Snippets from the interweb (7th March 2021)

On boiling goats

Why did God command the Israelites not to boil a goat in its mother’s milk? More to the point, what on earth does that have to say to us today?

Why is atheism no longer cool?

‘Perhaps it is hard to put roots down when you are essentially against something, rather than for all that makes for the good life. Any movement that relies on personality above rigour is going to come unstuck at some point. But how does the demise of the New Atheism speak into the place of Christians in public debate? If the New Atheists were asking the wrong questions, what questions are people of faith posing? Are we doing any better?’

Healthy churches are always messy

Healthy churches will always be messy and if there is no mess in your church, chances are it might not be as healthy as you think.

7 things a pastor’s kid needs from a father

I need to remember this as a pastor with children. Given all elders are pastors, anyone who holds eldership office in the church ought to listen to this too.

Why do you want to go to Heaven?

‘I don’t know how well I could have articulated it back then, but intuitively I knew that if God wasn’t, far and away, the greatest joy of heaven, if the eternal reward for Christians was essentially enhanced forms of the earthly things we enjoy most now, it would be no heaven at all — at least not a heaven I wanted. The idea had the ring of Ecclesiastes-like vanity. It left me with an aftertaste of despair.’

How can I think about the Billy Graham rule?

I thought this was a helpful discussion. It seems to me that Paul instructs us to relate to older women as mothers and younger women as sisters. I’m not knocking the Billy Graham rule if you find that is wise for your situation, but it is not binding scripture and it is not always best practice. But there is some wisdom in it for particular situations.

From the archive: Shire Wars

‘Wantage majored on May Day which is pretty similar to what goes on in Oldham at Whit. Wantage has silver and brass bands just like Oldham. We’ve had a few stabbing incidents of late in Oldham, one fatal. During the time I lived there, Grove and Wantage had a few with one fatal too. Both towns are far enough away from the nearest major city that both are viewed by the more influential as slightly odd backwaters. Whilst Wantage is rural, Oldham is more built up on the West but becomes more rural to the East. Both places are in close proximity to hilly scenery. The main difference, then, is that Wantage is sought after and Oldham is not.’