The Sunday Refill – 7 Links For Your Weekend (1/3/20)

Seven up…

1) “I Gave My Life to Jesus” – This is a powerful spoken word piece from evangelist Glen Scrivener, reflecting on the language  we often use when preaching evangelistically (and the theology that undergirds it). Is ‘giving your life to Jesus’ really that helpful? And it’s a brilliantly shot video.

2) The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self – Carl Trueman gives a taster for his forthcoming book on the ‘modern self’: “we do not choose our time, and we must not waste energy lamenting our time. We need first and foremost to understand our time and then to respond to it with informed wisdom.” If you read one thing today, let it be this.

3) What to avoid on your church website – A useful guidance paper on church websites from church consultant John Truscott.

4) I’m with Heidi – At present in the UK, abortion is permitted up until the moment of birth in pregnancies where the baby is known to have Down’s syndrome. Heidi Crowter, who has the condition, has been campaigning this week to highlight this discrimination and showing how this law is deeply offensive. Her words were moving and beautiful, and yet it also felt like we were starkly asking a group of people to defend their lives. Chillingly, the country of Iceland is on target to eliminate Down’s syndrome entirely. I also spotted this powerful letter written by a parent to the Health Secretary, in response.

5) Let’s Deconstruct a Deconversion Story: The Case of Rhett and Link – Rhett & Link may be less well known to UK audiences, but this is a fascinating look at the contemporary power of a ‘deconversion story’. With their Good Mythical Morning channel, this double-act are a YouTube sensations, frequently getting A-list celebrities to stop by, and having an estimated worth of $23 million. But it gets interesting when you know they used to identify as Christians, and worked actively in student mission for Campus Crusade (a bit like UCCF in the UK). Last month they recorded 3 hours of footage talking fans through why they walked away from Christianity. Here Alisa Childers reflects on the power of both the media platform and the personality – and the way in which our culture is primed to make it possible for “two comedians to persuade Christians to rethink their faith in just three hours of video.”

6) Taking an Opportunity – I loved this account of a guy, Tyler Ellis, who used his TEDx talk to get people thinking about Jesus.

7) 40 Ideas in 40 Tweets – For something a bit different, this is quite fun. Gurwhinder Bhogal attempts to summarise 40 fairly complex ideas, each in the confines of a tweet. Everything from Survivorship Bias, to the Streetlight Effect, to the Pareto Principle. You’ll learn something…

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Written by Robin Ham