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W4YW-3

Wisdom For Your Weekend: your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Video of the Week

Heroes and Villains: Is Hip Hop a Cancer or a Cure? Lecrae. There are some downright phenomenal lines in this short TED Talk. For instance, “Western society tends to change narratives for the sake of pride—or prostitute tales of murder and misogyny for the sake of entertainment.” Lecrae takes a look at a controversial art form—hip hop—and shows us that while hip hop often celebrates “villainy,” it is also the art form that can turn the ship around. Best 18 minutes you’ll spend on the web this week.

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PlumbLines-3

Plumb lines are a series of short, pithy statements that we, at the Summit, use as rallying points—both for our staff and for the entire church. They are a way to encapsulate our ministry philosophy in short, memorable phrases.

Plumb Line #1 at the Summit is: “The gospel is not just the diving board; it’s the pool.”

Christianity teaches something fundamentally different than every other religion. Every other religion says that if you change, you will be accepted. But Christianity says, Because you have been accepted, therefore change.” Christianity doesn’t proclaim good advice, but good news. And that news transforms us from the inside out.

This is by no means an intuitive truth. And those of us in the church tend to forget it quite a bit. For many evangelicals, the gospel functions solely as the entry rite into Christianity; it is the prayer we pray to begin our relationship with Jesus; the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of the “real” Christian life.

The gospel, however, is not just the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity; it is the pool itself. It is not only the way we begin in Christ; it is the way we grow in Christ. As Tim Keller says, the gospel is not just the ABCs of Christianity, but it is the A–Z. All of the Christian life flows from the good news of what Jesus has done.

That’s why growth in Christ is never going beyond the gospel, but going deeper into the gospel. The purest waters from the spring of life are found by digging deeper, not wider, into the gospel well.

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TWS-2

If you ask Christians for their favorite book of the Bible, hardly anyone is going to answer, “Leviticus.” (I do know one guy at our church who loved Leviticus—he called it “The Book of Enchantment,” though we could never figure out why—but he was probably the only one.) The book of Leviticus can seem downright strange to us. It’s got a lot of odd rules that don’t always make sense. It’s often tough to get through: more Bible Reading Plans have shipwrecked on the shoals of Leviticus than perhaps any other book of the Bible.

But if we just skip over all the ceremonies and rituals and rules, we would miss one of the clearest images of Jesus in the entire Old Testament. Right in the center of Leviticus, in chapter 16, is a ceremony the Jewish people held to be more holy and crucial than any other—a day so thick with meaning and sacredness that they simply called it, “Yoma” … “The Day.”

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