Snippets from the interweb (11th February 2018)

Friends, brothers and contextualised theology

Eddie Arthur has written a follow up to one of my posts from last week. You can read the original article here. My post related to some specific situations going on in Oldham. Eddie points out how it is important to think these things through in our context whilst noting that the specific point doesn’t travel well.

Five ways Satan undermines Muslim conversions

As we work in an area replete with Muslim people, this is about right. ‘Ninety-eight percent of the Muslim world — 24 percent of all the men, women, and children on the planet today — are still under the deception of a false prophet. Their souls are in grave danger. Satan still imprisons far too many. We must pray and strategize and work to see more Muslims embrace the gospel and come to Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote, “we are not ignorant of [Satan’s] designs” (2 Corinthians 2:11). I can think of at least five schemes Satan uses to keep Muslims deceived.’

Why do churches cover up sin?

‘Over the past few weeks, many questions have been asked about why professional institutions like Michigan State University and the United States Gymnastic Association would cover up Larry Nassar’s crimes. But these events force another painful question to the surface. Why do churches also do this?’

I give them communion because it does them good

Dave Williams addresses one of the reasons given – particularly among open (or unrestricted) communion advocates for allowing individuals to partake of the Lord’s Supper and explores how it can be quite unhelpful.

A word of empathy, warning and counsel for “narrow” complementarians

‘Complementarians unite around the idea that God created men and women equal in dignity and worth but that he has assigned different roles in the church and home. Over the last few years, however, we’ve been having more and more in-house conversations about what exactly that requires. And complementarians are dividing between what Kevin DeYoung calls “broad” and “narrow” versions.’

The incredible “mehness” of social media

‘All the things that Christians on social media (myself often included) get worked up about are incredibly unimportant. All the huffing and puffing and foaming at the mouth that happens in long comment threads and blog posts is vanity and chasing after the wind (I’ve been hanging in Ecclesiastes lately). Instead of devoting ourselves to good works and caring for those in our immediate locales (family, church, city, etc.), we end up expending energy on things that have almost no connection to our lives.’

From the archive: four things pastors are not called to do

‘Being a pastor is an interesting job. Suggestions abound as to what the job actually entails and agreement upon those things is not common. Most pastors I know have, at some time or other, been asked to account for what they do all week (usually not in the so-I-can-help-ease-your-burden kind of way). Very often, church members can grow dissatisfied because they have a set view about the role of the pastor and expect him to meet all their unstated expectations. Rather than offer a definitive job description of the pastor/elder… I want to highlight one thing the pastor is called to do and four things that church members often presume pastors should do which aren’t anywhere stated in scripture.’