Snippets from the interweb (24th February 2019)

Love in Africa: it costs you something

‘I believe that Africans tend to intuit something that we do not: love always costs you something. Interestingly, I believe that it is not the Bible that has led to such a culture. My immediate neighbors are still almost completely untouched by the Bible. Instead, it seems to me that this culture has arisen due to poverty.’

Embarrassment & evangelism

I think Andrew Wilson is onto something here. All too often we are the ones embarrassed by evangelism. It may not have the same impact on our non-believing friends.

The power – and problem – of saying, ‘I don’t know…’

Pastor’s definitely want to take note of this one. ‘If you always know the answer to the questions, you’ll never grow beyond the limits of your current knowledge. That ought to scare us deeply. So, at the risk of a bit of personal pride, try saying those three little words. “I don’t know.”‘

Does the Bible permit female deacons?

Tom Schreiner says yes in this article and explains why. Guy Water has written an article explaining why he believes the answer is no here. I’d encourage you to read both because they offer a helpful overview of the arguments in either direction.

5 practices to help prevent sex abuse in your church

With the furore surrounding the Southern Baptist Convention in America, this is a timely reminder. Most of the suggestions here are simple, easily implemented and common sense. But far too many of us take the ‘it couldn’t happen here’ view and refuse to be proactive. But these things do happen and we must do our utmost to ensure they don’t.

10 things to know about ministry among the poor

Mez McConnell doing his thing.

From the archive: Treasuring the Word in a non-reading culture

‘Whilst in the average middle class, highly educated church it is totally normal to simply fling a book in the direction of someone with questions about particular issues, this approach is often unhelpful in a context such as ours. It turns people right off and stops them being keen to come back for any more. If you know that asking your pastor for help means he will give you a load of reading homework, you can pretty well guarantee any requests for pastoral support will entirely dry up. Given that the bible itself doesn’t insist we read it, might it be the case that we are placing burdens on people that they cannot bear which the bible doesn’t demand?’