Facing up to Facebook

Not long ago I thought that Facebook was a toy application for kids, or at least for students. But it seems to be gaining in popularity even with serious and not so young bloggers like my old friends Eddie Arthur (did I call him serious?) and David Couchman, not to mention younger bloggers like Dave Walker of the Cartoon Blog.

And then last week, at the Fusion service at my church, mainly for youth, the young preacher was saying that we should not give God limited access to our selves, as on Facebook we can give our not so good friends limited access to our profiles, but we should give God unlimited access to our lives. Afterwards he told me that 90% of the congregation were regular users of Facebook and so would understand his analogy. Well, I suspect he was exaggerating: I know of at least three others who were at that service and not on Facebook, and the congregation was under 40. But I took his point.

And then yesterday I read somewhere that “only 2%” of pensioners use sites like Facebook. Well, if even pensioners are starting to use it, perhaps I should before I become one! Not to mention what Dave Walker wrote:

if you are in inside it is all very well, but outside there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.

So yesterday I signed up. If any of my blogging friends would like to become my Facebook friends as well, send me an invitation for peter AT qaya DOT org, or send me your e-mail by e-mail to that address or in a comment. But, unless I know you well, and because of the well known security concerns, I don’t guarantee to give you the same unlimited access to me that I am (in principle) giving to God.

Christian lending and the uglification of Ugley

John Richardson caught my attention with a post on The Debt Disaster, mainly because in his introduction he quoted Psalm 15:5 and highlighted the words “without charging interest”. The highlighting was in fact a link to an older post which further linked to an essay which John wrote called Losing Interest, where he argues from the Bible and from Luther that it is wrong for Christians to accept interest. I commented on the debt disaster post, and John responded quickly with a new post about The wrongs of loans, in which he appeals additionally, but inconclusively, to CS Lewis.

Now I entirely agree with John that irresponsible lending and borrowing have got out of hand. Many people who were not especially poor have fallen into a poverty trap by taking out loans larger than they can afford to repay, in many cases to buy things they didn’t need, but in others to buy the bare necessities of life such as houses to live in.

But it seems to me that the steps which John proposes for solving this problem are neither soundly biblically based nor effective.

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Wife beating

For some reason which neither Joe Carter nor I can understand I cannot access the blog Evangelical Outpost; I always receive the following error message, from the home page and from any individual post:


You don’t have permission to access / on this server.Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Apache/1.3.37 Server at www.evangelicaloutpost.com Port 80 

Anyone know why? Anyone else get the same response?

But thanks to Eddie of Kouya Chronicle I was able to read the main part of this post about being critical of others’ theology etc. Actually at least the part Eddie quotes seems to be taken from this 2005 post, for which I found a Google cache.

Maybe I can at times be a bit of what Anthony Bradley is said to call a “wife beater”. Perhaps Lingamish feels a bit that I have been beating him. He is not my wife, of course! (Nor is he my gay “civil partner” – I don’t have one, or a wife.) In my defence I can say that the view I beat him about was “heretical or likely to lead someone away from salvation”, and so I can claim to be justified in fighting tooth and nail about that. But on lesser matters, just like Joe Carter,

I find that I just don’t have the stomach for those old arguments anymore. I’m still willing to discuss doctrinal differences. But now I’m less sure that I’m standing on the right side of scripture.