NEXT BIG Trends for 2009

Url Scaramanga over at Out of Ur a sub-blog of Christianity Today has five predictions for the year of 2009.

  • The next BIG word: Post-Missional
  • The next BIG outreach trend: The 30-Day Alcohol Challenge
  • The next BIG book: REVEAL 3: You Go, I’m Staying Right Here.
  • The next BIG celebrity pastor: Rod Blagojevich
  • The next BIG catch phrase: “Jesus is my bailout plan”

Scaramanga elaborates on each one here.

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More Bible Reading Plans for 2009

I just found out about this in my subscriptions in google reader.  The Biblical Studies and Technological Tools blog has put together a short list of their own including a Facebook group.  Check it out below.

BSATT:

Logos Global Bible Reader: A Logos blog post on this reader states:

This free download from Logos is a powerful desktop application that provides community and accountability in a Bible reading plan.

Once you install Global Bible Reader you sign in with your Logos.com user account and choose from one of the six reading plans. After you chose a plan (or multiple plans) Global Bible Reader will download six days worth of reading (so you can even read when you’re not online). After you finish the reading for a day, click the Done Reading button and Global Bible Reader will mark the day as completed. In order to make sure you don’t fall behind, you can set up Global Bible Reader to give you a daily reminder to read the day’s text. More than just reading yourself, Global Bible Reader plugs you into a community of people who are on the same reading plan as you…

Facebook Bible Reading Group: Wayne Leman reports on this option on the Better Bibles Blog:

Join us in reading and discussing the books of the Bible in 2009! We’re starting with Genesis, and we hope you’ll join us for as many books as you’d like–hopefully all of them. We’ll be using an edition of the Scriptures called “The Books of The Bible” that the International Bible Society has specially formatted for reading with greater understanding and enjoyment. The text is in a single column, and there are no chapters or verses or section headings.

Those of you who are already members of Facebook can attend the event by going to this Internet address:http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=40536860035

YouVersion: From the YouVersionBlog:

Our One-Year Reading Plan will take you through the entire Bible in 2009—just read the selections mapped out for you each day and you’ll cover the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice this year. Invite friends to join you in this journey and you’ll have built-in accountability along with enhanced learning.

And don’t forget that you can use your mobile phone to read the Bible no matter where you are.

Bible Reading Plans For 2009

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There are dozens of Bible reading plans available on the web.  You may have even produced one yourself that suits your liking.  Justin Taylor has put together a helpful list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from which I have copied and pasted below.  I personally have been using The Discipleship Journal Reading Plan.  What I appreciate about this plan is that you have a set standard of 25 days and if you fall behind you can always fall back on the “catch up” days.  They are also available in bookmarks which are convenient.  If you do decide to use these bookmarks I would recommend laminating the them for durability.

One thing to keep in mind about these Bible reading plans is to exam and guard yourself from a legalistic mindset.  For most Bible reading plans your hope is to finish in one year but even more important it is to be more familiar with God’s word.  I know there have been times that I have fallen behind on my schedule simply because I decided to camp and meditate on a certain passage rather than finishing the chapters assigned.  I personally have never been able to finish in a year but maybe 2009 is the year.

Justin Taylor:

The ESV Bible Reading Plans can be accessed in multiple ways:

  • web (a new reading each day appears online at the same link)
  • RSS (subscribe to receive by RSS)
  • email (subscribe to receive by email)
  • iCal (download an iCalendar file)
  • mobile (view a new reading each day on your mobile device)
  • print (download a PDF of the whole plan)

There are about 10 plans available. Go to that link to access each plan in any of the options above.

Here are the three I would recommend:

ESV Study Bible (ESV Literary Study Bible contains the same plan)

With this plan there are four readings each day, divided into four main sections:

  • Psalms and Wisdom Literature;
  • Pentateuch and the History of Israel;
  • Chronicles and Prophets; and
  • Gospels and Epistles.

The introduction explains:

In order to make the readings come out evenly, four major books of the Bible are included twice in the schedule: the Psalms (the Bible’s hymnal), Isaiah (the grandest of the OT prophets), Luke (one of the four biblical Gospels), and Romans (the heart of the Bible’s theology of salvation).The list of readings from the Psalms and the Wisdom Literature begins and ends with special readings that are especially appropriate for the opening and closing of the year. The list of readings from the Pentateuch and the History of Israel proceeds canonically through the five books of Moses and then chronologically through the history of the OT, before closing the year with the sufferings of Job. The list of readings from the Chronicles and the Prophets begins with the Chronicler’s history of the people of God from Adam through the exile, followed by the Major and Minor Prophets, which are organized chronologically rather than canonically.

I plan to print out this PDF, which is designed to be cut into four bookmarks that can be placed at the appropriate place in your Bible reading.

Daily Reading Bible

With this plan you go through:

  • the NT twice,
  • the Psalms twice, and
  • the rest of the OT once.

If you like this plan, you may want to pick up a copy of the Daily Reading Bible (available in hardcover and paperback). It’s not in the style where the Bible itself is rearranged by readings. Rather, it is a normal Bible, except that there are marginal notations that indicate where you are to start and stop reading.

E.g., on January 1 you are to read Genesis 1-2, Psalm 1, Matthew 1-2. When you open to Genesis 1, you’ll see in the outer margin a notation that says in bold, JAN 1. That’s where you start reading, until you get to JAN 2 at Genesis 3.. At the bottom of the page of Genesis 1 there is a box that says, JAN 1: Ps 1; Matt 1-2–which indicates the other readings for that day. Hope that makes sense. (Here’s a sample from Matthew.)

M’Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan

With this plan you read through:

  • the NT twice,
  • the Psalms twice, and
  • the rest of the OT once.

The plan begins with the four great beginnings or “births” of Scripture: Genesis 1 (beginning of the world), Ezra 1 (rebirth of Israel after her return from Babylonian exile), Matthew 1 (birth of the Messiah), Acts 1 (birth of the body of Christ). John Stott says of this reading schedule: “Nothing has helped me more to gain an overview of the Bible, and so of God’s redemptive plan.”

If you go with this route, I’d recommend D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God (vol. 1 and vol. 2 are available–vols. 3 and 4 are forthcoming). Carson’s introduction and preface–which includes a layout of the calendar–are available for free online.

Since there are four readings each day, it’s easy to modify this one so that you read through the Bible once in two years, by reading just the first two readings each day for the first year and the second two readings each day for the second year.

And here are a couple of plans from NavPress:

The Discipleship Journal Reading Plan

With this plan you read through the entire Bible once.

The unique advantage of this plan is that there are “catch-up” days:

  • To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only 25 readings. Since you’ll have several “free days” each month, you could set aside Sunday to either not read at all or to catch up on any readings you may have missed in the past week.
  • If you finish the month’s readings by the twenty-fifth, you could use the final days of the month to study passages that challenged or intrigued you.

Bethlehem Baptist Church makes available the bookmark-method for this plan:

Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan

This book-at-a-time approach takes you through the whole Bible once in a year. It has two readings each day:

  • the first reading alternatives between OT and NT books (about 3-4 chapters a day), with the Gospels spread throughout the year;
  • the second reading is about a chapter a day of the wisdom literature and Isaiah.

As with the Discipleship Journal Plan, there are only 25 readings a month, allowing for catch-up and/or reflection.

The Social and Moral Costs of Pornography

Robert P. George of Princeton University recently hosted a three day event centered on the social costs of pornography.

The Witherspoon Institute:

Consultation Overview
The consultation on “The Social Costs of Pornography was organized by the Witherspoon Institute in conjunction with the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Washington, DC and held at Princeton University, December 11 – 13, 2008. The consultation was hosted by Robert P. George, Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. This meeting assembled leading experts in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neurophysiology, philosophy, sociology, law, and political theory to present a rigorously argued overview of the problem of pornography in our society and to make recommendations. The primary purpose of the meeting was to examine the real nature of pornography in its moral and social consequences.

It is essential to note the scholars who participated in this consultation represent a wide range of political perspectives, but share a common interest in addressing pornography’s devastating social cost. At the two-day-long consultation, ten scholars delivered papers on subject-specific aspects of pornography’s impact, and approximately twelve scholars served as discussants throughout the meeting. This format ensured that the papers will be energetically critiqued in order to promote a fair and in-depth assessment of the issues in question.

Below are some papers from the event:

Hadley Arkes, Pornography: Settling the Question in Principle

Roger Scruton, On the Abuse of Sex

Pamela Paul, From Pornography to Porno to Porn

Norman Doidge, MD, Acquiring Pornographic Tastes

Jill Manning, The Impact of Pornography on Women

Ana Bridges, Pornography’s Effects on Interpersonal Relationships

Kirk Doran, The Economics of Pornography

Gerard V. Bradley, Moral Principles Which Govern the Legal Regulation of Pornography

James Stoner, Freedom, Virtue, and the Politics of Regulating Pornography

Hamza Yusuf, Climbing Mt. Purgatorio: Reflections from the Seventh Cornice

(HT: JT)

“Christian Flavored Resolutions”

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Here are some Christian-Flavored Resolutions from StuffChristiansLike.  So funny….

1. Put the devil on notice more often.

2. Throw at least one movie, CD, or book away and not repurchase it three weeks later when my temporary guilt has worn off.

3. Win the “please turn to” Bible verse race every Sunday.

4. Be the silver medal friend that isn’t good enough to be in the wedding party but instead is asked to read “Love is patient” during the ceremony.

5. Read a one year walk through the entire Bible plan in roughly two years.

6. Master the “Stop that” church hand grab in case my kids ever act up during service.

7. Keep kids at camp or in the youth group from “making purple.”

8. Become a pro at the “whisper of importance” that sly trick we all do when it’s time to break it on down with a serious message.

9. Refuse to use the word “postmodern” in every sentence I speak.

10. Crush all foes in the “VBS Decorating Wars.”

11. Rededicate my life. Again. No this time I’m serious, it is on.

12. Find more subtle ways to discover if I’m with a Christian that will also drink a glass of wine or a pint of beer.

13. Look more spiritual, more in love and more generous at church. (Hint, don’t let your wife knit.)

14. Help tall people get baptized with less awkwardness.

15. Find someone that will paint my mural.

16. Get a holier email address and quit using Godisgoodandbeautiful777@yahoo

17. Retire the Michael Phelps sermon illustration.

18. Write better Christian hate mail.

19. Shine up less scars.

20. Fishbowl a church drummer.

21. Say “Razzle Dazzle” 22% more or stop telling people I’ll prayer for them and then not.

(HT: Vitamin Z)