Saturday, 16 April 2016

Mission Frontiers 38, 2 (March-April 2016)

The March-April 2016 issue of Mission Frontiers, published by the U.S. Center for World Mission, contains a number of articles on ‘Sending-Base Movements: Equipping Local Churches to Reach Their Communities and the Nations’.

Guest Editor Robby Butler writes:

‘A revolution is unfolding in the Church – perhaps even a second Reformation. Nearly 500 years ago (1517) Martin Luther ignited the Protestant Reformation with his 95 theses. is issue of MF documents a change of similar significance spreading among sending-base churches, coming this time through the application of mission eld insights regarding the biblical principles Jesus and His disciples modeled...

‘What will God do in and through “ordinary” church members when we pursue loving obedience to Jesus as seriously as we take adding to our knowledge?...

‘What will God do in and through our churches when members come to expect training and equipping alongside comfort and communion?’

Individual articles can be accessed from here, and the whole issue (5 MB) can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Centre for Public Christianity (April 2016)

Among other items of interest, the Centre for Public Christianity has posted a video interview with Stanley Hauerwas, talking about ‘the centrality of friendship to the Christian life, suffering, the need for a sense of humour, and why a radical social ethic is a natural outgrowth of Christian faith’.

There is another video of him here on ‘war and non-violence’, one here on ‘politics and choice’, one here on ‘should faith be private?’, and one here on ‘being human’.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

John Piper on the Christian Scriptures

John Piper, A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness (Wheaton: Crossway, 2016).

Crossway in the USA and IVP in the UK have just published a new book by John Piper, essentially on Scripture’s self-attestation. As so often, through the generosity of Desiring God, the book is also available as a free pdf download here.

There is a short video Piper introducing the book here, and a set of interviews with Michael Reeves on it here.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Glynn Harrison on the Modern Crisis of Identity

The latest Cambridge Paper from the Jubilee Centre is available online, this one by Glynn Harrison:

Here is the summary:

‘It has never been easy to answer the question “Who am I?” but increasing social pluralism, the fast-changing world of social media, and easy access to cosmetic surgery make it more difficult than ever. The resulting confusion may undermine wellbeing and threaten social cohesion. The biblical view of human identity as “given” in Christ, worked out imaginatively in relational communities, can potentially buffer these harmful consequences, defend against narcissism and help cultivate personal resilience.’

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Christian History Magazine on the Quakers

The latest issue of Christian History Magazine is devoted to the Quakers.

Here is the magazine’s ‘hook’ paragraph:

‘With a beheaded king and a bloody civil war as the backdrop, the Quakers emerged in 17th-century England as just one of many answers to corruption in church and state: Diggers, Ranters, Levellers, and Fifth Monarchists, to name just a few! While many groups disappeared as quickly as they started, the Quakers have survived. Read the stories of George Fox, Margaret Fell, and the movement they founded that would cross the Atlantic to the Americas and then travel to Africa. Quakers are known for their silent meetings and simple living, but we’ll uncover surprising stories of charismatic leaders, fervent social activism, and even a few bold Quakers who went naked as a prophetic sign in this issue of Christian History magazine.’

The whole magazine is available as a 6.3 MB pdf here.

Friday, 1 April 2016

9Marks Journal 13, 1 (2016) on Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions

The latest issue of the 9Marks Journal, available here as a pdf and here in other formats, is devoted to the topic of ‘Confessions, Covenants, and Constitutions: How to Organize Your Church’.

In the Editor’s Note, Jonathan Leeman writes:

‘Yes, Scripture should be a church’s sole authority. But the confessions, covenants, and constitutions of a church articulate what the members agree the Scripture teaches on what they should believe, how they should live, and how they should be governed.

‘Church documents is a prosaic topic, to be sure. But they facilitate unity. They protect a church from being governed by the passions of the moment. And they force a congregation and its leaders to be careful, deliberate, reflective, and, hopefully, biblical. Not bad, for a boring old administrator’s job.

‘To put it another way, church documents are kind. It is kind to tell people what you think up front. It is kind say what you will expect from them or how disagreements will be resolved.

‘Imagine a husband and wife, a year into marriage, realizing they have dramatically different views about commitment and faithfulness because they never bothered with vows. “Ah, that’s just paperwork!” Or, imagine your boss asking you to do one thing when you thought your job was something else because you never had a job description.

‘This is what church documents are for—letting everyone know what their job is, and what covenant faithfulness looks like.’