Snippets from the interweb (30th May 2021)

A tale of two poohs

‘Nostalgia and comfort may lead us to avoid change, but we can’t force the rest of the world to see things the way we do and to do the things that we do. They are moving on and God is doing new things.’

Three hills worth dying on

On a similar theme, but taking an alternative tack: ‘There still remain hills worth “dying on” in the world of missions. Not because they are my home church in San Diego’s hills or Radius hills, but because they are Biblical hills. Surely there are principles that we can pull from scripture, not stories, that are worth mandating for our mission’s department, our missionaries, and ourselves as we seek to see the gospel spread to every people group on earth.’

Scotland’s forgotten rural poor

As someone who grew up in a working class family in a fairly affluent rural village, I can confirm this holds for England too. The focus on urban deprived areas has been important, but there are many rural and coastal towns and villages (particularly villages) in which poverty and deprivation are hidden because the area is well-heeled. Deprived rural places need the gospel too.

Many unchurched people are actually envious of the church. Here’s why

I don’t think many of us really believe this. And we spend our time concocting arguments against objections rather than showcasing what is meant to be great about the body of Christ. I think this post is absolutely right.

In defence of being directive

‘It seems to me that those who are arguing for a broad ban actually want to be more directive than I do and are at risk of using the law to be coercive in their directive practices. These campaigners don’t want me and people like me to have the freedom to explore all the possible Christian understandings of sexuality. They have already decided which should be allowed and which should be illegal. While claiming that they want to stop directive teaching, they are actually fighting for a law that would leave only one legally acceptable understanding of Christian teaching on sexuality.’

How do we interpret Old Testament narrative?

This was a really helpful set of 10 points. If you are just starting out on preaching (or, like me, you’ve been at it a while but still aren’t much good at it), these things will be help you when preaching from the Old Testament.

From the archive: You’ve got to have a local team

‘I have met a number of people who insist on remaining attached to churches miles away – even at other ends of the country – because it is, ‘my church’. Sometimes it is an emotional attachment as the church they grew up in, other times it is the place where they became a believer, for others still it is the place where they experienced some real growth in the Christian life. But, for whatever reason, that emotional attachment leads them to want to remain formally attached despite being unable to participate in the life of that church. It is a bit like an avid football fan following their boyhood club despite living nowhere near that place anymore and never being able to attend (or even access on TV) any of the matches.’