Posted in theology

Prata Potpourri: Don’t be deceived; THAT photo; Irreducible complexity; On Being Boring; more

By Elizabeth Prata

Photo by EPrata. Dogwood in Georgia

Spring in the south is a glorious time of year. The fresh light green of the grass, the plethora of blossoms everywhere, flowers. The bugs haven’t come out yet. The skies are studded with fluffy white clouds. Birds return. This all happens in February-March.

As we enter April, the storms come. The Lord said to Adam and Eve in the Garden that there would be harvest, but at a cost of sweat and toil and pain. Roses sprouted thorns. Childbirth pains increased. Every blessing thenceforth had a pain attached to it. And so it is with the beauty of a southern spring, with all the tornadoes and severe storms coming across the state like a train, one after another.

But if we know God, we can accept the trouble that comes with the beauty and peace. We know it all will end one day! And then only joy shall reign. What a day that will be!

Here are a few links I pray are of interest to you, edifying, or conscience provoking.

Anyone who has followed me for any period of time knows I love discernment. I love teaching it, speaking of it, urging it, and warning about its lack. Of course I am not the only woman with this concern. Many others teach it as well. Here are two of them: Amy Spreeman and Michelle Lesley with their podcast A Word Fitly Spoken and a lesson on
4 Ways to Avoid Being Deceived on March 29, 2023.

They wrote: “It’s so important that we, as Christian women, exercise discernment so that we aren’t deceived by false teachers or false doctrine. In this episode, we’ll take a look at four deceptive pop false doctrines that evangelical women are being wooed by right now, and how you can avoid being deceived by them.” Check it out.

Like most people, I’ve received cutting or insulting remarks over my lifetime. Some were intentional, and some were offhand remarks that I took as insulting. One of those was a man who said to someone else (who reported it to me, gah, gossip is bad!), that I was boring. I was about 26 at the time, newly single, and trying to discover who I was. Ouch, boring is not good.

Here is a book review from Tim Challies about a book on preaching. Why Are We Often So Boring? The author doesn’t go on to insist we entertain congregations, but muses on the fact that though some preachers pursue expositional preaching (pursuing a verse by verse explanations) in staid and grave fashion can be boring, because the preacher includes too many details he had needed to absorb but should have been left out because it bogs down the sermon. The book goes on to give a short overview of tips for effective preaching.

To be a raconteur (a person who shares stories in a skillful way) takes skill. Knowing which details to include and which to leave out is important for proper pacing. I try to remember that so I am not boring at parties. Maybe I need to pick up this book! Hopefully your preacher has this skill.

Here, The Heritage Foundation explains the history behind beloved Psalm 23. Our Great Shepherd of Comfort and Restoration. If you are feeling low, I highly recommend reading this essay and the Psalm itself!

I am not a board game player. I am not a game player of any sort. So I am unfamiliar with Dungeons and Dragons, other than it exists. However, World reviewed the new movie Honor Among Thieves based on the game, and reviewed it positively. They said, “Honor Among Thieves is a heist movie—sort of like Oceans 11 meets Lord of the Rings. The movie is rated PG-13 for fantasy action and a few bad words intended for comic effect.”

Hopefully being rated PG-13 means there will be few things in the movie that curl my hair and distress my spirit. I love a good caper movie. I loved The Sting when it came out, and Oceans 11 and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and others like them. I have not seen the movie Honor Among Thieves, but here is World’s review. In theaters now.

PS: Warning, the link reviews two movies, the other is His Only Son, the scene between God and Abraham when God said to sacrifice Isaac. It is produced by Angel Studios, the same people that made The Chosen, which means Mormon and therefore not edifying.

Davis Huffstutler at G3Ministries wrote about our common salvation in Jude. I enjoyed this unearthing of truths from Jude. Jude is a book I love, and its main thrust is usually discernment. But Jude wrote that he wanted to talk about our common salvation (but due to circumstances Jude chose discernment instead.) But what IS our common salvation? How does it inform our everyday experience as a Christian? Read on to find out!

Because biology is much in the news today, here is an article from the Biblical Science Institute on Irreducible Complexity (AKA evolution is false). They explain it simply and understandably.

There are people out and about in life and on social media who want to cancel John MacArthur. They do everything they can to do so, including bearing tales and slandering. In one recent case, a gaggle of women with an axe to grind, who hate John MacArthur, circulated a photo of him, Joni Eareckson Tada, and disgraced pastor/leader Bill Gothard, and attempted to make a tie between Gothard and MacArthur with innuendo, slander, and lies.

This investigation provides a story of how an elder and who is someone in the know, investigated because he sensed the connection the women were trying to make was not true. His results provide context and debunking in grand fashion. It’s a good story and worth reading to see how battle-axes slander and how they try to make a photo tell a different story than the one the photo actually tells.

I love vintage, maybe that is because I’m getting old and I remember the stuff from the first time around! Here is a neat essay on vintage postcards. The photographer visited the places today and compared them in “Then & Now” fashion. When I was publishing a newspaper, the Then & Now was the most popular feature. I think everyone loves a good Then & Now!


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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