Every Sunday morning, we’ll be posting articles and links that are saying something important about church, culture, and mission (or that just made us laugh). Here’s what resonated with us this week on the web:
Church & Theology
Dan White Jr. writes about mourning in community over at V3 Movement:
In the formation of our Missional Communities we need safety to say “God is a world away.” This does not make us any less Christian. These words “Blessed are those who mourn…” are an invitation to participate in the deep groans of Kingdom Come.
Jesus steps into the skin of his own teaching when he exclaims at the center of the passion, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus is not play acting or putting on a theatrical show. Jesus is genuinely experiencing the depths of human suffering: the startling remoteness of God. This is a timeless cry of staring into an empty abyss.
David Fitch writes about theological education as a there and back exercise:
The study of theology therefore requires us to go “there” and this is what enables us to lead in church life NOT out of ego, hubris or plain ignorance, but out of the ability to ask good questions, direct to sources of authority and lead good reflection. Understanding the breadth behind the issues helps us navigate the new turf of the cultures we are living in. You gotta go “there.”
But the work of theology does not end “there.” We must be able to go “back” to be among our friends, families, churches, coffee shops, everyday life, and be able to listen and know deeply the languages and cultures of the people we live life with.
C. Wess Daniels contributes to the #AntiochSession with a post about “sketchnote preaching”:
This process of learning to incorporate visual note-taking and sketches into my workflow has helped me immensely in my writing and preaching. For more than a year I have been sketchnoting almost all of my sermons, which has not only helped me immensely but energized my preaching. Here is an abbreviated version of my workflow and how I have woven sketchnoting into the process:
- Select reading to preach from (typically drawn from Revised Common Lectionary)
- Begin reading the passage over and over in the form of lectio divina. Highlight key words and images that strike me. Listen for the Spirit behind the text.
- Study and take notes on blank sheets of paper. Any key images or main ideas get drawn up as “sketchnotes.” Spend more time listening to what is emerging.
- Once I have a good idea of the direction of the message draw up a sketchnote of the sermon that shows how it will flow and contains major images, quotes, and ideas.
- Write sermon once, twice, three times. However many it takes for the right things to become clear.
Benjamin Corey shares what he’s learned as a “Christian outsider”:
The American Christian landscape in our current context seems to have a steady stream of people who feel like outsiders– out of place everywhere, at home nowhere. While many of the changes we’re seeing in American Christianity will be net positives in the end, the process of reforming and has left many exhausted, and on the margins of faith.
I’m one of those people, and I’ve learned a few things during this process:
1. I’ve learned to get my identity from Jesus– not the tribe…
News & Views
Brian Zahnd offers poetic response to the continuing conflict in Gaza and the Ukraine:
The problem is: Who goes first? It’s a risky move.
Who will be the first to lay down their weapons and pound swords into plowshares?
The Russian? The Ukrainian? The Israeli? The Palestinian? Us? Them? Not me. You go first.
Actually, Jesus went first.
And he calls his disciples to follow.
Ruth Moon at Christianity Today reports on the recent controversial content linked to Mark Driscoll and his subsequent apology:
In his Friday apology, Driscoll noted that, in his 2006 book, he used the forum posts as an example of “something I regretted and an example of a wrong I had learned from.”
“The content of my postings to that discussion board does not reflect how I feel, or how I would conduct myself today,” he told his church members Friday. “Over the past 14 years I have changed, and, by God’s grace, hope to continue to change. I also hope people I have offended and disappointed will forgive me.”
James Gribble offers a sobering reflection on the overlap between the Gaza conflict and his Twitter list:
One month. 173,000 displaced. Over 1000 dead, over 20% of which are children with many more adult civilian women and men in the mix, as well.
But we see what we want to see in the world.
We craft our own narratives to make sense of the world. Power and Privilege, seeking to make sense of the injustice which they facilitate, tend to speak false narratives. Yet, the light of day always reveals what is true. When Power and Privilege fall silent in the face of injustice, their silence becomes their own judge.
On The Missio Blog
We concluded our July Conversation on Gender & the Kingdom this week:
Like Dogs Chasing a Fire Truck, by Chris Morton.
How You Read the Bible: the Binary Language of Gender and Scripture, by Noah Stepro.
Those Who Leave, Those Who Stay, by Aimee Dunne.
The Trinity and Human Flourishing: a New Ode to Joy, by Dr. Charlie Self.
Equality via Existence, by Matt Ingalls.
The Woman Who Won an Argument With Jesus, by Gary Taylor.
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:
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