Daily Download: August 20, 2013 (Christian unity / caffeinated Christians / undercutting Amazon)

Can Christians Be Unified If We Don’t Want the Same Thing? — Interesting personal journey blog post that was sent to me overnight after I made a frustrated Facebook post about the backbiting, insulting, insinuating, slandering, demeaning, misquoting and maligning that goes on in the evangelical Christian culture towards fellow believers who don’t believe quite like you do.  Someone referred to it as “friendly fire” jokingly, and I understand that, but it’s sure not friendly.  It’s a fear of being wrong that causes you to hold onto your “right” so hard that you have to tear down anyone else inside the Christian camp who has a different view of things.  It boggles me how rampant it is.  The great quote I took out of this article is:

I have committed myself to Jesus and to living the kind of life he modeled and talked about in the Bible. I am fully convinced that it is true. And because I believe it is true, I will live my life erasing boundaries and reaching out to anyone, and I mean anyone, who will listen to the story of Jesus.
Living in the truth of the Gospel means I’m committed to removing the boundaries that others think the Gospel compels them to build.

Interestingly, his ultimate point is to question whether we can even have “unity” in the evangelical world when there are two different crowds who are seeking after different seemingly different results.  It’s a fair question, but I really hope the true answer is in the negative.

Wanted: More caffeinated Christians — In a similar but more motivational way, I post this article from John Fischer.  I can honestly say that John Fischer has likely had more influence on my thinking over the past 25 years than any other Christian author during the time.  These days, N.T. Wright is coming in a close second, but Fischer has been influencing me since my junior or senior year of high school back at Bolivar High.  In this article he notes an Australia study that looked at the thought processes of those drinking caffeinated coffee and those drinking decaf, and the study came to this conclusion:

[C]affeine makes people more open to logical argument, even when it runs counter to their previously held opinions. The caffeine group, across the board, tested out as being consistently more open-minded than the decaf group.

Fischer then makes the argument (and it appears has written a book on the topic) that Christians today could really learn from this concept:

All of this applies, across the board, to being a vital Christian in the marketplace. Being able to connect with others, looking for touchpoints of truth, putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, being able to come to where someone else is instead of always asking them to come to us, are all ways of establishing relationships with unbelievers
Unbelievers today are largely expecting our minds as Christians to already be made up. Let’s surprise them.

Again, John Fischer has hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Problem for Bezos: Mall Becoming Cheaper Than Amazon — Whoa!  I never would have guessed this one!  For a basket of 30 items at Bed, Bath & Beyond, the cart was 6.5% less than those items would have cost on Amazon.com.  And if you include the 20% off coupons the Bed, Bath & Beyond sends out, the price gap spreads to 25%.  I’ve always found Bed, Bath & Beyond expensive, so I’m surprised by this new.  Also, Overstock.com has said it will undercut Amazon book prices by 10%, but then Amazon said it would match the Overstock.com price.  Who knew the brick and mortar market could catch up to Amazon in price?  Now if they’d just ship everything to me in 2 days!

Pastor to burn 2,998 Korans on 9/11  — And in other news, another evangelical has way too much time on his hands ….  and sadly enough, he’s actually a Missouri native.

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