Preachng that understands the World

Don Carson writes..

1. Most preachers ought to devote more time to reading, to reading widely. It is never right to skimp in Bible study, theology, church history, or excellent biography; but in addition, we must read books and journals and news magazines that help us understand our own age and culture.

Without here taking time to provide my own list, perhaps I may mention several principles that govern my own reading (outside of Scripture, commentaries, theology etc).

First, I try to read material from competing perspectives. I may subscribe for two or three years to the left-of-centre New York Review of Books and Sojourners, and then cancel the subscriptions and subscribe for a while to right-of-centre Chronicles.

Secondly, certain authors I regularly skim: Os Guinness, George Marsden, Thomas Sowell, James Davidson Hunter, Paul Berger, and others – not because I agree with all they say, but because they are trying to understand the culture.

Thirdly, ocassionally I read ‘blockbuster’ books, simply because so many people are reading them that I think I must find out what is shaping the minds of many fellow citizens.

Fourthly, ocassionally I devote a block of time – six months, say, or a year – to try to get inside some new movement. For instance, I devoted a considerable block to reading the primary authors in the various schools of deconstruction.

Fifthly, I have sometimes subscribed for a period of time to a first-class literary journal such as Granta.

Sixthly, I ocassionally subscribe to reports from reputable pollsters, to discover drifts and trends in the nations – Gallup, Yankelovich, and others.

Not everyone reads at the same rate; not everyone’s ministry requires the same extent of reading. Some manage far more than I. At no time should such reading ever squeeze out the primary importance of understanding the word of God. But selective rapid reading of many sources can help preachers better understand the world in which they serve.

2. Discussion with friends and colleagues with similar interests isa great help. This may be formal, for instance an agreed eveningonce a month to discuss book X or film Y in the light of Christian commitments; it may be informal, depending, of course, on the structures and friendships of one’s life. No-one understands everything; thoughtful, widely read and devout friends are to be cherished and nourished.

3. Nowadays there are some good tapes. I sometimes drive substantial distances, but never without tapes. The Mars Hill Tapes offer good value for money. In addition, many ministries today are recorded, and preachers do well to listen to other preachers who are particularly gifted in the handling of the Word and in applying it to life.

4. It is essential to talk with non-Christians, whether one on one, in small groups, or in large crowds. There is no more important avenue towards understanding our world.

(HT:Unashamed Workman)

Quote from The Edge (U2)

There is that community sense that I would associate with the Christian ideal of looking after your neighbor. But it isn’t always pretty; in fact it’s often very rough. Like do you care enough about someone to risk confronting them with the truth, if it is going to hurt them? That’s love in action, real commitment to one another, real community, and it has nothing to do with being nice to everyone at all times. So in some ways rather than being a once a week concept, it’s sort of the way we try and live here. And the challenge is to try to move it out further, so there’s not just your immediate small community but it’s asking, can you get it to be bigger and bigger?” — The Edge

(HT:Matthew Smith)

Sunday School Cuisine

1. The Cotton Candy Lesson: Very sweet and full of air, but when bitten into – nothing there!

2. The Stuffed Olive Lesson: Pleasantly fashioned, pleasing tart stuffed with intellect – but no heart.

3. The Jello Fruit Salad Lesson: Shaking, prancing, quivering, preaching; lots of action – but low-calorie teaching.

4. The Poached Egg Lesson: Soft, sage, sentimental food; soothes every mind, calms every mood.

5. The Leftover Turkey Lesson: Meat they suspect you’ve served them before but disguised just enough for one Sunday more.

6. The Meat and Potatoes Lesson: Exciting flare and always good; the gospel preached with the Word understood!

(HT:TrevinWax)

Myspace for people who like bubbles

This just seems wrong. I guess you can slap a label on anything.

HisHolySpace.com

(HT:Challies)

My Borther is Married!!

As of 4:30 yesterday my bro is now officially married to an amazing girl. The wedding and reception both were awesome. The band kicked ass (modern el dorado i believe) and I never knew my brother could dance as well as he does. Nicole looked beautiful in her dress and justin was James Bond in the flesh with his tux.

It was a great day that ended around 8:00 then we went to their new house and hung out till around 10:00.

Here are a couple of pics of the day…




Keynote Address Video

The video of todays MacWorld Keynote is up and it is awesome.

You can check it out HERE

BTW John Mayer plays acouple of songs near the end.

MacWorld Keynote

Well Steve Jobs has finished his keynote and here is what is new for Apple.

1) Apple Tv- Apples version of a media center. They should go on sale today and ship next month
– 720p high definition video
– 40 GB hard drive
– 802.11 b, g, and n compatible
– Intel processor
– Designed for widescreen TV’s
– can stream from up to 5 computers (or from apple.com/trailers)

2) iPhone- Apples answer to the mobile phone. This is a widescreen ipod, cell phone, and a interent communicator. It even has
Mac os X built in. Price is around 500.00-600.00 and should be available in June.

Also it seems that the new wifi standard (n) has been added to the Apple mix. Those with core 2 duo machines should get a software upgrade to enable the n signal.

Apple should post the video of the keynote address sometime today. When they do I will post the link or youtube feed.