The Real Crisis of Authority

So you may have noticed the parody that I published yesterday of this article in Christianity Today. Parody and satire are great for blowing off steam, but they don’t quite explain how the steam came to rise in the first place. So I want to talk more about this article by Tish Warren and address where I think the problem is.

To sum up the article, Warren points out that, just like the printing press, the advent of online blogging has created a “crisis of authority.” Namely, if someone is using the Internet to publish their personal take on the Bible, who holds them accountable? Where did they get their knowledge? Who ensures they aren’t damaging the church or leading people astray? Which, granted, are fair questions to ask. (And there are biblical answers. More on that in a minute.)

The first problem I had was the focus on women bloggers in particular. Warren admits that, historically, the institutional church has marginalized women, forcing them to step into the cyber sphere in order to have a voice. She also suggests that the church has done a poor job of giving women theological training with real teeth–choosing instead to entertain us with “funny stories, relatable prose, or charming turns of phrase.” All stuff I heartily agree with. But… Continue reading

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Your Favorite Posts of 2013

Favorites IconIt’s a new year, and I’m looking forward to fleshing out lots of new posts for this blog. Before we get to that, however, I’d like to review some of the material from the past year.

The top posts by vote was What I’ve Learned about the Homeless and Blessed in Mourning. Surprisingly, they represent some of the longest posts on this blog. Who says people don’t read anymore?

The top post by page views was What does the Holy Spirit feel like? – which I wrote over a year ago when the blog was about six weeks old. It continues to receive hits regularly.

The most shared post on Facebook was Is it a prayer or a cop out? I still can’t figure out what made it so popular. I suspect it was the cat picture.

The post that received the most comments and discussion was Are You Saved?

The most controversial post by votes and comments was Male Intimacy With Christ. Probably not a coincidence that it’s one of my all-time favorites.

I covered a gamut of topics – from marriage and parenting, to women’s issues, to practical teachings and my own dark night of the soul. I suspect 2014 will require a bit of focus narrowing.

My favorite post from the year was What It Means to be Christian (Part 2): Love. But now, I want to hear about your favorite post of 2013. What ministered to you? What challenged you? What encouraged you? What changed your perspective? What topics did you enjoy reading about? What do you hope to see more of in 2014? Let me hear your thoughts.

Are You Voting?

So, it’s finally time to broach that subject dear to the hearts of many Christians: Voting.

Are you voting?

Who are you voting for?

Is it making a difference?

I ask, because right now Christian Piatt over at Patheos is compiling a list of the Top 25 Christian Blogs people are reading. I realize my readership is tiny compared to that of say, oh, Ann Voskamp or even those of my favorite, much lesser-known blogs…and my chances of even ending up on such a list are astronomically improbable, but…

If you’re voting…

And if my blog has ministered to you in a meaningful way…

Maybe, just maybe put it on the ballot? I would be forever thrilled just to be nominated.

I’ll be nominating one of my favorite bloggers tonight.