Snippets from the interweb (16th September 2018)

That’s “Professor” slaphead to you sunshine!

With a title like that, you know you have to read this one. ‘Without that central idea of God as ruler in our culture, hubris is making a comeback. Humility is once again scorned, because without any eschatological hope of a great role reversal, we need to grasp all we can, and do so now. And of course this is not confined to the so-called secular frame. As we sadly note among the church there is always a move towards titles that reflect the status of the day.’

How urban geography shapes the journey to reconciliation: Race & Place

This is the first in a three-parter from Mez McConnell. ‘Relocating must, at the very least, be a part of the solution. The problem is that when we say the word “council estate” or “scheme” something happens inside the average UK Christian. They, subconsciously at least, draw their children a little bit closer and shudder inwardly. What about their little ones? What about their education? What about wisdom? Would it be wise to put their family in harm’s way? God wants us to be sensible. That’s how the thinking goes. Come on now! We are not talking about moving people into 1980’s Beirut!’

Why don’t the working class come to church?

On a similar note: ‘A research report conducted by Tear Fund on ‘church attendance’ in the UK tells us that church attendance is associated with those of higher social grade; that the highest church attendance is by professionals and that the lowest church attendance is by people on benefits and the working class. For most of us this comes as no surprise, but it must make us wonder why?’

Open tables that forget Jesus

This not only has much to say about inclusion in Christ but, by extension, much to say about inclusion in the church and inclusion in the church ordinances.

Labour has shifted focus from bingo to quinoa, say swing voters

This is an interesting article from the Guardian. It’s not particularly surprising but Labour – once the party of the working class – now seems to focus its attention on more middle class concerns (at least, that’s how swing voters perceive them).

China bans Zion, Beijing’s biggest house church

It is worth being aware of this. We have links with individuals who would affirm – and have faced – some of these measures.

From the archive: What is church discipline?

‘When we hear the word discipline, we immediately think of something negative. We think of the sort of discipline we mete out to naughty children. But the word comes from the same root as our word disciple. It is about teaching or training. Whilst we may talk negatively of disciplining a child, it is for the positive purpose of teaching them how to behave. But there are also positive examples of discipline, for example, an athlete engaged in a training regime each morning is disciplining himself. Church discipline is also about teaching and training.’