The Eclectic Web – May 23, 2014

We often provide links to “news of the day” sites here on The Eclectic Web. These may have some value, although by the time we publish them they are mostly all “old news.”

This time around, I’d like to start our links with a list of helpful resources for the Christian student. Some are probably more of interest to pastors, others have a wider appeal. Hopefully you will find something helpful in the list.

  • Resources
    •  John Lightfoot works
    • George Marsden lecture (on Jonathan Edwards)
    • J. C. Ryle on Preaching Simply
    • Turning the other cheek
  • Issues oriented links
    • Alcohol not necessary
    • Young people abandoning the church (2 articles)
    • Friendships – is there such a thing as a platonic friendship across the sexes?
    • ADHD … toddlers?? Unbelievable!
  • Illustration file
    • A stranger aids an elderly lady at a bus stop


John Lightfoot was a 17th century clergyman, one of the “Westminster divines,” the body of men who produced the Westminster confession. You can get pdfs of his works here.

If you are interested in Jonathan Edwards, this lecture by George Marsden may be of interest to you. Marsden has written two excellent biographies on Edwards, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, a massive, 640 page work that is well worth the time invested. He has also written a shorter book, A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards, just 176 pages, but well written with some interesting additional observations about Edwards and his contemporaries. (I’ve read the longer book and am about half way through an audio edition of the shorter book. Both are well worth reading, with the shorter one obviously being a bit easier to get through.)

Ryle on Preaching Simply – My number one son offers a short blog with a link to a Google Books copy of J. C. Ryle on simplicity in preaching. It’s quite short, very good observations, preachers will definitely be interested, but laymen would also profit from this short work, I think, especially if they are ever called upon to teach others.

Christians are sometimes confused about the Lord’s teaching to “turn the other cheek.” Crossway published an article that offers a view that may clarify the passage for you: What Did Jesus Teach About Violence and Turning the Other Cheek? | Crossway.


Better off without alcohol – a column by Kelly Boggs, a former pastor, now Director of the Louisiana Baptist Association’s public affairs office, writes against the use of alcohol by Christians. His words are a helpful exhortation against alcohol consumption.

There are other biblical passages that echo the sentiment found in Proverbs 23 — your life will be better if you avoid alcohol. Or as I have long proclaimed to my children, “Nothing good comes from alcohol.”

Why Younger Evangelicals Are Leaving the Church: Some Arguments against the Conventional Wisdom | Canon and Culture. The gist of this article is that churches are weak in many areas – doctrine, culture, practical application – and as such do not offer a robust spirituality. A church with weak answers to the spiritual issues of the day is not attractive to young people looking for solid spiritual ground.

Another take: is it porn? Is Internet Porn to Blame for Millennials Leaving the Church? The prospect is somewhat startling. Certainly issues like this weaken spiritual life, and will tend to deteriorate the vitality of a Christian testimony if left unchecked.

Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships | Her.meneutics | It is hard to tell if this article comes to much of a conclusion on the subject, but it seems much more open to the possibility of friendships across the sexes than I would recommend. The article does highlight some of the real dangers of developing such friendships too deeply – it is so easy for such relationships to drive over the cliff into inappropriate intimacy. For this reason, I recommend friendliness to all, but friendship really doesn’t work across genders.

Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries – Psychological drugs make me nervous at the best of times, but this seems really to be going too far.

Illustrations file

Our local paper ran a story recently that strikes me as “an illustration looking for a sermon.” Stranger’s help at North Saanich bus stop brings tears to all – Local – Times Colonist. Great story of a “random act of kindness.”

Publication of links in The Eclectic Web feature does not imply endorsement of the viewpoint or contents of any of the websites linked. The links are provided as a matter of interest to Christians.

The Eclectic Web is compiled by Don Johnson. Don Johnson is the pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.