Weekly Once-Over (08.21.2014)

Love, Hate, And A Counter-Intuitive God: I suppose I’ll end where I started: the Bible doesn’t always say what I expect it to, even when it comes to love. Then again, I’d be suspicious if it did. My love is so weak and so paltry at time. It’s really a tired, half-hearted thing if I’m honest. When I come to the love of God, the surprising, counter-intuitive love of Jesus displayed on the cross, the cross which exposes all my darknesses and shames, should I not expect to find some edges I’d never imagined?

Gospel And Race: Make sure to listen to Bob Thune and Joshua Eggerson discuss about the Gospel and race in the context of Ferguson. 

Why It's Wrong For Christians To Mistreat Creation: God gives us the opportunity to reflect him in his work of caring for and transforming all of creation. To follow this aspect of our multifaceted calling as humans is to image in our lives the One who is at work in the world and in human life, creating, sustaining, and liberating creation. Jesus’ resurrection is God’s first step in making all things new, which will culminate in a renewed world that completely honors Jesus, who rules it.

5 Current Church Views Of "Discipleship": I have been in many settings with church leaders where the question was posed, “What is your church doing for discipleship?” I am grateful that church leaders are asking questions about the church’s fundamental mission—making disciples. After all, a church can excel at anything and everything else, but if the church fails to make disciples, she has wandered from her fundamental reason for existence. But the question almost always needs to be answered with a follow-up question: “What do you mean by discipleship?” People could mean at least one of these five common and current views:

Need And Desire: Is it wrong to want to live in comfort with a big house and a new car? No, as long as those desires don’t consume you. Is it sinful to long for people in your life that love, respect, and cherish you? No, those things are beautiful in God’s eyes. But in a fallen world, where life doesn’t operate the way it should, there’s a difference between need and desire. Need means essential for life; desire means a strong feeling of want. Many of our desires aren’t wrong, as long as they don't rule us, but they’re simply not needs.

Michael Brown And My White Son: I’m thankful for Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement but this moment reminds us of how blind and numb we can become to the racism and injustice that still exists in our fallen world. This moment is not about the teenage lifestyle or behavior of Michael Brown but about the insanity of his death. The outrage for justice that this moment has induced is not only justified but long overdue. We must address the reality of racism and privilege. As Chandler writes, “we want to move past it, but we are not past it. Clearly, we are not past it. So, let’s press in to it”.

Edwards On The Christian Life: Edwards is a complicated figure who defies scholarly consensus, even among evangelicals. For that reason, even scholars and informed pastors who disagree with Ortlund on these or other points will appreciate this fine book. Edwards on the Christian Life is an excellent introduction to Edwardsean spiritual thought that is well researched yet written at such a level that students, pastors, and engaged laypeople will benefit. It is a welcome contribution to Edwardsean studies and a worthy entry in what continues to be a fine series on historical and spiritual theology.


photo credit: paul bica via photopin cc