“The Weekend Wanderer” is a weekly curated selection of news, stories, resources, and media on the intersection of faith and culture for you to explore through your weekend. Wander through these links however you like and in any order you like. Disclaimer: I do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed within the articles linked from this page, but I have read them myself in order to make me think more deeply.even sharing it with someone who you know struggles in this way.
“What We Learned About the Embodied Church During the Pandemic” – Jay Kim, author of Analog Church, writes this guest post at Scot McKnight’s blog, Jesus Creed: “As locked down as we’ve been this past year, there have been exceptions to the safety protocol rules. Even at a civic level, there is an understanding that some elements of human experience demand embodied presence. We’ve made allowances for temporary closeness during a time of temporary distance. This has accentuated our longing for the ‘new normal’ of social distancing to give way to the ‘timeless normal’ of embodied presence. For pastors and church leaders, 2020 has forced us to stand at the disorienting intersection between digital and analog. But as we begin to see the proverbial light at the end of the Covid tunnel (hopefully), a brief reflection on a handful of learnings from this strange year may help us navigate the days ahead.”
“Died: Luis Palau, Who Preached the Gospel from Portland to Latin America and Beyond” – Morgan Lee at Christianity Today: “Evangelist Luis Palau has died at age 86 of lung cancer. An immigrant from Argentina who made his home in the United States, Palau became one of Billy Graham’s most prominent successors and shared the gospel in more than 80 countries around the world. His ministry led millions of individuals to make personal decisions to follow Jesus. Palau preached the gospel to heads of state in Latin America and as the Iron Curtain fell in the USSR, his crusades bringing together a diverse array of Christians, including Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics. As a young man, Palau interpreted for Graham, who later helped fund Palau’s evangelism organization when it officially started in 1978.”
“Bible teacher Beth Moore, splitting with Lifeway, says, ‘I am no longer a Southern Baptist'” – Bob Smietana at Religion News Service: “For nearly three decades, Beth Moore has been the very model of a modern Southern Baptist. She loves Jesus and the Bible and has dedicated her life to teaching others why they need both of them in their lives. Millions of evangelical Christian women have read her Bible studies and flocked to hear her speak at stadium-style events where Moore delves deeply into biblical passages….Then along came Donald Trump. Moore’s criticism of the 45th president’s abusive behavior toward women and her advocacy for sexual abuse victims turned her from a beloved icon to a pariah in the denomination she loved all her life.”
“Growing My Faith in the Face of Death” – Tim Keller, Pastor Emeritus of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and Christian author, announced his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer last summer. Here is Keller in the The Atlantic reflecting on death and how this journey has grown his faith. “I have spent a good part of my life talking with people about the role of faith in the face of imminent death. Since I became an ordained Presbyterian minister in 1975, I have sat at countless bedsides, and occasionally even watched someone take their final breath. I recently wrote a small book, On Death, relating a lot of what I say to people in such times. But when, a little more than a month after that book was published, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I was still caught unprepared.”
“The Liberating Word Made Flesh” – Nathan Beacom in Comment: “In learning to read, Frederick Douglass embarked on a path that would lead to his becoming the most powerful advocate of his time for black dignity. He became an icon, the most well-known face of the age, all through the force of his power as a writer and a speaker. His arguments reshaped the conscience of the country. Language, for Douglass, had an intimate relationship with flesh—that is, with practical, lived reality. His language had the power to make people feel in their own flesh the suffering bodies of slaves; it had the capacity to motivate them to relieve that suffering. Both the logic of his arguments and their inspiration lay in the Word made flesh. His key notion—that all men and women are children of one Father, and therefore possessed of immeasurable dignity—came from his reading of Scripture. The story of the suffering Christ, put to death unjustly by the reigning social hierarchy, was a subversion of the corrupt power dynamics of human societies, and showed that God identifies with the oppressed, marginalized, and unjustly persecuted.”
“RZIM Will No Longer Do Apologetics” – Daniel Silliman in Christianity Today: ” Once the largest apologetics ministry in the world, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) will stop doing apologetics work this year. CEO Sarah Davis announced to staff Wednesday morning that over the next six months, the downsized ministry will remake itself as a grant-making charity. It plans to give money to organizations fulfilling its original purpose of defending the truth of the gospel as well as organizations that care for victims of sexual abuse. ‘RZIM cannot and should not continue to operate as an organization in its present form. Nor do we believe we can only rename the organization and move forward with “business as usual,”‘ said Davis, who is Zacharias’s daughter and has led the ministry since his death in May 2020.”
Music: Sons of Korah, “Psalm 80,” from Resurrection.