I ended my Facebook fast just in time to cop the fallout of Aussie Prime Minster KRudd’s appearance on QandA. It’s worth reading David Ould’s response to the PM’s understanding of the central message of the New Testament.
How would you answer the question,
What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament?
For Rudd it’s about how we treat one another which he reduces down further to a principle of “universal love”.
The correct answer, of course, is radically different. The right response to the question “what is the fundamental principle of the New Testament?” is the far more shocking and radical
Jesus is the Christ, the Lord.
Baptist pastor and broadcaster Rod Benson writes about asylum seekers:
What if the global movement of refugees and asylum seekers, along with other discernible migration patterns, is a small but significant part of the mission of God in our time?
What if God has been preparing his church for witness to people who come to our shores by boat – people who would otherwise be prevented from meeting faithful followers of Jesus?
What if opposition to asylum seekers is offensive to God?
Tim Brister on A Theology-Driven Life:
We should love studying theology; but I’ve come to learn that it is possible to study theology in a way in which it is divorced from the Person, the work and the commands of Jesus. It is possible to be right in my explanation of God’s Word and yet have no explanation for how I’m living my life. When that happens, the words of Jesus should make us uncomfortable in the best way. Not to cause servile fear in us, or to shame us—but to call us to love….. When we get theology the way God intends for us to get it, we will be better lovers of God and our neighbor. In turn, that love will manifest itself not in word or tongue only but in deed and truth (1 John 3:18). That true theology—theology that dominates our thoughts and motivates our hearts to live and to love in ways that points to Christ and so shows us to be His disciples (John 13:34-35).
Charlie Peacock predicts the future of Christian Music:
In the future, young musicians will think that all Christian music is dated and boring, and they will create something they think is current, relevant and exciting. They will say things like, “We just wanna show people that you can be a Christian and have fun, too.” Or, “We’re not gonna hit people over the head with the Bible. We’re not Christian musicians; we’re musicians who are Christians.” Or, “We are totally sold out to Jesus. We don’t write vague, sugar-coated lyrics.”
It will be nothing but retread hubris though. I will roll my eyes and grumble that history is hell-bent on repeating itself.
So take note, the real and trustworthy future of Christian music is Christ. Find out what He’s interested in, and let that be the music’s future.
On a related point, Stephen Miller wrote a great article on The Modern Worship Music Wars:
Worship is war. But it is not to be fought over our own preferences. We must turn our energy towards killing the selective, prideful nature within us. We must fight to put to death anything in us that would hinder us from pursuing Christ with all we are. We must fight to worship him with a joyful adoration that cannot be contained.
And Zac Hicks writes helpfully about (defends) the simplicity of modern worship music:
Part of the reason “the same chords” are prevalent in worship songs is because they are the principle chordal building blocks of the rock genre. The songwriter is not so much being trite as they are being faithful to the form. There is an element of truth to the fact that all rock “sounds the same,” but it is no different than the way a sonata “moves the same.” Suddenly, critics must work a lot harder and be a lot more nuanced in their criticism if they’re going to fault the worship song for its “predictability.”
Michael Horton writes that Ordinary is the new radical:
In many ways, it’s more fun to be part of movements than churches. We can express our own individuality, pick our favorite leaders, and be swept off our feet at conferences. We can be anonymous. Although encouraged by like-minded believers, we are not bound up with them so that we should feel compelled to bear their burdens or suffer their rebukes. Yet this movement-mentality keeps us restless and makes ordinary life in and submission to an actual church seem intolerably confining.