First, the NY Times printed a recent study done by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. The study focused on transracial adoption and discouraged the practice. Russell Moore wrote a brilliant and Biblically accurate response to the study in his blog post Transracial Adoption, the Gospel, and You. You will also find a link to the study in his post.
Second is yet another gem from the pen (digitally speaking) of Dr. Russell Moore. I first read Beyond a Veggie Tales Gospel: Why We Must Preach Christ from Every Text in the Spring edition of Southern Seminary's magazine The Tie. If you have a high-speed Internet connection and want to download the entire magazine then click here. Here is the article's opening two paragraphs:
Have you ever seen the episode of Veggie Tales in which the main characters are martyred by anti-Christian terrorists? You know, the one in which Bell Z. Bulb, the giant garlic demon, and Nero Caesar Salad, the tyrannical vegetable dictator, take on the heroes for their faith in Christ. Remember how it ends? Remember the cold dead eyes of Larry the cucumber behind glass, pickled for the sake of the Gospel? Remember Bob the tomato, all that remained was ketchup and seeds?
No, of course you don't remember this episode. It doesn't exist--and it never will. Such a concept would be rejected out of hand by the creative minds behind the popular children's program, and the evangelical video-buying public wouldn't hand over the cash to buy such a product. It would be considered too disturbing, too dark, for children. Instead, the Veggie Tales episodes we've all seen are bloodless. They take biblical stories, and biblical characters, but they mine the narrative for abstractions--timeless moral truths that can help children to be kinder, gentler, and more honest. There's almost nothing in any episode that isn't true. But what's missing is Jesus.
Once you have ruminatively read those two articles, click on the following link and listen to an interesting conversation bewteen Al Mohler and Keith and Kristyn Getty. To use Mohler's own words, the Gettys, along with Stuart Townend:
have been at the forefront of a renaissance in robust theological hymnody among evangelicals both in America and the United Kingdom.
Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.
This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.
Mohler and the Gettys discuss music's role in worship, and how they came to be used of God in writing and singing "robust theological hymns".
My fourth and final recommendation for some weekend reading and listening is another Al Mohler program. Back in April Dr. Mohler reviewed the popular book "The Shack". If you are interested in reading that book, or if people are asking you about it this would be an excellent resource for you. The book sounds like heresy to me. Whether or not you have read it, listen to Mohler's review.
If you listen to Mohler's programs you may want to skip until the 11:00 minute mark, otherwise you will hear his review and commentary on the news. That is always good stuff as well, but it's all old news by now.
I hope you take the time to read the linked articles and listen to the programs. You do not have to be a pastor to benefit from the above material; it's all good stuff.