nine observations will help rescue some parents from the folly of laissez-faire parenting.

5. Paul David Tripp helps us evaluate whether or not we've been taken "captive"

Whether it’s the opinion of a friend, the lyrics of a song, the words of a text, an article from a newspaper, the plot of a sitcom, some information on a website, or the worldview of a great movie, your eyes are receiving and your mind is being influenced by a thousand voices every day. Each is telling you how to think, and in telling you how to think, is telling you how to live. We never interpret the events of our lives on the basis of pure objectivity; we’re always influenced by a myriad of cultural and interpersonal influences.