1. The poor are not the raw material of your salvation
In a “letter to a young social entrepreneur” Liam Black (@LiamABlack) issues this important word of caution to do-gooders about their motivations (if you read the full thing, pardon his French):
If you’d asked me in my twenties and thirties what my driving motivations were I would have said a strange hybrid of leftie politics and option-for-the-poor Catholicism filtered through the liberation theologians of Latin America and the inner cities… But looking back I can see clearly that a core part of what drove me was the seeking of approval of an absent father (long story) and a huge enjoyment at the attention which came with being in the vanguard of the UK social enterprise movement. It feels very good to be talked and written about and even better if there are awards and baubles. And yes, of course, I am having my cake and tweeting it by writing this blog.
2. Sex, drugs, and Calvin College
During his talk at the recent Festival of Faith and Music at Calvin College, bestselling author Chuck Klosterman – a self-described religious “nothing” – urged those in the audience to become lifelong questioners, rather than either becoming galvanized in their faith tradition or leaving it completely. In response, Tom Becker (@desertbrother) writes:
Can I claim two categories, please, please, Chuck? I am more devoted than ever to the story of Jesus in the Scriptures. I’m neither ashamed nor flamboyant in my testimony: I love Jesus. And yet I still ponder, learn and question the dominant paradigms foisted on me by my culture and especially the evangelical culture in America… I’ve always assumed we humans were capable of good deeds and bad crap. I just needed the Scriptures and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to codify what I saw all around me. And I needed a savior to pluck me from the fire and get me moving toward the good, something I couldn’t arrive on my own.
3. Crouch interviews Keller
Andy Crouch (@ahc) spoke with Tim Keller (@timkellernyc) about being a pastor in a city where people live in order to work, and what we can learn from different Christian traditions about faith and work.
4. Integral mission and excellence
The Accord Network has released a document outlining eight core principles of excellence in integral mission, which one of my Eastern professors, Beth Birmingham (@BethBirmingham), helped to create. Anyone working at or supporting a Christian NGO, or involved in a church’s mission programs, will find these principles really helpful.