Snippets from the interweb (15th October 2017)

The real reason Jesus cleansed the temple?

If you have ever doubted the importance of good theology, and why all of us should strive to be good theologians, I present exhibit A.

Prosperity theology tells us to live now as kings, not servants

Randy Alcorn does a great job of showing why prosperity theology is teaching ‘from the pit of Hell’.

Why churches should have meaningful membership

I may have linked to this before, but it popped up in my blog reader via For The Church. We’ve been thinking a lot about membership at our church as elders, so it felt pertinent and worth sharing again.

The elephant in the Balliol College freshers fair 

Absolutely loads of truth running all the way through this post by David Robertson, particularly in respect to the church: ‘The biblical strategy is not to reach the wealthy that we might reach the poor, it is to reach the poor that we might reach the wealthy (who in reality are the hardest to reach). But we don’t believe that. It’s why I can get any number of church groups from the US to come and church plant in central London, Oxford, Edinburgh and St Andrews…but ask them to come to, or finance work in Doncaster, Dartford or Dundee and they are not interested. Apparently these are not places of ‘influence’ (like Nazareth!). We have reversed the biblical criteria and then claim that we are doing so in order to be faithful to the Bible!’

How I became a Sunday drug user

Anyone in ministry should heed this warning: ‘All of us in ministry will be tempted to worship congregational approval. Most of us will give in to the temptation at some point. But is there good news we can cling to as we battle the temptation to worship our sheep?’

What is the purpose of baptism?

I’m enjoying this series by Tim Challies. We hold to this essential definition at Oldham Bethel Church: ‘Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in Jesus Christ performed once as the initiation of such a believer into a community of believers, the church.’

From the archive: Can we please stop over-resourcing ‘successful’ churches?

‘If you create a system of providing workers that require churches to raise up and fund workers from within in order to receive another worker, you have effectively determined that those with the financial and human resources to do this (who, by definition, need extra workers the least) may gain more, whilst those in dire need of such resources can’t have any because they don’t have the money or people to function within your system.’