Celebrating Sexual Ethics, Jesus at the Border, & the Best-worst Sermon Illustrations Ever
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, “Eat the fish and spit out the bones.”
Articles of the Week
The Spiritual Power of Insignificance on Social Media, Davis Wetherell. In 1 Thessalonians 4:11, the Apostle Paul encourages believers to “aspire to live quietly.” As Wetherell points out, that seems like a contradiction: “Aspire” seems grand and ambitious; “Life quietly” seems mundane and insignificant. For the Christian, though, it’s not. And in our age of self-promotion and platform-building, we could use many more believers whose primary aspiration is in faithfulness, not fame.
Humility Is Not Hating Yourself, Gavin Ortlund. Tim Keller has helpfully summarized C.S. Lewis’ notion of humility as “self-forgetfulness”—not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. As Lewis put it, the truly humble person would be able to praise a book, a building, or a work of art, for its own sake, whether they created it or not. As Ortlund reminds us, not only is this a virtuous way to live; it’s a happier experience, too.
The Nine Best-worst Sermon Illustrations Ever Used, Russell Meek. We’re guessing most of our readers could add a few to this list. But for now, take solace in these illustrations that tanked. Just remember: It’s funny because it wasn’t you. (For the record, I know the category “worst sermon illustration” may call to mind Pastor J.D.’s abundant use of the great Nicolas Cage. But it is a truth universally acknowledged, that any illustration with Nic Cage is automatically a best-best sermon illustration.)
Celebrate Sexual Ethics. Don’t Apologize for Them, Andrea Palpant Dilley. Many Christians today continue to hold to an orthodox view of sexuality, but do so with a tone of apology. They would like to affirm the culture’s view of sex, but—shucks—they’re just bound by this old book. Dilley reminds us that God’s design, while sometimes mysterious, is never arbitrary. What he declares good is, in fact, good and fruitful for humanity. Rather than apologizing for the Bible’s doctrines on sex, we should be proud of them.
Jesus at the Border, Sophia Lee. “What I saw churches doing at the border was nothing short of a miracle: They weren’t serving just because the Bible commanded it—they did it because they were first touched by the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. It’s not an act of obligation, but an act inspired, motivated, and sustained by an undeserved, God-given love.”
On the Lighter Side
A Man Created His Own Olympics and It Is Absolutely Hilarious. I think the pole vault is my favorite.