Best of the Week for August 14
In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.
“Seen from Berlin, the news from Charlottesville is alarming. Seen as a Christian, the images are heartbreaking. The ideology of racial superiority is an evil anti-gospel that leads to eternal death.”
This is unique from some other opinions given since the events of Charlottesville last weekend because it was written from the city of Berlin, where so many of the ideas we saw last weekend were brought onto the world’s main stage decades ago. The similarity of the ideas, actions, and deep depravity crouching at our door in modern times should shock us, and we should set our faces and our hearts firmly against it.
“What characterizes that profound statement is hope. Habakkuk didn’t let the darkness surrounding him crush his spirit; neither did he shrug it off with vain platitudes about “better days ahead.” He looked destruction straight in the eye and still had the strength to say, “I will take joy.” That’s life-giving hope.”
A lesson from an old guy named Habakkuk about what it means to condition ourselves and choose joy and hope in the middle of so many reasons not to have it. A hint: it’s all about Jesus. Of course it is.
“Life made no sense at all. Have you ever been there? Abraham has. He staked his entire existence on the promise that a son would come, but then in an unthinkable moment, God asked him to sacrifice that son. What in the world was God doing? And how was Abraham able to respond in obedience?”
We all face moments, or entire seasons of life, when we don’t understand life or what God could possibly be doing. In these times, we’re commanded to persevere in faith. If that’s true…how? What tools and promises has God given us to breathe life into us on days, or in seasons, when it feels like life stops?
“If you’ve tried to build a daily habit and failed miserably (like I have many times), or you just can’t seem to get into it, there is something that will help. First, pray…But second, talk to someone or listen to someone who loves God’s Word.”
This is a very helpful and practical read, not afraid to acknowledge the difficulty or pretend “all good Christians should be better.” We all need help. We all need each other. And we all need the words of God dwelling in us richly (Col. 3.16).
“The gravitational pull of human nature is toward self, not towards others, and churches behave the same way. You will focus almost exclusively on your needs and wants unless you decide not to.”
That statement pretty much says it all. If we are going to do what Jesus told us to do and bring lost people to him, we will have to trade in some of our own preferences in exchange for a desire to die to ourselves so others may live.
And it’s always good to laugh a little with John Crist. (White people, be warned…)