Every Sunday morning, we’ll be posting articles and links that are saying something important about church, culture, and mission (or that just made us laugh). Here’s what resonated with us this week on the web:+
Church & Theology
Linda Berquist asks an important question over at V3: “Do We Want Seekers or Family?”:
The music began, and when the second dancer took the floor, we thought she was probably 60 years old. Other dancers were older, too, and not all were particularly trim. They were at least mostly modest, but the dancing really was—well— belly dancing. The band sang, dancers danced, and guests clapped with the music. A waiter brought platters of sweets to the tables and refilled glasses. By the time we left this place, we were comfortable in the unfamiliar surroundings.
Better yet, my husband and I felt like family.
Benjamin Corey at Patheos gives an important list: “Five Ways You Can Spot a Jesus Follower”:
2. A Jesus follower embraces enemy love.
One of the central teachings of Jesus is nonviolent love of enemies. It’s actually one area where he draws some pretty hard lines– lines that make both the left and right uncomfortable. It is important to understand however, that the life of Jesus is one giant testimony of enemy love– one that culminates with his death on the cross– the precise moment where he nonviolently died for his enemies. It only makes sense that someone who is actually following Jesus would follow his teachings and example. I can still hear Jesus saying, “if you only love those who love you, what reward is there in that?” His followers know this and hold what is still, a very unpopular belief.
At ReKnew there’s a great piece asking “What is the Flesh or the Sinful Nature?”:
While the Bible is certainly realistic about the believer’s ongoing struggle with sin, it nevertheless speaks about a person who has trusted in Christ as being holy, blameless, righteous, and dead to sin. The believer is in Christ, not just positionally but actually. Though we may not fully experience or express it in the present, old things have passed away (2 Cor. 5:17)!
To suppose that our identity—our nature—is yet sinful is to deny the full force of this biblical truth. The implication … is that the “old man” is not really “old,” that we are not really completely in Christ, that we have not really been wholly crucified and resurrected with Christ, and that we are not really God’s children.
The folks at Slow Church are asking you to spread the word about their book!
News & Views
Kurt Willems provides wonderful “Resources for Understanding the Israeli Palestinian conflict – Today & Yesterday”:
As many of you know, this past winter I visited Israel/Palestine with The Global Immersion Project. With TGIP I was guided into hope and pain, peace and violence. I still see much hope, but the events of the past week seem like such a step backwards. In this post, I want to point folks towards some helpful resources to gain a basic understanding of this conflict.
Carol Howard Merritt writes an important piece at Red Letter Christians about “Domestic Violence and the Church”:
I’m sad to say #yesallchurches. We may think that it doesn’t happen in our faith communities, but our opinions do not match up with reality. Our members and leaders are not immune to perpetrating violence. Research has shown that the incidents of violence do not change, no matter what religion a person confesses.
Even though we have a faith that encourages love and peace, in some corners of the church, spanking and submission are also taught. Both can cause people to use violence to maintain order and promote inequality, and they can also lead to domestic violence. How can we find another way? How can we become reflections of the Prince of Peace in our homes?
We love this graduation video from Northern Seminary in Chicago (look for David Fitch and Scot McKnight):
On the Missio Blog
We continued our July Conversation on Gender & the Kingdom this week: