Recommended Reading: June 16

If you read one article this weekend, look at No Victory for Religious Liberty by Darel Paul.

If you have more reading time, check out the following selections gathered from around the blogging world. Happy reading! Continue reading

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The Worrier’s Prayer

I came across this prayer several weeks back, and while the emphasis is clearly humorous, don’t miss the larger point: how often do we pray in these ways to our Lord?


Dear Lord,

Help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 a.m. EST.

Help me to consider people’s feelings, even if most of them are hypersensitive.

Help me to take responsibility for the consequences of my actions, even though they’re usually not my fault.

Help me to not try to run everything – but, if you need some help, please feel free to ask me.

Help me to be more laid back, and help me to do it exactly right.

Help me to take things more seriously, especially laughter, parties, and dancing.

Give me patience, and I mean right now!

Help me not be a perfectionist. (Did I spell that correctly?)

Help me to finish everything I sta…

Help me to keep my mind on one thing … oh, look, a bird … at a time.

Help me to do only what I can, and trust you for the rest. And would you mind putting that in writing?

Keep me open to others’ ideas, misguided though they may be.

Help me follow established procedures. Hey, wait … this is wrong …

Help me slow down andnotrushthroughwhatido.

Thank you, Lord.

Amen

Recommended Reading: May 12

If you read one article this week, engage Evangelical Gnosticism by Abigail Rine Favale

For those of you with additional reading time this fine Spring day, check out the following selections, gathered from around the interwebs. Happy reading!

Theology and Churchworld

Lessons from the Worst Sermon I Ever Heard by Mike McKinley

Pope Francis, Nondenominationalist? by John Ehrett

Southern Baptist Women Launch Petition Against Paige Patterson by Kate Shellnutt

Miracles and Modernity by Benjamin Winter

Biblical Studies and the History of Christianity

April Biblical Studies Carnival by Ruben Rus

Gospels and Names by Larry Hurtado

Does Genesis Make Claims about History? by RJS

How Present Technology Changes Our View of Past Technology by Peter Gurry

Worldviews and Culture

“Avoidance Is Not Purity”: An Ode to the Pence Rule by Eric Hutchinson

Should Abused Women (or Men) Stay with Their Spouses? by Roger Olson

The Myth of Disenchantment by Peter Leithart

Empty Hands by Johanna Byrkett

Should I Hide When Mormons Come Knocking?

One of the great privileges of serving in the local church is the opportunity to hear intriguing questions from congregants. A couple of weeks ago, I had such an experience after talking about evangelism. The topic of door-to-door Mormon missionaries  came up, and eventually our conversation turned to how to interact with non-Christian missionaries—and if they should be shown any sort of hospitality at all. One participant in the conversation mentioned that they do not allow non-Christian missionaries into their home on the basis on 2 John 10-11, which says:

“If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” 2 John 10-11 (ESV)

I’ve always made it a point to be frank with door-to-door people of any sort. If I have time or you sound interesting, I’ll listen; if I’m busy or unlikely to be interested, I’ll quickly let you know. When it comes to non-Christian missionaries (people such as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses), I’ve been known to chat for a moment or two, even occasionally inviting them to step onto my porch for a few minutes. In light of this information from 2 John, I wondered if I had been unknowingly violating a scriptural teaching. Continue reading

Sermon-less Church: A Thought Experiment

“If you took away the sermon from your worship service, what sort of theology could you construct from what remains?”

Sometime back, a Facebook friend shared this quote from Pastor Mark Jones and it got me thinking. What would a sermon-less church service look like? What messages and theology would it convey? Would we attend? Just how central is the sermon to Christian worship? Continue reading