- Richard Dawkins arues that employers should be allowed to discriminate based on “private” religious beliefs.
Religious beliefs should never be privileged over other beliefs, simply by virtue of being religious. Either a particular belief is relevant to eligibility for employment or it is not.
So I’m beginning to wonder if it’s “a wrap” on this whole “missional” movement splash, especially in terms of church planting? I can definitely see the wind being taken out of the sails for some. I’ve been particularly curious about crickets I hear when bringing up a few issues among missional Christians:
- Peter Enns discusses whether Adam and Eve were celibate in the garden.
More importantly for us, the interpretive principle by which one ancient interpreter handled this specific issue is a very common one in contemporary Christian interpretation: using other parts of the Bible to inform our interpretation of Genesis. The question, then, is: how our application of this principle differs from this one example below, if at all?
- Michael Jensen asks, Is There Value in Suffering.
From the point of view of biblical faith, there is no inherent value in suffering. Like much that is evil in our world, human suffering is a perversion and a disruption of what should be. It has entered the world because of the dislocation of the relationship between human beings and their creator – the good God who purposed his creation for his own delight and that of his creatures. Suffering is an aberration – it has no value for its own sake. It is not good in and of itself. In the Psalms of the Old Testament, we read some impassioned pleas to God about the absurdity of suffering.
- And, here’s a quiz to see if you can name the 10 most popular websites in less than two minutes.
Here’s Alan Hirsch explaining why he thinks that the church has to be both missional and incarnational.
- Andrew Perriman discusses the “Missio Dei” in historical perspectives.
This shift of focus away from the activity of the church towards the activity of God, however, exposed a critical bifurcation in the argument, a fork in the road—and many theologians took the concept of missio Dei in a direction altogether unintended by Barth and the German missiologists….If the church participates in the mission of God, the possibility arises that the mission of God in the world may be thought to happen more or less independently of the church.
- Daniel Kirk has some interesting reflections on the seven “deacons” in Acts 6.
But there are other indications that though this event was used to bring about peace for a time, the twelve might not have been as faithful leaders at this point as we might have hoped.
- Roger Olson is frustrated that no one seems to know what “the kingdom of God” means even though they use the phrase all the time.
One of my pet peeves is the fact that most Christian lay people and even many pastors don’t seem to know what they think the “Kingdom of God” means or have no idea what the Bible really says about it and yet use the phrase all the time.
- Larry Hurtado offers an updated list all copies of all texts of Christian provenance from before the 4th century CE.
- Here’s a roundtable discussion on Christians an Internet Presence with Trevin Wax, Steve McCoy, and Brandon Smith discussing social media, blogging, and other forms of Christian presence on the internet. One interesting quote from Trevin Wax:
The blogosphere is a neat thing, but it’s also a gigantic echo chamber, and the noisy links create the false perception that we are very important and have something so valuable to say.
- If you were wonder, here are the 100 Best Selling Christian Books of 2010.
- If you spent way too much time during your teen years (or youth ministry years) watching The Princess Pride, here is the quiz for you: “Prepare to Die: A Princess Bride Quiz.” I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I scored a 10 out of 10 on this one.
- And, here’s a list of 10 bestselling books that almost weren’t printed.
- iMonk has an excellent post on why we need to develop better traditions for grieving in community.
What churches often do less well is grieve. We lack a ritual for the long and tiring process that is sorrow and loss. A friend of mine whose husband recently died put it like this: “For about two weeks the church was really the church—really awesomely, wonderfully the church. Everyone came to the house, baked casseroles, carried Kleenex. But then the two weeks ended, and so did the consolation calls.” While you the mourner are still bawling your eyes out and slamming fists into the wall, everyone else, understandably, forgets and goes back to their normal lives and you find, after all those crowds of people, that you are left alone. You are without the church, and without a church vocab-ulary for what happens to the living after the dead are dead.
- Dave Block offers some good thoughts on how to master Greek. None of the advice is terribly new, but it is a good reminder that learning Greek (or any language) is a continuous process.
So you’re studying New Testament Greek and finding it a bit of a challenge. A lot of people don’t stick with it. “I tried learning Greek and it didn’t work for me.” The problem with these people may just be that they never learned persistence. Do you want to master the Greek language and be able to use it in your walk with God and in your service for Him? If you do, you will have to put forth some effort. How can we “stick with it” in a practical sense?
- Some of the seminars from the Desiring God conference are now available online.
- Michael Hyatt has an interesting post on how publishers are using trailers to promote new books.
- Ever wonder how much money your pets really cost you? Heres a post on how much our pets costs in a lifetime.
Cockatoo: If you’ve ever seen the cockatoos at a pet store and thought about keeping these large and magnificent birds- don’t. Yes, they are beautiful, and yes, they are relatively smart. But, they will cost you $1,035 a year after spending $1,535 the first year. And these guys are no guinea pigs. Expect your cockatoo to live for 50 years, costing you a total of $52,250.
- And, on a similar note, here are instructions for how to pet a kitty. I’m not sure why you would want to pet a kitty. But, if you’re going to do it, you should learn to do so safely. HT