20 June 2010



What do you think? If this isn't a conversation starter..... No really, go ahead. You first.

09 June 2010


Dramatic playwright and screen writer Aaron Sorkin has created, written, and produced three wonderful shows, so far, that Megan and I recommend to you: Sports NightThe West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. All are available on DVD and at least one of them still runs in repeats on cable. This evening we finished Sports Night's all too short two season run and can only hope that Sorkin's creativity returns to the small screen again soon. If you can pick only one, watch The West Wing and start at the beginning. You likely will get hooked, fall in love with the character of Josiah Barlett, and feel unrealistically hopeful about government and the United States' on occasion. You have been warned.

08 June 2010


In an article, summarizing survey research done on "busters", published in 2008, The Barna Group reveals how they classify the terms "Evangelical" and/or "born again". In the next few days I will write more about the article but for now here is the classification:

"Evangelicals" are born again Christians. In the survey, people qualified as evangelicals if they met the born again criteria (i.e., said they had have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior) plus seven other conditions. Those include saying their religious faith is very important in their life today; believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists; believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent upon church attendance or the denominational affiliation of the church attended. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as "evangelical."

When and where I grew up, these were the only people who were "real Christians" and were "saved" assuming of course they spoke in tongues and operated in the "gifts of the spirit". To be fair, the Barna Group isn't quite making that claim, and of course they do have to classify people of all sorts to do proper surveys, but plenty have and will make that same leap. In a viewing the documentary Jesus Camp last week, I heard that real Christians raise their hands and sing loud in church and that God likes that best. But the people who sit and sing quietly aren't on God's good list.

Regardless of your faith affiliation, or lack there-of, don't we all realize that there are plenty of well thought out, valid, and sometimes reasoned, points of view with every faith/spirituality/worldview category? Do most Christians really fall into these classifications?

Lastly, notice that following Jesus' example, "The Way" as early Christians called it, isn't even one of the classifications. Odd? This to me is actually the only outright troubling thing about the classification as used by The Barna Group. Perhaps, sadly, this isn't a requirement to be in the "Evangelical" camp but you'd think to be a "Christian" defined as "Christ follower" you would need to actually follow. 

All who make the Christian / follower of Jesus claim could learn a bit from this omission, wouldn't you agree?

Cartoon from Naked Pastor.
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