politics

How do you successfully tell someone about Christianity?

I want to explain a theory about how to successfully share the good news. First I'll talk generally about what I've heard from people I know about their experience with the church. Then I'll talk about three of my Christian friends's experiences in their churches growing up. I'll talk about how the good news was shared with me, and then I'll tie it back to my new theory of how to share the good news ethically and successfully.

Before I talk about my life, I should share the Parable of the Sower (explanation here):

Dishonest Debater

I am a dishonest debater.

I remember being around 7 years old and arguing with my brother. Some adult had told us in the past not to run when crossing the road, and I agreed. My brother, a little older and a little more rebellious, still wanted to run across the road. One day, he did, and I confronted him.

"Don't run across the road" I (proudly) stated.

"Why not?" he (reasonably) asked.

The similarity between Christianity and Feminism

I'm a Christian and a feminist. Membership in both groups is a key part of my identity. If you talk to someone with a simplistic understanding of these groups, though, they might be surprised that it's possible to be a member of both groups!

The problem is that we aren't very good at differentiating subgroups that happen to share the same label. We lump Catholics, Pentecostals, and Unitarians into one group called "Christians". We even lump Canadian Christians and American Christians into one group!

Gender pay gap

There are so many people online saying "there is no pay gap", or "there is a pay gap". Often it's really hard to get clarity on an apples-to-apples comparison showing data that demonstrates the pay gap. 

Here's a link to a study showing a pay gap in the first year after college. This ignores the problem of lost wages because of maternity leave, and also differences in negotiation (which is debatable - apparently some studies have shown that women who negotiate salary are penalized). If there's good research on that, send me a message!

Climate Change and Malthusianism

"Malthusianism is a school of ideas derived from the political/economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus . . . which describes how unchecked population growth is exponential while the growth of the food supply was expected to be arithmetical. Malthus believed there were two types of "checks" that could then reduce the population, returning it to a more sustainable level.

Do you believe in your own values?

I'm an environmentalist, so I like the idea of reducing consumption. It's almost an axiom of economics by now that eduction leads women to have less children, thus reducing a nation's consumption.

But at some point, all nations will be developed. China's citizens are now "getting their car", and soon there will be millions more from Africa "getting their car".

Leadership Camps

When I was in grade 12, my entire class went to a leadership camp day. We did team building and group exercises. I'm not sure what kind of leadership I did. The student council stayed behind for 2 or 3 more days to do more leadership training.

Now that I'm a camp director, I'm responsible for staffing a leadership camp of my own. For two weeks a summer, 16 teenagers learn to be leaders. They do team building, a canoe trip, and learn a lot about the style of leadership Jesus used.

Partisanship

People love complaining about YouTube comments, and I do too. I disagree with lots of people in YouTube comments.

People also love hating democratically elected leaders; which is their right. Among the people I know, it's common to hear people saying "Stephen Harper doesn't do anything right" or "Rob Ford should never have been elected". I'm not really in a position to evaluate these claims and probably agree based on what I know.

Individualism in Canada

Last night I watched some videos from the "Kids React" series, which is a great way to see what people are thinking. Kids are getting their ideas from others and recombining them in their brains just like I am, they're just more up front about it and say it in simpler words.

Dominant Leaders

I just saw a documentary about a sushi maker. You might think I was focussed on the sushi, but what really struck me was some of the ways Japanese culture works, and the universality of dominance with humans. We defer to leaders, time and again. I'm going to reflect on that, but the focus in my mind is not this particular sushi chef. The focus is dominant leaders and their followers.

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