This and That 08-04-12

Race and the Gospel in Mississippi – I don’t doubt that this Mississippi pastor has, what they kindly call back home, “a pastor’s heart.” He doesn’t want to stir up division and pit people against one another. And there are many, many situations in which that’s precisely what’s called for. In this case, though, the division is the gospel itself. – Russell Moore

Confessions of A Recovering Legalist – Looking at Down at Others… I also had a tendency to be hypercritical of Christians and churches that didn’t share all my beliefs and convictions – while remaining to some degree blind to my own remaining sins and weaknesses (Matt 7:1-5). Instead of focusing primarily on the central truths of the gospel, I was overly preoccupied with beliefs and practices that distinguished me from all other Christians and exalted those beliefs and practices to a place of unwarranted priority (Matt 23:23). As a result, I so focused on minute orthodoxy that I lost sight of brotherly love (Rev 2:2-4) and humility (1 Cor 4:7). – Bob Gonzales

To My Angry Gay Friend – You looked calm, angry and unfazed. And believe it or not, I liked you immediately. I liked your courage, especially, and your willingness to voice a note of dissent. There’s a pro-gay counter-protest scheduled this Friday for Chic-fil-A’s around the country, and hundreds of demonstrators will no doubt show up en masse, enjoying the comfort of like-minded activists. But you opted to come alone Wednesday, making your statement right in our socially conservative faces, and you did it like an adult. No theatrics, no loudspeaker, no screaming obscenities. I gotta salute you for that. I admire chutzpah, so I admire you. – Joe Dallas

No One is More Tolerant Than God – God is the most tolerant being ever. Not in terms of the “new tolerance,” but as Don Carson points out, according to the truest and best notions of tolerance. Think about God’s patience and forbearance. Carson explains that God has ordained a world in which “conflict, idolatry, confrontation, and wildly disparate systems of thought, even about God himself, persist” (Tolerance of Intolerance, 5). – Jonathan Parnell

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