Friday, October 07, 2005

Christians: Misunderstood Since AD 30

This morning's obligatory NPR story on Harriet Miers (click here maybe to find the audio link: NPR has its stories mislabeled as we blog, but may correct things later, using some of that $100 million they received last year) is tasteful, balanced, fair (nice sound bites, apparently taken with respect to the context, from Ron Key and Nathan Hecht) and mildly ignorant.

The folks at Radio Sandinista obviously haven't been reading this blog, or they'd correct the ignorant bit. We offer two observations.

Observation one: Reporter Barbara Bradley-Hagerty, regarding Ms. Miers's conversion, notes that Nathan Hecht "canÂ’t quite remember if they actually prayed to accept Jesus." SWNID responds that the "sinner's prayer" plays at best an incidental role in most conversion experiences among Campbellites. For us, baptism is the sinner's prayer, as it was for Peter and the rest of the early church. You can read about it here or here. Ms. Bradley-Hagerty says nothing about immersion in her story, which is just as well, as it likely would have created more misunderstanding.

Observation two: One Rena Peterson, a friend of Miers, states that it "nettles" her that people are referring to Miers as an "evangelical" (which shegracefullyypronouncess with a short e in the first syllable), "as if she were some kind of Bible-thumper." Again, we assert that Campbellites are the rational evangelicals. We don't thump; we think. We're nice. We drink Maxwell House, brewed weakly, and eat baked ham with scalloped potatoes and green beans. We go to bed early. We talk about Jesus quietly but in clear terms because we still believe, with our Lockean forebears, that conversion is essentially rational.

So NPR and Ms. Bradley-Hagerty don't get it yet. But that's OK. People haven't got it for a long time.

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