The Sunday Refill – 7 Links for Your Weekend (21/10/18)
1) An Open Letter to the Preacher Writing a Sermon – A good word from Lewis Allen: “Don’t lose your patience, don’t lose heart, and don’t feel that preaching the gospel for the 549th time is wasted effort.”
2) Andy Crouch: Overcoming Our Greatest Affliction – Andy Crouch is always a really stimulating reader of culture, whether it’s in his writing or his public speaking (by the way, his book, The Tech-Wise Family, is hugely inspiring). This talk, taken from a recent Q conference (Q is a bit like a Christian version of a TED talks conference: short, engaging, single-issue presentations that seek to show how Christianity helps advance the common good), examines how our culture has undergone three revolutions that have replaced personhood for power. Well worth 18-minutes of your time.
3) Gender Recognition Act Consultation – The UK Government have extended their consultation on changing the 2004 Gender Recognition Act until midday tomorrow (Monday, 22 October 2018), due to the high volume of responses (over 53,000 so far). The consultation looks at reforming the process of changing one’s legal gender as it currently stands. There is a growing coalition of groups that are urging caution about the proposed changes, made-up of feminists, free speech advocates, religious groups and some within the LGBTQ+ community. In particular, there are concerns that the needs of those with the rare medical condition of gender dysphoria aren’t properly met, and that a number of unintended consequences may follow from the rush to legislate in this area. For example, Archbishop Cranmer reported this week that the reform could be used to impose same-sex marriage on the Church of England. The Evangelical Alliance have provided a helpful guide to responding to the consultation here – why not take some time today to take part using the link above?
4) Want to be like Jesus? Be Gentle. Appreciated this reminder via the writings of eighteenth-century theologian, Jonathan Edwards.
5) Bishops’ Letter to Living in Love & Faith Group – If you’re part of the Church of England, you’ll hopefully be aware that the Living in Love & Faith (LLF) project is currently looking at the issue of sexuality and same-sex marriage and is due to prepare their findings in 2020. This week, eleven bishops wrote a public letter to the Chair of LLF, Bishop Christopher Cocksworth, sharing their convictions about the important of holding to the orthodox position on sexuality, and the danger of any changes leading to evangelicals having to leave the C of E as it is currently structured. The letter’s a considerable read, but such a level of nuance and care is expected given its context and its inevitable proneness to being misquoted and caricatured. Notably some of these C of E bishops (and some others) have also written to the GAFCON movement this week (read here), a striking sign of partnership and support of GAFCON’s concern to see the gospel faithfully guarded and proclaimed in the Anglican communion. David Baker reports on these developments here.
6) Answering Children’s Questions at Halloween – Alison Mitchell explores how we can help unpack God’s word into any questions that children might have at Halloween.
7) Pachelbels’s Chicken – As someone said, isn’t this why the internet was invented…