Category Archives: must reads

Must Reads for Your Week

The theme of this week’s “must read’s” has to do with how we interact online – or better, how we should.

“How the Internet Has Brought Us Too Close Together (and the Wisdom of Trolls)” by Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts always brings a unique (and extended!) look at contemporary issues. Here he talks about how the challenges we live with online in a “smaller” world…

Vigorous and fruitful exchange of diverse ideas is only possible where a certain culture exists and this culture requires particular types of persons and contexts to sustain it, people who regard themselves as self-defined collaborative architects of a conversation and contexts that are more capable of sustaining confrontational and more differentiated interactions.

“Challenging the Culture of Quarrelsome ‘Discernment’ Blogging” by E. Stephen Burnett

A timely word. E. Stephen Burnett confronts the dark side of the unbiblical and quarrelsome “discernment” blogging – otherwise known as QDB…

I do not challenge biblical discernment. But I do want to challenge quarrelsome discernment: a counterfeit “discernment” that revels in the fight, refuses to listen to others, is careless with the truth, and twists one biblical instruction — to rebuke false teaching — into a chief end of a Christian’s ministry.

“A Guide to Debating Online (Without Losing Friends)” by Bonnie Kristian

An oldie but a goodie. How do you talk online without being a jerk? Bonnie Kristian tells you how.

…debating online doesn’t have to involve insults and farewells. We can take our stances seriously and still be on speaking terms when the debate is over.

Must Reads for Your Week

“Dismantling the Façade of Authentic Vulnerability” by Chris Martin

Chris has put words to something that has needed to be said for a while now…

…there is a big difference between the person who talks about working out and the person who actually works out. In the same way, there’s a big difference between the person who talks “vulnerably” and lives vulnerably.

If we were truly willing to be vulnerable, authentic, and the rest, we’d actually start doing something about our sin and not just wallow in it with our friends like pigs in the mud.

The Relationally Grounded Pastor: An interview with Eugene Peterson” by J.R. Briggs

Eugene Peterson graciously continues to be a voice calling pastors to prepare the way for the Lord…first, in our hearts…

There’s nothing in the world that is more contextual, more sensitive than a congregation. Wendell Berry elaborates this in terms of the land, the farm. Every farm is different, and the farmer has to learn his land and treat it with dignity. There’s no vocation, I think, that’s as context-specific as the pastor. So you’ve got two contexts—your congregation and the pastor’s. Every pastor is different and should learn to be him- or herself. And every congregation is different and needs to be given dignity in being itself.

“Expositional Imposters (Expanded)” by Mike Gilbart-Smith

Extremely insightful thoughts on the subtle (and not so subtle) ways we can flub in preaching a sermon expositionally…

Mark Dever rightly describes expositional preaching as ‘preaching that takes for the point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture.’
 
However, I have heard (and preached!) sermons that intend to be expositional, yet fall somewhat short. Below are a dozen pitfalls: five that don’t make the message of the passage the message of the sermon and thus abuse the text, five that fail to connect the text the congregation, and two that fail to recognise that preaching is ultimately God’s work.