I am an exhausted Evangelical, but I am hopeful that God will use this particularly bumpy cultural moment to rouse a sleepy church from its prolonged nap of cultural Christianity, and that what might emerge from this all would be a vibrant Kingdom community of faith prepared to live as sojourners and exiles until we arrive on the shores of the land that we are actually all longing for.
It explained why I would come home after multiple church services on a Sunday with a level of exhaustion that I couldn’t even begin to describe. Not just tired, soul level exhausted. It explained why my true friendships were few in numbers and were all with people I had known for decades. I have always been a guy with hundreds of genuinely fond acquaintance relationships and very few friendships. It explained my anxiety around situations and scenarios with lots of strangers where I had to mingle and not where I got to have the relative position of safety of being the pastor guy on stage. It explained a lot of my self-loathing that I put myself through because I wasn’t more fun as a hang, or why I couldn’t be more winsome and charming in conversation. It explained … my life.
What a wonderfully confounding thing it is to be a person. We are all a complex mix of image-bearing potential for good and serpent-believing potential for wickedness, and our recognition of this tension ought to make us the most humble and yet most hopeful of all creatures.
An assortment of links gathered from the far reaches of the internet for your clicking pleasure over the weekend. This week includes preacher's wives, a very loud world, virtue through dissociation, getting goodness done, and the rise of the nones or just the end of the pretense of a Christian nation.
Does evangelical mean anything? Is the enneagram a type of horoscope? How do I keep exercising when I am busy? Is religion ending? And a few more things for your weekend perusal.
College football is a cultural phenomenon in the US. What if we applied some of the principles of what it means to gather together with other fans to what it looks like for us to gather together with other believers?
There is no shortage of stuff to read online, in fact there is too much and it can be tough to navigate how to find good content. I am the personal beneficiary of some others who collate some of the helpful content they have seen, and so I try to occasionally collate some of the articles that I have found interesting. As I haven't done this in a while, this one clears a bit of a backlog and so has some new and older content. I will try limit it to five links.
Some Christians have extended the idea of total depravity morphing it into a form of utter depravity, staining even some good things in the world, things that can be celebrated and enjoyed, with sin’s brush of joylessness and brokenness. I have certainly been guilty of this, and it shows all too often in my countenance and approach to some of life’s simple pleasures and enjoyments.