links: this went thru my mind

Church & kingdom: Raising Stones at the Gateway of Heaven: The Kingdom of God as Event

“Kingdom of God is an event rather than an organization. Some time ago I described the relationship between the Kingdom and the church this way …”

Church dropouts, twenties & young adults: The Real Reasons Young Adults Drop Out of Church

“Young adults drop out of church because their faith isn’t their own.”

Eternal punishment, God’s character & hell: Hell & Eternal Punishment?

“How are we consistently to conceive of a God who loves and died for every human who ever existed preserving their existence forever for no other purpose than perpetual torment? Further, how are we to understand the redeemed enjoying untainted bliss in heaven if alongside of this kingdom billions of people and fallen angels will be experiencing excruciating, unending anguish? The problem is exceedingly difficult and extremely important.”

Fish, fishing & the Sea of Galilee: Fish of the Sea of Galilee

“… there are 18 species of indigenous fish in the Sea of Galilee, and that 10 of those are important commercially.”

God & the Old Testament: 10 Old Testament Passages That Shape How I Think About God [required reading]

“God is not impressed with what we call success but with what is deep within us, perhaps even deeper than we ourselves can see.”

Happiness, joy, politics & suffering: * What is the Difference Between Joy and Happiness? [required reading]; * The Political Significance of Joy [a 20 min. video of an interview of N.T. Wright by Miroslav Volf]

* “or the most part, segments of our life, often entire chunks of it, aren’t going well and much of it we don’t live well. Given that joy attaches to life going well and being led well, must joy be lost to us? It need not be. We can rejoice over the many small goods we experience, and for those of us who are religious, we can find joy in the One Good that is both the source and the goal of our existence. Though fragmentary, all small joys celebrate goods in our lives that are and remain wonderful, at times no more than tender plants in the cracks of our otherwise heavily cemented and gray lives. And in all true joys we yearn for, and perhaps also faintly experience, a world in which all things and all manner of things shall be well.”

* “… the suffering is a badge of the fact that we’re sharing the Messianic sufferings of Jesus. … suffering is hope-full.”

this went thru my mind

 

Age & generations: Your Twenties Matter

“What if we – especially the church – recognized the value and importance of young adults in their twenties and put together a process to help them maximize the opportunities you  have in your twenties (and never have again in your life)?”

Archaeology: Have the Tombs of the Kings of Judah Been Found?: A Response An Answer to Hershel Shanks’s Question by Fr. Riccardo Lufrani

“In a 1987 issue of BAR, Hershel Shanks presented a summary of Amos Kloner’s 1986 article … ‘Have the Tombs of the Kings of Judah Been Found?’ … I hope to answer his question.”

Church attendance: Five Reasons Why You Need To Attend Church (Hebrews 10:22-25) by Bob Russell

“Why should followers of Christ participate in weekly worship services?”

Church leadership: Polity Model Comparison by Tim Woodroof

“Our traditional model of elder-led churches fails the “sniff test” for effective church leadership not because there is something wrong with elders. I love elders. I appreciate their work and dedication. I believe in their leadership. Their loving, careful, prayerful guidance of churches is necessary. May their tribe increase. What’s flawed is the polity model itself. Any polity model that asserts only elders derive spiritual authority from Christ, draws elders away from the maturing goal that is the raison d’être of church leadership, prevents shared leadership responsibilities among a variety of roles, ignores the need for different gifts and capabilities for effective leadership, and lacks any mechanism for meaningful accountability of leaders is—at the least—a different polity model than is suggested by Ephesians 4:11ff and what is known of the early church.”

Communication: How to Pitch Anything in 15 Seconds

“A message map is the visual display of your idea on one page. It is a powerful and tool that should be a part of your communication arsenal. Building a message map can help you pitch anything (a product, service, company, or idea) in as little as 15 seconds. Here is the three-step process to using a message map to build a winning pitch.”

Culture & faith: Shopping in the Walmart of Belief  by Richard Beck

“What we see around us isn’t a binary choice between faith and unfaith. Rather, we face choices amongst faiths, unbelief being one choice amongst these. What characterizes modernity is the radical range of choices now in front of us, a marketplace of beliefs and ideologies.”

Preachers: Pastors Who Didn’t Make the Cut by Ron Edmonson

“Pastors, just so you are reminded, most (actually all…but for my self-righteous friends I’ll say most) of us wouldn’t qualify for any position in the church if it weren’t for grace!”