Wikiklesia & a Stack of Books

Like my friend Bill Kinnon, I’m struggling with an article for Wikiklesia‘s inaugural project. I’ve been asked for 2,000 words. Oddly enough, I could fairly do about 1,000 or I could fairly easily do about 5,000. Trying to distill what I want to talk about into the right length in a way that provides enough support and still leaves me enough space to interpret and opine is proving more difficult… but I will prevail! And I’ve got to do it before we slip into the weekend, as the deadline is Monday. Next week I’ll have to record the audio — every author is submitting not only their manuscript, but an MP3 file of themselves reading it. Very cool idea, and I’m proud to be involved. Can’t wait to read everyone else’s submissions.

Doc Searls’ Thoughts on Salvation… and Others’ Thoughts on Atheism

Doc Searls isn’t the first person one thinks to quote in a discussion on salvation, but he opened a discussion yesterday (scroll down to “Thoughts on salvation”) by engaging an article by Chris Hedges (Wikipedia Entry).

Still, I find myself contemplating the mystery of faith, the “feast of salvation” Pentecost celebrates, and “salvation” itself. Especially after reading Chris Hedges: I Don’t Believe in Atheists, which I found via Ryan Bell’s post by the same title. Ryan quotes Hedges at length, (which I am about to do as well, since most of Hedges’ writing — unlike the straightforward reporting that won him many honors as a war correspondent — is hard not to quote), then adds, I’m realizing more and more that our world (especially the upper and upper-middle class, highly educated portion of the world) is full of (sometimes angry) atheists. I felt so sad about these easy caricatures of religion and religious people. These “caricatures” and other broad characterizations are easy to paint when so much evil has been done for what we call “religious reasons”.

Wikiklesia Project

John LaGrou announces the Wikiklesia Project:

Len Hjalmarson and I are launching Wikiklesia: Voices of the Virtual World — a collaborative / ecclesial e-book – virtual, self-organizing, participatory. From purpose to publication in four weeks. A collective and chaordic conversation on how technology is changing the church. Voices will be available as a PDF e-book on Amazon, and will include MP3 audio of each chapter in the author’s own voice. All proceeds from the Wikiklesia Project will be contributed to the Not For Sale campaign.

Here’s the best part. You can write a chapter for the book. We’re inviting 33 & 1/3 writers to share their perspectives and experiences on the intersection of technology and faith – an exploration on how emerging technologies are shaping the church. Send us a short proposal ASAP. We’ll read them all and invite the most visionary and intriguing ideas to be fleshed out for inclusion.

Friendship… (with Fingers Crossed Behind your Back)

We’ve been talking about moving past our Christian cloisters to make friends with “normal” people, and yesterday, about what some first steps might look like We still have some good conversation going on in the comments attached to that post, so if anyone’s got some ideas about how to begin, head on over there and share your thoughts. In yesterday’s post, I did promise some further thoughts today — and these are perhaps some more of the more controversial (or at least harsh) ones. In thinking about missional themes and making friendships outside the Christian community, it seems that there’s one particular idea that may prove one of the harder ones to fall, and that’s what I want to explore a little… it invades our thinking from our attractional evangelistic days, and we need to eradicate it from our thinking.

Personal Update & Blogging Explanation

I’ve always struggled with how much personal information to put on this blog. I blog pseudonomynously, though quite a number of people actually know “the secret” now, and in real life personal meetings I don’t hide it at all now. For the people who know me, I’m not sure if this is the best forum or if I’m saying too much or too little. For the people who don’t know me, or who know me only as Brother Maynard, I wonder how much to say… that balance between relating to people as normal people and not boring them with the whining of someone they don’t know well enough to listen to it, thank-you very much. If you’re still with me now, what follows will be of interest to you either because you’ll have a helpful personal update or because it’ll tell you how long before you can expect to see some better quality posts arround here. If either of those is enough for you, settle in: here’s a snapshot of what’s going on in my life.

Church 2.0 & the Time Person of the Year

Almost a month ago, Kathy Sierra wrote a blog post about Why Web 2.0 is more than a buzzword, and it quickly shot up the blog linkage charts. Controversial phrase, about which Kathy spat out several questions…

Many people hate the phrase “Web 2.0” even more than they hate what they believe it represents. No, that’s not quite right… many people hate the phrase precisely because they think it represents nothing. Or they’re annoyed by the idea of a web version number. Or they think it’s “elitist.” Or they’re convinced it’s so much marketing hype. But what if it’s not an empty phrase? What if it’s simply a way of representing a concept that some people DO understand? What if it’s like so many other domain-specific terms that sound like nonsense to everyone else?