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
Greg Boyd writes at ReKnew about when the Bible becomes an idol:
Jesus responded to them by pointing out that all Scripture is intended to point to him (John 5:46), the one true source of life. He was trying to get them to see that there is no life in knowing the Bible and embracing Bible-based beliefs unless they lead to him. Yet by trying to wring life out of things that have no life apart from Christ, these leaders made an idol out of the Bible and their Bible-based beliefs.
Fresh Expressions US shares a post from Luke Edwards about pioneering a fresh expression of church in NC:
My experience in starting fresh expressions has shown me that there is a third way. By forming Christian communities that are open and appealing to people of various beliefs and disbeliefs, we have created a space where people outside of the church can encounter the Gospel on a weekly basis. There is no deception, no ulterior motives, just a community of people who care deeply about each other, gathered around scripture, given the freedom to wrestle with the intersection of faith, life, and the world.
Scot McKnight reflects on the future of evangelicalism at Patheos by looking at the thought of Molly Werthen:
Now to Molly Worthen, who fundamentally answered the second question and who has written the best book on evangelicalism I’ve read in 20 years. She contends, in fact, that there are four groups of evangelicalism: the Neo-evangelicals (mostly Calvinist leaning, major leaders in institutions — lead seminaries, publishers, magazines, go-to voices for public media), the Holiness wing (Methodists, Nazarenes, charismatics), the Restoration movement (Churches of Christ, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ), and Neo-Anabaptists (Mennonites, etc). She brings to light that the first group controls the story but has largely ignored the stories of the other three.
News & Views
Brian Zahnd interviews Mary DeMuth about her new book, The Day I Met Jesus:
We see the marginalization of women in this century all around the world, even in the church. Imagine the implications of Jesus’ surprising behavior. He has the longest recorded conversation in Scripture with the woman at the well (not a male disciple). He appears resurrected first to a woman. He touched “unclean” women and dignified them. He welcomed Mary of Bethany as if she were equal to men in terms of learning from Him as Rabbi. And yet, women are often relegated to support roles (not that supporting is bad), and are not permitted to have a voice. Strange, since Jesus valued their voices. He dignified their stories.
Austin Channing offers this response to the question often asked by white folks, "What should I do?"
In the last few weeks, especially since the Charleston Massacre, I've seen a number of white people asking the question, "What should I do?" I've noticed this question has been asked on a personal note, but more and more I am seeing it asked on behalf of others. Like "Hey I know some white people who get it, and they are itching to do something but I am not sure what to tell them. Help!?" Have you seen this, too? After witnessing this on a few occasions, there a couple of potential pitfalls I would like to address…
Jonathan Merritt critiques the recent response of The New York Times to the Planned Parenthood video scandal:
You’ll find no mention of how a Planned Parenthood doctor determines which parts of the baby to “crush” in the Times article. You won’t encounter information about how a Planned Parenthood physician discussed using a “less crunchy” technique to retrieve “whole specimens.” And you definitely won’t read about how the a Planned Parenthood doctor attempted to negotiate a higher price for tissue because she claims she wanted “a Lamborghini.” These are the most damning components in the videos, but the editorial board’s article never even mentions them. The Times did not merely get the Planned Parenthood story wrong; they missed it completely.
On The Missio Blog
Women, Keep On Preaching On, by Tara Beth Leach.
Theology On Mission Podcast #6: Get Off The Train: Fundy, Progressive, And Beyond, by Missio Alliance.
An Open Letter To Pastor-Theologians, by Seth Richardson.