The New Mars' Hill

            I confess I am not a good Face Book person.  I have a page, but I rarely post anything.  I view it mostly when someone includes me in one of their posts.  I have viewed it enough however, to develop a perception of that electronic community.   
          While many people use it as a way to stay connected with the happenings of their friendship circle, I see a surprising amount of people who regularly employ it as a sort of philosophical forum.  You know the ones I mean—those persons who set forward religious, political, cultural, and/or ethical viewpoints that are important to them.  The more extreme examples can become quite strident in their denunciation of “those other people” whose views differ from their own. 

           In some ways, these ideological face bookers remind me of the story in the biblical book of Acts. Paul arrives in Athens and discovers that a regular gathering takes place on “Mar’s Hill”. The gathering is a free forum of new ideas and radical positions.  Mar’s Hill may have been something like “Speaker’s Corner” in London’s Hyde Park. At Speaker’s Corner today, anyone with a point to make may draw up their soap box and proclaim their message. The catch, (perhaps with both settings) was and is that everyone listening has the right to “get in your face”.  They did so with Paul, and do so today in Hyde Park.

            So what is the point?  As Face Book demonstrates, our culture is a large arena of competing ideas in many different arenas.  Whether as a Christian or otherwise, do you and I know what we believe and why?  Have we established considered opinions that we may articulate (hopefully graciously) when the occasion demands?  

             Let me encourage you to give your deepest convictions some attention.  What do you believe?  Why do you believe one thing as opposed to another?  Could you offer a cogent summary of what you believe, and even more importantly why you believe it?  This ability strikes me as pretty important in our present day with its complex culture.

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