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
Efrem Smith blogs about the privileged and the poor in relation to the church:
When I was the pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in North Minneapolis, I was fortunate to have a number of conversations about poverty with fellow staff members. One staff member that I had very deep and sometimes mildly heated conversations on the subject was Mr. Neeraj Mehta. He would say often that poverty is about the lack of relationships. At first I thought this wasn’t a very strong beginning point for tackling the issue of poverty. As I’ve thought about it about it more and more though, my Brother Neeraj is absolutely right. We must close the relational gaps between the Privileged and the Poor. When the Privileged and the Poor are reconciled, we will see poverty as we know it in the U.S. dismantled. I’m not sure if we will ever totally eradicate poverty in the U.S., (though I passionately hope so) but I do believe through relationships, we can put a major dent in it.
David Fitch begins a multi-part review of Scot McKnight’s new book by looking at Skinny Jeans vs. Pleated Pants:
The two worlds then, which focus on social activism through the public, political processes and focus on redemptive moments of the gospel “fall substantially short of what kingdom meant to Jesus” (p. 18). We need, according to McKnight, seriously engage all over again what the Bible means when it speaks of the Kingdom. This is what the rest of the book in essence does.
McKnight is doing something here in this book I applaud. He is seeking a closer more interdynamic relationship between the church and the Kingdom. I couldn’t be more on board!!
Sarah Dubbeldam writes at the Storyline Blog about watching our tongue:
We know the feeling of our heart on one shoulder saying: don’t do it, remember what you said about her last week and how you felt when you saw her? And our mouth on the other saying: Get it out! It feels great—and added bonus: you will feel better about yourself after, too!
A common human experience– it’s as if our mouth is detached from our body, like a runaway kid with a hobo stick and sack, going down its own path while our heart is walking down another.
Alan Chambers shares a sermon he preached recently at Grace Church of Orlando called “The Family Business”:
Let me ask a necessary question; why is it we are so ready to fight for our orthodox Christian views on morality and neglect our orthodox Christian view on how to love our neighbor? We must learn to live unhindered, welcoming all as we share the Gospel of Grace, which is one of peace and rest. As we reduce fear and establish trust we will be able to inspire the hope that is within. A hope in Christ and His finished work! Please watch the message I shared this past Sunday at Grace Church Orlando, and then let me know what you think.
News & Views
David Ayer is interviewed by Relevant Magazine about the faith themes in his new movie Fury:
In war films, you’ll often see a person of faith, but the way they’re depicted often feels caricatured. It doesn’t feel like a grounded faith or a living faith. It was important to me to show how someone can lean on Scripture and their relationship with Christ in an environment where they’re seeing this much inhumanity and destruction. […There’s] a strength and a power in that, and I wanted to depict that, so I wrote this character [“Bible,” played by Shia LaBeouf]. And it’s interesting because the guys he works with don’t share his same views. They don’t have the faith he does, yet they respect it.
Geoff Holsclaw shares a personal update and announces a new masters program at Northern Seminary:
So, while I have had the privilege to teach Masters and Doctoral classes as Northern Seminary (and I have absolutely loved it), I’m very glad that now I get to be part of an exciting new program at Northern Seminary.
I am now the new Director of the Master of Arts in Theology and Mission (MATM).
This new program is extremely innovative in that it seeks to keep ministers in training in their local contexts, seeks to keep the cost as low as possible to avoid debt, and seeks to foster a community of theologian-practitioners.
On The Missio Blog
We continued in our October series on Mission-Centered Unity:
Is Church Turning Us Into Nice People? by Karina Kreminski
Growing the Community of Theologian Practitioners, by Missio Alliance
Missional IS Ecumenical, by Charlie Self
A Scottish Perspective on Missional Unity From a Prospective Minister, by Andrew Rooney