Snippets from the interweb (30th June 2019)

What would reform of the Church of England take?

Stephen Watkinson – a Church of England minister in Rochdale – asks some tough questions of those who want to stay and reform the Church of England. Also worth looking at the follow up Facebook discussion here.

The heart of the Calvinist-Arminian divide

I thought this was a helpful explanation from John Piper. I particularly like the way he is careful to explain Arminian theology accurately (which we often don’t) but then lands on the key difference between them and Calvinists.

Rugby Australia’s “own goal”

I commented on the latest issues surrounding Israel Folau here. Peter Singer – the well-known Atheistic Philosopher – has also weighed in. He, too, can see the issues of consistency that many Christians are pointing out.

If your church shut what would they say?

This is a short one from Al Gooderham but it bears thinking about. Would your community, specifically not the members of your church, mourn the loss of your church were it to shut down? If not, why not?

How to survive an intense season of ministry

‘I used to say when I was teaching in seminary, that no case study I could imagine would prepare the students for the wild reality of actual church life. Well, I was right. There’s stuff I’m not mentioning in that list which would raise your eyebrows several notches even further. So how to survive ministry intensity? Here are 11 tips, straight from the front line.’

What NOT to say when an abuse story surfaces

Yet another story of abuse in the church has surfaced. Yet more people hurt, more sin apparent and gospel witness harmed for all churches, regardless of whether they had anything to do with it at all. People so quickly want to jump in with things to say. Duncan Forbes offers some suggestions on what we really ought NOT to say at these times.

From the archive: Be yourself, use your own words and speak in your normal voice

‘The preacher gets into the pulpit and turns on the archaic words and “young fogey” schtick. Many people find that off-putting because they view the preaching as inauthentic. The man is one thing out of the pulpit and another thing in it. This works exactly the other way round, when middle-class people start speaking in (what they think) is matey working-class banter. People will quickly see that the guy in the pulpit is not the same bloke out of it. That will inevitably affect how, or even if, people will hear your sermon. So, please, let’s just be ourselves.’