Snippets from the interweb (4th June 2023)

How to make people feel “seen” rather than “watched”

‘As the tributes to Tim Keller continue to pour in, I was struck by a comment my wife Melissa made… she made the observation that Tim had the ability to make a person feel ‘seen’ rather than ‘watched’… I thought that insight was so profound, and so critical for ministry, that I wanted to offer my own reflections on it. In fact, I think the “see” vs. “watch” framework can be a shorthand way to capture two very different approaches to ministry.’

How to train up a child: three subtle parenting shifts

Some of this is very American-y (a family creed sounds awful!) But I think the principles, if you can parse them and make them contextually appropriate, are actually very helpful and really solid. Some excellent advice here.

What’s good for the silent goose is good for the silent gander

This is an excellent point. We are frequently in conversation with Muslims who make this claim whilst falling for exactly this fallacy.

The sound witness of an ordinary life

‘What does it mean for us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world? What does it look like for us to live out a Gospel witness in a world that is hostile to the truth found in Scripture?’ A good question worthy of an answer that is offered in this one.

The symbolism of the rainbow

We’re about to see an awful lot of them about. We can co-opt them for whatever purpose we want, but the one who made them imbued them with particular significance. This one tells us exactly what.

Can the pastor refuse to do a religious task and yet still be a servant?

‘It can be an ever present temptation for the pastor to give the people what they want. It’ll provide not only a good amount of job security but also a fair share of accolades. You’ll be seen as faithful, available, helpful, solid, loving, and all those other adjectives we pastors strive to have attached to our identity. But some day, if we’re given the grace to get out of the mess, we wake up and realize that much of what we are doing on a daily basis could be done with only minimal interaction with the living God.’

From the archive: The spirit of Tetzel and evangelical basilicas

‘The curse of our modern philanthropy is the writing of cheques for charities. Rich men nowadays sit down and discharge their social obligations by writing cheques, very much as in the days of Tetzel they used to absolve their sins by buying indulgences. What the world cries out for is personal interest and personal service and personal affection between rich and poor. What the world wants is the great yawning gulf spanned betwixt man and man. This no cheque writing or any other form of delegation will ever accomplish.’