Here's a sampling of some of the things I've been reading and reviewing this week. The hope is that these bite-sized sections of books, articles, blog posts, etc will stand on their own and be beneficial (or at least thought-provoking!) in-and-of-themselves. But I also hope that some of you will like these excerpts enough that they pull you into the larger work from which they've been taken.
Let's start sampling:
Jonathan Leeman, "Cultural Opposition: Lie Down, Lean In, Lay Low, or Leave" at 9marks.org. Posted November 11, 2014.
"There are four basic responses available to Christians and churches in the face of cultural opposition. We can lie down and so surrender our stand and our faith. We can lean into the opposition by being vocal about our beliefs, willing to “take it on the chin.” We can lay low by taking great caution in airing those parts of our beliefs that the culture finds offensive. Or we get leave. Get out of Dodge.
"It is always sin to lie down. It is never sin to lean in, though sometimes it is not wise. Sometimes it is wise to lay low or even to leave, though occasionally these amount to sinful lying down.
"One of the greater challenges for Christians throughout history has been determining when to lean in and when to lay low or to leave, as well as when laying low or leaving amounts to sinful lying down."
Click here to see the full post from which this excerpt was taken. Please note the usual disclaimer, that my recommendation of this post is not necessarily an endorsement of everything else on the site where this was posted.
Os Guinness, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times. InterVarsity Press, 2014, pp. 62:
“…culture creation requires a long obedience over several generations, which requires a steady engagement with wider society through the callings of all believers in all their lives, which requires strong, stables lives lived in common, which requires a vibrant worshipping, teaching a fellowshipping community, which requires a faith that is true to Jesus above all rival claimants such as personal lifestyle, political party, economic imperatives and entertainment fashions. / Unquestionably, culture creation requires time and perseverance. It is not a matter of harvesting mushrooms but of growing oak trees.”
Tim Keller, Judges for You. The Good Book Company, 2013. p. 102:
"There is a good lesson in choosing a leader in [Judges 8:33-9:6]. We are often far too easily impressed by qualities that are unimportant to God. Further, we can far too easily be swayed by pragmatic arguments. God does not prize popularity, humor, or academic intelligence, being an extrovert, and so on. He seeks men who hold to his truth, seek to lead their family rightly, are patient and self-controlled (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9). He does not want well-mannered, well-dressed, 21st century equivalents of Abimelech, chosen for the wrong reasons and the wrong qualities."
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