Snippets from the interweb (22 April 2018)

Willow Creep

Stephen McAlpine reflects on events surrounding Bill Hybels. ‘The reason the church has crept towards the crisis management style of the world is that it first crept towards the management style of the world in the first place.’

Has the enlightenment made things rosier, or just Pinker?

Andrew Wilson looks at Steven Pinker’s latest book, which argues everything is getting better and it is all down to the enlightenment. Andrew says there is a case to be made for one of those; the other, not so much.

Why there’s no such thing as African Christianity

‘Every generation has philosophical winds that blow across the landscape of a nation or even an entire continent. These winds often begin from an epicenter of suffering and bring about a different way of looking at life. Africa has had its fair share of these winds, and as a result missionary efforts here have had to deal with them. One question that combines the philosophical winds blowing in Africa with the world of missions is this: “Are we African Christians or Christians in Africa?”’

I’m a sinner too

You may have been following some of the furore surrounding Israel Folau. Here, he makes clear what he was and wasn’t intending to say. ‘My faith in Jesus comes first. I would sooner lose everything – friends, family, possessions, my football career, the lot – and still stand with Jesus, than have all of those things and not stand beside Him.’

Your church’s Annual General Meeting – essential do’s and don’t’s

I’m sure few people are thrilled by the prospect of an Annual General Meeting. I have sat in some stinkers. I have also sat in some really encouraging and exciting ones too (honestly!). Chris Green offers some suggestions on how we might encourage the latter.

How God used the radical gift of ordinary hospitality (video)

I really liked this video. Rosaria Butterfield speaks about the importance of ordinary, yet radical, hospitality and how this helped win her to Christ.

From the archive: The tyranny of liberalism inculcates illiberal counter-extremism measures

‘If [there] is a problem confined to one particular religion, it is highly unreasonable to use this as a catch-all way to extend these rules to all religions. If it is unfair to tarnish all Muslims with the same brush – and knowing many Imams and Muslim parents who are terrified that their own children may buy into these pernicious extremist ideologies as I do, it most certainly is – how much less fair is it to include those who don’t even subscribe to the wider religion in question? It seems that government are pressing on with this approach because they do not want to be accused of attacking Islam. But there simply is no escaping that it is not the Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhist who are having any effect on the British terror threat level. Until such time as we accept the source of the problem, we will continue to be hit with these cack-handed attempts to address the problem.’