Daniel Darling, author, pastor, speaker / Posts tagged "criticism"

The Rise of the Thin-Skinned Radicals

I was in a conversation the other day with some friends about some of the latest debates in the evangelical church. One of the things that struck us is just how thin-skinned we tend to be when our ideas are challenged. What's particularly interesting is how intolerant we are of people we think are intolerant. A few examples come to mind: There's a rich market of progressive evangelicals who like to skewer the evangelical church. Every day, it seems, a book comes out that essentially makes the case that the church has gotten it all wrong and should should reexamine orthodoxies and beliefs. A good example is Rob Bell's infamous book, Love Wins and his recent marketing of his latest: What We Talk About When We Talk About God. Many of Rob Bell's fans (though not, seemingly, Rob himself) seem to wince at every criticism of Bell and label it "mean-spirited" and "ugly." To...

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Let’s Not Trade Unity for Clicks

I'm writing this post even as I'm supposed to be writing my sermon for Sunday. But there is just something God has put on my heart and so deeply convicted me about that I have to share it. A few days ago I had a conversation with a wonderful, well-known pastor in my area. He's a pastor in every sense of the calling. Kind, loving, shepherding, caring, gracious, studious, biblical, evangelical, evangelistic. All those things. We had a wide-ranging conversation out of which I gleaned so many good things for my life and ministry. But one that I cannot let go of was this. We were discussing a controversial issue in the Church worldwide. I won't mention the issue, but it's a big one that is less important than orthodoxy and yet still very important to many good people. Personally I think it's a huge issue. He and I agreed on the issue, but...

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Can We Build the Church By Being Against the Church?

It's hard to read a Christian book or blog post or to hear a sermon without hearing some overt or implied criticism of some part of the evangelical Church as a whole. That's not even counting the Twitter feeds of Christians. I'm reading a terrific book right on the centrality of the gospel by one of my favorite author/preacher/bloggers. It's a book that is both challenging me and inspiring me. But even this favorite author can't resist the easy stereotype of "most churches" or "most Christians" or "The Church is . . . ." It seems nearly impossible for us to build up our ministries without having to use another expression of Christian ministry as a foil. I know this because I do this myself. In my forthcoming book, I spend a considerable time pushing back against the pressure to be perfect among 2nd Generation kids. I felt (and still feel) it was a legitimate...

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On Criticism

One of the hardest things for a Christian to do is accept criticism. I should know, because I typically flinch at criticism. Immediately my defenses go up and I’m ready to lash out at the critics. But this is always the wrong approach.

After all, we’re Christians and we should be, as James 1:19 instructs, swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. Even the most biting criticism has an element of truth that can help.

I think this is especially true for those in levels of leadership. I wanted to share a few points about criticism and leadership that I’m learning: