top3 for July 8, 2022

Before you head off for your weekend, here are three things that I have read or been thinking about. Hope you find them as helpful as I did this week! 


What is important about this is that Habermas saw communicative action as involving more than the mere exchange of ideas; it is grounded in a broader sense of trust and relationships.

The Missional Church and Leadership Formation by Craig Van Gelder

This goes along with Eugene Peterson’s determination that “language is to form not inform” to show the important of relationships within the church. Show me a group who loves one another and I’ll show you a group where ideas can take hold and bloom. For people are most willing to know what you have to say after they know that you care. How is trust built in a relationship or organization?

Consistency. Integrity. Loyalty. Discretion.

Easier said than done I might add. 


Through the repeated hammer blows of defeat, destruction, and deportation, interpreted by the faithful prophets, Israel has to learn that election is not for comfort and security but for suffering and humiliation.

The Open Secret by Lesslie Newbigin 

Newbigin is way under-appreciated in my view. He communicated at the intersection of the Gospel and culture as well as anyone. The above quote is an open warning to the church that she should not view suffering and humiliation as defeat but part of the kingdom plan. Jesus did not get to avoid suffering nor humiliation as evidenced by his arrest and execution. And in fact, it was these events that demonstrated the power of God at work. Faithfulness in our darkest moments is the light by which the Gospel shines brightly. 


For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra 7:10 NRSV 

My Bible reading had me in Ezra and Nehemiah this week. They are the great stories of rebuilding the Temple and Jerusalem itself after the Israelites returned from Babylonian exile. At the heart of the rebuild was a desire to know God by studying his Word and applying it. The book of James says we need to be “hear and do” disciples if we are to truly follow God. It has gotten me thinking about the gaps that exist in my life between hearing God’s word and doing it. I won’t burden you with my issues…just invite you to think about where you may have gaps too.