Counter-intuitive as it may seem, I think there is something in this one. Easy-believism and easy Christianity is mind-numbingly boring.
‘We learn to ask certain questions only after experiencing significant pain or dysfunction. A new question was recently clarified for me, one that I will be sure to ask in any future interviews with those who desire to serve overseas. That question is, “Tell me about a time you deeply hurt someone, and how you made things right.” The ability to answer this question – or not – might make the difference between a teammate you can trust in the midst of conflict versus one who is dangerously self-deceived.’
‘In a culture like ours, it may still be worth asking: does the way I handle this text make it sound like I am “rightly dismissing” it? Would a new person hear me talk about it and conclude, “Ah, so that’s OK: there are some bits of Scripture we simply overlook”? Or would they see me taking the Word of God seriously, wrestling with it carefully, and acknowledging the authority of all of it, even those passages I struggle with most?’
Tim Challies: ‘What we want from church is utterly irrelevant, completely meaningless, entirely inconsequential. All that matters is what God wants. After all, he is the one who created us and the one who created church!’
I wrote earlier this week on how we can encourage our church and build the body. Chopo Mwanza writes here about different kinds of member who will encourage and build up the body.
It can be all too easy to try and find ways around the instructions in Matthew 18. We even attempt to put a godly gloss on not doing what it says we should. This one looks at why that is both wrong and unhelpful.
From the archive: Lammy, Embery & Folau: Free Speech Cases and what we learn from the Evangelical reaction
‘I wonder whether the Evangelical response in the West to these sorts of things speaks to how culturally bound we are. We may baulk at these sorts of comments, we may say ‘I’d not have said it like that!’ but the big question is this: is the essential point true or not? Does the Bible say, if you don’t repent of your sin, you will go to Hell? Is it true that, apart from repentance from sin and faith in Christ, you will not inherit the kingdom of God? If you baulk at those things, you need to ask yourself seriously why? It can’t be because they are unscriptural statements because Christ himself, and the apostles after him, were clear enough. Let’s be really honest, why is it that we baulk at it? Some of us are too embarrassed to admit that is what the Bible says.’