“Killing Jesus” Reviewed I read… a lot. That being said, there are a lot of books that I don’t read that I know I’m likely to be asked about. “Killing Jesus” by Bill O’Reilly is one of those books that I probably will never get to, but I know others will be curious about it. That’s why I’m thankful for book reviews like this one that can save me (and you) a great deal of time.

Badly Broken I’ve never actually watched an episode of the hit show Breaking Bad, but I’ve heard enough chatter and seen enough previews for it that I have a general idea of what it’s all about. In this article Chris McNerney and Daniel Lee consider the lessons that the show, now having finished its run, can teach us about our own depravity. They write, “Breaking Bad is not just a drama; it is an all-too-realistic depiction of the corrosive effects of sin. Try as we might, we cannot fully distance ourselves from what we see on-screen because the truth is that we are all Walter White. Do we really believe that we are incapable of such depravity, somehow immune to the darkness that festers within us? Sin, that ever vigilant predator, stands ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness—how will even the strongest among us resist its ferocious assault?” I imagine that such an observation could serve you well in trying to communicate the truth about the sinfulness of man to a non-believing fan of the show.

Short-Term Mission Trips for Teens I look back upon my own experience of short-term mission trips as a teenager and young adult with a mixture of fondness and regret. I am grateful for the relationships that developed and were strengthened during these trips (my wife and I first became friends while working on an orphanage in Mexico) and for the lessons I learned and the hard work we did in service to others. I regret the fact that we did not often strategize well to strengthen churches and equip them to make disciples. Many – at times myself included – have lamented the state of these short-term mission trips and wondered whether the American church ought to abandon the practice all-together. That’s probably a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Chelsea Kingston offers some helpful advice for making these kinds of trips more beneficial to the youth who often go on them. More could be said – especially as it relates to connecting with local churches – but this seems like a good list of correctives to what often goes on with these trips.

Striking Differences John Piper and John MacArthur are both heroes of mine. If I consult anyone’s sermon on a given passage for help on how to preach a particular text, it will be one of these men 90 percent of the time. This video is fascinating because it highlights how very different these two men are, and reinforces the truth that God works greatly through very diverse people.