Friday, January 19, 2007

Mississippi Baptists Remember Abortion Victims

I recently read this story from Baptist Press and found it especially noteworthy. The Baptist convention from Mississippi (my home state) has come up with a unique way to remember the lives that have been extinguished by Abortion, and at the same time to raise money, "to create a permanent endowment fund for pro-life projects, such as assisting with the operations of crisis pregnancy centers and other efforts for women with unwanted pregnancies."

What are they doing? They have built the "Memorial to the Missing," a 12-by-16 foot clear building, made of bulletproof glass to contain 50 million pennies. The memorial stands in front of the Mississippi Baptist Building, across from the Mississippi Capitol Building in Jackson. Visitors can contribute by dropping pennies into the memorial or by mailing them in to the Convention Offices. According to the report, over 26 million pennies have been collected to date toward the goal of 50 million.

Here's one of the coolest parts of the story, to me:
The Memorial to the Missing itself is weighty. When Mississippi Baptists finish contributing 50 million pennies -– $500,000 -– to it, it will weigh 156 tons or 312,000 pounds, roughly as much as 100 automobiles. Pylons driven 15 feet into the ground support the glass structure, built free of charge by a John Laws III, a Presbyterian layman who owns a construction company in Flowood, Miss.

I must say, I'm impressed by this effort and think it's a great idea to raise awareness and money to save these unborn babies. Jim Futral, the Convention's Executive Director-Treasurer had this to say: “We want people to know when they see the memorial that these children are not out of sight and out of mind.” It's most important to me to see that not only are Mississippi Baptists raising money, but they are also remembering these families and that lives are being impacted. This sunday, January 21st, Mississippi Baptist Churches will take a special offering "in remembrance of the unborn" and to go toward helping mothers choose life for their unborn babies.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Blogging on the Decline?

Recently I read an interesting post from Washington Post contributor Marc Fisher. You can find it here. This piece discusses media research that suggests that blogging is on the decline. It's no surprise to me, and I know that we have witnessed such decline even recently as a number of blogs in the SBC ghetto (for lack of a better word) have closed shop in the past few weeks.

Overall, the novelty of blogging seems to have worn off for many who have entered the forum. While this could be a good sign--and perhaps a sign of the free-market process whereby many blogs are culled so that the remainder are of higher quality, I am not convinced that this must be the case. While we may see an improvement in overall quality of the writing and content in the blogosphere, I believe that we've lost a number of good bloggers who have lost interest as well.

Perhaps the question is to be considered, "Is blogging ultimately a worthwhile pursuit?" Personally I maintain that the forum has great potential and there are worthwhile ideas being exchanged. However, I also recognize that many blogs are simply for people with too much time on their hands and too much "hot air."

At present there seems to be a lot of discussion that, while it may at some point prove worthwhile, currently amounts to a lot of wheel-spinning chatter. That is not to say that the issue of who will run the SBC and who will be welcome there is unimportant. There are a number of theological and practical points that need to be made with regard to this debate. Many of these points are in fact being argued even now. My concern however is that we are focusing too much on minutiae and, in so doing, losing sight of any bigger picture.

To me the current dialogue among many baptist blogs feels reminiscent of trench warfare. Both sides are quickly becoming more and more entrenched and consequently, little ground will be gained by either side anytime soon. It remains to be seen yet whether there will be changes made in the SBC as a result of the discussion here in the blogosphere. In short, there's a lot of talk, but will it amount to anything of substance? This is the real question.