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Shane Raynor
Austin TX
Recent Activity
Actually now that I made a pot of coffee, I'm feeling more inspired in the cubicle. Coffeehouses are great places to work on writing, though.
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I'll trade you my cubicle for the coffee house. You can keep All My Children, however.
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Joe, Police will be able to easily abuse the new Arizona law, and some Latinos who are here legally are going to feel pressured to "prove" their status. I don't have to carry around proof of my citizenship. Why should Latino Americans? Maybe that seems like an exaggeration, but you know there are going to be horror stories and screw-ups with local cops essentially trying to do the jobs of border patrol and immigration enforcement. We do need secure borders but we need to consider unintended consequences of laws like Arizona passed. Maybe you haven't dealt with corrupt police officers, but I've seen how non-white kids are treated by some of the cops here in "liberal" Austin... and we don't even have the Arizona law. And by the way, the comment about Fox News wasn't a dig. I like Fox News and watch it often.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2010 on Christians and Immigration at Wesley Report
Nathan, Thanks for your perspective. If you read carefully what I originally wrote, you'll see that I didn't claim to be the first person to comment on "à la carte" religion. I simply noted that I was the first to refer to Claremont's project as a "religious food court." I first used the term in February and in April there was a daily newspaper in CA, the San Bernardino Sun, that quoted me using the food court analogy. I only brought it up because, as Blake pointed out, a Claremont professor attempted to reassure everyone this week that Claremont has "no intention of becoming a 'food court' of religions".
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2010 on Claremont's Religious Food Court at Wesley Report
Blake, Thanks for the link to the article. It's interesting that Dr. Holbrook specifically referenced the food court comparison. As far as I know, I was the first person to call the Claremont plan a "religious food court" back in February: http://tinyurl.com/2u8pkwf That wasn't meant as a cheap shot- it was the best analogy I could think of at the time. And nearly 4 months later, it still seems appropriate. I'm sure Dr. Holbrook means well, and in her mind, Christianity won't be watered down. But the way the project is being framed, Christianity will be placed on the same level as Islam and Judaism-- by a Christian theological school. Most of us would expect that at a secular school-- but not a Christian one. If we relegate Christianity to one spoke on a religion wheel, or (dare I say) one choice in the food court, we risk clipping the wings of our faith and draining its power.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2010 on Claremont's Religious Food Court at Wesley Report
Jeremy, I have no problem with a theological school educating Christian leaders about other religions. My concern is that Claremont's concept ignores the traditional view that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Christianity becomes one puppy in a litter of religions (probably the runt.) If traditional Christianity holds the view that Christ is the only way to God (Jesus said that himself), then it logically follows that other belief systems are "competing" with that truth. The only way I see the three major world religions sharing an educational institution is to water down each one to the point where they lose their individual identities. Surely religions can tolerate one another without sharing a curriculum. When the heart of the Christian Gospel takes a back seat to inter-religious relations, we've got a major problem.
Toggle Commented Jun 10, 2010 on Claremont's Religious Food Court at Wesley Report
Jeremy, are you kidding?. This blog "rejoices in caustic content"? I'm not sure how you reached that conclusion, but I can assure you I don't. Surely you aren't suggesting that I shouldn't be asking questions are you? Does the "open mind" thing only work one way? Jeremy, at your best you're a thinker who asks questions, makes waves and gets other people thinking. At your worst you're a predictable ideologue who disagrees before you've even heard the other side of an issue.
Toggle Commented Jun 10, 2010 on Claremont's Religious Food Court at Wesley Report
I'm not against fair profits... an example of how capitalism has worked well is the grocery industry. Because of for-profit companies, most people have good food choices at fair prices. But the grocery business isn't based on risk like the insurance business and I guess that's what makes me dislike insurance companies. The system bypasses God entirely. In a sense we're paying a ransom (premium) for our peace of mind. Something doesn't seem right about that. And why have health care costs gone up so much? Is it because people are living longer or is there something more to it?
Neil- I wrote that some of the insurance companies were making obscene profits, not all of them. But 3% profit? Is that an average of all companies including co-ops and not-for-profits or just the major ones? I'm not sure I buy that figure. Dee- That's exactly why I'm uncomfortable with government being in the health care business. If I'm going to be accountable to a community, I'd like to at least have a say about the community I'm accountable to.
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Mar 15, 2010
Neil, we can pull principles from Scripture, even the ones that have "no bearing on our society." The principle behind the Year of Jubilee, cancellation of debts and returning of land was: Everything belongs to God, not people. The Year of Jubilee was supposed to provide a fresh start and free people from the bondage of slavery and indebtedness. In our society, there are strongholds in place, both spiritual and economic, which keep people in bondage. It's not always as easy as "pull yourself up by your bootstraps." I'm not advocating a welfare state, but I do think government can play a constructive role in helping people help themselves, through educational opportunities and providing certain types of economic assistance, especially access to capital that the poorest of the poor simply don't have.
OK, you got me. But in my defense I wrote that four years ago. :-) But seriously, it does look like a smirk to me.
Andy- Social holiness isn't the Big Mac- it's more like the fries! Consider it all like a combo and then supersize it! People who eat only fries are getting too many carbs and not enough protein. :-)
Mike, It lasts about 1 hour, give or take 5 minutes.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2009 on I'm A Weekly Communion Convert at Wesley Report
Josh, The NIV underwent a revision in 1984, but it wasn't a major one. What we have now in the marketplace is the NIV "frozen" in its 1984 form.
Rev. Scott, So what I'm hearing from you is that a pastor is above receiving criticism from a layperson. Even with physicians and attorneys, people shouldn't blindly follow advice. They get second opinions and ultimately judge their physicians and attorneys based on their track record. Suppose you're a pastor with a lousy track record, a stagnant church, and you rarely share the gospel or help bring someone to Christ. I'm supposed to trust you with my soul because you discerned a calling at some point? Get real.
Matt, You should read my words more carefully before you jump to such conclusions. I wrote that an emphasis on social justice (or other things) with no call for inner change is a sign that a pastor may not have had a life-changing encounter with Christ. I qualified my statement with the part about inner change. And where did you get the idea that I advocate not living out the Kingdom of God in the world? Did you actually read my post?
Jeremy, It's obvious from the article's lead what the point of the article is. I never said the headline wasn't accurate... just that it has nothing to do with the lead. In a hard news story, the lead should summarize the story and the headline should summarize the lead. So either the headline in the UMNS article is bad or the lead is bad. Take your pick.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2009 on UMNS Headline Spin? at Wesley Report
Joe, Good question... and it's not easy to answer because it's not easy to understand, at least for me. Scripture talks about the three parts of human beings... one verse that comes to mind is 1 Thessalonians 5:23: "May the God who gives peace make you holy in every way. May he keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. (GWT)" The body is sort of easy to comprehend, but I don't think the dividing line between the spirit and the soul is as easy. In fact, Hebrews 4:12 tells us "God's word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God's word judges a person's thoughts and intentions." This scripture tells me that it's not easy to distinguish between the two... the place where soul and spirit meet is hard to define. Perhaps this is an oversimplification, but I view the human soul as the intellect, emotions and will and the human spirit as that part of us that relates directly to God. Hopefully I can write more completely about this soon.
Tony, Derek Webb is probably not part of Re:Sound. His music, however, has been very popular with reformed Christians. I don't have anything against him personally, there's just something about his songs that I've never warmed up to. There's also a perceived theological superiority among some people online who think he's the best thing since sliced bread. Webb also seems to chase controversy, and I wonder sometimes if it's for the sake of controversy itself. (I'm thinking of Mark Driscoll here as well.) For example, Webb's new CD has been rejected by his record label because of controversial lyrics. I have no problem with controversy, but it seems that Webb makes too big a deal out of pushing the envelope.
Matthew, We'll see how good the "free" stuff actually is. Call me a skeptic, but I don't believe even Driscoll and company can deliver what they're promising for free. This is from their site: "Re:Sound music will be a consistent stream of music that is theologically unified, stylistically diverse, and musically excellent." Translated: Arminians need not apply. It will probably be a lot of stuff similar to Derek Webb. If that's the case, no thanks. Just my thoughts- I could be wrong.
Jeremy, I'm wondering if you actually read my post. I never criticized the bishops for taking a pay cut, I simply defended them when a few people criticized them for making $125K per year. Do you agree with me that a good bishop is worth that kind of money, or do you count yourself among those who think all bishops are overpaid?
Chuck, You and I don't often see eye to eye on things, but I support you 100% on this issue.
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