Saturday Snippets (May 22)

As well as reading a lot of books, I also read a ton of articles every week. Here are some of the articles that I’ve read recently and have found interesting, helpful, challenging and encouraging. I hope that they will be the same for you, my dear readers…

BORING SERMONS & HOW TO GET BUY-IN FROM OUR PEOPLE

“The key is making sure people know what this has to do with them, giving them a reason to bother listening and regularly bringing matters back to exactly how and why this affects them and what they are to do with it. Only then, I think, can we expect much buy-in to our sermons.”

Why Didn’t My Pastor Tell Me About That?

“…it does mean that many churches offer a rather light diet of Christian theology, teaching, and biblical instruction. And therefore the average church member—even after maybe twenty years—has only received a smattering of Christian teaching, most of which does not seriously probe the challenging aspects of the Christian faith.”

How to Help Church Members Back into Ministry

“After a year of lockdown, it’s almost inevitable that many church members will be suffering from a degree of ministry or even spiritual atrophy. Even allowing for the many acts of service during lockdown, there is a lot of ministry people have simply been unable to do over the past 14 months. This means that many ‘ministry muscles’ just haven’t been getting exercised. Lots of people are now out of the habit of being involved in regular service activity: whether that be helping at a club, putting chairs out on a Sunday morning, providing hospitality in their homes, or visiting others.”

Truth that holds in the storms

“Christians need to be equipped with a robust and biblical theology of suffering in order to face the storms that come. Christians need to be rooted in God’s Word, in their identity in Christ, in their understanding of God’s Work so that when the storms rage they are fixed to the Rock which cannot move.”

The Weird World of a Literal—and Literary—Creation

“So while I appreciate the efforts of some to figure out a way to have our evolutionary cake and eat it too, the truth is that Genesis 1 isn’t about dinosaurs and fossil records or how long a day is. And if we try to make Genesis into our own image by forcing it to answer questions it isn’t trying to answer, then we risk missing what these first few chapters in the Bible are actually doing: introducing us to the creator of everything—including us, which we’ll talk about in the next column.”

Five Books to Explore the World of the Early Church

“I’ve given a few recommendations of ways to explore Early Church history over the last few months. I’ve reviewed a few early Christian texts, and have suggested ten works that you could use to explore some of the figures from this first period of Christian history. Here I want to recommend five books that will help you explore the Early Church more broadly. This list is comprised of a mix of academic and popular books, but each one is readable and enjoyable!”

Investigating Sexual Identity

“The pursuit of an identity that fails to integrate our bodies is an endeavour doomed to failure. Yet God has made ample provision for this.”

Plants and Pillars, Sun and Moon, Sons and Daughters, One Glory and Another

“If you have sons, pray for your sons. And if you have daughters, pray for your daughters. Pray for the miracle of faith and sight. Pray for God to keep them to the end. But don’t leave off praying for their peculiar glories to be just that: a glorious and peculiar reflection of the God who made them sons and daughters.”

Ten Things That Aren’t Evangelism

I wonder, if we’re honest, how many of these reasons we see in ourselves.

Christian Leaders: Here’s The Quickest Way To Change Our Christian Culture

I get what Wallace is saying, and I agree to an extent, I wonder if it’s a bit of an oversimplification though. Thoughts folks?

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