A Humanist Feminist on Homeschooling

Of course, someone took yesterday’s school shooting to comment on one of my homeschooling posts:

Today is 12-14- 2012 us homeschooled parents don’t seem that paranoid???? Seeing what happened in Conn??? Pray for the families

Fellow Patheos blogger Libby Anne knows a lot more about homeschooling than I do. Like me, she doesn’t like it, and for a lot of the same reasons, even though I’m a Christian theologian and she’s an atheist, humanist feminist. She has collected her posts on homeschooling on a page, which she introduces:

Homeschoolers are a diverse lot. Some homeschool for religious reasons, others for secular reasons. Some homeschooled children have a good deal of social interaction, others very little. Some get a first rate education, others suffer from educational neglect. Some use curricula and workbooks, others “unschool.” Some see homeschooling as a temporary option, others see it as a lifestyle.

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Beautiful Children

Out of respect for the families in Connecticut, I will delay the posting of this week’s answer to Questions That Haunt until tomorrow.

Instead of debating on blogs today, let’s all hug our loved ones.

And if you have any firearms in your possession, immediately unload them, and secure them with trigger locks and in gun cases.

The Future of Christianity

A lot of what I get to do is spend time thinking and writing about the future of Christianity — my preferred future, at least. And getting together with people who are interested in the same trajectories of Christianity is a big part of my life, too. Honestly, it’s the whole reason that Doug and I started The JoPa Group and produce events like Emergence Christianity: A National Gathering with Phyllis Tickle and Friends.

What I do with my part-time job at sparkhouse is distinct, but related. This fall, sparkhouse released Animate.Faith, a video-based congregational resource that opens conversations about some of the most intriguing and essential ideas of Christianity:

God | Faith Is a Quest
Brian McLaren

Religion | Spirituality is not Enough
Lillian Daniel

Jesus | The Revolution of Love
Mark Scandrette

Salvation | Abundant Life Now
Shane Hipps

Cross | Where God Is
Nadia Bolz-Weber

Bible | A Book Like No Other
Lauren Winner

Church | An Imperfect Family
Bruce Reyes-Chow

This week, we met with the talented group who will be developing the next course for us, Animate.Bible:

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Is Rob Bell a Provocateur, or a Surfer?

A letter in the New Yorker following up on the Rob Bell profile:

Kelefa Sanneh’s Profile of the ex-megachurch pastor and ersatz theological liberal Rob Bell provides a fascinating glimpse inside the struggles of American evangelicalism (“The Hell-Raiser,” November 26th). Bell’s “evolving faith” in many ways mirrors my own: I graduated from Wheaton College several years after Bell, and his formative experiences with Christianity and his subsequent efforts to come to terms with the strengths and weaknesses of an evangelical subculture resonate deeply with me, and perhaps with many others of my generation.

But I wonder if Bell is truly the “provocateur” that Sanneh portrays him to be. Is he a catalyst for meaningful change, or is he riding the crest of a larger movement that has been developing for some time? One need look no further than the recent documentary film “Hellbound?” or the writings of Christian thinkers such as Brian McLaren, Tony Jones [cough, cough], and John Shore to realize that a modern Christian reformation is already well under way. For many people, Bell has come to represent this movement, but his struggles with faith, though refreshingly honest, hardly place him at the forefront of theological change.

What seems clear is that evangelicalism has come full circle, and is now being forced to come to terms with its fundamentalist roots. Those who cling to the failed religious beliefs of the past will slowly fade into irrelevance, and those who struggle to embrace a new and more meaningful faith, as Bell seems to be doing, will carry on a tradition that is anti-establishment, radically inclusive, and deeply loving.

Daniel Wilkinson

Great Falls, Mont.

via The Mail: Re: The Hell-Raiser : The New Yorker.