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 quotes J.I. Packer’s response to the ongoing conversation around Anglicanism:
Anglicanism is first biblical and protestant in its stance, and second, evangelical and reformed in its doctrine. That’s a particular nuance within the Protestant constituency to which the Anglican church is committed – the 39 Articles show that. Then, thirdly, Anglicanism is liturgical and traditional in its worship.
John Chandler writes at V3 Movement about preaching every Sunday – and why you don’t need to do it:
I love everything about preaching—planning sermons, studying and research, Sunday delivery, feeling spent on Sunday evening—all of it.
I’d love to do it every Sunday, but I believe that it’s not best for me to do so. It’s also not the best thing for our church community Austin Mustard Seed. As I have written before, we believe that our liturgy is a time for all to participate. We include the role of preaching in that.
Blind Man At The Gate (Brian Zahnd) offers a few verses about the Peace Donkey on Palm Sunday:
The king approaches on Palm Sunday
Forsaking the glorious war horse
To ride a ridiculous peace donkey
Gentle as the wings of a dove
Inaugurating the reign of love
News & Views
Peri Zahnd presents a Christian perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
I love the Jewish people. I love the state of Israel. There is something wonderfully unique about that land — it’s holy, it’s mysterious, it’s beautiful. But there is something deeply troubling about Israel, something you just can’t ignore. It’s the fact that there is another people — another ethnicity, encompassing two other religions — who live in the land in a way eerily similar to the museum that so inspired me. They live trapped behind walls, imprisoned. They live in Gaza, they live in the West Bank, they are the Palestinians. They are, for the most part, not citizens of Israel, but subjugated, victims, and suffering.
Dave Eggers interviews Sufjan Stevens at The Guardian about his new album:
The result is a tight 11-song cycle, 42 minutes that are at once brutal and beautiful, obsessed with grief and death but absolutely cathartic. For Stevens, the chaos of it all had been shaped into something with boundaries and something like clarity. “At the end I could speak for it,” he says, “for the sadness. It was dignified.”
Jonathan Storment reviews A.J. Swoboda’s new book, A Glorious Dark at Scot McKnight’s blog:
Our churches have created cultures where it is not okay to not be okay. We have crosses on our steeples and around our necks but not in our local church culture.
This is how Swoboda says this:
We do Christianity the way many do pornography: glossy, shiny and unreal. And the results of both are almost exactly the same – momentary bliss followed by a desire to experience the real thing because what we just experienced was a complete sham.
#TrulyHuman Presenter Leroy Barber on the Seminary Dropout podcast.
Bishop Graham Cray Q & A on the Fresh Expressions podcast.
Partners & Resources
JR Woodward announces the Praxis Church Planting Conference, hosted by V3 Movement.
The Acton Institute reports on an urban Methodist church that decided to “stop helping people.”
Pres. Alistair Brown writes at Northern Seminary about Y2K and Good Friday.
On The Missio Blog
On the blog this week, we continued our ongoing series on the topic of #TrulyHuman:
Becoming #TrulyHuman…Together, by Tara Beth Leach.
A #TrulyHuman Podcast: We Interview Cherith Fee-Nordling And Tory Baucum, by Missio Alliance.
Becoming #TrulyHuman: An Eschatology That Integrates Ecological Concerns And Economic Flourishing, by Dr. Charlie Self.
Hiding #TrulyHuman: Grief, Death, And The Motherless Child, by Brandon Wrencher.
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.