Snippets from the interweb (20th May 2018)

Not just clumsy… wrong

Last week, I commented on Tim Farron’s withdrawal from the Northern Men’s Convention. You can read that here. Dave Williams has written on this too but most recently he has outlined why it was such a problem and why their brief apology that was barely in the public domain did not say enough.

Rural mission in the Vale of Dibley

In other posts linked to stuff I’ve said, several weeks ago I picked up on some comments by my friend Jim Sayers. I was particularly concerned by what read as his focus on ‘movers and shakers’. You can read that post here. Since my comments, both he and I got a lot of pushback by some rural Anglican vicars. It’s only fair to publicise Jim’s follow up comments so that he can clarify what he was and was not trying to say. I shall leave it to you to decide how far my original post does or doesn’t stand given his clarification.

Ways we make minorities invisible

Duncan Forbes points out some of the ways we sideline or ignore minorities in the church. It is a good follow up to his previous post.

Thou shalt not put your friends to the test

‘When we think of accountability relationships (or accountability “partners”), we often think of all the ways someone might keep a weaker brother responsible for his actions. But we rarely talk about how the one being held accountable might live in such a way to not make his accountability-holder have to feel like a jerk…  I know there are some overbearing, pugilistic pastors our there. But most pastors I know are the kind that hate conflict and prefer to do whatever they can to avoid it. When they do take the risk of engaging conflict it is because fidelity to Christ and his gospel, and thus his church, is at stake. It is not a fun thing at all to have to confront brothers and sisters, to hold them accountable, to present them with their sin, even to have to discipline them should they refuse to repent.’

How to be a successful church planter

Eddie Arthur offers his tongue-in-cheek advice to aspiring planters who want to make a real success of things. Most successful plants I know have followed his advice.

God helps those who help themselves

I liked this. Even Matthew Henry said, ‘God helps those who help themselves’ but he didn’t mean what most people mean when they use that phrase today.

From the archive: Jesus’ miracles do not prove he was God

‘It is a common enough Sunday School application to assert Jesus’ miracles prove he was God. Surely, were anything in scripture obvious, it’s that! Except, it isn’t true. We cannot simply look at Jesus’ miracles and claim they are proof of his deity. Many people, including prophets and apostles, did miracles yet we, quite rightly, don’t argue they too are gods. Therefore, miracles are not, of themselves, proof of deity.’