Snippets from the interweb (7th January 2018)

Hijacking Evangelicalism

‘As sinful as it is to discriminate against one of God’s image bearers on the basis of his or her ethnicity, it is no less sinful to misconstrue or misapply an aspect of one’s identity as a Christian to advance or promote a particular ideological narrative or agenda’.

4 rules for responding to nasty emails

This is good counsel. I don’t know of a single pastor who hasn’t endured this sort of thing at some point. How should we respond to ungracious and pernicious messages?

The unique church

‘Too often, ministers foolishly embrace the ecclesiastical advice of those who know absolutely nothing about the specific arrangement of the local church they pastor. A pastor is animated by an article in which today’s latest “church expert” insists that he or she has the corner on what should be done in every church. All the while, he forgets that that those writing such articles often know absolutely nothing about the various personal, cultural, industrial, socio-economic, religious, ethnic or age dynamics represented by the town in which each local church is set.’

Asylum offices ‘in constant state of crisis’

I imagine nobody who has any involvement with asylum seekers will find this a surprise. The reason of delays for profit is damning and perhaps new but the delays themselves and constant refrain of ‘non-straightforward’ cases are infuriatingly familiar.

Interview with Marcus Brigstocke

There is nothing not to like about this. I really like Marcus Brigstocke (‘We are History’ is one of the most underrated and unknown BBC comedies) and David Robertson is always good value. The Premier Radio discussion is a fascinating discussion between a thoughtful Atheist and well-reasoned Christian. It is long but immensely interesting.

Working class or middle class leaders to reach working class communities?

‘One suggestion about why we struggle to reach working class communities is that we primarily have middle class leaders of churches, furthermore, we have middle class leaders because we put barriers in the way of working class people becoming leaders because we identify the qualities and training methods associated required for leaders with middle class qualities. I think there is some truth in this but I also am concerned that it is simplistic and does not fully answer things.’

From the archive: How do you grow a church when converts can’t stay?

‘In our area of Glodwick, our primary (but not exclusive) mission field is to Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims. With all the will in the world, we are not going to get local Muslim people converting to Christianity being able to settle and remain in the locality. It would not be safe for many of them to do so. Whatever fruit we may see from our work amongst such groups, though we will see growth for the kingdom, it will not generally lead to growth in the membership of our local church.’