May 24, 2008

Comments

I'm changing comment systems. I'm sick of having to delete 50+ SPAM comments every day, if not every 4 hours.

I'm going to try to install Disqus, so I am closing all comments on all posts right now. If it doesn't work, I'll look for something else. The existing comments won't go anywhere, and I'm not sure if I can import existing comments into the system yet, so this will be for posts going forward.

Sorry, folks. I'm not happy about having to do this either, but I'm spending way too much time deleting SPAM.

{edit} So I can't do what I want to do. I can mark all future posts as 'comments closed' but can't change the old ones. I'm working on another option, and hope to use Disqus. The more I look at it, the more I like it.{/edit}

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:43 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 21, 2008

Conservatives Ready to Throw Christian Group Under the Bus

A perfect example of why Christian groups need to be cautious when hitching themselves to a specific political party or ideology is the Christian Coalition's battle with free market advocacy group FreedomWorks over Net Neutrality.

The Christian Coalition, along with other conservative groups like Gun Owners of America and the National Religious Broadcasters, is concerned that internet providers will start offering high-speed data transfer rates only to organizations that can afford to pay a premium, adversely impacting grass-roots organizations. The Coalition supports net neutrality, which would make such discrimination illegal. By taking this position, the Coalition finds itself working with long-term foes like MoveOn.org, and against folks like FreedomWorks.

Rob Wasinger, chief of staff to Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), went so far as to say that the Christian Coalition has moved "off the reservation," and that net neutrality is not "a red-meat-conservative issue."

Jim Backlin of the Christian Coalition characterizes this as a simple disagreement. "That’s one of the issues where friends get to disagree."

If only it were really that simple. Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks says, "“We would gladly welcome them back into the fold if they all of a sudden realized that 'We have to get back on the right side of the ball here.' Nothing personal.”

The problem, apparantly, is that they don't think the CC is pulling it's weight on social issues. Wasinger is concerned that teaming with people like MoveOn.org is adversely affecting the CC's impact.

It seems to me like the conservative powers that be are upset that the useful idiots are having an independent thought, and they're ready to dump them. "Come back to us when you can toe the line, and understand your role." We don't need partners like that.

Net neutrality is an idea I am behind. I don't like excessive regulation of business, but it's clear to me that without some legislation, small groups (including churches, private schools, etc.) are going to be left in the dust. Freedom of speech is at stake. This is where government needs to step in and pass good laws that protect companies and individuals who don't have the clout to protect themselves.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 05:21 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Give It Away!

Tim Challies is giving away $200 to spend at Monergism.

May Giveaway

What are you still doing here???? Go enter!

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:27 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 16, 2008

The Future Of the CCM Industry

Charlie Peacock has an outstanding analysis of the future of the CCM industry. Go read the whole thing when you have a minute, but I wanted to throw a few excellent quotes out there:

Christian music’s alliances with mainstream entertainment corporations will all prove eternally less than successful, since they all bet first on the power of the market to deliver results and not the hand of God—something God has never been fond of. (See Bible for evidence.)
This has been a common complaint about the state of the industry. Steve Camp has said similar things in the past. The problem as I see it started when we stopped thinking of Christian music as a ministry and started thinking of it as an industry. If it's an industry, you partner with whoever will help your bottom line. If it's a ministry, you realize that your bottom line has nothing to do with money.
When convenient or strategic, Christian artists will return to using the term gospel in order to describe their music. “Ccm” has faded as an accurate moniker and will disappear altogether.
I've seen this already. Artists are either using the 'gospel' label or they describe their music in terms of "secular" genre tags like "emo" or "metal" or "hardcore" -- things like that. There are increasingly few Christian artists who identify themselves as CCM artists; many don't even self-identify as Christian, even those who are explicitly so lyrically and ministerially. If you don't believe me, browse through MySpace. There are still some artists who self-identify as Christian, and some of those are quite good, but by and large the major acts don't do it, whether out of frustration with the industry or because they are trying to be accepted first as musicians, or perhaps some less noble reason.
Christian music with “worldview” lyrics is dead in the church and reborn in the world where Christian indie and major label artists will carry the torch. The majority of Christian music fans and gatekeepers in the church proved too immature or disinterested to discern whether or not a lyric was speaking to a topic from a Christian worldview. The problem of maturity and literacy will continue.
And podcasters will lead the way. Take a listen to The Bored Again Christian or The Habanero Hour for some Christian worldview music that you won't hear anywhere else. And, of course, you can check out The PewCast too. I play a different genre than Just Pete or Brent play is all.
But I think that this is the wisest thing that Peacock says, "... the real and trustworthy future of Christian music is Christ. Find out what He’s interested in, and let that be the music’s future."

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:26 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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R.C. Sproul on the Exclusivity of Christ

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:00 PM | Comments (25) | Add Comment
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May 07, 2008

The Evangelical Manifesto

The Evangelical Manifesto was released today, and the Christian end blogosphere is abuzz with comment. At the end of this post I'll list the articles I've seen on the subject; I'm certain that there are many more that I've missed, so if you've seen one or written one yourself, let me know in the comments and I'll add it in.

On the whole, this is a very positive document, and one that I support 100%. Evangelicals have been defined by our politics for far too long; it is time we're defined by our theology, since evangelicalism is after all a theological movement. My hope is that it becomes more than just another piece of paper that is ignored in a few weeks; that it becomes a pattern of behaviour among Evangelical Christians.

Just a few thoughts on specific quotes from the Manifesto: more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 12:59 PM | Comments (55) | Add Comment
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May 05, 2008

Christianity Without Christ

In light of some recent topics here, I present GetReligion's story about Gretta Vosper. Interesting article about an interesting minister.

I almost used scare quotes there, but decided not to. She probably does minister to people. But I think she falls short of the Biblical definition of the term -- she seems to leave out a central need when meeting peoples' needs: the need for a Savior.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 02:29 PM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
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May 04, 2008

How Inclusive Is God?

In the comments of my post on Jeremiah Wright (which has been a great discussion, by the way), this statement was made:

The common Christian idea that non-Christians are all damned just strikes me as incompatible with the mercy and justice of God.

The speaker is asserting that the "other sheep" that Jesus mentions in John 10:16 are people who aren't creedal, confessional Christians, but instead are people who are simply good enough, and are trying to follow the "social gospel." I'm probably oversimplifying things a bit; read the comments on that post for a complete picture.

So the question is this: just how inclusive is the God of the Bible, anyway? After all, it says that He's not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, right? God is love, right? So He'll let everybody in, right?

That's what we want to believe. That's what is most comfortable to believe. A God who lets everyone in.
more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 07:42 PM | Comments (15) | Add Comment
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May 03, 2008

RSS Readers

For those who are subscribed to the feed, an apology and a promise. At some point, I changed the feed settings to only post an excerpt of the full article. I regret doing that, and wish I could change it. Problem is, I don't remember what I changed.

I thought it was a Feedburner setting, but I can't find it there. I can't find it in my blog settings with Movable Type. I have no idea what I changed, but I'm trying to find it so I can change it back. Please bear with me.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 05:41 PM | Comments (42) | Add Comment
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An Evangelical Manifesto

I just found out about this, thanks to Dr. Bock's blog. CNN had the story Friday.

The declaration, scheduled to be released Wednesday in Washington, encourages Christians to be politically engaged and uphold teachings such as traditional marriage. But the drafters say evangelicals have often expressed "truth without love," helping create a backlash against religion during a "generation of culture warring."

"All too often we have attacked the evils and injustices of others," the statement says, "while we have condoned our own sins." It argues, "we must reform our own behavior."


I'm looking forward to reading this on Wednesday - it sounds like something I could get behind.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 05:11 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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