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Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of things we’ve been reading around the web.

Articles of the Week

A Thread Called Grace, Jonathan Merritt. This is an extended excerpt from Merritt’s new book, Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined, reflecting on a painful sexual past—dramatically and painfully exposed—and how God was faithful through it all. “Honesty has a way of humbling us, and it has me. It has softened my heart. As I’ve been honest about the bruised and broken parts of myself, the openness has become a doorway for God’s healing.”

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This is the first of a six-part blog series on “obstacles to obedience,” reasons we tell God, “No.” This comes to you courtesy of Ryan Doherty, the Summit’s North Durham campus pastor.

“All along, let us remember: we are not asked to understand, but simply to obey.”
~Amy Carmichael, missionary among orphans in India for 55 years (without a furlough)

Reading 40 missionary biographies in 40 days actually began several years ago when my wife and I began the pursuit of our international adoption of our son, Charlie.

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When we think of a traveling preacher addressing a crowd, most of us conjure up an image like UNC’s (in)famous Pit Preacher. He stands up in the middle of a public space and loudly proclaims that everyone is going to hell because of their short skirts, rock music, and liberal politics. I imagine he thinks he’s “engaging the public square” with the gospel, much like Paul did in Acts 17.

I can’t speak to the Pit Preacher’s motives, but he’s certainly not the rightful heir to Paul in Acts 17. A quick look shows us that engaging the public square means something completely different. I see 5 insights for engaging people outside the Christian faith:

1. Grieve over idolatry (and do something about it).

When encountering idolatry in a culture, we tend to respond in one of two equally unbiblical extremes: either we share our culture’s idolatry, or we are so offended by it that we run away. But when Paul saw the idolatry of Athens for what it was, it broke his heart. And instead of running away from it in fear, he ran toward it in love.

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