Twenty Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries have raised $1.5 million in scholarships to offer minority students in Memphis as part of a new initiative in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated there 50 years ago today.
Organizers for MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop, a joint conference by The Gospel Coalition (TGC) and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), will announce the “MLK50 Dream Forward Scholarship Initiative” this morning before 3,700 attendees at the Memphis event.
It’s not often that churches find themselves in the national news. Yet in recent memory, a number of prominent congregations have found themselves in controversies covered by The Washington Post, Slate, and The New York Times. And in each, it was about a case of church discipline gone wrong.
Such stories should grieve us. They’re tragic. Tragic for how they reflect shepherds who abuse their sheep thus misrepresent Christ, tragic also for how they can discourage other churches from practicing what Jesus (cf. Mt 18.15–18) and Paul (1 Cor. 5) so clearly command.
With that in mind, what are some good and bad excuses not to practice church discipline?
The fact is, we are all called into ministry. But this has become sort of a cliché: “If you are a Christian, you are in the ministry” or “Every believer is a missionary.” But the truth is that God does call certain people into vocational ministry. So while we are all 24-hour ministers of the gospel, some are fully funded to devote their lives to a specific work within the Church.
But what about the banker, the mechanic, the bus driver, the teacher, or the seamstress who feels called to ministry? How should we encourage people who sense God calling them into more intentional ministry?
It’s not every day that the secular media does a feature story on Bible scrolls. But 60 Minutes recently did just that, with coverage on efforts by scholars to read thousands of damaged scrolls (which may contain biblical material, or other ancient Greek writings) of Herculaneum. Herculaneum was a neighboring city to Pompeii, both of which were devastatingly buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The conditions of their destruction also meant that parts of the cities were well preserved when buried in ash.
One key power we’ve given to Facebook is the power of curation. Let’s talk about curation, what it is, and why it matters. I’ve just spent the better part of a week browsing museums all over England. Every museum has a number of items on display and a much greater number of items in storage. The job of a curator is to select which items from the collection will be visible to the public and which will not. This gives the curator a kind of power over the visitor—the power to describe history. The curator can keep key objects hidden away, thus obscuring what really happened. He can choose to display objects of little importance, thus telling an inaccurate or unbalanced story. The more you browse museums the more you become aware of the power and responsibility of the curator.
This is helpful:
A favorite from the archives:
Jesus’ death and resurrection cause no end of consternation among those who either question or seek to disprove the Christian faith. Should Christians be all hung up on whether or not Jesus really rose from the dead? Does the evidence really prove itself out?