Snippets from the interweb (26th January 2020)

Not our problem?

‘I wonder whether we are happy to help the poor in other parts of the world because that keeps them at a distance. It’s great to help those less fortunate than ourselves, but we don’t want to have to sit next to them in a pew on Sunday. We don’t want to be exposed (and we especially don’t want our kids to be exposed) to their awkward fashion sense and provocative language and opinions. It might appear that I am being uncharitable here, but I am struck by the extent to which middle-class “niceness” is equated with Christian character in many evangelical circles.’

Is there a climate change cult?

‘This current climate scare is much more serious – not just because I suspect that this time there is more truth to it – but also because of the reaction, which in some quarters has become hysterical to cultish proportions. In fact, I am seriously beginning to fear that a significant number of humans (especially our young) are in danger of being sucked into what could be described as the climate change cult.’

Communion on the moon: total eclipse of the point

“On July 20, 1969, moments after the lunar module, The Eagle, alighted upon the Sea of Tranquility, a solitary Presbyterian church elder celebrated the Lord’s Supper in reverent silence—on the Moon.” Which sounds great until we actually remember what communion is and why this wasn’t it.

Church names: 10 tips for church planters and rebranding churches

People get very hot under the collar about church names. Here are some tips for picking one that is more helpful than stupid.

Failing white working-class boys

This is so important and needs hearing. We are also replicating this sorry state of affairs in our churches too. It is interesting that I can often get funding for our work with ethnic minority Muslims but it is much harder to enthuse people to reach the white working class.

Some men just like the fight

‘Some men just like the fight. But these are not real men. Real men are willing to fight when it is necessary. Faux men are itching to fight no matter what. The lesson is important for any Christian and even more pertinent for Christian leaders.’

From the archive: How do you want the Lord to view your ministry?

‘We don’t need more churches held up as success stories that we can hope to emulate. We need well-resourced churches to set aside any designs on empire-building and to turn their thoughts to supporting smaller churches seeing real fruit for the kingdom. We need to be more consciously about God’s glory rather than our own. We need to be prepared to send money and people to churches that will not be well-known and whose successes will not redound to our good PR. We need a real heart for the lost and a genuine will to support those places that are seeing real in-roads into unreached communities.’