Sunday sundry


Some faith-related entries of note from my blogroll. Not all of these are recent, but all are worth your time and attention.

Christian Persecution Blog reports that this is a national weekend of prayer for the people of Darfur, in Sudan. You'll find some additional background information here.

David Wayne, the Jollyblogger, has posted a review of I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.

Marsupial Mom has been writing about her journey from the word-of-faith movement to Reformed (Calvinist) theology. She recommends a video series and book by R. C. Sproul called What Is Reformed Theology? And her husband chimes in with a sketch of his spiritual background and journey, some things he appreciates about Reformed theology, and more recommended reading.

Michael Spencer writes about his first pastorate, which was in a small church. He began with optimism.

And then....I was taken for a ride in a truck. Mr. So and So, (not his real name) says, "Now you know I give more money than anyone else in the church don't you?" The shine was off of Mikey's new toy. (Actual true story.)

It didn't take long to discover that I was pastoring a network of extended families, and if I were going to do anything here, I was going to have to memorize a map that was never printed; a map of who mattered, who had power, who called the shots, and whose blessing would determine my support.

His health and family suffered during his four years at the church, which has run through three more pastors in the 13 years since he left. Spencer writes that thousands of pastors face the same situation at small churches "that are nothing more than 'family chapels,' gatherings of family and cultural loyalty where the question of ball caps in church becomes a major division and an ugly testimony to the disunity of Christians." He understands why young pastors prefer to start new churches and bypass the kind of politics he had to deal with, but he says we can't write off small churches, which remain the spiritual home for a large proportion of Christians.

Phillip Johnson measures the crisis in "Fad-Driven" modern evangelicalism by the length of Jan Crouch's hair extensions. He also recalls a special dinner with Esther Ahn Kim, a Korean Christian who suffered persecution as a Japanese prisoner during WW II for her refusal to bow before a Shinto shrine. If you haven't already, you'll want to read about his trip to London, particularly his account of the day of the terrorist bombings and his visit to Bunhill Fields, the burying place of John Bunyan, William Blake, John Owen, and Thomas Bayes, the mathematician whose theories are hard at work fighting spam nowadays. The best way to read it all is to go to his July archive, start at the bottom, and work your way up.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 17, 2005 2:38 PM.

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