Saturday Snippets (October 2)

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…

The Foolish Quest for a “Silver Bullet” in Global Missions

“As I’ve read books on missions and sat through seminars, I can’t help but sense that we’re obsessed with finding a “silver bullet” for our Great Commission mandate. Like alchemists looking for the formula for gold, we’ve gone mad trying to unlock what everyone since the days of the apostles hasn’t discovered yet: the perfect formula for explosive, exponential kingdom growth. In most cases, this search comes from hearts full of compassion and a desire to glorify God. But as these methods come and go—each claiming to be more biblical, more useful, and more replicable than the last—it seems we need to be reminded that we haven’t been given a commission to seek a “silver bullet.””

Key Issues Highlighted for Conservative Evangelicals by the COVID Crisis – Part Three

Interesting reflections from John Stevens, National Director of the FIEC.

How Changing Your View of Heaven Transforms the Way You Live Today

“If we believe in a more popular conception of heaven, we will care much less about our lives here. Our focus will be on holding our breath to get through this life and emerge on the other side. Our worldview will lead us look past many of our responsibilities here (work, caring for our bodies and the earth) with an eye toward heaven. If, on the other hand, we believe in the new heavens and the new earth and not merely heaven, then we will see much more value in our lives today.”

How to read more books, seven thoughts…

“One of the questions that I get asked a lot is “how on earth do you read so much?” That question is usually followed up with “do you speed read?” The answer is that due to ill health I get very little sleep, which means I have more hours than most to read. But the answer to the second is; no, I do not speed read. I was recently asked for advice on Twitter, someone asked “Alistair, advice on reading more books?I’m averaging 1 a week and the stack I want to get through is growing!” Here are a few of my thoughts…”

The Hidden Harm of Gender Transition

“Gender ideology, with its eagerness to manipulate hormones and organs, affords the body (and the wondrous complementary capacities of male and female bodies) no intrinsic dignity. Man and woman were created as the crown of God’s glorious creation. The beauty of the embodied male-female union is a picture of the deeper and unbreakable love of God for his people, of Christ for his church.”

Do Pronouns Matter?

“What is a pronoun? It’s a word we use to describe the objective nature of reality. He/him and she/her capture the way the world really is—namely, that sex and gender are binary by their very nature. There are men and there are women, there are males and there are females. And this is by design, God’s design for humanity.”

What If God Doesn’t Speak to Me?

“Maybe you’ve felt the same way. You’ve heard the speakers at the conferences. You’ve heard the sermons. Your mentors and friends all hear from God. But all you hear is the humming of your dishwasher. Sister, this is for you: God doesn’t love you any less, and you don’t need to listen for a whisper or wait on abstract nudges from God.”

Is There Such a Thing as Righteous Anger?

“Friends, be very careful with your anger. If you think a gun is empty when it’s not, it can destroy lives. If you think you’re acting out of righteous anger when you’re not, it can destroy families, churches, and even nations. The Bible has so much to say about both righteous and unrighteous anger – use that as your guide. And always look to the One who is perfect in both anger and grace.”

WHAT COMES FIRST: FAITH OR REGENERATION?

Some helpful thoughts from Stephen Kneale on a topic I’ve often thought about.

Reckoning with Tech

Bavinck, eschatology and technology, what’s not to love?

I SEARCHED FOR THE KEY TO DISCIPLESHIP

“If we want to grow, and if we want others in our church to grow, we have to invest in each other. This isn’t just “doing life together” in the way that many see it, as if all we need is food trucks in the parking lot and a photo booth where we can hashtag our involvement in our church. True discipleship is so much more, and it is made up almost entirely of non-Instagrammable moments. This is what we signed up for. Jesus told us to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Him. Paul said to regard others as more important than ourselves. This is discipleship. This is love. This is how we care for one another’s souls. This is how growth happens. It’s a whole lot more difficult than finding the perfect book study. It’s a way of life, and by this the world will know that we are his disciples.”

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