- Steve Holmes critiques some comments Mark Driscoll recently made regarding congregational government and missional church. (On a similar note, check out the latest post at Resurgence on Are Multi-site Churches Biblical?)
The most astonishing and worrying thing about the comments is that they are entirely pragmatic. Faced with the question of the most appropriate mode of church government, Driscoll’s response is not to turn to the Bible, or to think theologically about what God calls the local church to be, but to ask what works (where ‘works’ is defined as adding numbers to one particular local congregation, with no consideration of the edification of the saints, the transformation of society, or the wider mission of the church).
- Thom Rainer speaks to pastors everywhere with You Are My Pastor. (On a similar note, check out Brian Croft’s Can a pastor still be fruitful if he did not speak at the Gospel Coalition?)
You are my pastor. You are not perfect. You get frustrated like everyone else. You don’t always say exactly what you should say. You do indeed make some mistakes. On that reality you readily agree.But your imperfections are often magnified in the light of your leadership role. When you please one congregant, you often displease another. You can’t make everyone happy, and you hear criticisms more times than most of us could endure.
- Daniel Kirk reflects on election in Romans 9-11 in response to Roger Olson’s claim that traditional Calvinism makes God a moral monster.
I wish Paul had said that it was Israel’s own fault, that it was their own free will that caused them to reject Jesus, but that God would overcome that in the end.
But he didn’t.
And so we are left with the God who elects, who works mysterious purposes, and who ultimately claims that in all these things He is fulfilling his promises to Israel.
- National Geographic has a powerful piece on The Secret World of Child Brides.
The people who work full-time trying to prevent child marriage, and to improve women’s lives in societies of rigid tradition, are the first to smack down the impertinent notion that anything about this endeavor is simple. Forced early marriage thrives to this day in many regions of the world—arranged by parents for their own children, often in defiance of national laws, and understood by whole communities as an appropriate way for a young woman to grow up when the alternatives, especially if they carry a risk of her losing her virginity to someone besides her husband, are unacceptable.
- Rachel Held Evans offers some interesting thoughts on How to follow Jesus.without being Shane Clairborne.
- Justin Taylor points out that the audio for all the Gospel Coalition workshops is now available.
- James Tucker begins a weekly series on textual criticism.
- And, here’s a list of 7 Disturbing Books That Someone Probably Made You Read (interestingly the Bible didn’t make the list, though it would certainly seem to fit the criteria for many people)