Around the Web July 2014

Good month this month. Also really hot. And I turned 27. Good times. So what's interesting? Well let me tell you ... Killing Christian Hipster by Maci Shingleton So this blog post totally took my twitter world by storm ... and by an author who didn't even consider herself much of a blogger! Maci captures something in this post that I tried to verbalize in How to be an Honest Hipster but she does a waaay better job. Read this:
Somewhere on the road of trying to find my identity in Christ I have been met with a dangerous temptation to find my identity in a new “Christian” stereotype.
[She summarizes the current hipster-dom then continues...]
Hear me out, followers of Jesus can drink good coffee and listen to good music and even have sick tattoos but if all of that was stripped away… would it change anything?
The unfortunate and obvious answer is that yes it would. If it was truly uncool to be Christian, how many folks would really be sticking it out? She questions having no wifi to post cute photos on instagram but I wonder who's raised their hand for martyrdom?
If Christ is worth living for, he's also worth dying for.
Maci thinks hard and lives well. I'd highly recommend giving her blog a thorough visit. Two other posts I also loved are below : Similarly... What's All This 'Gospel-Centered' Talk About? by Dane Ortlund Much like hipster-dom, every new era needs new terminology.

What does it mean, then, to be "Gospel-centered"?

As far as I can tell the phrase is used in two basic ways. One is to view all of life in light of the Gospel. We'll call this a Gospel-centered worldview.

The other is to view Christian progress as dependent on the Gospel. We'll call this Gospel-centered growth.

The first looks out; the second looks in.

I really appreciate how Dane summarizes an issue that's increasingly important: How we define Christianity. So many churches (mine included) get sidetracked with ... things ... and good initiatives ... that sometimes distract from sharing the good news, encouraging young believers, and fixing our eyes solely on Jesus. He died on the cross to save us from our sins. Our good sins and our bad ones. Our big ones and little.
Jesus forgave my self-judging
Jesus forgave my self-judging
That blows my mind. Let me wrap this up with more from Dane.
There's one more thing to be said. The label "Gospel-centered" is neither here nor there. There's nothing sacred about it.  Every generation must rediscover the Gospel for itself. "Gospel-centered" happens to be the label attached to this generation's recovery of grace. When we tire of the label, get a new one. But keep the reality.