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I regularly peruse Christianity Today Magazine’s online website and its Liveblog. I recommend that you do the same.
Some of today’s posts I found particularly striking. Ted Olsen, writing for the Liveblog, put up “Postcard from San Diego: Fighting ‘Bibliolatry’ at the Evangelical Theological Society.” In this post he summarizes an address by J.P. Moreland at the Evangelical Theological Society meeting in San Diego. According to Moreland, as quoted by Olsen,
“In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America, there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ,” he said. “And it has produced a mean-spiritedness among the over-committed that is a grotesque and often ignorant distortion of discipleship unto the Lord Jesus.”
Wow! Them’s fightin’ words in a group that prides itself on its commitment to Scripture. And coming from Moreland, a highly-regarded evangelical philosopher and professor at Biola University, such an accusation can’t be ignored. I once had Moreland preach in my pulpit at Irvine Presbyterian Church. He did a great job interpreting the Scripture and challenging us to take it seriously. Moreland’s latest book, picture to the right, is called Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit’s Power. I haven’t read this book yet, but I expect it’s a good one. (Thanks, Ted Olsen, for this overview.)
Christianity Today Magazine is featuring a number of articles on the issue of faith and work:
• Uwe Siemon-Netto, in “Work Is Our Mission,” offers a Lutheran perspective on the value of work. On the basis of Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms, Siemon-Netto writes:
“This idea—that by doing our daily chores we are priests equal to the minister serving at the altar—is hugely liberating, especially as we know that in our other abode, the right-hand kingdom, we are already redeemed. With this theology, Luther put laity on par with liturgists, preachers, and others officiating in divine service, and thus laid the groundwork for the modern vision of democracy. And this is perfectly biblical.”
• “Integrating Faith and Work” is an interview by Collin Hansen of David Miller, executive director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, and author of God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement (Oxford, 2006). Here’s one excerpt from the interview:
What have we as Christians lost by not integrating faith into the workplace? We’ve lost a whole generation of people who either go through the motions when they go to church or just don’t go to church anymore. My research shows that sermons seldom wrestle with biblical teachings and theologies of work, which is where most people in the pews are spending their time.
• “The Mission of Business,” by Joe Maxwell, offers a fascinating look at the growing effort by Christians to advance their evangelistic and justice agenda through for-profit businesses. Many think that the next wave of evangelism throughout the world will come through BAM (Business as Mission). Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The phenomenon has many labels: “kingdom business,” “kingdom companies,” “for-profit missions,” “marketplace missions,” and “Great Commission companies,” to name a few. But observers agree the movement is already huge and growing quickly. BAM “is the big trend now, and everyone wants to say they’re doing it,” says Steve Rundle, associate professor of economics at Biola University
Thanks, Christianity Today, for covering such valuable and timely issues. (It occurs to me that since I am now working for Laity Lodge, I should mention that we have a ministry relationship with Christianity Today. Through TheHighCalling.org, we supply the content for CT’s FaithInTheWorkplace.com page. But my interest in and appreciation for CT antedates my working at Laity Lodge by, oh, about 32 years.)