Snippets from the interweb (29th March 2020)

Mother Earth or Father God?

‘My wife turned to me and commented, “Mother Earth is commended for communicating with us, but if you were to say that God is communicating those same things, all he would get is fist-shaking and blame.” Fine for Mother Earth to have a voice, but not so much for the Father of Creation.’

The loneliness of the long distance pastor

‘Days seem to be filled with communication and the alteration of previous certainties. Among all of these contingencies I am certain that God it [sic] at work among us and through us. The church history written of this second decade of the 21st century will be fascinating in terms of the long-term lessons we will learn, and the amount of people swept into the kingdom of Christ through such crisis. No doubt we will look back with affection and regret at some of the choices we have made, but in the absence of that crippling hindsight we must press on, using every opportunity, exploring every technology, for the glory of Christ, the good of his people, and the salvation of souls.’

Why I am (still) a Christian

Eddie Arthur explains his reasons. You may or may not agree, but: ‘I’ve decided to trust my life to a set of beliefs that I believe make sense of the world as I observe it and which are based on evidence which anyone can investigate. I keep coming back to that word evidence, but that’s the scientist in me. Make hypotheses and check them out. It just surprises me that people are so quick to reject Christianity without ever doing the groundwork needed to make that decision.’

When corona makes us more like the New Testament

Andrew Wilson: ‘In a number of curious ways, the Coronavirus outbreak is making us more like the New Testament church. There are all sorts of ways in which the opposite is true, of course—the lack of physical contact, the triumph of the private over the public, the retreat into tiny social units, the marginalisation or abolition of the sacraments, the inability to physically gather on Sunday, and so on—and we are all feeling the impact of them. But at the same time, it is worth noticing the ways in which we are becoming more biblical rather than less, and perhaps even giving thanks for them. Five in particular occur to me.’

Five ways to help your kids worship through live stream

Most of us are having to live stream our services now. As sub-optimal as that might be, it does present some opportunities. This one outlines some benefits to it in teaching your children to engage with corporate worship.

Can Baptism and the Lord’s Supper go online?

I’m essentially with Bobby Jamieson on this. I’m slightly less convinced on the wiggle room re baptism simply because the Ethiopian eunuch was baptised where there was no church and most of us accept that he was going back to his home country to start one. For the reasons I lay out here, there are other practical concerns that make it more than a matter of irregular/regular. But I am in full agreement with the position on communion here. For an alternative view, there is this (which I am not convinced by personally).

From the archive: The problem with ‘resourcing churches’

‘I want to see those churches with financial and human resources proactively sharing them with those churches seeing real gospel fruit yet who struggle to get people and finances to move to their area. I want to see churches in affluent areas with wealthy congregations sharing what they have with those in deprived communities with poorer congregations. The sending of prayers, funds and workers would be a clear expression of our gospel priorities. After all, fine words doth butter no parsnips. How delightful, then, to know that some consider themselves to be ‘resourcing’ or ‘hub’ churches. These guys want to grow their churches so that they might send their workers and finances to resource other needy churches. It’s wonderfully thoughtful but a few things bear saying about it.’