Book Recommendation from a Pastor
Compassion (&) Conviction by Justin Giboney, Michael Wear, and Chris Butler
Recommendation by Pastor Eufemio Magsombol, Jr.
I really appreciate Pastor Kim’s sermons on how we can live out our faith during this time of political divisiveness. I must admit this is an area of weakness for me, as I didn’t have much interest in politics growing up. One resource that I’ve found to be helpful as I strive to grow in this area is a book entitled Compassion (&) Conviction: The AND Campaign’s Guide to Faithful Civic Engagement by Justin Giboney, Michael Wear, and Chris Butler.
Compassion (&) Conviction is a good starting point and a balanced discourse on how we as Christians can think through our engagement in the political arena and how our faith shapes our involvement. We may not line up squarely with everything presented in the book, but as one reviewer from The Gospel Coalition puts it, “Compassion (&) Conviction doesn’t claim to be the definitive manifesto for Christian political witness. It instead offers itself as an introductory study guide to thoughtful, faith-based social engagement. For this purpose, it’s sensible and measured.”
Here are a few highlights from the book:
- “the gospel should be the foundation and starting point of our political decisions. Our preferences, interests, and sociopolitical ideologies aren’t the ultimate authority and can’t take precedence over biblical principles… Two Christians can disagree on our important policy without one or the other necessarily being unfaithful… However, all Christians should make those decisions from a biblical framework… As Christians we must be deliberate about making sure our positions have biblical roots rather than being controlled by our political party or ideological tribe (Colossians 2:8).”
- “Christians are usually proficient at identifying the flaws on the other side of the political spectrum and pointing out how our political opponents fall short of the gospel. But we’re less willing or able to identify the issues on our own end of the spectrum. Neither progressivism nor conservatism satisfies the love or truth imperatives of the gospel. Both fall outside of a biblical framework. Christians must recognize the failings and blind spots in their own political party and ideological tribe in order to avoid indoctrination and to faithfully correct unexamined assumptions.”
- “Many Christians are conflicted because they believe in freedom, moral order, justice, equality, and inclusion. We want to protect the unborn and treat the poor and racial minorities with love and compassion… Christians must be critical thinkers and question the assumptions and conclusions presented to us. We shouldn’t simply accept the issues as they’ve been framed because these sources usually aren’t analyzing the issues from the standard of the gospel… Christians should say, ‘I support social justice, morality, and family values. I don’t affirm ungodly behavior, nor do I hate the individual; I affirm the human dignity of all people. I love and care for the poor, and I believe in personal responsibility.’ In other words, proper framing allows us to embrace the love and truth of the gospel. Christians can reject false choices in politics without walking away from civic engagement altogether.”
- “As Christians, we have to be careful about how we label people. When we portray others in a demeaning light, we sin against them and reveal our own lack of wisdom (Proverbs 11:12)… Political leaders often talk as if their side is for all that is good and true, and the other side is for death and destruction. But civic decisions become too easy when we as Christians pretend politics is simply a battle between angels and demons. The implication is that we don’t have to parse the details of their proposals or weigh the alternatives, we just need to know what position the ‘right side’ is taking. This makes for a simple and powerful narrative, but in a broken world, neither side is completely good. There weren’t any perfect groups of people in the Bible (Romans 3:23), and there is only one perfect human, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:9). That fact still stands today.”
Many things are vying for our attention these days. Let’s not forget to use God’s gifts as a telescope to behold His glory and worship Him.
Have you ever considered how divine it is to truly forgive someone? In Christ, we are given the gift to forgive another person’s wrong and it’s one means of grace to grow and help others grow to be more like Christ.
We need to understand we all play a role and participate in creating a certain culture within the church. How we are individually contributes to how we are corporately, so may we grow in godliness to adorn the church with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here’s an encouragement for how to encourage and foster relationships with others in the church. As the family of God, we can show the world a better way in our interactions with the opposite gender.
There is nothing particularly godlier about leading an “extraordinary” life. Since God is sovereign and always worthy of glory, we can render Him honor even in the simple and regular. This is a timely word in a season where we’re confined more and preoccupied with “ordinary” things.
While this article is primarily written to pastors, there’s much to glean here for the upcoming election. We need biblical wisdom, self control, and much grace from God.
From this past Sunday, we do well to consider one of Pastor Kim’s points of staying off of social media. This article expands on 10 potential dangers about social media. Let us strive to represent Christ well in every platform.
From the recent CCEF conference, here’s a great arrangement of “His Mercy is More.”
A cry and plea to worship God. The simplicity of the song pierces through the complications of life and gets at the heart of what it means to be a Christian: to be with God.
A classic and beloved song at Lighthouse gets a nice stripped down rendition. It’s an acoustic rendition that focuses our attention on the depth of the lyrics and the joy it is to praise God as the church when we are able to gather again.
As a follow-up to this Sunday’s sermon, here’s more food for thought as we enter into this election. There’s a lot of pastoral insight worth our consideration and application.
This round table conversation does a comprehensive treatment on dealing with grief. Timestamps are provided if you want to jump to various topics.