Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Touring the Net

I am not going to call this a "weekly" tour because I haven't been too good about doing it weekly.

  • First, the 215th Christian Carnival is up at Fish and Cans. A sample of three posts:

    • A fellow Oregonian posts "My Testimony" as a meme. My contribution starts here. Go look at her questions, answer at your blog, and link in her comments.

    • Politicians say some interesting things about scripture. Jeremy Pierce at Parableman looks at a recent comment by Barack Obama:
      I want to delve a little bit into the contrast he draws between the Sermon on the Mount and Romans 1. The gist of his statement is (1) the Sermon on the Mount is more central to Christian faith than an "obscure" passage in Romans, and (2) the Sermon on the Mount should influence our attitudes toward civil unions in some positive way.
      The conversation in the comments between two of the "parablemen" is a really good launch for this discussion.

    • Speaking of that obscure passage in Romans, Chris at The Bible Study Podcast begins a podcast series on Romans:
      This is the introductory episode for a new series studying the book of Romans. This episode will provide an overview of why we will be studying the book of Roman. It also starts to look at the introduction to this letter. Romans is the only one of Paul’s letters written to a church that he has not previously preached to. Because it is written to a new audience it is the most complete of the New Testament letters theologically.
  • Another meme caught by eye at Parableman: "Bible Meme". I am putting this on my list to do - and you can consider yourself tagged if you like (but since I haven't yet (and may never) done it - my tag doesn't really count since I am not yet "it")

  • Joe at Evangelical Outpost looks at "Prostitution and the Pollution of Moral Ecology":
    The news of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's dalliances with high-priced prostitutes fills me with sadness, regret, and dread. Sadness over the Governor's shaming his family in such a public way, regret at having to listen to the smirking schadenfreude of his political enemies, and dread that we'll have to suffer the tedious and inevitable articles and blog posts asking, "What's the problem with prostitution?"
  • Bonnie at Intellectuelle examines "The Exclusive Nature of Religious Pluralism":
    To look at RP [religious pluralism] more closely, one has to admit that it cannot really exist because religious pluralism cannot embrace historic Christianity, it rejects it. Historic Christianity teaches that it is only through faith in Jesus can anyone be saved, and RP rejects this claim. Therefore, all roads do not lead to God, rather any road other than historic Christianity leads to God.
  • Scot at The Jesus Creed has a series on Os Guinness' The Case for Civility. See "Civility 1" (it has reached "Civility 3")
    Some of my finest moments of exhilaration in study have emerged out of visions for what public discourse has been and could be. But we are presently mired, largely in the wake of America’s culture wars, in bombastic and apocalyptic ruts. We have Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter and Sean Hannity and Michael Moore and Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, and just naming them embarrasses public discourse. I despise TV news talk shows where folks talk over one another.
  • Two folks pointed to a new CDC report that 1 out of 4 teenage girls have a sexually transmitted disease - with two diametrically opposed conclusions:

    • Rain at Street Prophets believes this shows a lack of eduction of our children - particularly because of "abstinence only" sex education:
      My sister and I discussed this briefly this morning and she made the point that teenagers are not stupid. They need information so that they can protect themselves – and abstinence only programs of sex education are likely to blame for some – if not a lot -- of this. Add to this the fact that health care is not easily available to many American families and the problem is compounded.
    • Melinda at the Stand to Reason Blog points out the obvious:
      Some people scoff that "abstinence doesn't work." Yet, I guarantee you that all of the girls who practice abstinence are in the disease-free group. Abstinence works every time it's tried. No one said it was easy, only that it is right and it works. More than 3 millions girls lives are devastated because they bought the cultural lie perpetuated by the sexual revolution.
    My 14 year old daughter's response: her classmates are NOT ignorant that unprotected sex can cause pregnancy or STD's - and they can be very stupid when it comes to sex. She proceeded to tell me some horror stories she has overheard at school which I will not repeat here.

    We are failing our children - but the failure is in the lack of moral and ethical grounding about sex - both culturely and in our families; and not because they lack information about the negative outcomes of sex: they know them and ignore them in the moment.

    • Should sex education by "abstinence only"? No.

    • Should it be morality and ethics free? No - it needs to include abstinence (my daughter's health classes do not).

    • Can our schools handle the ethics and moral education necessary? No.

    Parents: teach your children well. [Incidentally, for anyone who says my daughter's opinion is anecdotal - she is an expert on everything: just ask her :-)

  • Jan at The View from Her has something to say "Re: The Apologists":
    I have two observations that cause me to re-think apologetics as a positional framework for faith. First, the desire to be "right" can sometimes get tangled up in the lust for power that goes all the way back to the Garden. Armed with all the "right answers" we are ready for battle, to attack and demolish another's arguments so we can conquer them with The Truth. Do we really think adversarial war metaphors will help us win anyone to Christ? Really? I remember hiking in the mountains, and crossing a stream from rock to rock. A friend stretched out his hand to help me make a particularly slippery jump. This is a better metaphor, I think - helping people cross over to faith from rock to rock, and extending well-thought-out answers to help them over the places where they may have the most fear.
    This is primarily about folks thinking Anne Rice the artist should adhere to reality in her Christ the Lord series

  • In the "you cannot make this stuff up" department, Save the Humans [HT: The Volokh Conspiracy] reports [please tell me this is a spoof]:
    In a surprising turn of events, NY Governor Eliot Spitzer has filed a lawsuit against “Kristen”, a prostitute for the Emperor’s Club prostitution ring. Spitzer’s complaint alleges that “Kristen’s” refusal to allow him to sleep with her bareback, while allegedly knowing of his sexual addiction, constituted unfair exploitation of an ADA-protected disability.
    There . are . no . words.

  • Finally, back to those schools teaching sexual morals and ethics: WorldMagBlog reports on a school in Illinois that assigned Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes as required reading:
    "The book is replete with profanity, overt racism through multiple uses of the N-word, an explicit description of a sex act involving Mother Theresa and some of the most graphic, vile and vivid depictions of homosexual anal sodomy every put in print." -- Concerned Women for America
    Lynn at WorldMagBlog challenges folks to google this if they think it "case of straight-laced Christian schoolmarms with their knickers in knots." She asks the question I would ask:
    But can not even our gay and lesbian friends on this blog agree that it is not appropriate to assign sexually graphic/pornographic literature to high school students? And, if a teacher is going to assign gay-themed literature, aren’t there more age-appropriate, less sexualized, polarizing choices? Gay activists are constantly arguing that the gay lifestyle isn’t just about sex. Why then assign Angels in America and reinforce the opposite opinion?

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I wanted to say thanks for the link! Also, for the other great links, many of which I'd missed and must now go read!


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