What I Read Online – 05/11/2012 (p.m.)

12 May
    • My question, having met a few church planters in the last few weeks, is, when somebody says they are looking to gather a core, is that code language for we’re looking to take people from another church and put them into our church plant? That isn’t a criticism but I think we need to call a spade a spade. Of course those of us in established churches need to be gospel hearted and generous but I think we also need to give the church planting movement a bit of a slap. To grow churches in this country is hard, hard work and to turn churches round is tough and so somebody turning up and trying to take the people you’ve cared for can be somewhat trying. I’d love it if I met with a church planter and, when I asked him what stage are you at, he replied ‘I’m trying to steal Christians from other churches.’ I’d at least give him points for honesty.
    • The dream that drove you to that first date, that drove you to the altar, is likely still driving your marriage today. That dream set the course, and is probably still setting the course, of your marriage. . . .
    • And when admitted Members, before the Church they must solemnly enter into a Covenant, to walk in the Fellowship of that particular Congregation, and submit themselves to the Care and Discipline thereof,
    • that the glare from the screen and the lack of uplighting in his church made his face shine
    • I think it’s good for people to see you with a Bible in hand.
    • you need to be a member of your church.
    • I’m not arguing for a particular structure to church or a certain style of belonging. But I am arguing that you should “belong” to a local church.
    • Can the church put you out? If your Christian life went tragically off the rails and you publically disgraced Jesus, could your local church exclude you in some meaningful way as per Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; Titus 3:10?


      If you can’t be excluded, as the Bible says you should be able to be excluded, can you really say that you belong, as the Bible says you ought to belong?

    • This is especially true for those whose vocation entails storytelling. We either consciously acknowledge the ways our faith forms our artistic vocations, or we will be willfully blind to how our sinful nature shapes our craft.


      When it comes to art, common grace can only carry us so far. Without the redemptive guidance of the Christian faith, our culture-making efforts as Christians will eventually stagnate and atrophy. Our work will become indistinguishable from those who rebel against our Creator.

    • Even so, Tree of Life is deadly dull—like watching a documentary by a Buddhist who has read the Old Testament. Tree of Life fails as a work of art because it does not meet the minimum required of every competent film: tell a coherent and compelling story.
    • Don’t portray God’s creation as boring.
    • Mere moral lessons, while perhaps commendable, are not enough to be distinctly Christian, since Mormons, Muslims, and ethical humanists could agree with them. And mere optimistic positive messages are not enough and may even be harmful, since they can create the illusion that we can achieve righteousness by our own efforts. Works of meaning and beauty have their own value. But to be explicitly “Christian,” a work needs to be, directly or indirectly, about sin and grace and what Christ has to do with them.
    • Preachiness in films is always obnoxious, whether it’s from evangelicals or Michael Moore. People go to the theater with the hopes of being told a compelling story, and when the urge to get a message across trumps the need to tell a good story, the film suffers and the audience cries foul. They came for an adventure and they got a sermon. But this is exactly what many Christians think of when they talk about “Christian” filmmaking.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 12/05/2012 in Current Issues


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