On the sidebar of Internet Monk, we have an extensive and ever-growing list of friends’ blogs and good websites. We encourage you to check them out. We think you’ll agree that they are worth your while.
In this post, I will survey a few interesting items I’ve read on some of them in recent days.
â€¢ From the Lausanne 2010 Congress in Capetown, Skye Jethani wrote:
After the video all 5,000 delegates stood to sing “Crown Him with Many Crowns”–the same hymn that opened the Edinburgh conference a century ago. And the amazing diversity at Cape Town 2010 was a moving testimony to how effective the 20th century missions movement was. Standing beside me was an African woman, an Australian man, an Asian couple, and a student from Latin America. I have never been in a more international gathering in my life. As I scanned the room I didn’t see groups of white, black, or brown. The room was integrated, for lack of a better term–God’s people from around the globe worshipping together. It was incredibly moving.
The Apostle Paul Â said: â€œIf I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.â€
And what about the Anabaptists? Doesnâ€™t their legacy prove that followers of Jesus do not have to be violent in a violent culture? Luther had as much access to the Gospels and the history of the early church as they did, and yet he chose violence while the Anabaptists practiced peace.
Maybe I just need a little time to process thisâ€”to file it away in that same part of my brain where I keep Joshua 6:21 and Psalm 137:9.
But for now I have a heavy heart, a disquieted spiritâ€¦and yet another plate of pasta to consume.
But Iâ€™d rather live in the tension that pretend that it doesnâ€™t exist.
â€¢ A request for prayer from Andrew Marin, who has a worrisome growth on his toe that must be biopsied:
Even though I know the chances are quite slim it actually is cancer, I figure some pre-emptive strike of prayers couldnâ€™t hurt. I donâ€™t exactly know how I feel about this whole situation right now. Itâ€™s just really strange. I went in to get a refill on acne medicine and she tells me there is a chance I have cancer. Thatâ€™s annoying. . . .
So if you could please pray for my health . . . I would much appreciate it. I will let you all know about the outcome of the biopsy as soon as I find out.
John Frye hits the nail directly on the head with his posts on “Using the Bible to Avoid God.” Here’s a sample:
The Pharisee syndrome is still alive and well in US American Christianity. Many Christians are much more at ease with studying the Bible than coming to Jesus. Reading a Book is safer, more comfortable than relating to a Person, especially an enigmatic Person like Jesus.Â An insidious pride lurks in the heart when one presumes to know the Book, to possess it and revere it and use it to fence off undesirable types of people from our tidy lives. People, well-intentioned, begin to substitute finding something new and refreshing in the Bible with relating to a holy, very present God.
As a pastor Iâ€™ve observed how the Bible is used to distance a person from God the Spirit. If I view the Bible as a box of matches from which I can draw one match and light it and see the flame and feel the fleeting warmth and call that a devotional life, then I am happy. To walk into the flame-thrower named Jesus the Christ is a different story. I donâ€™t want to be burned up in the fiery passion and mission of Godâ€“thatâ€™s too extreme.Â Iâ€™m happy with â€œthis little light of mineâ€¦â€.Â Living as a whole burnt offering is tooâ€¦what shall I say? Indelicate. I want to stay in charge of my commitment and piece-meal it out at my discretion. Dying to self is a nice metaphor after all.
If you would like to hear fine, clear preaching on pure, unadulterated grace, here is your chance.
We are thankful for all of our friends, and the fine work that is being done in carrying on important conversations in the blogosphere!