Christians! Think!

February 17, 2009 in News

Christians just can’t be ignorant anymore. Bummer.

Look at some of the recent controversies brewing around the Web concerning our church and sites:

  • Oxford University is scrutinizing Xenos!
  • The Investigation is drawing some fire.
  • The Fear Factor about church tradition is drawing fire.
  • Visit Issues at Stake, our new Blog for public controversies and discussion.

Complicated But Cool

The spiritual landscape is vastly more complex than anything faced by earlier generations of Christians:

  • Who understands the difference between the Eastern and Western hemispheres of religions? Christians must dialog skillfully about these and a broad spectrum of  new religions.
  • What’s the difference between Protestants and Catholics?
  • What’s the difference between Reformed and Dispensationalists in Protestantism?
  • Why do we believe that the Bible is infallible and inherent? Is it the Word of God? And who cares? Can you defend your beliefs?
  • Churches are getting torn apart (three out of 4 churches are declining today) by the sheer number of anti-Christian prejudices and slogans.
  • The backlash against “Intelligent Design” has opened new opportunities for cries of “Christian conspiracy” and “superstitious Christians”. Do you understand this debate?
  • Biblical views on love, marriage, sex, and parenting are considered repulsive and anachronistic (outdated). Are you able to defend these biblical views?

Issues at Stake is a new Blog where anyone can post or respond. It helps develop effective and persuasive responses. It’s a way to get experience interacting,

Why Bother?

Look at how this can help our ministries is so many ways!

  • Cell Group leaders and those discipling–please discuss this Blog and its responses.
  • Writers and thinkers have the opportunity to air their ideas and post them for public consumption and debate. Your ideas are not just welcome, but needed. Sign up at the Blog!
  • There’s a world of confusion out there we’d like to attract.

Posting publicly can seem scary. “What if I can’t answer someone’s response? What if I get a hostile response? What if I’m wrong? What if I make a mistake?”

But this is how we hone our minds and become critical thinkers: being challenged. And challenging it is!

  • Yes, others may better have critical-thinking skills than yours — Good! Learn from their responses!
  • Yes, there will be hostile and negative responses — even hurtful ones. Good! Learn what it means to “turn the other cheek” and still defend The Faith in a respectful and intelligent way.
  • Yes, you will encounter theology and doctrines that you’ve never heard before, and maybe you won’t know how — Good! It will motivate you to study. Lisa and I faced this recently on another blog. As a result, we are going to read up on Catholic doctrine.

Hopefully nobody can ever prove we at Xenos are merely spouting what “the leaders” tell us. We need to think and pray about our beliefs.

It takes some time, but not much. But it’s time well-spent: thinking through issues, writing your thoughts down, responding… But you don’t have to post daily or even weekly!

If all of us start to join in, we will have a consistent and lively, fulfilling  opportunity to learn more and think.

Those of us who struggle with writing, you can get some editorial help from people like Keith, Kalie, Joe, and our many other helpful editors. But most important, remember that writing is a matter of practice — you’ll be improving. Isn’t that what growth is all about?

2 responses to Christians! Think!

  1. Well, it’s been an interesting several weeks now. Sharing about the cult accusations with my carpool buddies led to one saying he didn’t believe it was possible for two people to agree on the same interpretation. That might sound like a leap, but we got there through seeing how slippery the definition of the word ‘Cult’ is. I’m currently writing a response to the ‘slippery scriptures’.

    I read all of the article links above and it seems like the ‘web factor’ is really buzzing/blossoming with purposeful controversy.

    My carpool friend was raised in the Catholic church and I would really like to hear his responses to what ‘Entity’ is writing as comments to your article “The Fear Factor”.

    I really believe writing helps me practice thinking in an orderly manner. It’s a good way for me to work out my defenses and explanations of my biblical faith.

    The Oxford University site “GetReligion.org” was a really interesting read with regard to the Akron Beacon Journal article. I backed up and read “Why We’re Here” (upper right hand corner of their webpage). Again, interesting.

    Thanks for your articles Keith! I’m definately thinking.

  2. I’ve been reading the dialogue on theophiles.org and it’s been mind-draining. There are some very well equipped scholars out there! It’s cool seeing some poeple who have also learned to grasp the new technologies of the internet! I’ve gone there and shared some of my views on the article and what not… but boy, reading some of the dialogue is just mind-numbing! or mind-tiring? anyways, you’re very right keith. Today, the world is very intelligent, and we gotta be able to share and dialogue at the level the world can. Hopefully these next couple years of college are a giant help!

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