Lisa sat there, one eye squinting a bit and her heart aflutter but she couldn’t tell if it was a good flutter or not. Romantic relationships are like that. You expect to know exactly how you’ll feel at those crucial moments, and then, when they come or might be coming, it’s nothing like you thought. At least that was what it was like for Lisa as she sat across the table from Jacob–the most steady boyfriend she’d ever had. What prompted Lisa’s eye and heart to misbehave was a very short sentence that Jacob uttered to her in what she thought was a seemingly casual moment. Jacob’s statement was unfortunately not unique or creative, and was something that is said by countless Christian men to their girlfriends when they’re nearing the end of college and beginning to make life plans. “God told me we should get married,” Jacob said with enough strength to mean it–and with enough of a pause between, “God told me” and “we should…” for Lisa to deduce that he wasn’t so sure about what he was saying.
Yet as I think about my son’s future, and even about life today, I have to ask the question: What effect does “social media” technology have on the way we view the church? On the way we conceive of life in Christ’s body? Much of social media is positive, of course. And the church has certainly leveraged this technology to advance the cause of Christ. Moreover, I can’t miss the irony of writing about the adverse effects of technology on a website. Nevertheless, I do have some concerns—and so should you.
If you’ve been in a Bible study or spent more than about 10 minutes surfing pop theology writings, you have probably run across a claim of this sort. The idea is that with so many different readings of Scripture, it’s either arrogant or hopeless to think we can come to a determinate, or correct understanding of it. In other words, the mere fact of interpretive disagreement ought to put us off from claiming anything very strong for our interpretations of Scripture.
Amber Van Schooneveld:
What I’ve only very recently wondered, which may seem rather obvious to others, is whether I have unquestioningly bought into a fairy tale version of friendship. Now that I’m closer to 40 than 30, most women I know no longer believe in Prince Charming. At least, they no longer believe that marrying “the one” will solve all their problems and make life delicious and perfect all the time. Husbands are imperfect and can’t bear the weight of fairy tale expectations.
It is also true that many modern songs are scatty, cloying, fluffy, incoherent, repetitive, flighty, bumbling, empty, careless, shallow, heretical, repetitive, nauseating, anaemic or repetitive. The fact that they nevertheless make their way into our times of corporate worship is not primarily the fault of the songwriters (although some of them should know better), since they are simply writing songs which express their praise to God, and if the rest of us want to moan about that, we should simply write better ones. No: the fault lies partly with the worship leaders who choose drivel and, by force of personality and microphone, force the congregation to sing it; and, even more culpably, with the elders who say and do nothing about it, preferring a smorgasbord of new and catchy melodies to the weighty and substantial songs which will actually teach sound doctrine to those who love Jesus, and preach the gospel to those who don’t.