This and That 05-03-13

Well, This Is Going To Be Awkward! – The Bible might warn us that the whole concept of awkwardness is downstream from popular culture far more than it is upstream from Scripture. The Bible’s silence on the issue tells us that it may well be a phenomenon we have constructed more than it is a genuine spiritual concern. It might warn us that our use and overuse of a term like Aspergers Syndrome as a diagnosis for awkwardness may just be allowing us to rationalize our discomfort and dress up our sinful embarrassment. It might warn us as well that the more we concern ourselves with awkwardness, the more awkward we will feel and more awkward others will feel around us. We can only blurt “Well, that was awkward!” so many times before others will note our obsession and begin to learn that they need to conform themselves to a certain standard when they are around us. They will soon learn that we have greater love for conformity than for uniqueness and that our love is contingent on not embarrassing us. – Tim Challies

My Resignation – No more setting people straight, helping others see the light. No more putting people on a program or convincing them to look in the mirror and see what they refuse to believe. Helping? Yes. Praying? For sure! Preaching? Always and with increased power, I pray. But fixing people individually? I’m done! No more stepping up or stepping in or stepping on toes to ring a broken bell that clangs discordantly with the facts about friend or foe. If you were wounded in a bad fix or a fast fix or a bad response to a fast fix, please accept my apologies—I truly hope you are doing better, I know that I am. Unless requested, unless an obvious critical-path, life or death emergency, ‘the fix’ is off! – James McDonald

4 Sermon Types to Avoid – 4. The “I am in such a hurry to apply this that you must forgive me for not showing you where I get this from” sermon.  The necessary study may well have been done, but the listener is unable to “discern how God teacheth it from thence.” Listeners gain the impression that they are being lectured, that some hidden (and maybe not so hidden) agenda is at work. They do not come away having understood the passage better or with the impression that they could have discerned this for themselves.  – Derek Thomas

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