There has been a greater number of articles that have appeared on the internet this year that I have considered outstanding. Therefore, for the first time, this end of the year review will be a series of posts, rather than just one. Unfortunately, since late June, my regular internet viewing routine has degenerated into chaos. I'll never know how many more outstanding articles I have missed. Anyway, here are the first five:
Greater Grace: The Story of God, Redemption, and Steve McQueen from the Southern Gospel Yankee blog. I did a bit of research online to check the accuracy of this post since some have erroneously claimed famous and historical figures converted to Christ. I did find other sources that confirm this account. My favorite post of the year. HT: Gene Veith.
The Art of Dying by Rob Moll. This actually appeared on Jesus Creed in 2011, but I came across it this year. This short article contains important advice for pastors and local churches on how to deal with members who have terminal illnesses. Here is a short excerpt:
"A good death–one that survivors feel was meaningful and honorable–is far more difficult when there is intensive medical intervention. The more aggressive the treatment, the more painful and more difficult a death is likely to be. The church can be active here by learning and teaching Christian views of dying well. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationfound that people died more poorly after being advised by their pastors, mostly because they were urged to pursue more treatment. Instead, the church can promote spiritual faithfulness in anticipation of life with God."
Also from Jesus Creed: Expectations:Theirs and Mine by Mark Stevens. On pastors dealing with with the expectations of others and their own expectations of themselves.
Daddy, Why Do People Steal From Us? by Peter Chin. A Korean family ministering in an urban setting experience numerous thefts of their possessions. How can the father explain this to his daughter without perpetuating racial stereotypes? From Christianity Today's This Is Our City blog.
Some Christians believe that to contend for religious liberty is a sub-Christian activity. After all, they say, the early Church didn't demand freedom to worship in ancient Rome. Christians Don't Have A Right To Be Stupid by Tonyia Martin provides an effective antidote to such thinking. Here is the paragraph that caught my interest:
"Christians who continue to face persecution around the world often look to American Christians to continue to uphold religious freedom and set a standard. Coptic Christians in Egypt have told me that one of their greatest fears is that someday America will no longer be a place where Christians can express and live out their faith as freely as we can now. If that ever happens, they expect persecution to worsen worldwide."
From Christianity Today's Her-Meneutics blog.