Friday, February 02, 2007


  • new blogger alert - and he has TWO!! Boze! (i can't seem to make the little sign over the zed like he does) and The Hour of Scampering - i have so enjoyed the small gleanings i have had and he really made me giggle with this post here on the eucharist - ghost toasties... :)
Furthermore, even if the numbers were somehow nationally representative, they still tell us absolutely nothing about "present trends." Trends have to do with changes observed over time. The numbers presented in the book have to do with differences in generations measured at one point in time. Without knowing whether the observed cross-sectional differences reflect a cohort effect (what the author assumes) or a life course effect (a more plausible alternative), we are no more able to project the claim that we are on the verge of losing a generation eternally than we can predict that all babies today are going to grow up to wear diapers as adults because we see that they are wearing diapers now.

and here's the money quote:

The real question is not whether evangelicals can clean up their statistical act. The deeper question is whether American evangelicals can learn to live without the alarmism that is so comfortably familiar to them. Evangelicals, by my observation, thrive on fear of impending catastrophe, accelerating decay, apocalyptic crises that demand immediate action (and maybe money). All of that can be energizing and mobilizing. The problem is, it also often distorts, misrepresents, or falsifies what actually happens to be true about reality. And to sacrifice what is actually true for the sake of immediate attention and action is plain wrong. It should be redefined as a very un-evangelical thing to do.

gosh i hope so...


Captainwow said...

reminds me of a thought I had this AM - What if "alarmist evangelicals" got the message (from scripture, somehow, of course) that we were going to be around another 5000 years before the "second coming"? What would that change>>> hmmmmmmmmm

judi said...

hi bobbie, loved the post about the mom, sister and clorox. sigh... what can ya do???

i sent off an email to you several weeks ago, i hope you got it?

Hope said...

I went back today and reread the post about the Eucharist and I tried to find the humour but I just couldn't. There was an arrogance to the piece that bothered me. And it bothers me that the arrogance may be colouring the way I read the whole piece. What came to me when I read it is that in the Catholic way of looking at it, it's not what it is, but Who it is that matters. And I feel too chickenshit to go post that on his comments because I'm scared of getting attacked for saying so.

onionboy said...

I found Bozel's humour OK. I found his presumption about how "the other church" may speak of his own church with "haughty disdain" to be anything but community and relationship building {a secondary thrust of his post} and a detraction from the humour.

bobbie said...

dear hope & owen, i never even imagined that it might be wounding - i am so sorry. not coming from a catholic background i had no idea how it could be taken. please know it didn't translate like that to me as someone who never had any formal, high church experience. sorry.

Alexis said...

Hi Bobbi - thanks for mentioning my blog on your blog.

Let me also apologise to you and your readers if my post on the Eucharist caused offence or discomfort.

First: Hope - on my blog - any ANY thoughtful comment is welcome - even if you disagree with me. FULL STOP. Whilst I am rather bolshy in my writing on that particular blog (visit my other blog to see the "softer side" I am a genuinely nice guy.

Your point Hope about it being "who it is" that matters is well put - I think from my own perspective that "who it is" Christ - who calls us to be "in communion with one another" i.e. community - makes it all the more compelling that the bread we use ought to be a) real bread (because the teaching of Christ is REAL and compelling) and it out to be b) a product of the community - highlighting and emphasising the purpose of the Eucharist.

Second: "Onionboy" (erm Owen - cool nom de plum by the way) reading your post here, and your comment on my blog I take your point - but there is more to the story which might allow me to redeem myself - if only a bit.

My comment - which annoyed you most it seems - about the "haughty disdain" is unfortunately borne out by 3 decades of experience (I'm a rarity in that I'm a 3rd generation Old Cathollic), and over 100 years of history. It is honestly the case that with many - not all - of the encounters I have had with Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy - and I worked in a seminary for 4 years so it was . . .rather unavoidable shall we say (grin) - the response I regularly got was along the lines of "when are you going to join a real church?" - moreover, in most published descriptions of my community (most often by RC and Anglican churchmen) the tone is less than charitable.

In my nearly 20 years of ordained service in my community I have worked hard to be very welcoming and respectful of other Christian traditions. I have fought within my own community to demand that our people respect the customs and traditions of other churches.

My own experience has been - that whilst non liturgical christians take my folks at face value - those of Anglican and RC persuasion are not always so nice. So whilst my intention was NOT to cause offence - my statement (the one which annoyed you) does describe an observation that many of us OC/IC folk know too well - especially those of us who have been around the block a few times.

Again, I can only apologise to both you and to Hope for having caused offence. And especially to you Bobbi - that my post, and your kindness in pointing people to visit me, was the cause of discord in your "cyber-home".

I invite all three of you to continue to visit my sites - and to continue to rap my knuckles when you think I'm getting out of hand (though I hope that does not happen too often as I will not be able to explain myself or apologise with sore and swollen fingers - grin)

Moreover - if you feel more comfortable - I will gladly speak with you in private, at my own expense - sometimes speaking to the other party is more effective.

With sincere apologies,

Sarah Louise said...

Wow. Um, I didn't read the one on the eucharist--I'll go back to that, but I truly enjoyed the CT article on Evangelicals playing badly with statistics.

Hope said...

Bobbie - no apology necessary. We both know enough about recovery work to realize that when something offends us it is our problem, our own struggle to identify what it is exactly that is sitting in our craw the wrong way. I wish it was different than that but it isn't. psfd anyway. :)

Alexis - thank you for teaching me what humility looks like. I was very touched by your response and it is this kind of dialogue that can heal. I feel sad that your treatment by RC and Anglican brothers and sisters has been such as it is. My apologies to you on that score. I did appreciate your sense of humour about rapped knuckles...chuckled out loud actually. Perspective is everything. I don't think the matter of the Host takes away from it but I can see that it being made the way you describe could add to it.

onionboy said...

Alexis, peace to you. Thank you for your gracious and thoughtful reply. With Hope I express my sadness for what you experienced and am once again made grateful that I have met the Catholics I have met. I do not know why it has gone as it has but I am happy to have been blessed with encountering godly, compassionate, generous people who are Catholic with only a few exceptions.

I accept your apology and I forgive. God bless you.

Even when we are ill treated, ill spoken of, the greatest measure of Christ is found in our not behaving in like manner {even though we may have "just cause" to feel and speak what we want to}. I have sometimes failed in this and sometimes been enabled to rise above it. I am weak, broken and sorting it all out in fear and trembling as are we each. Were would we be if we could not speak and receive truth spoken in love? God save me, a sinner.

bobbie, you passed a link along about a post you read that you liked. I find nothing there to apologize for and was not offended by you.

Indeed, I was not offended by Alexis. I appreciated his humour regarding the host {I ate another pasty one this past Sunday while visiting a new to me parish} but I did feel it was important to address what I did, though even on that point I was not personally offended.

Nothing changes our friendship or our communion with and in Christ.

Trudging said...

Thank you