Grace and peace to you on this fine day.
Westminster Books has a deal this week on Richard Gaffin’s magnum opus.
(Yesterday on the blog: One Way To Know You’re Being Persecuted)
“There appears to be one of two extremes common among the people of God—the extremes of the lion. Either shrinking back when we ought not. Or viciously thundering forth when we ought not. It seems the church may need to regain the lost art of courage, for there are those who shy away from battles that must be taken up, and there are those who don bravado and (seemingly) do nothing but battle. What may be lacking in these two poles is the biblical concept of ‘meekness’—or courage, rightly carried.”
“When faced with an option between two paths, one paved with more difficulty than the other, the choice is usually simple: take the easier path. But, the choices aren’t always straightforward.” Erik Raymond applies this to both pastors and church members.
Al Gooderham: “Sometimes pastors take themselves too seriously. Sometimes pastors can have a big ego. Sometimes pastors need bringing down a peg or too. Sometimes pastors seem to think we should hang on their every word, as if we’re blessed to have them open God’s word to us Sunday by Sunday. I’m pretty sure those pastors are out there but I wonder how many of them there are because I don’t know many (any?) like that.”
“Man’s ability for self-deception is astounding, and we get a glimpse of it in the chief priests who gave false counsel to have Jesus executed.” But if we look honestly, we may get a glimpse of it in ourselves as well.
“There’s a lot to see, above the screen. It is slower, and more subtle, but it is alive with beauty and meaning. And I want to see it, and have the mental space to recognise it for what it really is, and carrying social media around with me in my pocket everywhere didn’t help me do that.” Indeed…
I found a number of thought-provoking applications in this article from TGC Africa: “We project the rhythms of 21st century routines onto the apostolic age. But our the pace and routines of life in the 21st century are entirely different from Paul’s and his friends.”
It turns out that Netflix doesn’t actually consider Amazon (or HBO or Hulu or any other similar company) its true competition. Netflix’s main competitor is something far more elemental: sleep.
You can be sure of this: If God draws near to the shamed and outcast, he will meet you in the insecurities of daily life.—Ed Welch