North Carolina in religion news

Okay, I love Billy Graham and everything, but I really don't need hourly updates on the state of his bowels. Is the fact that he's still in the hospital headline news where you live, or is it getting extra play here because it's his home state?

There's something kind of creepy about the frequent non-updates -- I feel like I'm being co-opted into a morbid deathwatch by a media machine that doesn't expect him to last much longer now that Ruth's gone on and has had their obituary coverage queued up and ready to go for decades.

* * *

For scholars of the American Missionary Movement, struggles for control between women's missionary groups and their denominational bureaucracies are a common theme. Still, I was kind of surprised to read that it's still going on. It would be interesting to read an analysis of this latest skirmish in light of the historical precedents.

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It's easy to be judgmental about other people's hobbies when you don't find them interesting. So I've tried hard not to be a snob about NASCAR. Still, even after concerted attention to sympathetic interpreters of NASCAR culture, I have a hard time seeing how it counts as a sport -- or as anything, really, other than a monstrous waste of fossil fuel.

But I suppose that a part of incarnational ministry is to embrace the culture amid which you minister, right? [DISCURSUS: So if you take a pastorate in semi-rural Oregon, you might, for instance, join the annual deer hunt, prompting your congregation to give you a hunting rifle to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of your service. I like to tell that story to my east coast liberal academic Christian friends, who take it for granted that baptism and NRA membership are mutually exclusive, just to see their eyes bug out. End Discursus.] And if you're gonna be a pastor in the heart of NASCAR country, you might just decide to participate in the Clash of the Clergy. With an event name like that, how could you refuse?


Sarah said...

Friends of ours from Divinity school ran into that problem. They were in a rural NC charge. They were total no-TV, health food, mental and physical fitness types.

After about two months there, they visited us and said, "Well, it was either Survivor or WWF Smackdown. We picked Survivor. Otherwise we would have nothing to talk to them about."

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