This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...
What, really, is the gospel we proclaim?
Glennon Doyle Melton’s Gospel of Self-Fulfillment
–Jen Pollock Michel
To be clear, I am not writing this essay to wag my moral finger at Melton, nor am I arguing the wrongness of gay and lesbian relationships (although I do believe they are wrong). No, I am writing this essay to plead pastorally with the church to make better sense of the story of desire than Melton and Gilbert. I am writing to remind us, as Taylor astutely does, of the sometimes irreducible gap between “thy will be done” and “let humans flourish.” God wills human flourishing, for sure. But that doesn’t mean he values our momentary happiness above everything else. Indeed, the Christian story is not just one of flourishing but renunciation. We deny ourselves to follow Jesus. We deny ourselves to serve our neighbor. And while holiness does surely reap happiness (in the next life if not this one), we must recognize moments—today—when it becomes necessary to forgo our flourishing as an act, not just of obedience, but of “repairing the world” (Taylor again). This is the only way to make sense of the Cross—both the one Jesus bore and the one we ourselves take up. This is the story of desire as the gospel tells it.
More on the same subject from Trevin Wax…
Don’t Settle for the Gospel of Self-Fulfillment –Trevin Wax
This is not Christianity. It’s a Christianized form of expressive individualism that you can find in just about any self-help book—an inspirational, feel-good message that makes perfect sense in Western cultures, but leaves traditional societies, many of them Eastern, aghast at its sanction of selfishness…
Now, before you readers who agree with me nod your heads too vigorously, let me hold up a mirror. It would be silly and irresponsible to speak about this expressive individualistic philosophy leading to sexual hedonism as if it were just a problem out there, with those people. And it would be the height of hypocrisy to think that this is an issue primarily for our LGBT friends and neighbors, but not for the rest of the church…
When churches sanction expressive individualism everywhere else (money, marriage, sexuality, career path, etc.) but draw the line at same-sex relationships, it does indeed look like we are singling out homosexuality as “the sin above all sins.” You may be closer to the gospel of self-fulfillment than you think.
Can we learn these lessons from the 2016 election?
Ten Resolutions for the Next Election –Nicholas McDonald
This election season, Christians made mistakes.
I don’t mean white/black/conservative/libertarian/liberal/unaffiliated Christians. All of us. Every one.
Here are some things we need to do differently…
Anyone up for a road trip?
The United States of Burgers: The Best Burgers From Each of the 50 States –George Motz
I’m sure you’ve already asked yourself—does the burger-loving public need another list? Of course it does. I’m not sure who makes those other lists, so in an effort to provide some clarity and sift through the rubble, I offer this heartfelt, well-researched guide. The American burger is not simply one thing. Regional methods for cooking and slight tweaks to ingredients have created a diverse and tasty array of burgers all over America.
One thing to remember—with this list you’ve only just scratched the surface. Go deeper, get in there, meet my hamburger heroes, hear their stories, and walk away with a better understanding of why Americans identify with this proletarian comfort food. Then go eat a kale salad.
Here are the best burgers from each of the 50 states…