Links to Go (June 7, 2018)

What I Must Change

  • I must change and be more obedient in sharing the gospel. I exhort others to do so, but I am disobedient far too much myself.
  • I must change and increase my time in the Word and in prayer. Too often, I let the tyranny of the urgent replace the priority of time with God. If I sound foolish, it is because I am, and because I have been.
  • I must change how I seek my identity. My identity should be first in Christ. And my identity should also be as a family man. My greatest titles are “husband,” “Dad,” and “Rad Rad,” not “CEO” or “Dr. Rainer.” Too often I seek the accolades of others instead of pleasing Christ and serving my family.
  • I must change the depth and breadth of how I love my local church. I must serve with greater joy, give with greater commitment, and worship with greater abandon.
  • I must change my involvement in denominational politics. Indeed, I must flee from denominational politics. My involvement breaks my heart and hurts my soul.
  • I must change from a posture of silence to one of courage when others are hurt, marginalized, and abused. My silence is too often a deafening endorsement of injustice and wrongdoing.

How Bishop Curry’s Sermon Revealed the Four Evangelical Tribes

I would summarise the tribes and distinctives in this way.

  1. Political -(liberal/conservative) – they use the culture to interpret the bible and always end up capitulating to the culture (whether of right or left). Their view of the church is more as a social/political club.
  2. Pragmatists (broad church) – they use the bible to interpret the culture in terms of theology, but the culture to interpret the bible in terms of methodology. As as result they end up engaging with the culture but far too often at the price of compromising with it. Their view of the church tends to be a more corporate view with the church being there to meet individual needs, or to provide resources for interdenominational ‘ kingdom’ agencies. They tend to have a low ecclesiology.
  3. Pharisees (separatists) – (I could not use this term because in most eyes it is a pejorative term and it would take too long to explain. But the Pharisees were the separatists of their day – and they were not all bad – many did have a love for God and his word – and many came to follow Jesus – so I feel it is a justified term). They use the bible to interpret the culture, but I think their methodology is unbiblical because they cede the culture to the devil. They have a high view of the church, but one which largely closes it to the culture.
  4. Puritans – They use the Bible to interpret both the culture and the methodology. This means that they engage the culture but often end up confronting it, because when culture and Scripture collide they don’t back down. They have a high view of the church but one which sees it as open to being in the world, if not of it!

Engaging Culture Well: How to Share Your Faith Critically and Contextually Today

  • Pursue Understanding
  • Build Relationships
  • Make the Message Relatable

The Best Explanation for Our Spate of Mass Shootings Is the Least Comforting

Indeed, it’s the pattern of elaborate preparation and obsession with the subculture of mass shooters that has led in part to my own advocacy of the gun-violence restraining order. While we don’t have sufficient details about today’s shooter in Texas to know if it would have made a difference, it’s a fact that large numbers of mass shooters broadcast warning signals of their intent to do harm, and it’s also a fact that family members and other relevant people close to the shooter have few tools at their disposal to prevent violence. A gun-violence restraining order can allow a family member (or school principal) to quickly get in front of a local judge for a hearing (with full due-process protections) that can result in the temporary confiscation of weapons from a proven dangerous person.

Almost seven-in-ten Americans have news fatigue, more among Republicans

Almost seven-in-ten Americans (68%) feel worn out by the amount of news there is these days, compared with only three-in-ten who say they like the amount of news they get. The portion expressing feelings of information overload is in line with how Americans felt during the 2016 presidential election, when a majority expressed feelings of exhaustion from election coverage.

3 Ways to Normalize Bible Reading

  1. Don’t use Greek or Hebrew words when preaching.
  2. When illustrating a point, share about your personal Bible reading.
  3. Use the Bible to disciple others.

A Reminder That God’s Provision Doesn’t Equal God’s Pleasure

God wasn’t providing for the wilderness generation because he was pleased with them. In fact he loathed them. But he was providing for them because He is God and He is good. He’s still their Father. So he cares for them; and somehow I think He still loves them—even while He loathes them.

Growing Old Graciously

  1. I can commend the younger generation.
  2. I can pour into the younger generation.
  3. I can pick my critical shots.
  4. I can refrain from trying to reinvent myself.
  5. I can keep learning and growing.

‘Don’t worry, it’s my first husband’ – Wife stuns bloke after skull found in garden

A gardener who was stunned to discover a human skull while digging up potatoes was left floored when his wife calmly admitted it was her first husband.

Kansas man doesn’t regret giving up $1 million ticket

A Kansas man who returned a $1 million lottery ticket to a customer who left it on a store counter says he has no regrets about giving up the prize money.
Kal Patel, whose parents own the Pit Stop convenience store in Salina, returned the ticket to a longtime customer after tracking him down in his car.

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