Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things August 23, 2012

Kevin Miller: “Talking to Christians About Hell: It’s Not as Easy as You’d Think”

Experience has shown me that too many Christians have a strong emotional investment in a doctrine of hell they’re unable to articulate, much less defend against rival interpretations. Worse, they’re not even aware such interpretations exist. And then they treat their subjective, ill-informed beliefs about hell as the litmus test for orthodoxy.

For example, another common question I get after someone watches our teaser trailer [for the documentary Hellbound?] is, “Interesting. How does it end?”

… To be a bit more charitable, I realize what people really want to know is, “What’s your position on hell?” Of course, I’m far too cagey to give a direct answer. Instead, I say, “We’re taking a critical look at multiple views on hell in order to provoke informed discussion. I’m not interested in telling viewers what to think. My goal is to help them learn how to think about hell and other contentious theological issues.”

That usually satisfies, but I still get my share of suspicious looks, because deep down what they really want to know is, “Are you one of ‘us’ or one of ‘them’?”

Glennon Melton: “The Talk”

Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade — wow.

Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.

Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.

And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.

I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me. …

Bruce Reyes-Chow: “The Church’s Doomed Pursuit of the Elusive Young Adult”

I find it interesting that most of the conversations about “reaching young adults” take place among people who are distinctly not young adults. I think it is a way that many of us try to prove that 40 really is the new 20 and extend our youth for as long as we can. Sorry folks, but as we age, our roles and perspectives change. I for one do not regret this, rather I embrace and welcome the roles that I will hold in the future. If we are reach young adults with integrity, then young adults must to be at the table and part of the direction setting in significant ways. Much like we would never plant a Korean American church with a team that was 90-percent non-Korean, we must not try to create relevant young adults ministries by relying on the musings of even the best intentioned 40, 50 and 60 year-olds. For as hip of a 43-year-old as I fool myself into believing I am, I do not and will not experience the world through the eyes of a 20-year-old — and there is nothing I can do to change that. The best thing I can do is to acknowledge this reality and then find the best ways to empower, guide and support that 20-year-old as she/he discovers a place and role in the future of the church. This posture must be taken in all aspects of the journey: planning process, fiscal management, organizational development, etc. if we are to truly create and sustain ministry with and for young adults.

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