Monday, September 14, 2009

Blog Tour: 9/6 - 9/12

[Crossposted to Street Prophets]

Wherein I look around the web - hopefully once a week - and draw some attention to things I see there that interest me.

If you want to know where I go, look at the links on the left of my blog under "Places I Frequent". From there, I will go places those places may point me. Typically, I will also list up to three of my favorite posts from the current Christian Carnival - and may go somewhere those blogs take me.

Sometimes they will be topically organized, and sometimes just in order of the links I visited. Enjoy:

  • Christian Carnival posts:
    • Teresa at the New Mercy blog writes about a family breakup and also being in debt that made her feel embarrassed and unworthy.
      How do you go about cultivating a lifestyle of honesty when you are terribly embarrassed and even ashamed of yourself? I wasn't raised to tell people the truth about my problems or struggles. I wasn't familiar with letting people look into my personal growth or know about my issues. Also, I wasn't at all used to family breakup or creditors calling or choosing which bill to pay.
    • Is someone watching you? Actually, yes. To find out who and what to do about it, read the post entitled, "We're being watched" at the In Him We Live and Move and Have Our Being blog.
      So here we have two men from very different backgrounds – one practicing the Hindu faith throughout his life, the other a fallen-away Christian – both of whom object to Christianity on the basis of the behavior, actions, and appearance of Christians.
    • Tom of Thinking Christian reviews N.T. Wright's book, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is in his post, "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Part One)"
      Early Christianity was, he writes, a kingdom-of-God movement, a resurrection movement, and a Messianic movement. From our distance these seem commonplace assertions, and if we try we can easily imagine coming up with a set of religious fables to support such thinking. This is why Wright emphasizes the historical setting so strongly, though; for these ways of thinking, in the forms they appeared in early Christianity, were completely foreign to the culture in which Christianity arose.
  • At Sharper Iron, Dr. Kevin Bauder has started a series on Fundamentalism
    The last sustained history of fundamentalism to be published by a fundamentalist was David Beale's In Pursuit of Purity1. Nearly a generation has passed since Beale finished writing his book. During that time the landscape of fundamentalism has altered significantly.
    I read the first four posts, and it seems like a pretty insightful series on the philosophical, theological roots and current state of Fundamentalism [HT: Fundamentally Changed]

  • Last week, I mentioned that Iraq and Syria were at odds, with the President of Iraq calling for international investigation. This week Iraq's Presidency council criticizes Maliki over standoff with Syria
    The Iraqi presidency council called for "containing the situation with neighboring Syria and for cooperation between the two countries to resolve disputes through dialogue and diplomatic channels".A statement released after the council's meeting in Sulaymaniyah stressed the need to do what is in the best interest of both countries and to prevent "enemies" from using one country against the other.
  • Rick Moran at Rightwing Nuthouse thinks, along with Ezra Klein, that "The Baucus Reform Plan has Some Merit"
    Senate Finance chairman Max Baucus has labored long, hard - and in secret - to produce an 18 page summary of what Ezra Klein refers to as a “Not that bad health care bill.” The fact that I agree with Klein shouldn’t worry you. The irony is that he sees fault where I see merit and vice versa.

    That should make both liberals and conservative heads explode.
  • So, "Did Paul Invent Jesus' Deity?" Stand to Reason looks at a new book due to come out:
    Philip Pullman, author of the childrens book series His Dark Materials that arguably portray an atheistic worldview, will release a new book next year recycling an old argument that is contradicted by the majority and most recent scholarship. In a book that appears will be a mix of fiction and non-fiction, Pullman will argue that "St. Paul came up with the 'story' that Jesus had a divine link." He claims that "by the time the gospels were being written, Paul had already begun to transform the story of Jesus into something altogether new and extraordinary, and some of his version influenced what the gospel writers put in theirs." Jesus' divinity is a product of Paul's "fervid imagination."
  • At Street Prophets there is a diary about "How to Build an Atheist in Two Hours". For followers of Christ who seek to evangelize, this (and some of the diaries it links) should be a "how NOT to evangelize" primer - starting with the ambush of a 14 year old boy at a science camp in North Carolina.
    when a guy who’s name is "Scat" puts up a sign up sheet called "Rock and Roll, Funk and Soul: The history of the music we listen to" and specifically invites me to attend, it sounds like it’s going to be a good time. The warning I missed was how precise my invitation was and that I was given a unique responsibility that night:

    "Hey Joe! I’m holding a session tonight about music, man. And I saw that great collection of Rock T-shirts you have. Boy, those are really great. I could use them in my presentation. Would you mind bringing them along?"

    Well, that sounds friendly enough, and at age 14 I had not yet learned to be so suspicious of anyone who’s always that happy and energetic. So, like the clueless fool I was, I showed up looking forward to a great time about music history, and having some part in the story. Little did I know what my part was . . .
    His best comment, to me, was:
    What you should take away from this story, in my opinion, is that if the labels of "faithful", "Christians" – whatever stereotypical name we use to grossly oversimplify and identify one group is offensive to you then I’ve done my job. For the same reason "atheist", "secularists" is injurious to me when it’s used to hold me accountable for individual acts of others that I personally had no part it, I understand your distress. So if you’re tired and indignant of being shouldered with the burden of what "those" Christians do, which of course no Christian as you understand it should ever do, then you need to be talking to those Christians and tell them to cut it out.
    I only partially agree with the last part - it is only my responsibility when I can do so in love in a situation where we are under the same discipline/leadership. However, in posting this I am making it clear that if the reader thinks what the camp counselor did is OK - I think you really need to rethink your concept of personal evangelism.

  • Jan at A View from Her looks at "cows, cars, shoes, relationships":
    So it’s been awhile since we’ve had a frank discussion about sex, and today I find myself “in the mood” (pun intended). To be more specific, rather a discussion about the fine art of not having sex, if you’re a single disciple of Jesus, or just a woman of higher than average intelligence.
  • Heard about this?:
    The furor over President Obama's trillion-dollar restructuring of American health care has left his other trillion-dollar plan starved for attention. That's how much the federal balance sheet will expand over the next decade if Mr. Obama can convince Congress to approve his pending takeover of the student-loan market.

    The Obama plan calls for the U.S. Department of Education to move from its current 20% share of the student-loan origination market to 80% on July 1, 2010, when private lenders will be barred from making government-guaranteed loans. The remaining 20% of the market that is now completely private will likely shrink further as lenders try to comply with regulations Congress created last year. Starting next summer, taxpayers will have to put up roughly $100 billion per year to lend to students.

    1. John,
      Enjoyed looking over your blog post today.

      In reference to the Bauder series at just wanted to point out that his name is Kevin Bauder, not David.
      ... and also another installment posts tomorrow.


    2. I enjoyed the links you collected here. Thanks for including mine.


    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