Saturday, March 31, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I've been talking to a few people about faith and life and church lately in ways that make them scratch their heads and ask me if I'm a Christian.Read it all. Secondly, Caroline has a cracking and provocative post about Learning as 'Maybe'.
I wonder if, possibly at a tacit level, we tend to think that discipleship (learning) is about becoming the person we ought to be? Lurking in there is an assumption that there is a 'real' us that we're spoiling at the moment, that we're falling short of...I don't actually agree with all that Caroline writes in that post, but I'm having trouble commenting on a number of typepad blogs at the moment. Finally, the Leveller-headed Michael has hit the spot again with his sixth post on GLBT Persons in Church: The Case for Full Inclusion:
Would Paul...have condemned non-exploitive same-sex relationships? Those, like myself, who argue for revising traditional church teaching and welcoming and affirming gay & lesbian Christians in our churches argue that we do not know the answer to this because Paul does not address the questions being asked today. He had no knowledge of non-exploitive same-sex relationships analogous to heterosexual marriage.Check out his exegesis for yourself.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The third alternative to spanking is another pro-active one. In fact, I would say that the main lesson we had to learn as parents who had chosen not to spank was that we needed to step-in far earlier. As we no longer had a last resort to fall back on, we obviously had to do what we could to ensure that things never reached a point that called for a last resort.
Initially, that seemed hopelessly idealistic and impractical. In reality, it was the most natural thing in the world - and made parenting our kids far more enjoyable.
There are two types of pro-active distraction. Passive distraction involves removing the temptation and opportunity for naughtiness. Active distraction involves 'removing' (at least, it terms of their attention) the child. I'll talk more about that in a moment.Read more...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
'My thesis is that the Lord’s Supper is our most profound and formative symbol. How we practice it reveals more of what we believe about grace, the church, and mission than any other aspect of congregational life; it is our theology incarnate.'
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
One of the enduring debates around the topic of the Eucharist is, just how is Jesus present? The different views can be summarized as.
* Transubstantiation - the substance (fundamental reality) of the bread and wine is transformed in a way beyond human comprehension into that of the Body and Blood of Christ, but the [i]accidents[/i] (physical traits, including chemical properties) of the bread and wine remain. This is the view taught by the Roman Catholic Church and held by many Anglicans, especially in high Anglo-Catholic circles. It's something of an under-statement to say that it's not held by many Baptists! ;-)Read more...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
3,500 Christian Leaders from 48 States to Protest War at National Cathedral, Mass Arrests Expected at White House
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
"In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher."Definition of a good quote? One that makes you think, "Damn, I wish I'd said that!"
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The alternative to spanking that I want to briefly explore this time is the foundation of three others that I'll unpack at a later date (positive reinforcement, pro-active discipline and laughter). This most important alternative is simply building a positive relationship with our children.
Any married parent knows how it is easier to react negatively to our partners when we are in a bad patch, or in the midst of an ongoing squabble. (Even if you lot won't admit it, I will!) If my wife and I are in a lovey-dovey phase and she says something that upsets/confuses me, I may ask - even with a smile on my face - "what does that mean?" However, if we're rowing, I'm unlikely to even ask; I'll just assume that she meant the worst and probably respond in (perceived) kind. Of course, then the cycle just continues...
I would suggest that exactly the same process takes place with our kids. Putting it in its starkest terms, parents who only ever really engage with their kids when there is a need for discipline (meaning, when the little angels need punishing!), play the role of "Support Teachers." Back in school, the days when the class was left in hands of a supply teacher were happy days indeed! I'm not proud of it now, but our common aim on such days was to see who could be the first to make the teacher cry (for female teachers), or snap and completely lose it (for men). I was often the winner of these challenges, though I was particularly good and pushing the male teachers over the edge.
The point is that when these teachers tried aimlessly to tell us what to do, our reactions were predictable:Read more...
Monday, March 12, 2007
I suggest that we tend to confuse the beginning of the faith journey with its entirety. Yes, believe in Jesus—that's the first step. Yes, invite Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior. Then, empowered by God's grace, embark on the journey of discipleship, in which you seek to love God with every fiber of your being, to love your neighbor as yourself, to live out God's moral will, and to follow Jesus where he leads you, whatever the cost.(How is it that so many people miss the implications of the question of the crowds, in Acts 2? When they ask, "What must we do to be saved?", Peter doesn't say, "Do? What must you do? Goodness, you don't do anything. You just pray a quick prayer and receive." Instead, he tells them what to do: change the direction of your life, expressing this through the Jewish practice of a ceremony to wash away your sins and implant your in the community, and you will receive the gift of the Spirit that Jesus promised to all those disciples that he was sending out. This is true for yourselves, your children and even the Gentiles that God is calling.) I actually wish that Gushee had brought up all of these thoughts and more. However, what he does is present a provocative and thoughtful piece that out-right rejects the Sinners Prayer Christianity that is so prevalent today and so foreign to the Bible. Check out the rest for yourselves.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
If I get time tomorrow, I'll post on what I think is the #1 most important alternative to spanking. However, for now, I thought that I'd offer a quote from this piece:
The usual argument for smacking is that nothing else works or that it is the only language some children understand. But how can society continue to believe illogically that hitting children is proper behaviour modification when hitting another adult is regarded as criminal assault? What is the age at which the right of one family member to hit another family member suddenly becomes a crime? If we really want to eliminate child abuse we need as a society to be convinced to use other techniques to shape and change children's behaviour. We can't fail to be concerned about the level of violence in society. In England alone about 80 children die each year, from physical abuse at the hand of their parents and carers. So why do some people refuse to see any connection between this and the beginnings of physical punishment of children at home?