Snippets from the interweb (21st October 2018)


‘Let’s be honest we’re pretty poor at listening to one another as christians. We’re prone to talking over or around or passed each other. We assume, we presume, we react, we get defensive, we don’t want to appear like we haven’t listened so we don’t ask clarifying questions, we don’t want to appear stupid so we don’t say we don’t understand. And so we mishear one another. I wonder if that’s happening in some of the current discussions about class and the gospel in the UK.’ Yep.

How can you show radical hospitality as an introvert

Like most reformed pastors, I’m an introvert. So is my wife (not a reformed pastor; an introvert). We both want to show real hospitality but it is something we often feel badly equipped to do. So I appreciated this from Rosaria Butterfield.

The big picture of the big brother state

David Robertson reports on how the police responded to his claim that their own posters were inciting hate. ‘Even though many people regard this and have reported it as a hate incident, the police say that the motivation of the perpetrators (the Scottish Government and the Police) was not based on malice or ill will and therefore this will not be reported as a hate incident – no further action will be taken (and presumably this won’t go down in their official records as a reported hate incident – it appears that some hate incidents are more equal than others!). The question then is are the police hierarchy so illogical that they can’t see the contradiction between their laws and their actions? Or does this really show us what the bigger picture is? This poster campaign is not about stopping ‘hate’ against all people – it’s a selective campaign based upon a political ideology designed to discriminate in favour of certain groups and against others.’

What does your liturgy celebrate?

Whether you think so or not, your church definitely has a liturgy. The question here is a good one, what exactly does your liturgy celebrate?

Church membership – like a marriage

I think the essential point of this is right. Many treat membership far too lightly – closer to a gym or country club that we can drop the moment it stops serving us and our felt needs. Instead, we should view membership more like a marriage.

Time: you can’t spend it twice

‘Realise that how you spend your time as a pastor is a more serious question than how you spend the church’s money. Much more serious. Because it’s a zero sum game. You can’t spend time twice, and you can’t make any more of it once it’s gone. It becomes more serious as we become more senior in our roles. The number of potentially good things we could do increases, which means we have to choose more intentionally, which means we have to refuse to do quite a lot, because spending time on this means I cannot spend the same time on that, and that is where I need to give my leadership attention right now.’

From the archive: Should we baptise and welcome into membership those who don’t speak our language?

‘I am naturally sceptical of anything that would want to divide the church by race, ethnicity, language or learning capacity. My inclination is typically to accommodate rather than separate. I think this is more in line with the gospel imperative to be one in Christ Jesus and that there is no Jew nor Greek etc etc.’