Monday, February 19, 2007

Christian Carnival CLXI and Other Stuff

Christian Carnival CLXI (161)

The introduction from Don at The Evangelical Ecologist:
Thanks for being patient with me in getting comments/trackbacks moderated. My Lovely Valentine dropped me off in the snow at 02:30 a.m yesterday to catch up with my boss. We dealt wtih pretty heavy freezing rain and snow to get to Boston-Logan (Providence cancelled all its flights), and flew from there to Honolulu via San Fran for a Navy conference here at Naval Base Pearl Harbor.

I Joined My Church

Some may remember some discussion from me about church membership, and my typical lack of it in the past. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had started the three-part membership class for my church. My wife and I have officially joined; and for those that wonder those were individual decisions and not a family one - or mine as "head".

There are many seminary-type folks around; and other students of religion and its structures. For them I will give these links to our membership application (download PDF here); and our Unity Covenant (download PDF here)

"Biblical Advice for Bloggers"

I had saved this link long-ago and had forgotten about it. After the discussion on tone and demeanor in blogging that occurred in the Marcotte discussions; I thought I would post a link to this great analysis of how Christians should blog by Keith at Under the Acacias. His first point:
1. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your blog, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. (Eph 4:29)

Is what comes from our blogs wholesome? Is what we are writing helpful for building others up? Or does it tear them down?

"Is Missionary Work Valid Today"

While at Under the Acacias I noticed that Kevin Smith had an essay answering the question Is Missionary Work Valid Today? which includes this paragraph (as well as alot more):
Christianity today is not a western religion. It is Middle Eastern in origin, but is now found in every country in the world. It is strongest in Africa, South America, and parts of Asia, where it continues to grow, not through the influence of western missionaries, but through local communities of believers in Christ. Missionaries are going from Africa to Europe as well as the other way around, and this is healthy, and much-needed. We as the church in the west are still faced with this vital challenge to recognise that our western forms of Christianity are at best culturally-bound, and at worst compromised. We need to recognise the validity of other cultures and different cultural expressions of faith in Christ. While holding fast to the good news of the kingdom of God, we need to allow Christ and his church to incarnate into local culture. What is not needed is the exporting of the worst of western individualist, consumerist, and success-orientated culture with its accompanying depression, suicide, isolation, community breakdown, self-indulgence, and injustice.

About Christian Carnival
Contributing a Post to the Christian Carnival

The Christian Carnival is open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this Carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought.

Posts need not be of a theological topic. Posts about home life, politics, or current events, for example, written from a Christian worldview are welcome.

Update: As the goal of this Carnival is to highlight Christian thought in the blogosphere, entries will be limited to blogs that share that goal. Blogs with content that is focused on a business, that has potentially offensive material Christians may not want to link to on their sites, or has no reference to distinctively Christian thought may not be included in this Carnival. There are other Carnivals that would be a more appropriate venue for that material. I realize that this will be a judgment call on the part of the Carnival administrator, and being human she may make mistakes. However, as the Christian Carnival is getting quite large, and it is sometimes questionable whether the entrants are seeking to promote Christian thought, I find this necessary.

Update: We also expect a level of discourse that is suitable for a Christian showcase. Thus entries may be refused if they engage in name-calling, ad hominem attacks, offensive language, or for any similar reason as judged by the administrator.

So, if you have a post in this framework - go here to find out more: Christian Carnival Participation Instructions.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly