Thinking Out Loud

October 6, 2011

Link List Themes Revisisted

Yesterday’s link list was posted just before 6:00 AM EST, and as of 11:00 PM EST, while there had been many page views representing hundreds of unique visitors, there wasn’t a single comment.  Actually, that’s pretty standard here, but this was a particularly ‘heavy’ list of stories and I’m wondering if people are missing the larger themes:

  • Tennessee teachers aren’t being told they can’t pray, but they can’t pray in public, as (my words now) they are in an advocacy role and would be setting some kind of example that apparently is a negative example.  Can you say, “slippery slope?”
  • A teen leading the charge for social change is told he’s not exactly doing “wrong” or “bad,” but he should focus on preaching the gospel.  Haven’t we spent the last several decades deriding those who preach the “social gospel;” and while so criticizing them from our lofty theological perch, we did absolutely nothing to deal with poverty and injustice. 
  • A pastor — who may have crossed a line with this — invites another pastor to a seminar where the purpose of the seminar is stated from the outset as being to discuss the things on which we disagree and perhaps tend to sweep under the doctrinal rug.  While it’s a bit on the edge, it would finally clarify once and for all if this other pastor’s position on the trinity is the deal-breaker some of us believe it to be.  But it will never happen at all if certain conservative reformers simply boycott the seminar.
  • Mexico’s proposal on marriage could be the germination of something that is, long term, more insidious than the adoption of same-sex marriage.  It makes marriage modular, reinforces serial monogamy perhaps, but with an air that is more reflective of polyamory.  With simple divorce, there was always an opt-out if it didn’t work; but with Mexico’s proposal, the termination of the marriage after 48 months is really the default setting.
  • Switzerland adopts anti-tolerance.  Again.  The message is clearly, this is our country, our customs; if you don’t like it, leave.  Without commenting further, I wonder where this — or a backlash against it — leaves both the Swiss and more tolerant North Americans in the next 10, 20 or 30 years?
  • Isn’t the Texas oil-change shop’s John 3:16 verbal coupon idea enough to set Christianity back about a century?  If you have to have a license to work on cars in Texas, they should also require a license before you can go public with wacky evangelism schemes.
  • Does it bother anyone that Cathleen Falsani wrote 200 pages about Justin Bieber’s faith without ever sitting down with either JB or his mom?  Sure she has seven pages containing 211 footnotes, but…

Anyway, these are the big picture items from yesterday.  IMHO anyway.  So are TOL readers simply passive on these things, or were you just too busy to catch the links?



  1. Now, you have at least one comment today, Paul. I’m curious what will become of the James MacDonald/T. D. Jakes scenario. By the way, I just got a coffee at Tim’s for 75 cents because I quoted Romans 6:23. Oops, I just sinned (a lie) and the wages of sin is death…

    Comment by David Fisher — October 6, 2011 @ 8:55 am

  2. Steve, I love your blog but use time to read it when many other things call me! I’m being informed even when I don’t comment and I suspect this is true for many of your readers. I wanted to comment on the church hopping reference but had company last night and no time.

    So here’s my comment: Lifeway did a study that showed that 76% of church hoppers are mature Christians. My book Changing Churches: A View From the Pew addresses this issue and the fact that many mature Christians are church hopping for legitimate, God lead reasons, and often because pragmatic rather than prayerful changes have been made in their church. My book will be published in 2012. I’m publishing a newsletter currently called Changing Churches: New and Views. Would be glad to send it to you or your readers! Most recent one was titled “Leaving on Your Mind?”

    Blessings, Dottie

    Comment by Dottie Parish — October 6, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    • Who’s Steve?

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 6, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  3. Hmmm I wrote a comment about the Mexican marriage trial…where did it go? My opinion on that was that if the people applying for the short term marriage agreement are none believers who are married by a justice of the peace, God isn’t really involved in the whole affair anyway. They may pledge to be true to death/better or worse , but without the strength that comes from being rooted in Christ they are rarely able to stick it out.

    Comment by Cynthia — October 6, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

    • It’s there, it came about a half hour later, around 11:30 PM EST when normal people are in bed. …Just kidding, I usually keep later hours, too.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — October 6, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

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