Leading off today, Dave Doran plays the role of divisive person here by categorizing some hypothetical modern day people based on their response to Paul’s response to Peter and Barnabas in Antioch (Galatians 2). These are some helpful, and a bit humorous, categories. There’s a little something for everyone here, and no doubt some will object … probably because they fit one of the categories.
At second, Thabiti Anyabwile weighs in with a pastoral letter to an abusive husband. It is a strongly worded model of how we might respond to abuse. Perhaps the most poignant line is this one: “Her safety is our first priority, but it’s not our only priority.” Perhaps too often, the church is either unwilling to do anything, or too willing to completely cut off the abuser as if they are beyond God’s grace. There are even those who say that abusers should never be in church. They are, quite frankly, wrong since they are demanding that churches prevent people from obedience. These are tricky issues to be sure, but the church must not punt on either end. They must neither refuse to act in judgment and stand with the abused, nor refuse to reach out to the abuser with biblical grace of confrontation, ministry, and mercy upon repentance.
At third (because a triple is harder than a homerun), from the realm of science, this TED talk about superconductivity and quantum levitation is amazing. Well, not the talk (which, frankly, I didn’t understand) so much as the demonstration (which makes you look for some camera trick, but alas there appears to be no tricks; it’s just straight up). I watched it last night on a flight, and found it incredible. The idea that things like this would be the result of randomness rather than design requires way more faith than I have. I think things like this are a clue to the existence and design of our creative God. It makes no sense otherwise.
And as a bonus, this TED talk by Bryan Stevenson is intriguing for a lot of reasons. Whether you agree with him or not, it should provoke some thought. And I think it’s a great example of effective communication—simple, underspoken in many ways, and it connects well with the hearer. He’s a good example of effective communication without theatrics.
Lastly, here’s a good note for churches who invite guest speakers. Having been a guest speaker here and there, I hate wondering what I should wear, how long I should speak, what the order of service will be, where I should sit, and the like. Preaching in a strange place to people you don’t know is hard enough without adding on these other concerns, petty though they may seem. Showing up overdressed or underdressed, or preparing a forty minute message for a thirty minute slot, are burdens that are easier to remove. It’s fairly easy to say, “We usually wear X and I usually preach for about Y. We’ll start with some music, and you will be after Z.”