Every Sunday, we’ll be posting articles and links that are saying something important about church, culture, and mission. Here’s what resonated with us this week on the web:
Church & Theology
Rachel Held Evans offers 40 ideas for Lent:
As has become a tradition here on the blog, I’ve compiled a list of 40 ideas that I hope will help you make the most of this season of reflection, penitence, and preparation. Some ideas are repeats from previous years, while others are new. Please feel free to add your own ideas and recommendations in the comment section.
Josh Manley writes at The Gospel Coalition about how to respond to troubled times – keep calm & plant churches:
And yet the overall picture we see in the letters that emerged to form the majority of the New Testament isn’t one of doom and gloom but of realistic hope and confidence. Our ancient brothers knew something their neighbors did not: the world and its powers aren’t ultimate. The Lamb who was slain now reigns as the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5–6).
In this context, the apostolic message and example was clear: keep calm and plant churches.
Brian Zahnd recounts the story of Christian de Chergé, a priest beheaded by terrorists in 1993:
Christian de Chergé was a French Catholic monk and the Trappist prior of the Tibhirine monastery in Algeria. With the rise of radical Islam in 1993, Father Chergé knew that his life was in danger. But instead of leaving Algeria, Father Chergé chose to stay and continue his witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. On May 24, 1996 Father Chergé was beheaded by Muslim radicals. Anticipating his death, Father Chergé had left a testament with his family to be read upon the event of his murder.
News & Views
Christena Cleveland writes at Ed Stetzer’s blog about why she hates diversity:
Given that the vast majority (86%) of American Protestant churches are predominantly composed of one racial group, one would think that most churchgoers would see the glaring discrepancy between their increasingly diverse local community and their not-so-diverse church, and be eager to work towards a more diverse church, one that effectively welcomes all people in the community. But according to these data most churchgoers want their holy huddle to remain homogenous.
And you know what? I get it. I hate diversity too.
Scot McKnight weighs in about the slanderous things often said about egalitarian Christians:
Not all egalitarians like the term “egalitarian.” I, for one, don’t. I like the term “mutualist” but it hasn’t caught on, and one reason it hasn’t caught on is because complementarians have politically, rhetorically and in some ways successfully slandered egalitarians by direct accusation or insination that they are liberals. This is slander in many cases just as it is slanderous in many cases to suggest that complementarians are authoritarian, violent and misogynist.
Greg Boyd writes at ReKnew to remind us that ISIS is not our real enemy:
Perhaps because it upsets our western vacation mindset, or perhaps because our secular outlook has trouble taking things like Satan, angels and demons seriously, American Christians tend to minimize the New Testament’s remarkable teaching about the scope and intensity of Satan’s domination of our planet. If we’re serious about following Jesus, this has got to change.
Partners & Resources
We added a new feature to our Registration page for the North American Gathering in May:
We strongly encourage friends and staff teams to consider being part of the conversations at this gathering together. We think this is so crucial that we’d like to offer you 1 free registration for every 3 people who register together. Simply register your team of 3 (or more) and then send an email to Wendy Chinn, our Operations Coordinator, who will forward you a code for a free registration.
Several larger churches have reached out to us about bringing their entire staff teams. If your church or organization is considering bringing 10 or more people, we’d be glad to offer you a discount on registration. Contact JR Rozko for more information.
Help! My Church Has Lost Its Passion, at Biblical Seminary.
Bible Politics and Theological Bias, at Northern Seminary.
The Stations of the Cross: A Practice During Lent, at V3 Movement.
Nine Necessities for a Life of Mission, at Fresh Expressions US.
Stopping Human Trafficking Before It Starts, at The Acton Institute.
The Land of Israel [Infographic] – The Most Significant People, Places, and Events in the Bible, at Zondervan Academic.
On The Missio Blog
On the blog this week, we continued our ongoing series on the topic of #TrulyHuman:
Protest And Sacrament: How Space Produces Solidarity And New Identity, by Ty Grigg & Ruthie Johnson.
Thinking, Feeling, And Doing: Three Kinds Of Repentance For The #TrulyHuman Life, by William Walker.