Macmorphosis

Ten years ago I was a Mac Pro guy. Today I am a Mac mini guy.

That’s somewhat like moving from driving sports cars to driving a family car, but tuning it to within an inch of its life.

It still gets me there, with as much satisfaction if not with as much style.

Can God do good things through bad men? | Psephizo

And another article dealing with the same thing. It’s almost too heavy for me to bear.

But there are key questions to ask about the culture of organisations which allow the abuse of power by ‘celebrity’ individuals—something that is hardly limited to one tradition in the church, and which we have seen all across society. The issues seem to me to cluster around three key questions:

1. Why do we allow individuals to be put on pedestals where they appear to be above question or contradiction?
2. What happened to proper process of accountability and transparency?
3. Why is there a lack of honesty, particularly in relation to questions of relationships and sex?
— Read on www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/can-god-do-good-things-through-bad-men/

The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall: The Plague of Celebrity Culture Infecting Modern Evangelicalism – Overthinking Christian

Here is more on the celebrity culture that is spoiling the church. Celebrity culture is both a spot and a wrinkle.

There are three big names that have been creating online buzz since this past summer: Carl Lentz for his casual affair; Ravi Zacharias for his prolonged and predatory sexual abuse of women; and celebrity pastor John MacArthur and his mishandling of and irresponsible reaction to COVID– related to that would be McArthur’s attack on churches and pastors who are complying with government orders.
— Read on overthinkingchristian.com/2021/02/14/the-bigger-they-are-the-harder-they-fall-the-plague-of-celebrity-culture-infecting-modern-evangelicalism/

Responding | Michael Bird

Michael Bird has some great advice for how the church should respond to the increasingly disturbing phenomenon of abuse and misconduct by supposedly Christian leaders. I don’t know about you, but this situation is really troubling me and I believe it is almost a follow-on of the desire to build huge churches and organizations. Lord, help us.

What is more, this happened – this keeps happening – because of (1) Evangelical celebrity culture; (2) Big platforms with big donors and a fear of it all disappearing; (3) A lack of oversight and accountability; and (4) A refusal to take women’s accusations seriously.

So what is to be done?

# 1. For men involved in ministry, don’t be a sleaze bag. Don’t become the very thing that you should have learned to fear becoming and despise when you encountered it. Remember, it is always easier to sin the second time. Whether that’s looking at porn on a computer screen or thinking about how to manipulate a vulnerable woman. Your sins will always find you out and the sin is never worth it. Oh, and read some 1 Corinthians 3 to put the fear of God into you!

# 2. Para-church ministries need independent boards not sycophants. What is more, boards need genuine gender balance and people from outside the circle of the leader’s influence.

# 3. The only place for a prima donna is the New York Ballet. Seriously, if your “star” speaker/pastor starts to get a god-complex, better to commit deicide now than stand in front of a camera later explaining why you never spoke up.

# 4. Take all allegations seriously, investigate all allegations independently, and release all findings publicly.

# 5. Do not allow your church, college, institute, ministry to become a place where predators feel safe and victims feel afraid to speak up. If anything, heed the exhortation of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8:

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
— Read on www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2021/02/responding-to-the-ravi-zacharias-sexual-abuse-revelations/

Recommendation of exceptional book on the atonement

I sent the following to my pastoral staff in an email. I’ll share this recommendation more widely with whomever might happen upon this post.

I just finished the best theology book I’ve ever read. I read much more in biblical studies than I do in theology, but this book grabbed me from start to finish.

JOSHUA M. MCNALL, THE MOSAIC OF ATONEMENT

To summarize, McNall wants to stop arguing about models of the atonement and show how they work together (as a mosaic) to demonstrate what God did (and is doing) for us in Jesus. The arguments are compelling.

If I were a preacher or still able to teach others, I would find here a wealth of stuff to inform my teaching. Not only that, the thoughts in this book have helped me to love Jesus more. What more can you ask of a theology book?

I don’t often share my reading recommendations with my pastors, but this book is an exception, because it is exceptionally useful.

God bless. I pray for you guys every day.

Writing Praise Choruses

The most difficult task for a songwriter is development of the melody. The melody of a song has the same function as a theme in an orchestral composition.

Writing melodies is so difficult that most writers of praise choruses have decided not have a melody. Instead, they opt for sort of a hybrid vocal chord progression and chant. That is a million times easier to produce.

Apparently, if you take the time to write a melody, then you can’t crank out praise choruses fast enough to dominate the market.