Snippets from the interweb (20th January 2019)

Stop being right

‘[Steve] Jobs was persuadable – if you had a good enough argument.  If you didn’t, of course, you crashed and burned – but he would give way when he could see he was wrong. The lesson for us is – strangely, from Jobs, we might think – humility.’

‘Expository preaching’ – A time for caution

I have always understood the term ‘expository’ in the way defined in the second sentence of this article. However, I do advocate systematic expository teaching as the best and primary mode of preaching (which is what the article is getting at). But I do think point 5 is the strongest argument and bears consideration. We need to have a view that some ways may be best but they are not the only legitimate way or necessarily best in all circumstances.

When discontent sheep show up

‘A pastor must guard against comparing himself or his church to other pastors or local churches. There can be an unrighteous tendency to prey on those who may not be thinking clearly about their circumstances for want of a new church member. Pastors should always be quick to remember that for every discontent sheep that comes to them from another congregation, there are more than likely sheep in their own congregation that have done the same thing at other times.’

Disowned for Jesus: what I lost and found in Christ

This is the testimony of an faithful Iranian convert to Christianity. It reflects on Matthew 10:35-39. ‘I’m passionate for people to know that there’s a cost to following Jesus. What is it costing you to follow him? It might be that the thing you’re holding onto is the thing that’s keeping you from living for his glory. For me, it was my dad.’

Why I am a baptist who believes in open communion & open church membership

There has been a baptist intramural discussion on admitting paedobaptists to membership and granting them communion. Gavin Ortlund, Jonathan Leeman and Andrew Wilson have all had their say. I initially commented here. In response to some comments on Facebook, I posed some questions to John Stevens, National Director of FIEC, which you can read here. He has been kind enough to flesh out his thoughts in the blog post linked above. You can also read my reply here. You can compare my view with John’s and decide for yourself who is most cogent and best reflects the Biblical data.

The best a man can be?

David Robertson reflects on the recent Gillette advert that gained a lot of publicity. ‘The commercialisation of morality and its use to make money is profoundly disturbing.  Are we really now taking our morality from the multi-nationals? Gillette are not being brave by their woke virtue signalling  – they have been granted millions of pounds worth of free advertising because the name Gillette was on every news presenters lips.  Controversy sells.  So does virtue signalling.’

From the archive: The problem of crippling shyness and how the church can help

‘Few, if any, people choose to feel this way. Nonetheless, there must also be an acknowledgement that many of the symptoms of shyness lead us into unbiblical behaviours, such as refusing to welcome people because it makes us uncomfortable. Just as telling a same-sex attracted person to ‘feel less gay’ isn’t likely to help them, so insisting a shy person just stops feeling that way isn’t going to do much either. But acknowledging the struggle, and finding ways to support shy people without endorsing the behaviours that often come with shyness, might be a reasonable first step.’