Issue #24

Early Church Uniqueness, Psalm 148, Transgender Identities and the Church, and more...

Issue #24
Photo by Claud Richmond / Unsplash

Themes of Jonah, Part 3: Change Your Mind, Jonah! 📃→

Changing your mind is not virtuous in 2021. There are probably a few reasons for that, but one that seems to be everywhere is “tribalism” and peer pressure. Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, has allowed us to organize ourselves into tribes of like-minded people in ways unseen before in history. This isn't always bad, but it does have several dangers.

With social media, when other tribes attack our beliefs, or even just profess different beliefs, we feel the need to be quick to speak and slow to listen. We need to defend our tribe against the “outsiders.” There is very little downside to doing so because anyone we insult or offend is behind text on a screen.

And when we question our own tribe’s beliefs, we have to keep it quiet, or else we face being ostracized by our own tribe. But what does scripture have to say about changing our minds and engaging with people who are not like us?

The Sailors Change Their Minds

While Jonah sleeps soundly in the belly of the ship (Jon. 1:4-5), Yahweh tries to get his attention by hurling a storm at them. Jonah can’t hear God, but the sailors can. They call out to their various gods, but to no avail.

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Church History Corner ⛪️

5 Features That Made the Early Church Unique | Tim Keller 📃 →

Only a relatively few religions have survived the history of humanity and still have worshipers today. Nobody worships Ba’al or Zeus anymore. But few, if any, religions survived through the kind of persecution that Christianity endured for the first three centuries.

Keller explores, through the work of the late Christian historian Larry Hurtado, five reasons why Christians endured and thrived in those first centuries.

  1. The early church was multi-racial and experienced a unity across ethnic boundaries that was startling.
  2. The early church was a community of forgiveness and reconciliation.
  3. The early church was famous for its hospitality to the poor and the suffering.
  4. It was a community committed to the sanctity of life.
  5. It was a sexual counterculture.

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