Is Christ divided? No; He is Christ United in Mid-City

1 Corinthians 1:13

Friday, August 18, 2017

Christians in Iraq are ‘on the brink of extinction.’

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Without Action, We Are Hypocrites

Are Evangelicals Donating Too Directly to Missions?
When helping hurts the professional helpers.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
Long before Google Maps, a couple of guys in a garage in California figured out how to use personal computers to create a digital map of the global church. It was 1983, and their two-year project — meant to help organizations see where to send missionaries and who still needed translations of the Bible — grew into an organization called Global Mapping International (GMI). continue reading >>

What the Alt-Right Tells Us About Christianity and Politics
The role religion plays in the white nationalist group behind the Charlottesville protests.
Book Review
Do We Need a Stronger Word for 'Faith'?
Why theologian Matthew Bates would have evangelicals profess 'allegiance' to Christ.
'House of Cards' Keeps Scraping the Bottom of Evil's Barrel
After five seasons, it's high time the Underwoods' crimes come home to roost.
The Exchange
Without Action, We Are Hypocrites
Jesus isn't impressed by our feelings of moral outrage at injustice.

Homeless man dies outside San Francisco church

Archbishop gave the seminarians his blessing following a special Mass in their honor at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Homeless man dies outside San Francisco church after morning mass:
Daily Massgoers hold prayer service for Dennis the next day

San Jose bishop issues statement on Charlottesville fracas:
Bishop Patrick McGrath: "The hate-driven speech and actions of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK are rooted in a racism that can find no home in this country or our world"

The Surprises of Melting Glaciers

Lots and lots of commentary this week about the Charlottesville riots, the alt-right movement, and white supremacy. I was surprised by the vehemence of the reaction, frankly. That racism is a great evil nearly goes without saying these days, and yet everyone felt the need to not only say it but shout it, on both the left and right. Despite their ability to manipulate the media, racists of the alt-right sort are numerically small, with no political power and a miniscule following—listen to this week's Quick to Listen podcast to hear professor George Hawley of the University of Alabama, author of Making Sense of the Alt-Right, explain this. So they really don't represent any serious threat. And yet we felt deeply threatened and upset. I'd like to read more about that, but haven't found anything yet worth sharing. This much I can say: I'm glad as a nation we're largely unified about the ugliness of racism and white supremacy.

Which brings me to "If We're Tearing Down White Supremacy, Start with Planned Parenthood." Daniel Payne argues that the organizations founding, history, and current practice suggests that it can be reasonably convicted of white supremacy. Maybe that should be the next national target.

Another way to respond to the riots, providentially (!), is suggested in our September cover story about a memorial to honor African-Americans who have been lynched, a very dark chapter in our history.
That seems to be the key to Angela Merkel's approach to power. In a world where bluster and machismo is regularly on display by male world leaders, the German chancellor is a remarkable contrast:
Her approach is reminiscent of the Japanese martial art called aikido. Its fighting style is based on channeling, rather than countering, the energy (ki) of an opponent, in such a way that the opponent overcomes himself. The underlying insight is that, as an aggressor attacks, his center of gravity is necessarily in flux and becomes unstable. A skilled fighter uses this. The result has less to do with tipping the opponent than with letting him fall. The ultimate origin of aikido, as of Merkel's style, is thus not strength but weakness.
For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket. Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash. Turbulence is an aggravating nuisance for everybody, including the crew, but it's also, for lack of a better term, normal.
The article is interesting in and of itself, but the preacher in me got to thinking this would make a good sermon illustration about life, in which there is so much, well, turbulence. Maybe that too is "normal" and shouldn't prompt panic. And maybe that explains Chancellor Merkel's calm in crisis situations.
There is a bit of good news about global warming, at least according to archeologists.
As the glaciers recede, they are releasing some of the human artifacts that they have absorbed through the ages, including humans themselves. Ötzi, the five-thousand-year-old mummified mountaineer discovered in 1991, remains the most astonishing find. But hundreds of other archeological objects, preserved in remarkable delicacy, have also turned up—medieval crossbow bolts, coins of Roman vintage, a pair of twenty-six-hundred-year-old socks.
Most recently in the Alps, scientists discovered a "lunch box" or "mini-fridge" from the Bronze Age that "enabled these early commuters to transform the alpine environment into their workplace."
Grace and peace,
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

Corporations are replacing churches as America's conscience

Corporations are replacing churches as America's conscience
Vox: After Charlottesville, CEOs have become our public conscience. Here's what that says about capitalism in America.

Trump's evangelical panel remains intact as others disband. Who are his religious cheerleaders?
The (London) Guardian: As three other advisory boards disband following the president's response to the Virginia violence, Jerry Falwell Jr tweets support for Trump.
Religion Dispatches: I created the hashtag #EmptythePews because it's time for evangelicals to walk out of toxic churches 
From a St. Louis street corner, pastor takes your prayer requests
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Standing outside his church at the corner of Marcus Avenue and Leduc Street in St. Louis, Pastor Henry Price waits for prayer requests every morning between 8 and 10 a.m.

Christian ethicists: Racism, white supremacy are 'a Christian problem'
National Catholic Reporter: More than 400 Christian ethicists and other theologians have signed a statement rejecting "racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and neo-Nazi ideology as a sin against God that divides the human family created in God's image."

Anybody could be president. We could be obliterated by nuclear war. The eclipse would still come.
The Washington Post: Soon, so soon, we'll look to the heavens in awe. And we will wonder, surely, surely, this is some heavenly commentary about something we are doing.
The Atlantic: Is the solar eclipse a message from God? 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

What We Call the Edge, God Calls the Center

Best of Lausanne

Handpicked missional resources for you each week

What We Call the Edge, God Calls the Center

lga-god-calls-center-fullwidthWhat happens when we stop working ‘on behalf of the poor’ and instead allow them to be their own agents of change? Stephan Bauman witnessed this firsthand when he encountered the Way of Hope movement in Cambodia–a vibrant network of cell churches led by people many would consider to be vulnerable and helpless. In a world increasingly thirsty for ‘the real thing’, we may be surprised to find that renewed vision can come from the least likely places.

From a white person to white people: We're complicit

From a white person to white people: We're complicit

We need to talk about something uncomfortable that our brothers and sisters of color have been shouldering for far too long.

Dear white friends, family, and church family,

We need to talk. About Charlottesville and what happened there. We need to talk about something uncomfortable that our brothers and sisters of color have been shouldering for far too long. We need to talk about race, and we need to talk about sin: the sin of racism.

But first, can I tell you a story?

I grew up in a very small town outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania in a working and middle class community. TV made me vaguely aware that there were people who weren't white but who were still just like me, but almost everyone I knew was white. Everyone was white at church. Everyone was white at school.

In sixth grade, boys and girls become hormone-crazed squirrels, whispering and giggling about things like holding hands and "dating." One day I made an offhand remark to the only black boy in my class that he should really date S., who was the only black girl in my class.
Looking me straight in the eyes he said, "Why? Because we're both black?"

I grew up in a place and was raised by people who taught me that you tolerate and are friendly to people of other races. But you do not befriend them, and you certainly do not date them.

I knew that day I'd said something wrong, but I wasn't sure exactly what and I had no one to ask. It made me think: Perhaps what I'd implicitly been taught about race wasn't all correct.

I share this story because I think a lot of white people have a story like this--the first time when what we had learned about race came into conflict with the words or experiences of a person of color.

At the time, I felt ashamed and confused. Now I know these moments are opportunities for white people to stop and listen to what people of color are trying to say. Those moments are invitations for us to unlearn some of our damaging ideas about race and the privilege we experience because we are white.

Check out what else is new on

Homeschooling's problem with homogeneity
The common good is best discerned among diversity.

New Jersey mayor orders religious shrine removed

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"Loving The City"

"Loving The City" 
New Class Continues
Sunday, 9:45am,
Goodwin Room

This Sunday will be Rachel's last day teaching this class. 

Two of our Adult Fellowship Groups; Life Together: A Fellowship for College Age and 20 somethings, and The Gathering: A Fellowship for 30 somethings, are currently joining this class.

This class is going through Tim Keller's book Loving The City; Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City.  

Some don’t want to think about the reality of hell

Some don’t want to think about the reality of hell

by Joseph O'Brien

Membership: 800 Pastor: Tony Miller Age: 54 Born: Beaver, OK Formation: Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, ID; Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO; Trevecca Nazarene, Nashville, TN Years Ordained: 28 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach? Pastor Tony Miller: The ... +more