Snippets from the interweb (12th June 2022)

9 things you should know about Muhammad

There are lots of other things worth knowing about him too. But these 9 will help you open up conversations with your Muslim friends and neighbours.

Are there two creation accounts?

There appear to be some differences between Genesis 1 and 2. Does this mean there are two different creation accounts or is something else going on?

God’s sovereignty in evangelism & “failure”

‘As I listened in my most recent conversation, I felt I was listening to a faithful brother in a faithful church that had sought to be both wise and faithful and yet God had not blessed them with fruit. It seems to me that happens much more often than we like to admit. But it also seems we must trust in our sovereign God. He is faithful. Real success is seeking to trust him and be faithful to him, even when numerical success eludes us.’

Are we performing or are we participating?

Tim Challies: ‘A performative worship service is one that could merrily go on even if there was no one there but the people at the front of the room—the pastor(s) and the band. A participatory worship service is one that would have no meaning unless the congregation was present and doing their part. And while the congregation can and should participate in more than the singing (e.g. prayers, ordinances, responsive readings), they should certainly not participate in less than the singing. Yet this is the reality in so many churches today—singing is performative far more than participatory. In fact, the less we can hear the voices of the unskilled singers in the pews, the better the music is judged to be. Singing has gone from being the domain of the many amateurs to the domain of the few professionals.’

Expressive individualism and the death of mental “illness”

‘If a “quirky” identity means the difference between appearing wise and interesting and appearing boring or even bigoted, the more intensely you can turn your pathologies into a label (a Story), the more successful you’ll be. Your life will say, “Listen to me, because I’ve had Experiences.”’

Why the promise that Jesus will build his church does not mean he will necessarily build my church

This is an important distinction.

From the archive: What can the church learn from the seven MP split from Labour?

‘It is a common criticism in churches, ‘the pastor didn’t listen’ or ‘the elders didn’t hear me.’ But, of course, that is not always true at all. Very often, the pastor and elders have heard you. Quite often, they may have spent an awful lot of time with you. What you may mean is that, despite having spent a long time listening to your concerns and showing you the scriptures, they are of the view that your position isn’t correct. That is not the same thing. It is also a big part of leadership; determining when people’s concerns and ideas are legitimate and ought to be enacted and when they aren’t and ought to be avoided. If we are inclined to leave the church every time our ideas are rejected or, having been heard at length, our concerns are shown to be unbiblical, we are going to be leaving an awful lot of churches.’