Weekly Once-Over (5.1.2014)
"I Used To Be A Christian, But...." And The Importance Of Questions In Evangelism: Of course, I am not saying everyone who tells you that sort of story is lying, confused, or only rejecting the gospel because they don’t understand it. Some have heard the gospel and have knowingly rejected it. That’s a real situation you’ll come up against. And that’s fine–God works in those situations too. I’d still encourage you to do feel free to do a little digging in your evangelistic encounters. A key question can make a world of difference.
Scripture Is About Our Shame: Because of sin, shame stalks us all. But from the beginning God has committed himself to abolishing shame by covering, cleansing, and including us.
Seven Things I Believe Jesus Would Say To The LGBT Community: I write this simply wanting to begin another denominational conversation, for I have read a great deal, thought and prayed long and hard on this and still do not see clearly either the biblical norms and how they actually apply, nor the way to really reach out in love and effectiveness to those caught within these sinful practices... May the following seven things begin to move us to thinking and action. The Lord seems to say in his word to all sinners, and that includes those in the LGBT community.
6 Types Of Grace: You see, God’s grace is the most powerful force in the universe, so I would have to argue that it's the most beautiful word in the universe. It reaches you where you are and takes you where God wants you to be. It has the power to do something that nothing else can do: transform you at the causal core of who you are as a human being - your heart.
A Secret Life Of Sin: “Nobody just falls out of a tree. They climb up in it, move around a bit, and then fall out.” Indeed. And here’s an implication: Where a secret life is present, a secret prayer life is absent.”
How The Gospel Changes Everything: Each of these texts refers to the gospel of what God has done for us in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and each text applies that gospel truth to the particular problem noted. These, then, are just a handful of the ways that the gospel affects all of life, all of ministry, and everything we seek to be and do and accomplish as Christians and as local churches.
The Church And The LGBT Community: Is There A Way Forward?: There are many Christians who are leading the way on these points. I’m thankful for Jonathan Merritt’s piece in CT, telling his story of same-sex attraction and how it led to an encounter with God’s grace. On the progressive side, Andrew Sullivan has led the way in arguing for a truly tolerant society that makes room for traditional religious belief.