Al Shaw

Links, quotes, images and the occasional unoriginal thought.

Jul 22

"In recent days, there were times I wanted to give greater voice to the anger and grief that the Malaysian people feel and that I feel," he said.

"But sometimes, we must work quietly in the service of a better outcome."

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on negotiations resulting in Ukrainian pro-Russian fighters handing over the black boxes of flight MH17. 

Jul 20
“The best-selling author Tony Horwitz recently wrote in the New York Times about his experience with electronic publishing. He was delighted to find that his instant book on the Keystone pipeline, Boom, had landed in the Amazon Top 25 list of all digital titles—only to learn that he had sold a mere 800 copies.” Philip Yancey 

Jun 29
“In its later and more refined stages [slavery] is carried on by the ownership of the things from which man must live.” Clarence Darrow 

Jun 22

Jun 16
“In Syria, the ‘Islamist militants’ are ‘rebels’ who are on ‘our’ side because they oppose the ‘tyrannical’ Assad. In Iraq, the ‘Islamist militants’ are ‘insurgents’ because they oppose the US-implanted and supported ‘democracy’ there.” 

May 30
“Many pastors have confessed to focusing on attendance while giving little attention to reproducing fruit-bearing disciples who are involved in intentional evangelism.”

May 28

May 24
“We do not judge a Christian teacher only by his age or experience, to be sure. But the new progressives have an authority problem. Whether their own family members or martyred apostles, they show no hesitation in correcting those who would—and should—teach them. They do so, furthermore, with precious little confessional and congregational accountability. Ecclesial accountability—though no fail-safe—is given us for our good. Beware Greeks bearing bonds, you might say, and bloggers without churches. Put it this way: If we’re faced with a choice between a precocious twenty-something with lots of neat new ideas about sexuality and gender untested by the scholarly community on the one hand, and an apostle gored by a Roman sword because the Holy Spirit spoke through him in tones ancient authorities considered hostile to imperial rule on the other, we’re banking on the latter.” Andrew Walker 

“The benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, and not arrogated by the critic to himself.” Aristotle on literary criticism. 

May 14

“A 2013 study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that tracked materialism in 355,000 high school seniors from 1976 to 2007 found that desire for lots of money has increased markedly since the mid-1970s, while willingness to work hard to earn it has decreased.” 

May 10
“In my articulation of Christian teaching, I seek to be, first, catholic, then, Protestant, and, finally, evangelical. This posture both reflects and informs how I prioritize the importance of certain doctrines. So, for example, I would prioritize the church’s teaching on the Trinity or deity of Christ (catholic) over justification by faith (Protestant). And I would prioritize the church’s teaching on the authority of Scripture (Protestant) over, say, inerrancy, a particular way of conceiving of the nature of Scripture (evangelical). This is not to deny the importance of inerrancy, much less justification by faith. What it does suggest is that I view, for example, inerrancy as less vital to orthodoxy than justification by faith, which is itself less vital to orthodoxy than is the Trinity or deity of Christ. For one can certainly be an orthodox Christian yet not affirm either inerrancy or justification by faith; however, one ceases to be Christian if one denies either the Trinity or the deity of Christ. Therefore, what I take to be most important theologically is what has been most universally affirmed by the church, both globally and historically. Or, to put it differently, I want to avoid the temptation to prioritize truth in terms of evangelical identity rather than historic catholicity, and hence do not simply equate the question, “Is it biblical?” or “Is it Christian?” with the question, “Is it evangelical?”” 

“"History by anecdote is not reliable history, nor is history in the form of second-hand gossip; nor is history which plays on national prejudice, or ignorance of a different system of society. All such history leaves people in the dark, powerless to understand unexpected events, unprepared and floundering, constantly taken by surprise." Andrew Rothstein, 1950.”

Apr 9
“God can do amazing things through you. But He may do this in a way that looks very unglamorous to the world, and He may even do this in a way that means you don’t see results of His work in this lifetime.” Why I’ll never be a Pinterest mum

“UK Church Attendance: The number of churches by denomination with the average size of their congregation are as follows: There are 16,247 Anglican churches in England, with an average congregation size of 54. 5,999 Methodist churches with an average congregation size of 48. 3,656 R. Catholic churches – average congregation 244 2,386 Baptist churches – average congregation 107 2,281 independent churches – average congregation 84 2,227 Pentecostal churches – average congregation 129 1,470 URC churches – average congregation 48 1,307 ‘new’ churches – average congregation 140 317 Orthodox churches – average congregation 81 and 1,611 churches of other descriptions with an average congregation of 63.” 8 Reasons Most Churches Are Below 200 | Paul Benger

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