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
Scot McKnight responds to some of the more annoying pushback to his book, Kingdom Conspiracy:
The most annoying response I have received from others about my Kingdom Conspiracy book is this one: “I see what you are saying, but I’m Kuyperian or I’m a skinny jeans person or I’m a liberation theologian or I’m Niebuhrian.” OK, each of those is located in the history of interpreting the kingdom but the issue for biblical theologians, and if I may, for the church itself, is not first about one’s interpretive tradition but what the Bible does say.
Ben Sternke takes on biblical literacy, insisting it will get us nowhere:
Think about it: in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees knew their Bibles better than anyone alive, and they completely missed the boat. Jesus reserved some of his sharpest critique for the people who knew the Bible the best. Their Bible knowledge ended up doing them and everyone else no good.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t read our Bibles, but I am saying that we shouldn’t read them like the Pharisees did. And when we strive for “biblical literacy,” that’s exactly what we’re doing most of the time…
Zack Hunt writes for Ed Cyzewski’s “Denomination Derby” series about why you should join the Nazarenes:
But at its best, holiness has been defined by folks like our founder Phineas Bresee who declared that the mission of the Church of the Nazarene is “not great and elegant buildings; but to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and wipe away the tears of sorrowing, and gather jewels for His diadem.” In other words, for those of us in the Nazarene Church who follow in our founder’s footsteps, we believe that holiness is not found primarily in a list of do’s and don’ts, but in loving and caring for the least of these.
News & Views
Jonathan Merritt responds to those who suggest technology will destroy our need for the church:
Instead of having a completely negative affect on the Christian religion, technology has become an empowerment tool for both pastors and parishioners. Online versions of the Bible are one factor people point to when citing reasons for increased engagement with the Good Book. But on the other side of the pulpit, technology is now empowering pastors to minister more effectively.
Ed Cyzewski begins a new series called “Rohr For Writers,” but this reminder about success is important for everyone:
Richard Rohr clues us in:
“A too early or too successful self becomes a total life agenda, occasionally for good but more often for ill… Our ongoing curiosity about our True Self seems to lessen if we settle into any ‘successful’ role. We have then allowed others to define us from the outside, although we do not realize it.
A.J. Swoboda writes at Seth Haines’s blog about being a pastor and struggling with alcohol:
My second-page struggle with alcohol was anything but fictional. It was real. As a pastor, I endured a pronounced struggle with alcohol for a period of about three years. Part of my struggle, I came to find, was related to my own personal struggles in local church ministry life. In short, I had little to no emotional or spiritual infrastructure to deal with the things that come with pastoring a church. There is a reason my professor friend Dan teaches his seminary students that every pastor should be in counseling.
Partners & Resources
Check out the Presenters we’ve added for the North American Gathering in May!
Vocation of ‘Sentness’ in Education, by Biblical Seminary.
Going Old School on Discipleship, by V3 Movement.
Five Good Choices I Made in My First Year of Church Planting, by V3 Movement.
On The Missio Blog
On the blog this week, we continued our ongoing series on the topic of #TrulyHuman:
A #TrulyHuman Perspective: Keeping The “Human” In Victim AND Perpetrator, by Cote Soerens.
Becoming #TrulyHuman: Agape, Eros And Gender Confusion, by Dr. Charlie Self.
Becoming #TrulyHuman: I Tremble At The Thought Of Belief, by Derek Vreeland.