Glenn Stanton shares his thoughts on a quote (“Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary”) that’s often misattributed to Francis of Assisi as well as the problems inherent in such a saying:
It is always attributed to St. Francis of Assisi — founder of the Franciscan Order — and is intended to say that proclaiming the Gospel by example is more virtuous than actually proclaiming with voice. It is a quote that has often rankled me because it seems to create a useless dichotomy between speech and action. Besides, the spirit behind it can be a little arrogant, intimating that those who “practice the Gospel” are more faithful to the faith than those who preach it.
Kevin DeYoung with some practical guidelines in figuring out what are the essentials worth fighting for, the non-essentials not worth splitting hairs over, and finally, the spirit and attitude we should have as we engage in such journeys:
“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.”
Sounds nice, but which are which? Everyone wants to be unified in what really matters, to agree to disagree on what isn’t as important, and to exercise love in all things. But no one seems to agree on what really matters a lot, a little, or not at all. As hard as it can be determining the content of our faith, it can be even harder figuring out where to put up our fences.
This business of deciding where and how to draw doctrinal lines is incredibly complex. I can’t begin to do all the necessary biblical, theological, historical, and practical exploration in this article. But perhaps I can sketch an outline of some important considerations.
Andrew Webb with an insightful look at the intolerance of the (new) tolerance that has resulted in a very interesting predicament for Christians:
But lest we think this trend is something that only affects celebrities or candidates for office, we need to put it in its wider social context. While homosexuals are becoming more and more visible in the culture and widely affirmed and supported, Bible believing Christians are moving in the opposite direction, and their views are becoming marginalized and vilified. Discriminating against evangelical Christians for their beliefs is now becoming official policy in both the UK and the US. For instance in both countries, Christian adoption agencies that do not allow same-sex couples to adopt children have been forced to shut down, hotels that do not allow same-sex couples to use their facilities have been fined, and Christians who do not support homosexuality have been forbidden to adopt or foster children. All of this is happening at a time when it is becoming more and more unacceptable to even give the impression that you discriminate against homosexuals. This is what Cooper calls “the tide.”
This means that if the children and grandchildren of Bible-believing Christians want to have a chance at being whatever they want to be (including a news anchor) they are going to have to either hide or deny their faith. Christians are effectively changing historic places in the closet with homosexuals.
I’m a geek when it comes the US Presidency and its long history. On a side note, when I was a little kid, I always thought JQA was by far the scariest looking president.
From the terrific cartographers at Floating Sheep comes this map of church vs. beer. It’s based on geo–tagged tweets referencing either in America between June 22 and 28. Blue is for beer, red is for church.