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
David Fitch answers the question “Why Seminary?” in this video from Northern:
Hugh Halter offers one reason “missional” will – or won’t – work for you:
It really doesn’t matter which group you chose to train you, who you read, what
organization or resources you take your cues from. What really matters is that you
don’t just ‘try it’ for a year and move on. What matters is that you commit to it, live
it, do it, and keep doing it!
Beau Crosetto writes at Release the APE about lessons learned from a failed church:
Last month we decided to shut our church plant down. Very disappointing news and I am still confused, saddened, and learning from the failure.
I hesitated to even write about it, but in the end I am about honesty, and helping planters grow. Therefore, we need to share the wins and the losses.
News & Views
Brian Zahnd offers a poem on his blog titled simply, “War Is”:
War is hate.
War is haste.
War is rape.
War is waste…
Of precious life.
War is murder.
War is money.
War is pride.
War is profit…
Woe the profiteers!
Benjamin L. Corey writes on the damaging possibilities of a pro-Israel theology that becomes anti-Christian:
Dispensational theology that leads to the errant and blindly pro-Israel position (here’s why that’s unbiblical) has sadly led most of Evangelicalism to become so pro-Israel that it has become anti-Christian. While today they celebrate the re-election of a war hawk who has no interest in peace, justice, or law, today we grieve what undoubtedly means that the ongoing persecution of Christians at the hands of Israeli apartheid will now continue indefinitely.
The Gospel Coalition reviews J. Todd Billings’ book Rejoicing in Lament:
If you’ve ever heard the harrowing words, “You have cancer,” you will quickly realize that Billings has “street cred.” He isn’t writing from a position of dispassionate analysis but rather from the cauldron, speaking openly and honestly of his experience of being diagnosed at age 39 with Myeloma, a rare and incurable cancer. Throughout Rejoicing in Lament he references his CarePages, an online journal for sharing with others the progression in his own thinking as he moves from the immediate upheaval surrounding the initial diagnosis to dealing with the “new normal.”
Scot McKnight shares a Pew Forum infographic on where major religions stand on same-sex marriage.
Bishop Graham Cray on the Fresh Expressions podcast.
Pete Enns on the Newsworthy With Norsworthy podcast.
Erin Lane on the Seminary Dropout podcast.
Partners & Resources
Sticks and Stones Can Break Your Bones, and Words Can Destroy Your Soul, by Geoff Holsclaw at Northern Seminary.
Bring Back Childhood Chores: How Hard Work Cultivates Character, by Joseph Sunde at the Acton Institute.
Kingdom and Lipscomb University, by Scot McKnight.
On The Missio Blog
On the blog this week, we continued our ongoing series on the topic of #TrulyHuman:
DOING #TrulyHuman – And Becoming More Wise, by Seth Richardson.
The Wonder Of Being #TrulyHuman, by Mark Moore.
Is The Cross Enough To Make Us #TrulyHuman?, by J.R. Rozko.
Christian Formation As #TrulyHuman Discipleship, by Derek Vreeland.
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.