Friday, October 31, 2008

What Is A Christian?

Thanks to everyone who got involved in our last discussion!  It was quite interesting and, I think, helpful in clarifying a number of things.

Today, in part to those discussion as well as some emails that I have received, I would like to ask: Who or what is a Christian?  What are some non-negotiable beliefs that Christians have?  What are some beliefs that are negotiable?  What are some non-negotiable beliefs that Christians have, which you think should be negotiable?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Atheism: A Belief or Lack of Belief

Atheism, according to the dictionary, [1] is "the theory or belief that God does not exist."

Recently I have been involved in some discussions with people regarding atheism.  On one side of the discussion are Christians and other religious people.  By and large they posit the aforementioned definition of atheism.  On the other side of the discussion, however, are some atheists.  By and large they view their atheism as a lack of belief, rather than a belief.

Admittedly, I am speaking in generalities and have failed to provide a fully nuanced discussion about the subtleties of the discussion.

Regardless, I would like to hear your thoughts.  As a Christian or religious person how would you define atheism?  As an atheist how would you define atheism?

[1] Brian Westley aptly pointed out that not every dictionary provides this particular definition. However, many that I consulted provided this definition or something akin to it; which is why I have used it as a starting point for our discussion.  If you think this definition is incorrect, I would be interested to hear your thoughts or see what dictionary (and definition) you would suggest that I use.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The God Delusion

I've been traveling a lot lately.  That means spending a great deal of time in airports, planes, and restaurants.  Being in these public places gives one the opportunity to engage in conversation with people that one would otherwise never have the privilege of talking to.

During the course of my travels, I've met a lot of people who have read (or are reading) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.  In the wake of those conversations, I went out and purchased a copy.  Admittedly, I have not yet read the book, but I have heard a lot about it; and before I dig in, I would like to know what you think.

Have you read the book?  What did you think of what Dawkins had to say?

Friday, October 17, 2008

'08 Election

The presidential election is less than a month away.  Excitement seems to be in the air.  Who will win?  That is yet to be seen.

The question, however, is... What criteria will you use to make your decision?

It has been said that the litmus test for a candidate for conservatives are the issues of abortion and homosexuality.

It has been said that the litmus test for liberals is the environment.

Are these stereotypes true?  If you are a conservative what issues matter to you?  If you are a liberal what issues are close to your heart?  If you fall somewhere in between, what issues will you be looking at?

(While matters of issue and policy are important and open for discussion, please do not endorse a candidate or plug an agenda.  Please confine your comments to what issues are important for you and why they are important.  If you endorse a candidate, your post will be removed.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

College Campus Reflections: Post 2

I spent 45 minutes this week talking to students at an area college campus.  

One of the talking points was:
  • What has the church most often got wrong?
Some of the respondents suggested that the church has been too judgmental.  Others have said that the church has become too political.  A few went so far as to suggest that the church has never made a mistake.

What do you think?  What has the church MOST OFTEN got wrong?  Where has she most often gone astray?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

College Campus Reflections: Post 1

I spent 45 minutes this week talking to students at an area college campus.  

One of the talking points was:
  • What comes to mind when hearing the word "church".
Responses were wide and varied.  Some expressed that when they heard the word "church" they immediately thought of "pompous" and/or "hypocritical people," who are lousy when it comes to loving others.  Others indicated that they thought of a building or religious meeting place.  Still others indicated that they immediately thought of "good, caring people" or "the place where I was on Sunday."

My questions are: 1) What is the "church"?  How would you define and/or describe "church"?  2) What immediately comes to mind, for you, when you hear the word "church"?