Aaron Armstrong's Blog

January 6, 2018

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How Podcasting Hurts Preaching

Read Mercer Schuchardt:

Of course, churches’ motivations are sincere: They want to provide preaching for the shut-in, the elderly, the infirm, and those incapable of traveling. They also want to spare you the solitary hell of a daily commute that amounts to hours stuck in traffic each week. (For the few who sincerely can’t make it on Sunday, pastors should also be visiting them in person, bringing the Eucharist, and perhaps dropping off a text of the sermon or...

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Published on January 06, 2018 02:00

January 5, 2018

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I don’t do this all the time. In fact, it’s pretty rare. But the other night, I decided to do something different as I prepared to start a new Bible reading plan: I read the first chapters of Genesis out loud. The creation story through the fall of humanity.

It wasn’t a terribly dramatic reading at least not at first. But as I read, I found the drama seeping into my voice. The excitement of creation building with each “Let there be.” The sinister sweetness of the serpent’s question, “Did God...

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Published on January 05, 2018 04:00

January 4, 2018

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How Obsession with Youth Hurts the Church (and the Youth)

Jaquelle Crowe offers a helpful review of Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church’s Obsession with Youthfulness by Andrew Root.

The Preacher’s Proclamation

Costi Hinn:

The preacher and the people are both responsible for protecting the pulpit in the church. When the pulpit isn’t held in high regard, sheep become malnourished by fast-food style preaching that contains little nutritional value. When pastoral ministry...

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Published on January 04, 2018 02:00

January 3, 2018

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I am always consuming books, whether they’re physical, digital or audio. Every month, I like to share a breakdown of everything I read, including the books I abandoned. I do this because it gives me an opportunity to introduce you to books you might not have had an opportunity to read while practicing the art of writing concise book reviews.

In December, I read 12 unique titles to completion, read one of those twice, and started several others that I have yet to complete. Here’s what I read:...

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Published on January 03, 2018 02:00

January 2, 2018

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One of the Only New Year’s Resolutions Worth Repeating

Michael Kelley:

Here we are, the first week of the new year. And because we are, most of us are considering resolutions. There are the standard promises of weight loss, gym membership, more reading, and a host of others. Chances are, you’ve made one of these resolutions before. Maybe it worked out, and maybe it didn’t. If it didn’t work out, then perhaps you’re redoubling your efforts this year. Maybe you have some kind of plan that will...

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Published on January 02, 2018 02:00

January 1, 2018

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What is wisdom for? Who gets it? How do you grow in it? When I was much younger, I believed wisdom and knowledge were more or less the same thing. So if I could just learn enough, I’d be wise.

But then I became a Christian, and I slowly began to think differently. I still saw that wisdom and knowledge are connected, but they’re not the same. Wisdom is the result of applying our knowledge—and especially, knowledge that grows us into the image of Christ.

When I think about the year ahead, this...

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Published on January 01, 2018 02:00

December 31, 2017

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Here we are, once again preparing for the calendar to roll over to a new year. As I shared recently, this past year was good in many ways, but it was also extremely difficult, an experience I know is not unique.

Every year, even our best years, have a mix of joy and sadness.

Some years, the sadness wins more than joy.

Others, joy comes out on top.

And as we look ahead to the next year, some of us can only pray, “Lord, let this year be a little better than the last.”

I’m tempted to pray that...

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Published on December 31, 2017 02:00

December 30, 2017

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Why Our Expectations for Teens in the Church Are Way Too Low

Cameron Cole:

Historically, one of the failures of youth ministry is that kids have not been viewed as potential contributors in the church, and that is a disservice to them and to the church as a whole. We need kids to learn how to be real church members, and we need kids to have good ecclesiology—a good theology of the church.

What Google knows about being human

Jason Thacker & Justin Wester:

Google is ubiquitous in our culture....

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Published on December 30, 2017 02:00

December 29, 2017

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For the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to pay very close attention to warning signs about my spiritual health.1 In 2015, I hit a wall, where I realized I was running on empty due to various circumstances. Throughout 2016, I made a number of changes to my lifestyle, my reading habits, and my writing schedule to allow me space to get healthier.

As one year moved into the next, I wanted to build on the good foundation that had been laid and keep going.

Then 2017 actually happened.

This...

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Published on December 29, 2017 07:16 • 5 views

December 28, 2017

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2 Ways the Church Can Help Women Who Are Burned Out

Shona Murray:

The church can organize specific times of prayer, when women (young mothers, especially) can come together with child care available—even for an hour, once a week. There, women can gather and have coffee and chat, knowing that for that hour, they can just relax, be refreshed, and then go back home and feel uplifted—not just emotionally and physically, but spiritually as well. The fellowship of other Christian women can certain...

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Published on December 28, 2017 02:00 • 9 views