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 writes on going "in here" to "out there" without splitting churches:
I was reminded about the transition churches find themselves in (the subject of the doctoral thesis) and how most churches on the missional journey have yet to connect what happens “in here” (worship gathering, discipleship programs etc.) to what happens “out there” (presence in the neighborhood, mission engagements with hurting places etc.). To me, it is essential the two not only come together, but that they are seamless, connected and represent a whole of way of life. In essence there is no “in here” or “out there.” There is only a people who live their lives “among.” The worship gathering and other programs of the church become part of a larger rhythm in the whole of life lived in the neighborhood and other places where we dwell. This requires an ecclesiology of mission.
Efrem Smith writes about starting racially reconciling conversations:
As a product of the Black Church I know that race conversations have been going on for a long time internally and in many cases reconciling conversations have been taking place externally. Over time this can cause some to grow weary and lose patience on the road towards reconciliation and righteousness. No matter how long the journey we must not give up until we reach the destination, even if that destination isn’t reached in our lifetime. I am where I am today because of those who came and fought lovingly for change before me. In this spirit, I must fight nonviolently and lovingly for those who will come after me.
Tara Owens writes at Sarah Bessey's blog about embracing the body:
I’ve blessed people with oil before, marking them gently with the sign of the cross. I’ve rested hands on bowed heads, pressed my palm over a heart. I’ve supported cupped hands as they asked for God to fill them with His love. Until this particular day, I’d never kissed others in blessing, only in greeting, and then only with the anxious fumble of one who grew up in a culture devoid of these ritual greetings. Do I kiss once? Twice? Three times? I never know.
News & Views
Jonathan Merritt continues his engagement with Denny Burk over the idenitty of "the least of these":
Burk believes that the “least of these” refers to Christians who are preaching the Christian Gospel, but such is not the case in the instances he mentions. None of the bakers, photographers, or florists in question were penalized for preaching the Gospel. They were penalized for refusing to serve certain classes of people even though the law states that those who operate public businesses are required to serve the whole public. Since Burk has clearly given this much thought, I asked him what I may be missing.
Brant Hanson writes at Relevant with 5 ways to rise above Internet outrage:
So how is it possible to be on social media, wading through a sea of insults and, you know, just general wrongness, without getting worked up into a self-righteous lather?
Here are five things I keep in mind to help me deal with it:
Christianity Today reports on Matt Chandler's apology for elders mishandling church discipline:
In an email sent to the Village Church’s more than 6,000 members, the church’s elders said they were releasing Hinkley from her membership and had reached out to apologize for their actions.
"We did not lead Karen and the church to a place conducive to peace, repentance and healing," they wrote in a letter posted online by blogger Matthew Paul Turner. "Please know that we are reaching out to Karen and giving her this apology, and we have also made the decision to move forward in releasing her from membership. We will continue to support her financially through August as we committed, and our hope and prayer for her is that God would guide her to another gospel-believing church, where she can find healing and restoration."
Partners & Resources
On The Missio Blog
On the blog this week, we began a series of reflections on the Truly Human Gathering:
Pentecost Reimagined For The 21st Century, by Dr. Charlie Self.
A #TrulyHuman Story Of Race And Restoration, by Mark Moore.
My Take On #TrulyHuman: A Storm Is Raging, by Tara Beth Leach.
Dry Bones Live: #TrulyHuman, Ezekiel 37, And The Missional Mainline, by Alan Bentrup.