The Friday Five

Friday Five – 1 December 2017

Here are some interesting and useful items from around the web this week:

Three Challenges to creating a Gospel Culture in Your Family – “Can we ingrain the gospel so much in the way that we talk, think, discipline our children, or converse around the dinner table, that it’s part of our very fabric of living, and not just an occasional topic of conversation?”

Tips and Tongues – “The gift of tongues, or (as I prefer to call it) the gift of languages, is the most controversial of the all the spiritual gifts we find in the New Testament, and that’s saying something. It attracts more extreme comments than any other gift, from both sides of the aisle. Many Pentecostals regard it as the sine qua non of Spirit baptism, and many conservatives regard those who use it (or claim to) as emotionally suggestible, unbiblical, or perhaps even demonic; damned if you do, damned if you don’t. In between, a huge number of Christians—especially, it seems to me, in North America—are open to the gift of tongues in theory, but extremely cautious (or even frightened) in practice, not least because it is so often practised in sub-biblical or even downright bizarre ways. As someone who writes a lot about theology and prays in languages most days, I have a few thoughts about that.”

Welcome in Christian Community – “Can we truly welcome strangers as they are, if we have not welcomed the community as it is and the members as they are? If we are angry with the community and its members, we risk using strangers to compensate for our anguish. That is not welcome.”

When it comes to Christmas, are you a “get to-er” or a “get through-er”? – “But imagine if Christmas could be rescued from the stress or sadness of just getting through Christmas. Imagine if January could be rescued from the disappointment if your joy was in getting to Christmas. Imagine if there were a joy that lasted—that endured through January and that wasn’t dented by reality. That kind of joy would be worth finding, wouldn’t it?”

The Value of the Word – “I was shocked to discover the cost of a New Testament epistle. According to scholars, the apostle Paul would have spent $3,000 in today’s dollars for the materials to write the book of Romans.”