Sanctification and the Local Church

The church is the primary context for our sanctification, which is just another way of saying that God’s “plan A” for our progressive transformation and spiritual growth is the participation in a local church body. It is another great reminder that we exist as interdependent creatures. Even before we take into account the effects of the fall and sin, it is not good that man be alone.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Genesis 2:18 ESV

God’s Mission and the Public Square

Here is a quick excerpt from a post Brad Brisco shared on the VERGE Network.

Most Christians live in the ordinary everyday world, working, making a living, raising families, paying taxes, contributing to society and culture, getting along, doing their bit. But in what sense is the life of believers living in the “ordinary” realm – what we call the public square – part of the mission of God’s people?

Has God called us to a particular vocation for His purposes? Is God active in our places of work? Is He even interested in the public square? [Christopher] Wright answers:

Many Christians seem to operate on the everyday assumption that God is not. Or at least, they assume that God is not interested in the world of everyday work for its own sake, as distinct from being interested in it as a context for evangelism. God, it would seem, cares about the church and its affairs, about missions and missionaries, about getting people to heaven, but not about how society and its public places are conducted on earth.

– Wright, Christopher, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission

You can read the rest here.

Faith and Conviction

Our willingness to sacrifice for an enterprise is always in proportion to our faith in that enterprise. Faith has the genius of transforming the barely possible into actuality. Once men are dominated by the conviction that a thing must be done, they will stop at nothing until it is accomplished.

– Samuel Zwemer, The Glory of the Impossible

Economics and Human Dignity

Because the market evaluates people in terms of their production and consumption, a society that nearly defies the market’s “invisible hand” can start to value people based on the same criteria. Christian hospitality, in contrast, accepts people wholly as they are, with no advantage seeking or expectation of reciprocity, no litmus test of economic worth or usefulness. A person’s worth is derived permanently and unequivocally from their status as the precious handiwork of God. Thus, our hospitality should emerge as we seek to follow the Bible’s ordinary yet deeply radical call to embrace the other.

– Smith, C. Christopher, Slow Church, IVP Books, 2014

Greenwood

Greenwood is a visually beautiful movie set in the woods of upstate New York. In it, an Oak tree is turned into a traditional post and rung stool.

Assorted Variety: December 4, 2015

Four of Pope Francis’ Most Challenging Ideas
RELEVANT Magazine takes a look at four of Pope Francis’ most challenging ideas—and how he connects them back to the Gospel.

Think Your House Isn’t Good Enough for Hospitality? Think again.
Jessica Schaeffer explores the ideas related to hospitality and challenges us to take these ideas past mere concepts and put them into practice by addressing the myriad of excuses, fears, and concerns that befall us when we consider out home as a place of hospitality.

Strangers and Sojourners

We should thoughtfully consider how we might care for those who are strangers and sojourners among us. This is all the more important as the church is called upon to care for the refugees fleeing the atrocities of the Syrian civil war.

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:33-34 ESV

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén