Snippets from the interweb (26th July 2020)

J.I. Packer (1926-2020)

Last week, Jim Packer died. Justin Taylor gives us this obituary for him.

He was utterly devoid of careerism

On a similar note, Stephen McAlpine looks at a statement made of Jim Packer and draws out some lessons for the rest of us from it.

Seven lessons for productivity

Notwithstanding the article immediately before, I liked this from John Piper. We all want to be more productive, don’t we? Here are seven ways we might attain to that goal.

Is “fundamentalist” a bad word?

‘Today, we find the word “fundamentalist” used in all sorts of ways, and I think – usually, it annoys me as a historian – I think very unfairly. We have to remember that the history of the word “fundamentalism” was a people who wanted to maintain the fundamentals of the Christian faith.’

3 questions to ask before critiquing your pastor

You will probably, at some point, disagree with your pastor on something or other. You may well be right about the thing in question. But before you send that email, here are three good questions to ask yourself.

Reading, accessibility and discipleship

This was a good one on the importance and necessity of reading Christian books for discipleship: ‘If you’re a reader, please promote and recommend good books that are deep and accessible, that will spur people on in their faith and encourage them to grow in Christ. But don’t stop there. Meet up with people, talk through the Bible, life, books, questions, concerns and objections they have and help people grow as disciples. Simply throwing a book in someones direction is not the same as discipling them.’

From the archive: What is the biggest problem facing Evangelicalism? Comfort

‘Our idol of comfort has led to another fairly unpleasant moral decision: we are implicitly willing to allow the poor and those in deprived communities to head to Hell because the areas in which they live are don’t quite do anything for us. The stats are not encouraging. Evangelical churches in the South outnumber those in the North by a ratio of 2:1. John Stevens has further noted that if the relative size of churches in more affluent communities compared to those in deprived communities, the sheer number of Christians reflect a bigger problem than the mere number of churches. Beyond this, over 80% of Evangelicals hold a university degree or higher while UK figures suggest somewhere between 60-70% of British citizens have never been to university. This tells us that British Evangelicalism is overwhelmingly middle-class and extremely poor at reaching those in deprived communities.’