A Morning Peacock of Links (8/9)

The Worst Tool for Evangelism

There’s no such thing as being shamed into salvation:

“If you’re 99% saved, then you’re 100% lost!” Church sign I just drove by. I guess they didn’t have the letters for “Visitors keep out.”

A number of people saw that tweet and replied back to me with thoughts like this:

“Isn’t that theologically accurate?”

“Don’t we need to be convicted?”

I think those were good questions, but I never doubted the accuracy of that idea. I was doubting whether or not a welcome sign is the best place to debate theological accuracy. Is a message of shame the best message for a church welcome sign?

What Letter Would You Write to a Gay Son?

In response to how one father disowned his gay son, David Murray puts his thoughts to words and shows what kind of letter he would write if he were in a similar situation.

Everyone Benefits by Including Children in Small Groups

Logan Gentry makes his case for including children and entire families in small group meetings. I’ve never seen it done personally, but he makes some interesting points:

We must re-imagine the church community, moving beyond life-stage idolatry to see the church as a family. Repeatedly the Bible refers to the church as the household of God, and familial language is used in describing our relationships with one another. We become spiritual brothers and sisters and make disciples of spiritual children with God our Father because of the work of Christ in making us fellow heirs by the power of the Spirit in the gospel. Community groups that gather around the gospel, then, will includes singles, married couples, and families who seek to fulfill the many “one anothers” of Scripture, discipling one another, and participating in each other’s mission fields. Since the parents’ mission field starts with their children, the rest of the community seeks to own this mission with them.

For families to share their community’s mission, parents will need to see singles and married couples without kids as valuable to them beyond babysitting. When the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes our primary identity, life stage becomes a way to serve God and his mission rather than our main focus. If parents do not invite singles and married couples in their own church to be a part of their family, how will they ever extend the gospel to their neighbor in the same situation?

The Psychology of Social Media

You probably already know what you’ll read in this link.

Why Success Breeds Success: The Science of “The Winner Effect”

A physiological look at success and risk-taking (For an interesting look at the business/practical side of success, and how it can breed failure, check out this article):

The past century of science has demonstrated the pivotal role of biochemistry in such human phenomena as love, attraction, and lust. But to consider that individual neurobiology might impact things as rational and complex as, say, stock markets seems rather radical. Yet that’s precisely what trader-turned-neuroscientist John Coates explores in The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust (public library) — an ambitious look at how body chemistry affects high-stakes financial trading, in which Coates sets out to construct — and deconstruct — a “universal biology of risk-taking.”

One particularly fascinating aspect of risk-taking has to do with what is known as “the winner effect,” a self-reinforcing osmosis of the two key hormones driving the biochemistry of success and failure — testosterone, which Coates calls “the hormone of economic bubbles,” and cortisol, “the hormone of economic busts.” In traders — as in athletes, and in the rest of us mere mortals when faced with analogous circumstances — testosterone rises sharply and durably during financial booms, inducing a state of risk-seeking euphoria and providing a positive feedback loop in which success itself provides a competitive advantage. By contrast, the stress hormone cortisol spikes during financial downturns; traders with sustained high levels of cortisol become more risk-averse and timid, ultimately being less competitive.


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