I saw a sign yesterday which said “‘Let’s agree to disagree’ is just another way of saying ‘you’re wrong but too stupid to change your mind so let’s stop talking about it’.”Oddly enough, my husband has repeatedly proposed getting through this election cycle by “agreeing to disagree”. And here I was thinking he wanted to agree to disagree because he was feeling threatened by my razor sharp logic and superior grasp of facts!
I wonder why we have such a hard time dealing with people who disagree with us? Perhaps deep down we all feel like my mom did when she told me once, “I’d rather be wrong than change my mind.” I don’t have a particularly good answer to the quandary of conflicting opinions, but this week’s Bloggy Linky Goodness does have some excellent advice for those trying to find their way through this election season without being an ass. And some other excellent stuff as well. So here goes!
Politics: A Biblical Approach I’m not entirely sure that this ought to be labeled “a biblical approach”, but it’s definitely a good approach anyways. I especially appreciate that she starts of with a warning to “be intentional in how you present history”. Today may not be ideal, but the past wasn’t nirvana either, folks!
God Doesn’t Need Your Political Endorsement Gosh, I loved this one. Morgan Guyton explains that the third commandment – Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain – prohibited the ancient Israelites from using God’s name to give authority to man. As in a politician or political party using the name of God to give themselves more credibility. That’s taking the name of the Lord in vain. And we Christians should neither approve of nor clammor for it.
Why Christians Should Be in the Minority There’s been a lot of hand-wringing over the idea that we may be entering into a post-Christian era. I don’t know if we are, but I do know that being reduced in numbers would actually be beneficial to the church and the world for precisely the reasons Shawn Smucker explains here. Shawn recently took a trip with World Vision to Shri Lanka where Christians make up less than 1% of the population and talks about what he saw.
Emerging Generations and the Jesus Gap Writing at [D]mergent Derek Penwell examines the downside of the “personal relationship with Jesus” approach to faith. Been there. Done that. A personal relationship with Jesus is a nice part of the faith, but it doesn’t define the faith. And it can be particularly problematic when combined with typical American teen narcissism.
Not Your Average Will A post I can totally relate to. As Erika Morrison says, “You surrender to God’s will, then you get hit by a truck!” Yup. Sounds about right. A good post talking about what it is to commit to follow the path laid out by someone who was tortured and crucified. It almost makes those old evangelical witness stories that go “I was bad, got saved, life is good” sound like a punch line, frankly.
Jesus vs. Mao? An Interview With Yuan Zhiming From the New York Review of Books comes this excellent interview with one of the most influential Christian leaders in China (and therefore the world!). I can’t even begin to do justice to how wonderful it is in a few sentences. Christianity has always been unusually well suited to adoption in a wide variety of cultural and social climates and it’s fascinating to hear how this is working in a place like China. A great read.
On Treating Modern Women Like Ancient Greco-Roman Wives Dr. Roy Ciampa nails it in this essay explaining the problem with reading Paul’s (conflicting) instructions to wives as timeless instructions for marriage. The short version is that marriage in the world Paul was writing to was not between peers of similar age, experience and education. Instead, they were very asymmetrical affairs usually involving barely pubescent girl children and adult men. To try and apply instructions for managing that dynamic to modern marriages is self-evidently absurd.
The Persecution of John Kiriakou This is such a shameful story. And it speaks very poorly of our leaders and the majority of the public who support them. “No one except John Kiriakou is being held accountable for America’s torture policy. And John Kiriakou didn’t torture anyone, he just blew the whistle on it.” Written by Peter Van Buren, a 24 year Foreign Service Officer who was involved in reconstruction efforts in Iraq. He also has a new book out titled “We Meant Well” which looks at the Iraq debacle which you should feel free to buy me a copy of.
And finally, you may want to bookmark this next post and return to it as need through the rest of the election season: A Recovering Political Junkie’s Advice for Campaign 2012 I wrote this at the beginning of the year. Because in the past I was already in full election season swing by Jan. 1 in election years. Hopefully your political fixation isn’t as bad as mine was, but at the moment politics are awfully hard to avoid. This post has some much needed perspective to help you survive the next couple of months.
So that’s it. As always, if you have something you’d like to share in next week’s Bloggy Linky Goodness, please email the link to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form under the “About” tab at the top of the site! Also, if you haven’t already, please check out my crowdfunding campaign and consider making a donation.