The Weekend Wanderer: 12 May 2018

Every week I read a lot of different material, so I thought it might be worth sharing those things with others in a weekly post. So begins the “Weekend Wanderer,” a weekly post in which I gather a smattering of news, stories, resources, and other media you could explore through your weekend. It may not be organized too well, but such is the definition of wandering that you could walk through these posts however you like in any order you like.

andy-stanley.jpg“Christians Must ‘Unhitch’ Old Testament From Their Faith, Says Andy Stanley” – We’re all still wondering just exactly what Andy Stanley means by this and whether he’s just trying to be more sensitive to those outside the church or whether he really has become the Marcion of 21st century America.

 

webRNS-West-Bank-Evangelical-1-050918“Evangelicals find like-minded Christians in unlikely place: Palestinian West Bank” – I have a number of friends, both Palestinians and ex-pats, who live in the city of Beit Sahour mentioned in this article. My heart goes out to Palestinian Christians who often find themselves caught not only in the middle of Jewish-Palestinian tensions in the Holy Land, but also caught in the no-man’s land between radical Islam and western evangelical Zionism.

 

Childish Gambino“Why Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Is a Prophetic Message We Can’t Ignore”Andre Henry, managing editor at Relevant Magazine, calls Christians to pay close attention to Childish Gambino’s recent video for “This Is America.” The video is edgy but addresses much of the racial tension currently at play in our nation with a critical artistry that has caught attention around the world. “Perhaps a hard look into some type of societal mirror can be the beginning of imagining a better society. Perhaps in the offense of the prophetic artists, preachers, activists, and leaders among us, God is speaking. ‘This is America’ invites us to at least do the former.”

 

Looking Before and After“A Brief Comment on Stories” – In which Alan Jacobs writes: “There’s a lot of sentimental and just plain dopey talk about ‘story’ these days. Tell me your story.’ ‘Everyone has a story.’ Yuck. But the remedy for this problem, for Christians anyway, is not to eschew storytelling but to tell better stories – tell stories that are connected to the Great Narrative of salvation history.” Read the rest here and take a look at his book on the matter, Looking Before and After: Testimony and the Christian Life.

 

Korean prisoners“North Korea Frees American Christians” – In a somewhat surprising turn of events, North Korea freed three Christian prisoners ahead of a planned summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un. North Korea has a long history of collecting prisoners to use in political bargaining, but this should not undermine the significance of this move for these men and their families.

 

Paige Patterson“The Scandal Tearing Apart America’s Largest Denomination” – Paige Patterson, the embattled President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a flagship seminary for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), has been accused of counseling women in abusive marriages to stay in their marriages as an act of submission. A petition has been launched with thousands of SBC women signing already.

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 7.33.54 AM“The Young Turks Rejecting Islam” – A few years ago, some dear friends of mine who are Egyptian pastors told me that the biggest rise in religious transition in Egypt was conversion from Islam to atheism. They credited this change with an oppressive form of Islam that had become rampant in Egypt at that time. It seems a similar transition is impacting Turkey.

 

Why Turkey is Accusing an American Pastor of Terrorism“Why Turkey Is Accusing an American Pastor of Terrorism” – While we’re on the subject of Turkey, you might enjoy finding out a little more background on the case of Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, who has been imprisoned without a full trial in Turkey because of unfounded allegations of links to terrorism.

 

U2“How U2 Betrayed Rock ‘n’ Roll” – In First Things, John Waters reacts to U2’s casual support of the pro-abortion move to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. Tracing the history of the band’s love/hate relationship with popular rock culture and their on-again/off-again Christian faith, Waters feels more than disappointed with this move by the iconic band.  I can’t help but remember the powerful video series with Bono and Eugene Peterson that came out two years ago at this time while reading this.

[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.]

Loving Our Muslim Neighbors

These last couple of days have seen some terrible events in Libya, as well as ongoing tensions directed against the US around the Muslim world. As I reflected on this turn of events this morning, I was reminded of Jesus’ statement that the greatest commandment is fulfilled in loving God with all of who we are and loving our neighbor as ourselves. It is difficult to love our neighbor when terrible things happen, yet the call of Christ is the same.

There is a profound word for our day about this within The Cape Town Commitment of the Lausanne Movement. At the beginning of section IIC in the “Call to Action” for the world, we read the words included below. In light of these past few days, and the anger directed at our country, what does it look like to live these things out?

1. ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ includes persons of other faiths

In view of the affirmations made in The Cape Town Confession of Faith section 7 (d), we respond to our high calling as disciples of Jesus Christ to see people of other faiths as our neighbours in the biblical sense. They are human beings created in God’s image, whom God loves and for whose sins Christ died. We strive not only to see them as neighbours, but to obey Christ’s teaching by being neighbours to them. We are called to be gentle, but not naïve; to be discerning and not gullible; to be alert to whatever threats we may face, but not ruled by fear.Read More »

Encountering the World of Islam

This Fall we will be hosting Encountering the World of Islam at Eastbrook Church. I am thrilled that we can in some small way be a part of this great experience. Here is a description of the class taken from the web-site:

Encountering the World of Islam is a twelve lesson course which combines typical learning assignments with experiential activities and on-line interactions for an integrated learning environment. Each course lesson is taught by a different Muslim or Christian expert. In each lesson you will explore the Muslim world and God’s plan for Muslims by reading from a collection of writings about the life of Muhammad, the history of Islamic civilization, Islamic beliefs, Muslims today, and the everyday lives of Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia. Gain insight into diverse Muslim cultures and worldviews as well as Christian outreach toward Muslims, our response to Islam, and prayer for the Muslim world. The course textbook has more than 80 authors providing a broad range of perspectives on Islam.

Join us for the kick-off class this Sunday, September 9, from 5-8 PM at Holy Grounds Cafe. The first class is free, but the cost to enroll in the entire class is $250. You can sign-up online or take a look at the class brochure here.

Come join us!