You’ll be pleased to know that in this week’s Refill all seven links have chosen to show up…
1) Election 2017 – The EA’s Election 2017 mini site is a helpful place for beginning to engage with voting as a Christian. Also, Ian Paul hosted a series of guest-blogs which make interesting reading, including the thorough ‘back and forth’ in the comments section on each: Why as a Christian I am voting Conservative; Why as a Christian I am voting for Labour; Why as a Christian I am voting Liberal Democrat. Of course, other parties are available…
2) How Oxford and Peter Singer drove me from atheism to Jesus: It’s always heart-warming to read stories of people becoming Christians, but this one is particularly striking because Sarah Irving-Stonebraker was a committed atheist. Of course, the culture around us would want us to believe that people move from Christianity to atheism, but never the other way round. And yet as she says, “I began to realise that the implications of my atheism were incompatible with almost every value I held dear.”
3) On “Listening” to Millenials (And What Does That Even Mean) – Derek Rishmawy on good form. (By the way, millennials are those born early 1980’s to late 1990’s/early 2000’s, if you were wondering).
4) Reformed Theology Gone Sour: A Warning – Ray Ortlund has an important word – via William Still – for those who’d self-identify as ‘reformed’: “If we stop with the intellectual, if we allow our theology to remain cerebral and conceptual only, then this coldness, hardness, harshness and ruthlessness will enter in.”
5) Wise and Innocent – An extended reflection on what it might mean to follow Jesus’ command to be as “shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves,” in our age of intolerant ‘tolerance’.
6) Seattle Reboot: Life After Mars Hill – I remember hearing Mark Driscoll for the first time around 2007, when a friend played me one of his sermons. You can understand why he got people’s attention: a seeming gospel-centredness wrapped in punchy rhetoric, brash wit, and down-to-earth language. And yet around seven years later, he had announced his own resignation, and a short while after that the multisite church he founded, Mars Hill, was essentially ‘dismantled’. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra has written this long-form piece looking at what happened next, and it makes for both sobering and strangely encouraging reading. That said, if you get through it, this response is a good accompaniment.
7) May v Corbyn: debate tactics explained by former top Tory aides – There’s been a few debates/Question-times since this was written earlier in the week, but still fascinating stuff on the place of being media-savvy in the current political climate.