A Better Debate About Alcohol, Imperfect Worship Services, & Young Evangelicals’ Two Temptations
Wisdom for Your Weekend is your regular installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web. Presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with guidance from Pastor J.D., this is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” While we do not always agree with everything these authors post, we share these resources because we find them challenging and enriching. As we often say around the Summit, when it comes to reading, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”
Podcast of the Week
Bridging Divide—ReCity, on “How Do We Fix It? A Repair Manual for the Real World.” We were encouraged to find the Summit’s own Rob Shields featured on this recent podcast. Rob is the Executive Director of ReCity, an organization that aims to be “a catalyst for good” by providing shared space for local nonprofits. “I believe there is hope for our communities,” Rob said, “but when you turn on the news right now, you don’t find that. This is an opportunity to show that hope and unity are possible in a community.”
Articles of the Week
Why Christians Need a Better Debate About Alcohol, Joe Carter. A recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows some troubling trends about alcohol use, especially in the United States. For instance, more than one in ten men in the U.S. abuse alcohol (meaning their use of alcohol is compulsive, out of control, and dangerous). As societal trends have changed over the past few decades, however, the Christian discussion about alcohol usually hasn’t. We’ve got to move beyond the overly simplistic binary of “Should Christians drink—yes or no?” if we’re going to have an impact on the increasingly harmful use of alcohol in our nation, our communities, and yes, even our churches.
The Two Temptations Facing Young Evangelicals, David French. Being an evangelical in the “age of Trump” carries with it unique challenges. As French notes, mainstream journalists often have a difficult time capturing the nuance of this situation, collapsing evangelicals into political categories (“Young evangelicals are more skeptical of the GOP!”). We find French’s assessment of young evangelicalism more accurate: As those from an evangelical background grow up, they are faced with two options—change their faith allegiance or change their political allegiance. In other words, we’ve got to hold our faith tightly and our politics loosely.
Why Does Church Membership Matter? David McLemore. An army is stronger than an individual soldier. And a church is stronger than an individual Christian. So if you care about Christ and his mission, it just makes sense that you care about the local church.
Imperfections Make Sundays More Beautiful, Matt Merker. There’s something to be said for pursuing excellence, as I know most church production teams do. But God may be quite a bit less interested in our “flawless” worship services than we are. As Merker points out, what we need is not a distraction-free church experience that wows us, but an encounter with the truth that transforms us. So lean into the awkwardness, my friends.
On the Lighter Side