Long weekend ahead. Which means either you will have more time for delighting in great reading or you will be busy with burgers and hotdogs on the grill. Either way, breathe deep, find some people you like, and enjoy the gifts we have been given.
Four nuggets of good if you missed them earlier in the week. Grace, devices, discipleship and a place for all of us. Cheers!
First up, Sam Storms in a surprisingly short post for him, helps us think through ways we don’t fully embrace or understand the grace of God. It is a helpful list to think through and not meant as a guilt trip but an invitation into the true grace of Jesus.
I even found myself on the list, needing more embrace and understanding of grace. Help Lord!
Check the list for yourself, find grace and be free!
Are you reading this on your phone? Well, don’t put it down just yet… John Thomas has a review of Competing Spectacles on Christianity Today. Tony Reinke wrote the book encouraging discipline in our media age and seeing Christ as our treasure.
If you are hesitant to tackle the whole thing perhaps the review is a good place to start and be stirred to something less screen driven.
When we seek out glory in the passing spectacles of this world rather than in Christ, the culprit isn’t an ever-expanding buffet of shallow entertainments; our own sinful hearts are to blame. Adam and Eve didn’t have an endless selection of forbidden fruits tempting them to reject their Maker; they only needed one. And our spectacle-craving eyes have been looking elsewhere ever since.
Read the review, think it through, look to Jesus.
Next up, how should we approach the church, as consumers or as disciples? Matt Chandler punches our expectations in the face and calls for an end of consumeristic Christianity. Don’t go to church to be entertained or coddled, go to be equipped for ministry!
This is an important perspective from a large church pastor and it is helpful for all believers as we envision the future of the church in increasingly more hostile environments. The gimmicks won’t work, mission will.
Coming in last this week, among the least… is an encounter with neighbors we don’t always expect. Earlier this week I tweeted that I wanted to be a pastor for those that eat at McDonald’s and drink cheap coffee wherever they find it. Mostly because I want to pastor myself!
We live in a far too stylized world and the mess of artisan hipness has a stranglehold on the church. But it is the church that is the remedy to the mess.
David Zahl shares stories from Chris Arnade’s upcoming book chronicling his journey to highlight the back bench and back roads of America.
But he went further than mere surprise. “Soon I saw my atheism for what it is: an intellectual belief most accessible to those who have done well.” Woah! I couldn’t believe his guts then, and I can’t believe them now. In a world in which ‘de-conversion’ narratives seem to grow sexier with each passing day (just peruse latest issue of the New Yorker if you don’t, er, believe me), no one wants to surface the privilege component—to say nothing of social class. But it’s getting harder and harder to ignore.
How can we be more accepting and welcoming of the least? How can we recognize the effort to keep up the facade isn’t worth it? Take up and read. Be encouraged.
That’s it folks. Have a splendid weekend.