Snippets from the interweb (14th May 2023)

Admitting your views have changed is better than pretending everyone else is crazy

‘A person with a history of certain public opinions will slowly begin voicing opinions that, while not explicitly contradicting their old views, are clearly in tension with them. These new opinions are evident to most observers, many of whom wonder when and where this person changed. But instead of offering insight into how their views have shifted, this person will insist that nearly everyone around them has changed in some way. Those who used to agree with them, but don’t often agree now, have (according to the person) drifted into some kind of error. Those who used to disagree with them, but often do now, have (according to the person) drifted in a better direction. Either way, the upshot is clear: “Everyone else has changed, and I alone have escaped to tell the world.”’

Was Adam a historical person?

This is a short, simple and to the point one. I concur.

What is over-realised eschatology? What is the problem with it?

This is helpful in both understanding over-realised eschatology and recognising how we may all fall for it in ways too many to number.

To the soon-to-be pastor

‘Chances are you’ve heard the stereotypes about new pastors fresh out of school. Naïve and ambitious, filled with head knowledge from the rigorous theological study but with hands and hearts that haven’t quite caught up. You may think you won’t fall victim to these stereotypes, but then again so did everyone else! So how can you serve in your new post for those first 90 days and guard yourself against these tropes?’

Transgression is passé

Carl Trueman: ‘Philip Rieff coined the term deathwork to refer to those works of art that waged war on a culture by using the idioms of the sacred in order to destroy the sacred. It is tempting to accuse the E.U. of promoting just such deathwork in this exhibition of our contemporary world’s sexual fetishes. But that would be to flatter both the artist and the art. This is not a deathwork, for what it mocks is already dead. Rather, it is emblematic of the vacuum that has replaced Western culture. Such art says nothing new because it is part of a culture that has nothing to say. All it can do is rehash the images of a religious past and flatter itself that in doing so it is tearing down an oppressive power structure.’

Adding workers to your team – who to look for

‘I believe that churches best appoint workers relationally, They do well to appoint people who are known to them because they are members of the church already or are recommended by other trusted church leaders. This means that we start not with the role but with the person.’

From the archive: Here to Serve

‘Most people who hear about our ministry tend to be immediately impressed with how it sounds from a distance. Most people are wowed by the inclusion of those from different cultures who speak other languages. People are frequently excited at the thought of Muslim-background people coming to faith. But things are rarely seen as so exciting when the rubber hits the road.’