Snippets from the interweb (22nd July 2018)

A sober warning from the earliest Christians

Tim Challies is really helpful here. ‘Where tolerance once called for respect despite disagreement, today it calls for far more. We are considered tolerant only when we advocate and celebrate new understandings of marriage, sexuality, and gender. Those who refuse to celebrate what they believe God forbids are seen as disloyal to the unifying principle of society. They are seen to be hindering rather than helping the strength and growth of this great new “empire.”’

The soft and hard intimidation of the church

On a similar theme, David Robertson reveals some of the disturbing reaction he has received from those professing Christ regarding his discussions with Vicky Beeching. It is not at all encouraging and, sadly, not at all surprising.

Does your church reach folks who don’t look like you?

‘In New York, the majority of church plants are led by non-natives, which generally means they attract people who fall into the same category. Though there’s nothing (necessarily) wrong with that, it’s a problem when these churches operate to the exclusion—implicitly or explicitly—of native people.’

Whatever happened to Evangelism?

This is a really important article. I am convinced this is one of the primary reasons we struggle to get people to move to hard places. People have lost the thrill of real evangelism and, failing to do it where they are now, it is almost impossible for them to countenance going to a harder place to do that which they won’t do now in the more comfortable communities in which they have chosen to live.

How to uproot bitterness as a pastor’s wife

‘Satan is cunning. He knows if he can get bitterness to take root and sprout like a tenacious weed, it won’t be long before it’s in full bloom and choking out good plants that would otherwise thrive. These weeds must be pulled out and killed.’

Why a classical historian changed his mind about Christianity (video)

Classical historian, Tom Holland, explains why he came to change his mind Christianity  and how he came to realise that his assumptions about liberty, equality, human rights, international law and the like do not trace their roots to Greek or Roman concepts, as he had previously thought, but rather to the influence of Christian thinking, and that of Paul in particular. I would also encourage you to read this New Statesman article by Holland (referred to in the video) in which he outlines his change of mind more fully.

From the archive: Four reasons we should seriously consider open air work

‘At their best, open airs are simply public forums, not at all different to a hustings. Whilst a gospel presentation is given, we are looking to engage with people and want to discuss ideas with them. We should certainly be gentle in our approach, careful about what we say and how we say it, and – as Dick Lucas so rightly pointed out – not ‘be weirder than you have to be’. But when those things have been considered, open airs are a great means of taking the gospel to the lost. Let me briefly share four reasons why I think open airs are seriously worth considering.’