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Friday, June 20, 2014

The GALLI Report - Friday, June 20, 2014

The Galli Report newsletter
Friday, June 20, 2014    

"Can Christians Rock?" suggests that praise music, and more generally, Christian rock, is "transgressive," meaning countercultural in a startling way. And the only one to blame for this is Jesus:
This may seem like a new relationship between the world and Christianity where Christianity itself is viewed as profane and transgressive relative to the secular idols and ideologies of the day, but we are simply witnessing what has always been the case. "If the world hates you," said Christ, "keep in mind that it hated me first." (John 15:18, NIV)

This week's long read is "The Disruption Machine." It looks at the relatively new "gospel of innovation" that has captivated the business world and is now moving into the academy. This theory attempts to explain failure and predict success. The word "gospel" is not an accident:
The idea of innovation is the idea of progress stripped of the aspirations of the Enlightenment, scrubbed clean of the horrors of the twentieth century, and relieved of its critics. Disruptive innovation goes further, holding out the hope of salvation against the very damnation it describes: disrupt, and you will be saved.
The problem, according to the author, is that it does not appear to be true.

Knockoffs of C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters—wherein we read missives from a senior devil to one of his reports—are generally pretty lame. Here's an exception. Economics professor Bruce Wydick channels Lewis, wherein a devil instructs an underling how to undermine a church mission trip. The article gives some good advice in a backhanded and humorous way.

I've always thought it overblown when Christians complain that they are discriminated against at their jobs because of their faith. I've usually assumed they lost their jobs—or didn't get the job in the first place—because they professionally lacked in some way. But apparently, sociological studies show religious discrimination in the workplace is real. Yet it is nothing compared to what might seem like a war on Christians worldwide. The author, Paul Marshall, is an analyst with deep expertise on this matter, by the way.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer crystallizes his gospel in this quote from Ethics:
God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love.
The rest of this excerpt can be found here. It's the type of thought that can carry one for at least another week.

Until then, grace and peace,

Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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