How to exegete a place, the influence of religion on your vote, poetry and more

Saturday 19 September 2015

How to ‘exegete’ a place
Blogger and Eternity contributor Nathan Campbell writes about how to listen attentively and ‘exegete’ the people to which and places in which we are called to share the gospel. In the post, he shares a few key questions to ask about those people and places:

“We can’t simply shout (or speak) our message to the people around us. We need to listen to, and respect, the people we’re speaking to in order to love them, as much as we need to tell them our good news in order to love them. And we’ll tell them our good news, about the life changing death and resurrection of Jesus in a way that makes it clearly good news if we understand them better.” Read more… 

Evangelism: the hope for left wing politics in the UK? 
With a new leader for the UK’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, there’s been plenty of web chatter about the new challenges he faces as the leader of the UK’s left-wing movement. The Guardian’s George Monbiot thinks Corbyn could learn a lot from evangelical Christianity on how to create a strong grassroots movement to ensure his survival.

“I share none of the core beliefs of the evangelicals but I recognise in their work a series of brilliant organisational models. Here we find movements that are highly diverse in terms of both ethnicity and class. Many of their members are prepared to devote, with apparent joy and limitless persistence, all their free hours to the cause. They persist, year after year. They will weather almost any humiliation and rebuff in their attempts to reach apathetic, hostile people, and they sometimes succeed. In some places – Brazil in particular – they have transformed the life of the nation …” Read more, here.

Does religion influence your vote?
A recent survey conducted on behalf of the Rationalist Association of New South Wales and the Humanist Society of Queensland has found that only 14 per cent of Australians were influenced by their religious beliefs the last time they voted. Do your beliefs influence the way you vote? Read more…

The consecrated heretic, Les Murray
Australian poet, Les Murray has released a new selection of poems, reviewed in Christianity Today.

“The consecrated heretic is an artist or intellectual who plants his feet firmly in the riverbed and faces the social current upstream, refusing to be carried along by it. He mocks conventional wisdom; he scandalizes ordinary people by what he believes, what he says, how he acts. Of course, many people do this, but only a tiny handful are celebrated for it, are seen as indispensable threads in the social fabric. The passionate earnestness of these few is acknowledged; they are clearly dedicated in their own perverse way to the common good. Eventually the nation’s major institutions seek to bestow high honors on such heretics, who of course turn aside disdainfully, which makes them treasured all the more. Les Murray is the chief consecrated heretic of Australia.” Read more…

Re-reading the Bible on same-sex marriage
Kim Davis, a Pentecostal Christian has been lambasted in America for refusing to issue marriage licenses for gay marriage and has received a lot of media attention around the world. This week, Davis returned to her post in Kentucky after spending five nights in jail for her refusal. Opinion pieces about Davis are extremely mixed but this one caught our attention from The New Yorker, titled ‘Kim Davis needs to read the Bible again’.

Of course, the contention over same-sex marriage within Christianity is all about people’s different interpretations of the Bible. So, the suggestion that one should read their Bible again in order to change their views on the issue can be quickly turned around. We wonder if the article’s writer, Gregg Easterbrook, might also consider reading the Bible again. Read his opinion piece, here.

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