Snippets from the interweb (22nd September 2019)

What not to say at the beginning of a worship service

Tim Challies: ‘Are those opening words going to draw attention to the leader or to Christ? Will they elevate people’s eyes to see their Savior, or lower their eyes to see the leader? The way I see it, the first words people hear as they assemble to worship, and the final words they hear as they disassemble to live in this world for another week, should not be vapid. In fact, we could make the argument that they should be the most significant of all.’

Evaluating the case for remaining in the CofE

A book calling for Anglican clergy to remain in the CofE is reviewed by an Anglican clergyman who left the CofE.

What does your dad do?

‘Like most kids, I grew up believing that my dad could do anything but when I started school, I quickly realised that this wasn’t the case. While my friends had dads who were qualified to work in sanitised clinics and air-conditioned offices, my immigrant dad would come home covered in sweat and dirt. While my friends had ‘fun’ dads who could charm the room with eloquent humour, my dad was the joke with his thick accent and broken English. While my friends wore their dad’s achievements and accolades as a badge of honour, ‘what does your dad do?’ was a question that made me wince with shame.’

If you want your kids to own their faith, teach them to think critically about their faith

‘Teaching the what without the why is like building a house without a foundation. It may stand for a season. But when the storms come, the house comes crashing down. Likewise, a faith that doesn’t understand why it’s true will not be able to withstand the challenges and doubts of life.’

From cowardice (and forgotten priorities) defend us

‘We don’t speak to people about Jesus, in David Robertson’s phrase, because we don’t speak to people! Which I’d like to think we all reckon is a problem… some of the reasons I think we’ve fallen into this trap, some of which show up sin in our lives and some which might be more systemic problems with how we operate.’

Flower power?

Carl Trueman: ‘Liberal theology may well be rooted in highly sophisticated theories and articulated by extremely intelligent people, but it tends to result in liturgical practices that are at best banal and at worst childish. Talking to plants is a fine candidate for the latter category. Better the robust atheism of a Bertrand Russell or a Christopher Hitchens than the infantile antics of a typical liberal Christian.’

From the archive: Liberalism has eaten itself

‘This is how liberals now view themselves. They are the shepherds caring for the defenceless and will bring their vengeance against any who threaten those they deem helpless which, coincidentally, marries up perfectly with those who threaten their hegemony. The liberals have, indeed, made themselves God and, in the process, destroyed liberalism itself.’