The Eclectic Web
Our lead story has this headline: God too big for one religion. So says Baptist pastor Joe Phelps. He is the pastor of Highland Baptist Church, a church affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship, a group that has partner churches in the CBF and the more conservative Southern Baptist Conference. Here’s a quote from pastor Joe:
Christian Scriptures portray Jesus’ way as being so united to the sacred love of creation that he embodied this truth in his own living, giving of himself completely and fully to reveal that the heart of God is inclusive and gracious. The way we find our path to God, Jesus was saying, is by humbly following the trail he blazed.
In this sense, Christianity has more to do with following in the way of Jesus than it does with agreeing to facts about him — facts which when lifted from their context become tokens of conformity rather than catalysts for transformation.
More in this edition of The Eclectic Web:
- Baptists and Calvinism
- Music (from the New York City theater district)
- Music (Rajesh Gandhi)
- Alcohol – drinking rates and moderation
- Pornography – observations on its effects
- Human interest: boy saves dog from cougar
- For a completely different Baptist story, here is the recent SBC statement on Calvinism:
Four central issues have become clear to us as we have met together. We affirm together that Southern Baptists must stand without apology upon truth; that we do indeed have some challenging but not insurmountable points of tension; that we must work together with trust; and that we must encourage one another to testimony.
The document should prove of interest to all, though not without some discomfort on all sides.
On the powerful influence of music comes this article from the New York Times Theater section:
Overcome with emotion, she begins singing an old Protestant hymn, “Blessed Assurance.”
From the first note, there’s a palpable stirring among many of the black patrons in the audience, which the play, with its mostly black cast, draws in large numbers. When Ms. Tyson jumps to her feet, spreads her arms and picks up the volume, they start singing along. On some nights it’s a muted accompaniment. On other nights, and especially at Sunday matinees, it’s a full-throated chorus that rocks the theater.
Dr. Rajesh Gandhi on music:
We must shun completely the use of sensual music in our churches. I earnestly appeal to all believers not to endanger themselves and others gravely through using CCM in their churches.
On the topic of alcohol, what was that they said about moderation?
University College London researchers compared alcohol sales figures with surveys of what people said they drank.
They found there was a significant shortfall with almost half of the alcohol sold unaccounted for in the consumption figures given by drinkers.
It appears that someone [or “some-many”] doesn’t tell the truth when asked about alcohol consumption.
Interesting observations, doubtful solutions:
For a year I’ve been asking young folks about pornography’s effect—and they’ve been honest. When I asked one successful 29-year-old last week if she feels porn influences her life, in bed or out, her answer was typical. “A thousand percent,” she said. This woman finds herself repeatedly in porn-informed situations that are unpleasing, even unpleasant, while—crucially—her partner feels nothing’s amiss. This isn’t about one girl’s luck or one guy’s moves. It’s about a generation of them. I’ve never felt so lucky to be over 40.
And last, a little human interest story from the land of bears and big cats (we’ve been having an ursine prowler around the garbage cans of our neighbourhood lately):
“My blood was pumping so much. I wouldn’t have even cared if I was hurt, I was trying to get Daisy out of there,” he said.
We never want to be in a cougar story, but we like reading about them.
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Publication of links in The Eclectic Web feature does not imply endorsement of the viewpoint or contents of any of the websites linked. The links are provided as a matter of interest to Christians.