Snippets from the interweb (14th March 2021)

Church planting?

I agree with Eddie Arthur here. Planting churches of itself will not achieve anything. We need to be planting churches who recognise the missionary situation we are in and that have meaningful and workable plans to engage with it.

How to spot a cult

At the heart of most cults lies messing with the person of Christ.

Copycat culture wars

‘”If you think being stuck in a culture war is bad,” wrote Helen Lewis in an excellent article for The Atlantic last October, “imagine being stuck in someone else’s.” America, she explained, has exported its culture wars: the tenor and temperature of its debates about gun control, race, politics, identity, cultural appropriation and so forth have gone forth and multiplied internationally, especially in English-speaking nations like hers and mine. This is mildly annoying for those nations, and skews important discussions in unexpected ways. But neither is it good for America, whose natural hegemonic tendency to frame everything around themselves is reinforced by the fact that everyone else does (hence the increasingly surreal and amusing New York Times descriptions of life in Britain). “America, our former colony, won the internet,” she concludes, “and now makes us speak its language.”‘

Hide and seek

This is beautifully written. Just read it.

The power of money

‘One of the keys to reading and interpreting the Bible is to look for the surprises. And the surprising thing about this verse is the word order. Sometimes we’re too familiar with Scripture to see the shock of it. We might expect it to read, ‘Where your heart is, there your treasure will be also’, but it doesn’t say that. It’s the other way round, and that is hugely significant.’

How not to respond to the Sarah Everard conversation

I wrote on this issue the other day here. But I co-sign this one from Ryan King.

From the archive: No grace, even for the repentant, in the new moral order

‘What bears saying, however, is that all of this is toxic. We have created a culture whereby neither purposeful error nor mistakes will be forgiven. This can only lead to a sub-culture of cover-up – lest one be found out with no prospect of grace being shown – and despondency as those welcomed back into the fold are never trusted thereafter. Similarly, the tendency to seek victimhood to escape such graceless treatment is simply a more subtle form of the desire to scapegoat others. For victims, of necessity, are victims of oppressors, and it is those oppressors on whom we want to lay the blame.’