Saturday 13 July 2024

9Marks Journal (June 2024) on Seasons in a Pastor’s Life

The latest issue of the 9Marks Journal, available from here, looks at the topic of ‘Seasons in a Pastor’s Life’.

In the Editor’s Note, Jonathan Leeman writes [edited]:

‘When you’re young, you expect things like marriage and career to look one way, but so often it looks different. Like walking around the Byzantine hallways of a sprawling shopping mall, you sometimes stop, look around, and think, “Wait, how did I get here? Where am I?”

‘So in the life of a pastor. Entering the pastorate, you have one set of expectations. Then ministry takes you down strange pathways, whole seasons you didn’t anticipate. Every once in a while, you look around and think, “How did we get here? And, goodness, I’m tired.”

‘Having folks one or two steps ahead is helpful for moving through different. They can explain what to expect… Yet how reassuring for an older brother to come along, place an arm around the shoulder, and say, “Don’t worry. I was there. And I got through it. Here’s what God taught me.” Ah, yes, maybe I can make it through, too. 

‘Our goal for this edition of Church Matters is to have a number of men offer that arm for the shoulder. What should you expect for getting started, for the early stages of the race, for the many laps which follow, and for gliding gracefully through the finish line? Different seasons impose different challenges and afford different opportunities.’

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Christopher Ash on Zeal Without Burnout

Every month, The Good Book Company make available digital versions of one of their books at no charge. This month (July 2024) it’s Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice by Christopher Ash, which is available in exchange for an email address here.

Thursday 20 June 2024

The Big Picture Magazine 10 (2024) on Economics

The latest issue of The Big Picture, a magazine produced by the Kirby Laing Centre, has recently been made available.

According to the blurb:

‘The Bible has plenty to say about money and business. Money represents both a key conduit of blessing and the chief object of idolatrous worship. In this issue, our community offers advice and examples for business leaders, inspiring stories of Christ-centred businesses, and important challenges for all Christians to integrate our faith into our work lives.’

More information is available here, and the issue can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Online versions of the previous issues of the magazine are available from here.

Friday 14 June 2024

Centre for Public Christianity (June 2024)

Among other items, the Centre for Public Christianity has posted a ‘Life and Faith’ interview (here) with Elizabeth Oldfield on her book, Fully Alive: Tending to the Soul in Turbulent Times.

In this interview with Life & Faith, Elizabeth talks about “steadiness of soul” in an increasingly chaotic world and what it means to live in a small, intentional community or “micro monastery” that can fit 18 people around the dinner table. The conversation also covers how Elizabeth has managed to cultivate a space for profound chats across social divides in the podcast The Sacred, and what it meant for Elizabeth to flout careerist dogma and quit her stable, secure job to rest and lean into a different way of life.’

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Theos Report on Love’s Labours

A new report from Theos has been published:

Hannah Rich, Love’s Labours: Good Work, Care Work and a Mutual Economy (London: Theos, 2024).

This is the third report in Theos’ Work Shift series, exploring how a renewed focus on the relational elements of work could improve the labour market.’

According to the blurb:

‘There is a crisis facing the adult social care sector in the UK at present, which is not only economic in nature, but also relational. The devaluation of paid care work in economic terms stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what care is, what work is and even what love is.

‘Different workspaces, cultures and working conditions have the power to create different kinds of human relationships and forms of human community and in so doing, create different arenas for ‘love’ to flourish. Social care is therefore a key arena for the intersection between ‘love’ and ‘work’.

‘The intersection between love, work and care offers a way of reimagining how caring professions are valued. Further, the integration of Christian theological ideas of love and dignity allows a broader, more holistic policy debate than the current economistic one.

‘Drawing together sociological and theological literature with the first-hand experiences of those working in the social care sector, this report explores what ‘love’ means in this context and how rediscovering it might lead us to value care work differently and more highly.’

A pdf of the full report is available here.

Thursday 6 June 2024

Matt Fuller on Being True to Yourself

Every month, The Good Book Company make available digital versions of one of their books at no charge. This month (June 2024) it’s Be True to Yourself: Why It Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does (And How That Can Make You Happy) by Matt Fuller, which is available in exchange for an email address here.

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Christian History Magazine on Awakenings

The latest issue of Christian History Magazine is devoted to ‘Awakenings’.

From the blurb:

‘Join Christian History as we unfold historical revivals from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, a second issue in our series on revival. Revival, as defined in CH's first issue in this series (#149), is 1.) popular – a widespread occurrence; 2.) transformative – resulting in conversion and recommitment to Christ; 3.) institutionally unsatisfied and critical – movements that question, reform, and renew institutions; and 4.) devotional – emotionally charged.

‘This issue details movements that certainly fit these criteria, focusing extensively on the First and Second Great Awakenings. Through stories and people you may be familiar with, to those figures less often recognized and easier to miss within the big “Awakening” picture, we invite you to follow the threads that spanned continents and faith traditions to weave a fascinating tapestry of spiritual revival.’

The whole magazine is available as a 12.7 MB pdf here.