Snippets from the interweb (7th June 2020)

How could a loving God send people to Hell?

‘Think of the anger you feel when you see school children shot, women raped, or people beaten because of the color of their skin. Think of your anger at the slave trade, the Holocaust, and global sex trafficking. When you analyze that anger, its root is love. No one who regards those of other races as subhuman cares about racial exploitation. No one who believes that women or children are property cares about sexual abuse. And the more we love, the more easily our anger is kindled.’

We are not being discriminated against

‘There must be some sense of irony that in the week that the death of George Floyd with a policeman’s knee to his neck led to mass protests, a number of prominent Christians wrote proceedings here in the UK about perceived discrimination against the church. Those who are involved believe that the Government should recognise the essential nature of Christian worship and that we should be able to open prior to things like cinemas and beauty salons.’

Your weird, messy church is God’s “Plan A”

‘You don’t have to be cool, big, strong, technologically savvy, politically fashionable, or culturally relevant. You just have to repent of your sin and commit your weird, broken church to its King. It’s the sinners He wants. It’s the losers He’s choosing. Your weird, messy church—in a pandemic or out of it—is God’s Plan A for your world. And there is no Plan B.’

Not in my name

Hard to disagree with Eddie Arthur in this one: ‘I serve a brown skinned saviour who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and humbled himself to death, even death on a cross. The sight of paramilitary police using violence to clear the path for a politician so that he can wave a Bible to the press is the antithesis of everything that I stand for.’ You can also read my take on this episode here.

George Floyd and the problem of goodness

‘Evil can only be said to exist (and thus be a problem) if it describes the absence or destruction of some “good”. That’s what evil is. It’s when the good thing that is the life of George Floyd is cruelly and senselessly snuffed out. Floyd’s death is only really evil (and surely it is) if Floyd’s continued life is something really good that should not have been cut off. The “should not” in that last sentence is very important. It demonstrates something that we, and all the protesters in their outrage, know to be true—that the goodness of George Floyd being alive is something real that imposes an obligation on those around him.’

12 marks of bad church websites

Whether we like it or not, most people will view your church website (or lack of it) like a shop window. It is the first impression they will get of your church. Here are some things to avoid.

From the archive: Ben Shapiro and the morality of Socialism

‘Ben Shapiro is not making any case against Socialism from scripture. Shapiro has no concern for whatever the Bible says about the matter. His concern is simply that Socialism appears to have become popular amongst “young people” and he is offering his appraisal as to why they shouldn’t give Socialism a second thought. It bears saying that he has every right to do so and to advance his case. But here is why I think he is wrong.’