Snippets from the interweb (8th September 2019)

11 questions for prideful pastors (and those who think they’re not!)

‘Ultimately, humility is not a fruit we can paste onto our spiritual tree. It grows and ripens slowly, much slower than we would like. It’s a lifetime project. Real humility is a byproduct of the Spirit’s work. It is a gift. We get it by reading God’s Word, confessing our pride—even when we don’t see it—and asking God for the spiritual illumination that makes him big and us small.’

Was Jesus a person of color? An immigrant? A Palestinian?

‘I fear that we are almost at a tipping point where those claims have been repeated so often that they are beginning to be assumed as true. But these claims are problematic because they represent a subtle attempt to redefine Jesus away from his own Jewish identity. Let’s tackle them one at a time.’

How do you explain why members left the church to members who stay?

Thom Rainer offers some suggestions.

Grooming gangs, Islamophobia, racism and the gospel

I commented on the “muslim grooming gangs” when the stories broke a few years ago because it was very much a live issue locally for us. I stand by all I wrote then, bearing in mind that they were said in the context of many other things I have written about Muslims more broadly. Dave Williams offers some counsel on such comments.

Unlikely Converts

‘Because salvation is gradual, we shouldn’t feel like we have to explain everything in one conversation. Often simple questions are all the Lord needs form us at a certain moment. Because conversion is generally communal, we shouldn’t feel like we have to do it all. Maybe we are the ones who lay a foundation for another evangelist later, or perhaps the Lord might use us to simply ask a question that will come back to the person’s mind long after we have left. When we invite the neighbor to church, understand there are likely others who have been working on that person well before we ever met them. And obviously because salvation is supernatural, we need to recognize we are not in control of all of the details necessary to save a person. It is God who saves—he is the sovereign, not us.’

It’s all about people stupid

‘We need to contextualise our strategy and that starts with and never moves on from people.  How you reach the lost with the gospel depends on who you are trying to reach.  How you disciple people with the gospel depends on who you are trying to disciple.  The early church got this, Peter and Paul got this but I wonder if we keep forgetting this.’

From the archive: A better way than Advent-cum-Mawlid

‘Of course, we all want to be missiologically sensitive to our Muslim neighbours. There is no doubt that contextualisation is important. But a contextualisation and missional sensitivity that lead to the demotion of Jesus as less than Christ and the promotion of Mohammad to God’s final prophet is no less than syncretism. It is not missiologically sensitive but evangelistically dishonest for it fails to convey the evangel at all. Indeed, it does little more than comfort people in their error and permit them to continue, unchallenged, to the logical end of their rejection of God’s promised messiah.’