Missing the Right Click

So far, I like the Mac.  Yeah, it’s cool, and I love that it comes right back as soon as I open the cover.  It sometimes took my Gateway PC two or three minutes to come out of standby mode, and hibernation took even longer.

But I do miss the right click function.  I used right click dozens of times per day, particularly while browsing in Firefox.  I think it’s silly that the Mac hardware doesn’t include this, and I expect it’s because Jobs would just not what to admit that there is one thing he can learn from Gates.

The Breastplate of St. Patrick

Pray it HERE.

Is "Emergent" Getting Watered Down by Christian Publishers?

Jana Riess thinks so, and I think she might be right. Great column, Jana!

It's on the Way

macbook.jpg

"Why Is Liberal Christianity So Boring?"

That’s the question I found myself pondering on the drive home from downtown Minneapolis yesterday. I had an interesting coffee klatch with David Schmike, managing editor of the left-leaning alt mag, The Utne Reader (props to Kelly for setting it up). David and I are, in many ways, cut from the same cloth. We were both reared as Midwestern Congregationalists, and we have many other commonalities. I read and admired his writing at the City Pages for years.

We had a fascinating and far-ranging conversation — I even got a parking ticket because our conversation lasted so long.  David is trying to grapple with the changing landscape of American Christianity for his next column. He met with Jim Wallis a couple weeks ago, and he, like several other journalists, is trying to determine whether Jim is really correct about the coming justice revival among younger evangelicals. On that point, there is no data to yet back it up. I did talk to someone who saw Jim speak to a SRO crowd at Wheaton College, and he reported that it did, indeed, have a revivalistic feel. Others, like Mark Silk, aren’t so sure — Silk reads the exit polls this way: traditional evangelicals still voting Republican.

David and I also talked about the bi-polarities of American Christianity, and that got me to musing about liberal versus conservative Christians. Honestly, I find them both exceedingly boring. I’ve done a gamut of radio talk shows in the last week, and conservative Christian radio is, for the most part, totally predictable. One host told me, after we were off the air, “I really like to get both sides of the issue. I mean, I get most of my news from Fox, but I read other stuff sometimes, too.” Their questions are predictable, and their responses to my answers are predictable.

And I find liberal Christianity just as predictable and boring. I mean, I have no interest in a Bible that is expunged of all of the interesting parts: the pogroms and rapes and healings and….the resurrection! That’s what makes Christianity interesting, the stuff that doesn’t make sense, the stuff that’s hard to grapple with, the stuff that causes me to doubt. That’s the aspect of the Christian faith that I love.

Please, let’s un-boring Christianity.

Can Baptists Cooperate?

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of educators and pastors from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  I delivered my stump speech on 10 Dispatches from the Emergent Church and got some excellent feedback.  Then I was thoroughly questioned by Bo Prosser, who really raked me over the coals.

The folks who make up the CBF are primarily expatriates from the Southern Baptist Convention — at least that’s how they identified themselves to me.  The fellowship formed in the early 1990s when the conservatives in the SBC completed their takeover.

In some ways, I felt great resonance with the CBFers, in that they are generally moderates/centrists/independents.  They also practice congregational polity, which means that each church is autonomous and voluntarily in fellowship with other churches — thems my people.  They do struggle with not becoming a denomination; one person said, “We did what we knew, which looks a lot like a denomination.”

One interesting conversation, however, caught my attention.  The CBF is not moderate about baptism: It’s believers’ baptism only, no exceptions.  I found it interesting that an otherwise non-ideological group is hard and fast on that one element of Christian practice…

A Few New Blog Reviews…

…have been posted over at the Blog Review page.

Ecclesiologist

I think that’s going to be my working title from now on.  Saying I’m a “theologian” is so hoity-toity.  So here it is, my new business card:

Tony Jones, Ecclesiologist

I've Been Smurfed…

…by Mark Van Steenwyk.

Before They Tried to Escort Him from the Store…

…Pagitt illegally took a picture at our local Barnes & Noble.

And, surprise surprise, the “Christian” bookstore across the street said they’d never heard of the book. When they looked it up on their computer it said “available 3/31″ and “discontinued.”

[UPDATE: Jeromy imagines what happened next...]