If you liked the theological confessions meme, Ben Myers is keeping a running tab on the spread here. Guy Davies, the Welsh Calvinistic Baptist “Exiled Preacher” has been interviewing Christian bloggers and has now interviewed Ben Myers. Check it out. Actually, most of the interviews in his series have been good, especially the ones on Byron Smith, Michael Bird, and Cynthia Nielsen–very amusing and informative, too. (I, therefore, forgive Guy for letting his “theological monkey,” David Skye, refer to me as “stroppy bearded.”)
My fellow Baptists know that we are experts at dividing and fighting, and amateurs at reaching out to each other. Nevertheless, the American Baptist Churches, USA and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are giving it a try this week. The ABC’s Bi-enniel meeting and the CBF’s annual General Assembly are both being held in Washington, D.C. this week–and these two Baptist denominations are holding several joint worship services. How good and pleasant it is when sisters and brothers dwell together in unity. Big Daddy Weave (Aaron Weaver) is blogging much of the CBF itinerary on his blog, including some of the joint services. This year will be the first time in the CBF’s young history when its General Assembly will be presided over by an African-American, Rev. Dr. Emmanuel McCall, the current CBF Moderator (and, once upon a time, the SBC’s person in charge of “Black Church Relations”). McCall is also an adjunct professor at the CBF-related McAfee School of Theology (Mercer University) and the recently retired founding pastor of Christian Fellowship BC in Atlanta, which was founded deliberately to be a black majority open congregation affiliated with both National Baptists and the CBF.
The Supreme Court of the U.S. handed down several decisions this week restricting student free speech, giving a victory to government sponsored aid to religion (via claiming that taxpaying citizens had no legal standing to sue over the matter!), and overturned a form of campaign finance reform by saying that “issue ads” by independent advocacy groups could run up through elections. I will try to make time to comment on these in the near future, but Melissa Rogers has blogged extensively on the “faith based initiatives” decision and its church-state implications.
Bruce Prescott is “live blogging” the “Ministers and Politics: How to be Political without Being Partisan” Conference sponsored by the Baptist Center for Ethics in connection to the CBF and ABC meetings. Check out his summaries of the messages of Melissa Rogers, Tony Campolo, Greg Boyd, and Jim Wallis. I hope their entire speeches will be available online, soon.
Bob Cornwall has passed on useful insights from Church World Service about immigration reform from a Christian viewpoint. Read them and then contact your senators (or, if you are not American but have friends in the U.S., pass this on to them!) since if we do not get a bill through this week, the issue will die until at least 2009, which is quite unjust.
Thom Stark has been blogging on Torture and the Eucharist. Brilliant and compelling, but not for the squeamish.
All for now, gentle readers.
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