Don’t Miss List: ‘Risen,’ Adam, Shepherd Pastors, the UCC and More

The internet is just so full of things. And it’s been some time since I put a list together, so please bear with me this week.

Risen, Reviewed by Michael Coughlin


Michael Coughlin watched and reviewed the new movie, Risen, and his post is available at Michelle Lesley’s site. I saw the film for myself on Sunday afternoon and found Coughlin’s assessment hit the mark. If you’re considering seeing it, check out his review first.

My own brief thoughts about the film: great acting, cinematography and a gripping story that affirms that Jesus did in fact rise from the grave. It also does confront a nonbeliever with the truth of Jesus’s deity, a truth that demands a response: believe and follow or reject it. If was also considerably more accurate in its history and plausible in its fictional parts, than many other made for TV or cinema movies about the Bible or Jesus Christ. It was not perfect though.

My gripes about the film were mostly small, with these notable exceptions: there was little indication of why Jesus died on the cross (Because our sins separate us from God Jesus sacrificed himself to redeem us from our sins and restore that relationship with God if we repent and believe in Him.) and no real mention of sin or repentance (that I could spot with one viewing). As a result it lacked a clear gospel message for the viewer to understand (and accept or reject). Second, the portrayal of Jesus as all about “love” was what I would consider incomplete truth. Certainly Jesus was loving, sacrificing himself for our sins was the greatest demonstration of love in all of history. But he also made it clear He would someday judge the world, and those who did not believe in Him (for example: Matthew 25).


About a Historical Adam

I’ve been thinking a lot about Genesis lately because of conversations I’ve had and things I’m reading, so it was good timing that Pastor Chris Rosebrough (@PirateChristian) had a segment on the subject last week in this episode of Fighting for the Faith. (The same episode also has further proof that Liberty University has zero discernment in choosing convocation speakers)

The segment is about Karl Giberson trying to “retool” and “renarrate” Christianity to accept evolution. Here are just a couple of snippet points Rosebrough made:

“Of course, when you do that what goes away is, well, the historical Adam. Yeah. You don’t need a historical Adam with an evolutionary theory. In fact, evolutionary theory would kind of work against that concept,” Rosebrough noted.

He continued, “You’re thinking, well, Chris, do you believe in a historical, literal Adam? Of course I do, of course, I do. Jesus did. And Jesus is the guy who rose from the grave, and so, hey, unless you can actually produce somebody with better credentials than Jesus regarding the historical Adam, I’m gonna go with Him.” He cited Mark 10, Luke 12 and Romans 5 as just a few Bible passages crucial to this matter.

Listen to the episode at

The Development of the Bible: An Interview with Michael Kruger

Ligonier has an interesting and helpful interview with Michael Kruger about the “greatest spiritual challenges” facing pastors, connecting theological head knowledge to heart application, the canon, inerrancy, the gnostic gospels and more.

The Absence of Shepherds

The Grace to You blog is kicking off a new series examining the Biblical model of pastors as shepherds. Many popular preachers (Andy Stanley, for example) claim the metaphor is outdated and wrong for the church today, to which GTY says no — it isn’t outdated. But they’ll be going through the Biblical support for pastors as shepherds in the series.

Mega-Ministry Methods: David Jeremiah Sows the Wind and Reaps the Windfall

It looks like David Jeremiah’s ministry may have been using the same kind of unethical bestseller list manipulation Mark Driscoll used. A new report from Warren Throckmorton.

Not All Roads Lead to Heaven: An Interview with Robert Jeffress

I want to say up front, I haven’t read this book and I know next to nothing about Dr. Robert Jeffress. So this is not an endorsement of him or the book. I’m sharing this interview from Bible Gateway, because I agree with what he says here about the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ (there is no other path to God), his use of Scripture to back that claim and why it matters.

UCC Lenten Devotional: Bible Not ‘Divinely Inspired, Inerrant’

A former colleague of mine now at IRD wrote this post at JuicyEcumenism about the United Church of Christ. He found a devotional from a Boston-area UCC pastor which simultaneously urged people to study the Bible “while challenging its inerrancy and divine inspiration.” The pastor criticized fundamentalists and used the old straw man argument about people worshipping the Bible against them.

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