Every Sunday morning, 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
Rachel Held Evans writes for CNN in response to a Newsweek article about evangelicals and the Bible:
I am familiar enough with evangelical culture to know that, just as there will always be a few Bible-thumpers screaming from city street corners, there will always be evangelicals like Boz Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, who has devoted his expertise as a lawyer to training church leaders on how to prevent, identify and respond to child abuse in their communities.
There will always be organizations like International Justice Mission, committed to rescuing and empowering victims of human trafficking and exploitation.
Christine Sine blogs at V3 Movement about starting the new year with a spiritual audit:
The following process – what I call taking a spiritual audit – is one that you might like to take alone and also as part of your leadership enrichment to help you focus for the season. Take out your journal, find some alone time, sit prayerfully in the presence of God and get to work.
Eric Rafferty writes at Release the Ape about the ingredient often missing in discipleship:
It turns out that just opening up a Bible and trying to act like Jesus isn’t enough. We need flesh and blood examples of faithful people right in front of us. We need men and women that we can watch and then we need to try imitating them! When Paul wrote to Timothy with instructions for leading the church in Ephesus he exhorted him that even though he was young, he should live as an example in his words, his purity, his love, his faith, and his actions so that the church could imitate him in those ways (1 Timothy 4:12). Imitation is not just about ministry skills, but character, suffering, and faithfulness!
News & Views
Benjamin L. Corey informs Ken Ham that, no, he is not being persecuted:
Ken recently took to his blog to whine about the ever-growing persecution of Christians in America, of which he claims he is one of the chief victims. What’s interesting about Ham’s examples of this ever growing “persecution,” is that his examples were absent the typical stuff that one would associate with religious persecution.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Merrit writes about the stunning levels of persecution affecting Christians around the world:
From imprisonment to torture to beheadings, more Christians worldwide live in fear for their lives than at any time in the modern era.
That’s the message from Open Doors USA, which released its annual World Watch List on Wednesday (Jan. 7). Christian persecution reached historic levels in 2014, with approximately 100 million Christians around the world facing possible dire consequences for merely practicing their religion, according to the report. If current trends persist, many believe 2015 could be even worse.
After the passing of Andraé Crouch this week, Jesse Carey at Relevant reflects on his famous contributions:
Andraé Crouch’s is known as the “father of modern gospel music,” but he was much more than just that.
In reality, he was an ambassador for gospel music at a time when it desperately needed one. CCM was seen as, at best, a tax write-off for most music outlets—a curiosity. But Crouch had a keen ear for pop music that he rooted in the gospel music that was his legacy, and it made for some truly addicting music. He fused unlikely genres and found something that was fresh, unique and deeply inspiring. He brought guitars and drums into worship music back when some churches were uncomfortable with overheard projectors. He was dangerous like that, and people loved him for it.
On The Missio Blog
On the blog this week, we kicked off a brand new series on the topic of #TrulyHuman:
A New Blog Conversation On Being #TrulyHuman…And A Call For Submissions! by Missio Alliance
Why I’m NOT Quitting Facebook In 2015: A Response, by Chris Ridgeway
Protests And Sacraments, by Ruthie Johnson and Ty Grigg
A Story About Butternut Squash And Being Human, by Judy Dominick