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

Book Review of the Week

The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage, Rob and Kristen Bell. Reviewed by Dave Harvey. Here is an incisive and masterfully written book review of Rob Bell’s latest offering—and of Rob Bell’s ministry in general. An illustrative excerpt:

“In Love Wins Bell introduced us to his ‘new’ way of understanding heaven and hell. At least he used the Bible. In The Zimzum of Love, the Bells reference the Bible a total of three times, one of them being a reference to John 3:16 signs at football games (25). But then, why ground ideas in the Bible when ‘zimzum’ offers so much uncharted territory for authorial exploration? And this is where Rob and Kristen blast off from planet Christianity for galaxies unknown.”

“The result? A ‘spiritual’ book that commends the ethics of Christianity but appears ashamed of their source (Luke 9:26). Biblical ideas without scriptural grounding—water with no spring, heat with no sun, liberty with no law (James 1:25). Never mind ‘rightly handling the word of truth’ (2 Tim. 2:15); Bell makes little effort to handle it at all.” 

“I’m not exaggerating. If Christianity were outlawed and a mob amassed to burn Christian books, The Zimzum of Love would not be at risk.”

Continue Reading…

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Here at the Summit, we’ve set the audacious goal of planting 1,000 churches in our generation. If we’re going to be successful in this, the next wave of church planters is most likely sitting in our kids and student ministries right now. The paradigm for student ministry across the country desperately needs to shift from seating capacity to sending capacity, and there are only a few voices out there that actually care about seeing that happen.

Thankfully, our pastor of family ministries, Jason Gaston, is one of those voices. Here is a great post from him describing some of his passion in equipping our students to be a part of God’s mission. (You can view the original here. This is Part 3 of a series: be sure to also check out Part 1 and Part 2 on his blog.)

All of the students in your ministry will eventually move on to the next season of their lives. That next season may be attending school somewhere, going into the workplace, joining the military, or the “I’m not quite so sure what I want to do so I guess I’ll do nothing while living at home with mom and keep trying to come to youth group and hang out with all of my friends” season. The question now is, “How do you prepare them to think missionally about that decision?”

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One of our pastors, Jonathan Welch, recently came across this intriguing little quote by Abraham Kuyper in some of his PhD research. (Kuyper was a Dutch theologian, political theorist, journalist, and all-around Renaissance man of the 19th and early 20th centuries.) It looks like Kuyper scooped us—by about 100 years—regarding a biblical perspective on multi-site:

“It is only because of the large number of members that in larger cities they gather in more than one building at the same hour. That is not necessary in a village or small city. There the whole congregation can gather in one building and hence constitutes only one assembly.”

“But gathering in one or more buildings does not change the character of the assembly, for these earmarks remain: (1) there is a corporate body known as the congregation or the local church; (2) the rolls will indicate who belongs to this corporate body; (3) this corporate body has at its head a lawful council; (4) this corporate body and this council are governed by established rules or church order; (5) the summons for the assembly of the congregation is issued by the council; and (6) the assembly meets publicly so that nonmembers can also attend as audience, but in such a way that only the members obtain what is properly due to the members, as, for example, the sacrament of baptism and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.”

-Abraham Kuyper, Our Worship (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies), Chapter 2.

 

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