I’m headed to Blacksburg, Virginia this weekend to hang out with the good folks at Blacksburg United Methodist Church and the Wesley Foundation at Virginia Tech. I don’t have a lot of time, so below are just a few superlatives for the week. Enjoy!
Around the Blogosphere…
“Men Try Machine That Creates Sensation of Labor”
Katie Clemons (at Tsh Oxenreider's place) with “Are you being brave?”
“I need to you to pause a second. Stop reading, and just think about one of the bravest moments in your life. Call to mind the story and how you felt.”
Ed Stetzer with “Empowered Non-Staff Leadership Marks Church Planting Movements Around the World”
“The clergy-laity caste system we have created has significantly bottled up the exponential potential of the church in the West. The healthy and growing parts of the global church are looking at Scripture, acknowledging the responsibility of every Christ-follower to be and make disciples, and opening up the floodgate of disciple-makers by equipping every person to be about that business. We must learn from them and do the same."
Zack Hunt with “The Changing Face of the Christian Faith”
“To put it simply, the notion of Christian autonomy that pervades so much of the church today isn’t Biblical. It’s American. Worse yet, it’s antithetical to the fundamental ideas of Christianity: one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Peter Enns with “The Deeper Scandal of the Evangelical Mind: We Are Not Allowed to Use It”
"The scandal of the Evangelical mind is that doctrine determines academic conclusions.”
“Equally Yoked: Stories of Mutual Marriages” at Jenny Rae Armstrong's blog
“We have no business using pagan models of top-down authority in our life together as Christians”
Laura Cavanaugh with “On Obeying the Traffic Signs"
“In The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen talks about the phrase, Peregrinatio est tacere:to be silent keeps us pilgrims. Ironic that just at the time that I am finding my voice and learning to use it, I am also learning the value of silence in my own life as well as the value of my own silence in the lives of others. Silence keeps us moving down the path, keeps us walking toward God. In silence we learn the value of our words; we learn wisdom; we learn purification of the heart. To walk this path, the path toward God, we must be silent.”
Emily Heath with “Mark Driscoll, Barack Obama, and the Jealous Disciples”
“Mark Driscoll may be concerned that President Obama is not following his particular view of Christianity. But Christian faith has never had much to do with following the opinions of the popular crowd, and a best selling book has never granted the author the power to discern the legitimacy of another's faith. In the end, the only two authorities on Barack Obama's relationship with God are Barack Obama and God. I'm not either of the two. And so that's where the discussion ends.”
The Atlantic with “Chicago’s Freezing Fire”
Sarah Bessey with “In which we numb the light”
“For me, joy and calling and goodness and purpose arrived hand-in-hand with social justice and suffering and vulnerability.”
Relevant with “The Relevant Guide to Telling Indie Folk Bands Apart”
“Mumford & Sons: Check the volume. If the song starts off so quiet you can barely hear it and then ends up breaking your speakers, you’re listening to Mumford."
Brenna (at Grace Biskie's blog) with "When God Stops Answering Your Prayers"
"I remember when I used to pray. My hands would shake, my jaw would tremble, and I felt the Spirit guide me. I saw hearts healed. Spirits comforted. Bodies made whole. The only thing that felt bigger than my faith was my God. It was the days of God being glorified and knowing that things would work out for our good. It was bold requests. Swift answers. God speaking. And then it was silent."
XKCD with "Sick Day"
Most Likely To Earn A Superlative for Mentioning Superlatives:
When In Comment Sections with "When Rachel Held Evans..."
On the Blog…
“The Scandal of the Evangelical Heart”
In response to “The Scandal of the Evangelical Heart,” Sarah Bessey wrote:
“AMEN. I could stand on my chair and holler but I'd wake the baby. Jesus became the centre of my faith precisely BECAUSE of my doubts. When I was disgusted with those same things, I looked to him, got down on my haunches and stayed there.
I read everything else in the Bible now through the lens of Jesus, not the other way around. He's the incarnate and so that's my home.
I feel like I have some Big Thoughts on the genocides of the OT and many other things there but I don't know how to articulate them just yet (without generating a hailstorm of heresy accusations) so I'll keep sitting in my tensions. I just like to sit with my head resting on Jesus while I figure it out.
There is no cruelty, no evil, no injustice, in my God or in his kingdom. That much I know.”
So, what caught your eye online this week? What’s happening on your blog?