The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, June 29, 2011


“A religious test for president?” No. How about an economics test instead? I mean, seriously, should we be more concerned that a candidate is a Mormon (Romney) than a Keynesian (Obama)? Jesus didn’t appear to the American Indians, but claiming he did so doesn’t rack up more than $3 trillion in debt in just under three years. From a political point of view, which data point is more important?

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“3 Main Bodies in Christianity Reach ‘Historic’ Agreement in Evangelism Ethics.” You can read the agreement here. Apropos of this topic, I’m reading Elmer John Thiessen’s excellent book, The Ethics of Evangelism: A Philosophical Defense of Proselytizing and Persuasion (from IVP Academic).

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“Pope sends first tweet, launching new Vatican site.” Here’s the tweet: “Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.” Not very catchy, but what do you expect from the 84-year-old CEO of a two-millennia-old corporation?

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On the other hand: “Twitter not blessed by Pope’s presence.”

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“YouVersion’s Volunteer Army”: The best Bible app has a minimal paid staff and a maximal volunteer base. Perhaps this is a good model for church ministry?

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“The Role of Hierarchy in Modern Discipleship”:

As the Great Commission—Jesus’ final address before his ascension to heaven—reveals, the discipleship hierarchy of teachers and students is affirmed until his return, as is the specific content to be taught and learned: the eternally unchanging craft of Christianity. As with all of Christianity-as-philanthropy, what undergoes change is not the forms or structures or content of discipleship, but rather the disciples themselves. Through Jesus’ self-emptying into all those willing to receive him, Jesus redefines the role that they themselves will go on to undertake in the discipleship relationship—the role of the teacher-as-philanthropist.

IMHO, too many pastors get caught up in the hier (or “higher”?) and forget the philia.

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“Does Sunday School Have a Future?” Yes, but apparent without either the Sunday or school parts.

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“Where gay matrimony meets elite sanctimony.”

From a sociological perspective, the ascendancy of the campaign for gay marriage provides a fascinating story about the dynamics of the cultural conflicts that prevail in Western society. During the past decade the issue of gay marriage has been transformed into a cultural weapon that explicitly challenges prevailing norms through condemning those who oppose it. This is not so much a call for legal change as a cause: one that endows its supporters with moral superiority and demotes its opponents with the status of moral inferiority.

One thought on “The World Wide (Religious) Web for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

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  1. You do a disservice to candidates who happen to be Mormon in juxtaposing economic viability with religious viability. Take the economic question out of the equation and your point still stands – religious testing is unconstitutional. Don’t turn a Mormon running for president into a question about Obama. Both can stand on their own just fine. Evangelicals or liberals (or anyone else) who oppose Romney or Huntsman running for President because they are Mormons need to deal with their biases on that basis and that basis alone. Even if the standing President was not as you say he is, there would still be no justification for religious testing.

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