Snippets from the interweb (12th May 2019)

What makes a sermon difficult to listen to?

Tim Challies points out some traits of less than excellent sermons. If you preach, you would do well to read this one.

4 ways bad biblical theology warps sermons

On a similar note, in a laudable effort to avoid moralism, some land so hard on biblical theology that their sermons get warped. Here are four ways that can happen.

Understanding social pressure in Islam

We work in an area that is almost exclusively South Asian Muslim in makeup. This was a pertinent one for us. It doesn’t come as any great surprise to those who live and work in and among Muslim communities.

The gospel is offensive, but you shouldn’t be

‘We must stand behind the fact that the gospel will offend. We must not cower in fear of being offensive. However, sometimes we fall into the trap of being offensive ourselves. That is, we sometimes add to the offensiveness when we act like jerks in the process.’

Touch the untouchables

This was a helpful reflection. ‘As I’ve entered long-term missions, I’ve realised it’s not always natural for me to love the people I serve. I’ve found it’s possible to be on the mission field and do all the work but at the same time, not love the people. Instead, I’m there simply to fix a problem. Trying to understand people’s situations, but not wanting to really relate to them. Standing a safe distance away from the “untouchable”.’

Stop baptising children into the ether

I think this is a very important article. For the record, I subscribe to the third approach. But I think the case being made is absolutely right. Baptism and membership go together. There shouldn’t be such a thing as a baptised believer who belongs nowhere.

From the archive: Know your limits – not every opinion should have equal weight

‘I want to go on the record: all views and opinions are not equal. We do not have to take each opinion and viewpoint as equally valid. We should afford people the right to voice and hold their opinions and views, for sure. But that right is not the same as acknowledging every view is equally valid. In fact, some views are incoherent and, therefore, invalid.’