The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Good News From Christianity: Looking for Good News

On the hunt for moderate, thoughtful Christian voices ...
I am going on a little journey. I'm seeking moderate voices in the Christian community to follow and promote. I've been bombarded by strident voices on the right and left ... and find them tiresome ... and distressing. Why? Isn't it good fun to get involved in an all out mud slinging grade school name calling, theology brawling battle of wits ... or snits?! Not when when you step back to see the mess it's making.

In our never-ending battle for "MY truth, MY justice, and MY way," we are alienating seekers and driving off folks who could use good news in droves. And we don't have the luxury of numbers to do so. Here are some distressing numbers I heard recently (admittedly I haven't fact checked them ... so they might be a smidge higher or lower, but if they're even close, they are unsettling): Back in the 1950s, 8 out of every 10 Americans went to church. Today, it's less than 2. This coupled with one of two numbers and you have very unsettling information indeed: over 50 percent of churches are involved only in self care OR 91 percent of all churches never reach outside of their own four walls into their communities. If either is true, this is bad news. I also recently had a conversation with a Christian minister from India. He apologized for telling me this, hoped it wouldn't upset me too much, but nations with growing Christian populations are now sending their missionaries to North America as a rich mission field. He stated we compartmentalize our faith too much to be effective, worshipping on Sunday but setting it aside the rest of the week. Except for the battlin' fringes apparently.

Anyway, all that said, I'll be searching for moderate voices of faith for inspiration. I'll also be keeping an eye on how they communicate electronically and hope to pick up some tips.

Here are a few hopeful sites so far found:

Tony Campolo (a voice from my own denomination):
Shane Claiborne's (a "new monastic") blog:
And a blog from Michael Kimpan, who wrote an article appearing in Red Letter Christians I liked on dialogue (and he's looking for dialogue):

It's modest, but it's a start. Care to provide any insight of your own? I'm looking ...

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