In Case You Missed It

At The Intersect Project, Dawn Johnson Mitchell shared 3 ways you can pray for public school educators.

The smell of cafeteria food is in the air. The sound of squeaking sneakers echoes through hallways. And yellow school buses pepper the highways.

 

This means one thing: School is back in session.

 

As the new school year begins, educators need your prayer. In working with veteran and novice teachers for over a decade, and from my own experiences as a classroom teacher, here are three specific ways you can pray.

 

The classroom use of personal technology by students is a hot topic in college and seminary classrooms. In this post at his personal blog, Dr. Jason Duesing shares his views on the topic.

In the 1980s, one of my television heroes was the debonair Alex P. Keaton. My admiration for APK centered not just for his quick wit and conservative politics, but mostly because he had a watch that was also a calculator. I don’t recall at what age I first acquired the same watch, but when I did I remember some anxiety about whether my teachers would allow me to wear it to school or in class–lest they think I was covertly doing pre-calculus on my wrist.

 

How to handle media use in the classroom has been a topic of discussion among educators at all levels for the better part of the last two decades, or more. And, when our culture entered an era of annual technological upgrades and the condensing of multiple devices into fewer things to carry, the collective academic fretting only increased.

 

When I first started teaching and was not much older than the students, I resisted the trend of allowing more and more devices and sought to control and limit all use of non-class-related technology by professorial fiat. However, some time ago, I changed my thinking and chose instead to embrace this brave new world and try my best to redeem it for constructive (or at least entertaining) purposes.

 

Micah Fries shared a post at his personal blog discussing white supremacy and moral equivalency. Micah writes:

“White supremacy is wrong. It is anti-gospel and ought to be opposed with every fiber of our being. You cannot love Christ and claim racial superiority.”

 

“Yes, but what about Black Lives Matter (BLM)? Or antifa?”

 

This conversation, or some variation of it has played out repeatedly across the country over the last few days. What should we do with it? Is it a valid question? Is there moral equivalency between the two arguments?

 

As we begin, let’s state upfront that, generally speaking, any group who employs violence and/or anarchist behavior in resistance to the rule of law should be considered to be on the wrong side of the Bible. This is true of white supremacists. This is true of the Alt-Right. This is true of BLM. This is true of antifa. This is true of those employing said behavior disconnected from any group. This is true of any yet to be named group. With rare exception, followers of Christ abhor disobedience to the rule of law, and particularly reject violence to accomplish those means.

 

In a post at the Baptist Press, J.D. Greear explained how believing is seeing.

Imagine that you’d been blind your whole life and, suddenly, through some medical miracle you regained your sight. How would you prove to someone that you are now in the light?

 

It’s not that you can logically prove the existence of light. It’s not that you can explain how the medicine worked. It’s simply because you can now see everything else because of that light.

 

John’s Gospel presents Jesus that way. It opens by saying that Jesus is the light that came into the world. God’s Word “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory” — the kind of glory that could only belong to God (John 1:14).

 

In a guest post at Thom Rainer’s blog, Jonathan Howe shared seven qualities of an effective church communications coordinator.

Church communications is a burgeoning field. And the position of church communications director/manager/coordinator has become ubiquitous in many large churches. But it’s not just the large churches that are looking to fill this role. Mid-size and small churches are realizing the importance of having a singular person responsible for their church’s communications and social media.

 

So what should a church look for when finding a full-time, part-time, or volunteer communications coordinator? These seven qualities should be evident in that person.

In Case You Missed It

Earlier this week Jason Duesing wrote an article about the most important word he learned in seminary. He writes:

When I went to seminary I had only been a Christian for 4 years. I knew what it meant to be saved but was still working out what all that meant. For example, I had come to learn and love the hymn:

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

But it was not yet clear to me how exactly did Jesus wash me white as snow? I knew that Jesus died for my sins, but I don’t think I could have told you what happened when he did or how he did it. That is when I discovered I had a philology problem–a problem with words.

Dr. Bruce Ashford published an article at The Intersect Project website explaining how to engage culture like Abraham Kuyper.

Abraham Kuyper lived in the Netherlands in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was a pastor, a journalist, a newspaper founder, a professor, a university founder, a parliament member and a prime minister. From these many vantage points, Kuyper sought to work out the implications of the gospel. Both his writings and his life story show us a Christian who not only critiqued culture but made culture.

Kuyper is known for his teachings about Christianity and culture. Here are nine points that summarize some of his most important teachings.

Aaron Earls posted an article at his personal blog this week explaining why writing, even when no one will ever read it, is so important for the writer. Aaron writes:

Recently, I spent a significant amount of time working on a blog post only to hit delete instead of publish. That decision was difficult because of the investment and sacrifices I made to write it.

Having a wife, four kids, a full-time job, and church responsibilities means my spare time is limited, verging on the nonexistent. I want to make the most of every moment I have. So having that piece never see the light of day meant something was lost — but not everything.

As I tweeted about my decision, several other writers on Twitter shared their own experiences about constructing blog posts, articles, and even books, that no one else will ever read.

Reading their experiences and reflecting on my own, I realized the loss involved in deleting that post was not all that was involved. There were gains and benefits from the decision as well.

Here are four positive takeaways when my writing ends up on the cutting room floor. When we write for an “audience of none,” here’s what you and I can gain, as well as questions we should ask to determine whether a piece should be read by others.

Sam Storms, while looking at the account of Jesus’s cleansing of the temple, addresses the question: Who is this man, Jesus?

So who is this Jesus? Is he still the humble servant, riding on a donkey, offering himself to Israel as their Messianic King and savior from sin? Is he still the holy judge who is enraged with the unrighteous ways of the religious leaders? Is he at the same time the Good Shepherd of the sheep, tender and meek? At one moment his eyes flashed like fire! No one dared make eye contact with him. A split second later his eyes are filled with tears of love and compassion.

Finally, in this blog post, J.D. Greear discusses the new book One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics with the authors: Bruce Ashford and Chris Pappalardo. J.D. writes:

I’ve often said that for Christian leaders, politics is like a skunk: touch it and that’s all anyone will notice about you for a long while. As Christians, our political convictions—no matter how passionately held or biblically based—should always be secondary to the gospel. I may be wrong about my economic views, but I know I’m not wrong about the gospel; and I never want my opinion on the former to prevent people from hearing the latter.

But just because politics is secondary doesn’t mean its irrelevant. There comes a time when the Church needs to actively equip itself to engage in politics. I believe this is one of those times.

The prospect of diving into politics scares a lot of Christians, especially in the younger generation. Many of us are tired of the “culture wars” and all of the poisonous rhetoric that so often accompanies political activism. And years of Christian over-dependence on politics has left most Christians timid to engage in the political process at all. That’s precisely why now, more than ever, we need a positive, proactive vision for how to live out the gospel in the public square.

Bruce Ashford (Provost at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Chris Pappalardo (Lead Researcher and Writer here at the Summit) have given the Church a masterfully constructed blueprint for doing just that. They’ve just released a book called One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics, and I asked them to respond to a few questions about evangelicals and politics today

Two (Glorious) Truths About God’s Wrath

 

Recently, J.D. Greear published an article on his blog discussing God’s wrath. In his article he wrote:

There is little question that in today’s society, the wrath of God is the most offensive doctrine imaginable. It seems harsh, judgmental, and backwards. And it’s not just an Old Testament thing, either. The famous skeptic Bertrand Russell explained that the primary reason he could never believe in Jesus was that Jesus “so clearly believed in the wrath of God.” He called it “the one profound defect in Jesus’ character.”

Christians, too, often find God’s wrath troubling. As C.S. Lewis said, “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power.” There have been times in my life where I too have thought, Give me a divine eraser and 10 minutes, and I’ll take wrath out of the Bible.

But I can’t and, in fact, I really shouldn’t. Because as much as we hate to think about wrath, it’s actually a good doctrine—something that when we understand it, leads us to know, love, and worship God (for more on that, read here). A god without wrath would actually be a god without goodness.

Much more could be said about God’s wrath, but here I want to focus on two important–and glorious–truths

To read the entire article, head over to J.D.’s blog.