Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Articles of the Week

When It Is (Or Isn’t) Plagiarism, Randy Alcorn. I (Chris) remember a helpful article like this years ago by Richard John Neuhaus. The principles of plagiarism are relatively simple (If you got it from someone else, let everyone know), but applying them can be a little tricky. Alcorn’s words here help put everything in balance—seeing plagiarism as a serious sin, while warning us about going on plagiarism witch hunts.

Andy Stanley on the Bible: Cutting Edge or Misleading? David Prince. And, In Defense of Andy Stanley, Andrew Wilson. We have long admired the teaching ministry of Andy Stanley and use many of his resources, particularly those aimed at engaging people outside the church. Many have pointed out deficiencies in Stanley’s recent statements about the Bible in his new series on atheism (a helpful series!). While we agree with the central points Andy raises–i.e. the testimony of Christ rests on solid empirical evidence, and that one can come to believe in Jesus before embracing the inerrancy of the Bible–we think that some of what he said went too far and really misleads believers away from the “more sure and certain word” believers have anchored their theology up on for two thousand years. Contrary to what Andy says, the early church was very aware that God was speaking through his Apostles–the Apostle Peter said, in fact, that the Scripture being spoken through the Apostles was more reliable than even their eyewitness accounts (2 Peter 1:18-19; 2 Peter 3:15), something we believe Andy ignores in his presentation. David Prince raises some important questions to this end, while Andrew Wilson accentuates some of the truth behind Stanley’s comments. (It is worth noting, as someone did in the comments, that Andy has made no change in his doctrinal statement concerning the Bible: “About the Scriptures: We believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Therefore, we believe the Bible is without error.“)

Six Truths That Matter More than “Having a Peace about It,” Eric Davis. We aren’t denying the role of the Holy Spirit in leading people—personally—through prayer. In fact, we could use a good deal more of that kind of connectedness to the Spirit. But far too often, people in the church use the line, “I prayed and have a peace about it,” not to describe the movement of the Holy Spirit, but to justify all sorts of nonsense. If you find yourself tempted to use your “inner peace” as a guide, check in with Davis first.

Stop Acting Immutable, Jen Wilkin. God never changes, which should give us great peace. But our sanctification is based on the fact that we can change. Far too often we excuse our bad habits and overt sins because “that’s who I am.” Wilkin steps in to say, Knock it off. You aren’t immutable.

The Church Can Save You From Your Smartphone, Russell Moore. Even if you love your portable computer/phone/interrupter, you will still resonate with a lot of the frustrations Moore describes here. Who hasn’t had their peaceful afternoon ruined with a text that says, “Just wanted to give you a heads-up…”? The church can’t (and shouldn’t) oppose all technology. But it ought to provide a solace for a web-weary world.

On The Lighter Side

One of the Most Difficult Words to Translate, Krystian Aparta. Ted-Ed has a bunch of these short lessons, which you will either find super fascinating or obnoxiously tedious. We won’t judge you for either reaction.

Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. This is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”