Reviews 

Book Review: So you’ve been publicly shamed

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson My rating: 4 of 5 stars When social media was first created (Twitter & Facebook and the like), there was a utopian dream that it would lead to bridge building, greater understand between peoples and peace on earth for all men. What actually happened was that we ended up only talking to people like us and treating everyone else as some kind of demon from the third pit of hell. What we did was bring back and amplify the power of shame.…

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Articles 

Hell revisited

Five years ago, the topic of hell was probably the most discussed doctrine in evangelical circles, following the publication of Rob Bell’s Love Wins. In Love Wins Bell speculated a more hopeful version of CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce. It was nearly but not quite universalism. That debate has died down but it has not gone away and nor will it. However evangelicals have mostly rejected universalism and have instead opted for one of two main approaches: eternal conscious torment or annihilationism. Neither sound good. Preston Sprinkle has hosted a number of debates on his blog about the…

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Church 

A neglected meal

We all know that communion is always theologically rich but often experientially poor while our sung worship can be the exact opposite. There are lots of reasons why that might be the case but I am frequently challenged to invest more into our practice of communion. Douglas Wilson points out that communion is a reminder of why we exist: This Table is all about communion with God, and that is why God created us—to have communion with Him. If He created us to have communion with Him, then having communion with Him is…

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Church 

William Booth’s 4 keys to church growth

Lex Loizides in his Church History blog does a great job mining movements of the past for lessons that can help us in the present. Here he examines some of the keys to the success of William Booth and the Salvation Army. You have to love Booth’s passion for the lost It seemed to me that if we could get them to think about Hell they would be certain to want to turn from it. If we could get them to think about Heaven they would want to go there. If…

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Church 

A church history of bivocational ministry

A change is happening throughout the Western church in the nature and form of church leadership. There is a significant shift towards what is known as bivocational ministry. David Gustafson (@dgustafs1) associate professor of evangelism and missional ministry at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School has written a helpful introduction to the long history of bivocational leadership. Here’s the introduction: Bivocational ministry is trending today. Driven by missional theology, incarnational ministry, theology of work and realities of post-Christendom, conferences and cohorts are being organized to equip pastors for bivocational ministry. “Bivo” pastors and missionaries…

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Gender 

The transgender debate: Links & reading

It became clear some time ago that the next boundary to be redrawn, following the success of same-sex marriage would be that of gender identity. I’ve been collecting different links and resources on this issue and I’ll endeavour to keep this post updated as an ongoing resource for people wanting to be informed on this issue from a Christian perspective. As a place to begin you might want to consider my 4 observations about the transgender debate Understanding the situation Matt Hosier has been tracking the transition which should give you a helpful…

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