Pastor Matt Chandler spoke at a different city up and down the east coast every night for a week straight on the Explicit Gospel Tour. Inspired by the needs of both the overchurched and the unchurched, and bolstered by the common neglect of the explicit gospel within Christianity, Pastor Matt begins with the specifics of the gospel—outlining what it is and what it is not—and then switches gears to focus on the fullness of the gospel and its massive implications on both personal and cosmic levels. Here is a call to true Christianity, to know the gospel explicitly, and to unite the church on the amazing grounds of the good news of Jesus!
On why we should approach the search for love as peasants and not as aristocrats:
Jewish rabbi and relationship expert Shmuley Boteach, known as the “Love Prophet,” believes he knows why singles today find it so hard to discover their soul mate. His theory is so sound and makes such sense in our confused world that I wish I had invented it. When it comes to love, Boteach writes, we’ve become a generation of “aristocrats” in search of the perfect match, when the real secret to lasting love — the attitude of a “peasant” — is available to us all along.
Tim Keller’s follow-up post to “Why Is Christianity on Decline in America?”, with Ross Douthat’s book, Bad Religion, as the main text in both posts. The following excerpt is Keller’s response to Douthat’s suggestion that the masses could look to the church for help in the wake of postmodern rootlessness:
Finally, he proposes that “an age of diminished [economic] expectations”—along with the devastation of the sexual revolution and the exhaustion of postmodern rootlessness—could lead to the masses again looking to Christianity for hope and help. A church that could welcome them, he warns, would need three qualities. First, it would have to bepolitical without being partisan. That is, it would have to equip all its members to be culturally engaged through vocation and civic involvement without identifying corporately with one political party. Second, it would have to be confessional yet ecumenical. That is, the church would have to be fully orthodox within its theological and ecclesiastical tradition yet not narrow and harsh toward other kinds of Christians. It should be especially desirous of cooperation with non-Western Christian leaders and churches. Third, the church would not only have to preach the Word faithfully, but also be committed to beauty and sanctity, the arts, and human rights for all. In this brief section he sounds a lot like Lesslie Newbigin and James Hunter, who have described a church that can have a “missionary encounter with Western culture.”
An informative piece on the importance of church membership.
John Newton, the slave-trade ship captain turned pastor and hymn-writer, wasn’t exactly a blogger. Many of his writings, however, fit in the category of we today would call blogging. He wrote mostly letters — small, topically oriented and experience-based pieces — and he became increasingly aware those letters would be published for a wider audience. When you pick up a copy of his published letters and begin reading, they remind today’s reader of the blog style many Christians find edifying.
Here are 15 lessons from John Newton on letter-writing that will serve blog writers (all quotes taken from The Works of John Newton, 6-volumes).
Michael Horton’s article in which he wrestles with the idea of “Muscular” Christianity:
My point is that the larger goal here shouldn’t be to trot out more gender stereotypes from our culture, whether feminist or neo-Victorian, but rather to rediscover the ministry that Christ has ordained for making disciples of all nations, all generations, and both genders. We need less niche marketing and more meat-and-potatoes service to the whole body of Christ. There, men and women, the young and the old and the middle aged, black, white, Latino, Asian, rich and poor hear God’s Word together, pray and sing God’s Word together, and are made one body by receiving Christ’s body and blood together: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” In that place, at least, there are no women’s Bible studies and men’s Bible studies, distracted youth groups and child-free golden oldies clubs, but brothers and sisters on pilgrimage to a better homeland than those that have been fashioned for us by this passing evil age.
It’s unclear if Hayes ever read Washington Irving’s classic short story “Rip Van Winkle,” or if he even knew the plot, in which the main character inadvertently sleeps through the American Revolution. But by the spring of 1862, Hayes would have easily identified with Irving’s famously henpecked hero. Like Rip, Hayes had one day ventured off into the unknown, missed some of the most defining moments of his generation (in this case everything from Lincoln’s election to the Battle of Balls Bluff) and returned to a country he barely understood.
Are we Generation “We” or Generation “Me”? Jean Twenge on what her studies show:
My co-authors and I decided to find out. Two large datasets — the Monitoring the Future survey of high school students and the American Freshman survey of entering college students — had many questions on community feeling, concern for others, and civic engagement that had been asked since the Boomers were young in the 1960s and 1970s. Both datasets are nationally representative and both are huge — half a million high school respondents and 9 million college respondents.
With representative samples comparing three generations at the same age, this was the best data available to settle the Me vs. We question – and these items had never been analyzed in their entirety before…