DeLurking Week

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : January 14, 2006

Apparently, it is delurking week.  All over the blogosphere, bloggers are calling upon lurkers to reveal themselves.  I’m not making this up…it truly is delurker week all over the web. 

So, if you’ve been reading this blog, please leave a comment.  It is your civic duty to do so…after all it is delurker week! 

Tell me your name, where you’re from,  how long you’ve been a reader, and then just any old info you want to share!Dday_button_copy

for further reading . . .

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19 Responses to “DeLurking Week”

  1. James K on January 14th, 2006 2:09 pm

    James Kingsley from Victoria BC. I’ve been reading for about 6 months now. Loved the article on incarnational practices…

  2. b-nut on January 15th, 2006 11:42 am

    hello. my name is b-nut. I am a lurk. I just started today and I’m coming out. nice site, neighbor.

  3. Sivin Kit on January 15th, 2006 8:43 pm

    not sure whether I’m still a lurker … but I thought I’d still say hello from Malaysia! Great stuff for the incarnational practices piece!

  4. andrew on January 16th, 2006 9:14 am

    i didnt lurk . . . i left a comment

  5. Jim L Best on January 16th, 2006 11:03 am

    I have been reading your a few months. I heard mention of you from a friend named Kevin Rains who was talking about your consumerism and christianity conference. I am residing in Westland, MI a W/NW Suburb of Detroit.

  6. Paul on January 16th, 2006 3:07 pm

    O.K. O.K. I’m a lurker, what can I say I like reading and just chewing on what I see. I am from Holland ,MI and am an administrator of a small Christian school. I’m trying to really disciple kids in the real world not a plastic Christian facsimilie. Love your stuff!

  7. Bernie on January 16th, 2006 4:25 pm

    I lurk…but mostly in the bushes outside of your house. Been reading your stuff for two years now. Much love!

  8. Mike on January 16th, 2006 5:57 pm

    Ok..i’ll come out. I have been lurking. I’m a Brit living in Mpls. I have been reading, enjoying and growing from this blog for about a year.
    I’ll also admit to praying for Missio Dei

  9. Jeremy on January 16th, 2006 8:42 pm

    I lurk, therefore… I am?

  10. Russ on January 17th, 2006 9:22 am

    lurking for a year from Mpls.

  11. Brent on January 19th, 2006 9:30 am

    lurking for about 3 months. Enjoying all the good stuff.

  12. Todd Wold on January 20th, 2006 11:21 am

    Hi. Long-time lurker, first time caller. I’m local to Mpls., but suburban–pray for me.
    Enjoy your Blog.

  13. pete on January 24th, 2006 7:49 am

    Hey. I’m Pete. I went to Asbury College in Kentucky with Aaron Klinefelter, and I went to Bethel Seminary and graduated with the MATS in 2003. I’m a youth director at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Circle Pines, and I’ve applied for candidacy for ordination through the ELCA (and also to Luther Seminary to finish off the MDiv). Though I don’t consider myself “emergent,” I think you write some great stuff.

    I’m also the one who once posted about whether you, as a Bethel faculty member/student would be imbibing alcohol at Theology Pub. I may have been misunderstood in that post, so I’ll say a little more now and be done: I think drinking is fine, and I always have (I am a Lutheran, after all). For that matter, even while I worked at and went to school at Bethel I drank at times. I never felt like that was right, though, because I had committed myself to not do so. I assume you have done the same. Do you have any reflections on that?

  14. Mark Bjorlo on January 24th, 2006 2:07 pm

    Lurking and loving it.

  15. Van S on January 31st, 2006 10:57 am

    I’ve been a bit timid in responding to your question, Pete…alot of Bethel folks read my blog and I don’t want to get myself into trouble. So, let me just say this: I know a number of students, staff, and faculty that have come to the conclusion that the policy against alcohol is a sort of holdover, a vestigial limb if you will, of our fundamentalist past. There is no real logic behind the policy anymore, and I believe that to follow it simply in order to be faithful to the letter of the policy isn’t sufficient enough reason to keep one’s self from drinking. In principle, I see nothing wrong with occasional drinking. I have never been drunk, and never plan on getting drunk. Having a beer with someone, especially if you are the one buying, is a cultural bonding ritual of sorts. It is one of our contemporary ways of having table fellowship with someone. For these reasons, I see no reason to adhere to the policy, though I respect those who do. However, I can neither confirm nor deny that I am one of those who follow the policy :)

  16. Pete on January 31st, 2006 11:54 am


    First: I don’t disagree with the reasons you may or may not choose to not follow the policy. In fact, I have it on good authority that Dr. Eliason has said that if a seminary student or professor were in someone’s company and were offered a drink by that person, it would be acceptable to accept the drink for that reason–our fellowship with one another is a witness for the Kingdom of God.

    Here’s where I have difficulty, and it’s not necessarily with you or any one person in particular–like you, I know plenty of Bethel faculty, staff, and students who see drinking as a vestigial limb of our fundamentalist past, and I agree that this is the case, like many things that Bethel people still do (such as write Statements of Faith instead of Theses Papers): Is simply disregarding the policy–particularly since you and I and everyone else who works for or attends Bethel committed ourselves to it–being faithful to our consciences in the end? My conviction, like yours, is that drinking is not a big deal. My grandfather would probably not have been a Christian had it not been for the local Lutheran pastor coming over to have a beer with him once in a while on hot days. But my conviction is also that if I make a promise, even if I think the reasons for doing so are patently silly in my (and others’) estimation, that promise ought to be worth something. You, me, and everyone else who is employed by or educated at Bethel knew this was the policy when we signed on, and we committed ourselves to it. I can’t speak for you, but I do not think much of my own personal integrity because of the ways I’ve broken this commitment I made, even though I’ve never thought it was a sensible policy.

    I’ve only had a few discussions with Bethel folks about this issue, but it seems like every time the people who think the policy on drinking ought to be lifted think that making a commitment to follow that policy shouldn’t count because its antiquated. If we are really so unhappy with that policy, but are unwilling or unable to make change in the institutional stance, the only two options that maintain our integrity is to leave that institution or follow it. My postmodern self hates making such strict black and white categories like that, but is there any other option? How do you rationalize it to yourself? I’ve tried, and I can’t. (And I’ve been making a slow exodus for six months now.)

    I don’t judge you, and I hope you won’t judge me.

  17. Van S on January 31st, 2006 12:03 pm

    Thanks Pete. For the record, when I came to Bethel, I signed the policy in good faith. I agreed to move forward with it because I thought it was the culture of Bethel. But here’s the thing. Almost everyone I am close to at Bethel feels it is silly. I liken it to obeying the speed limit. It may be law to go 55 but our culture says you can go 5-10 miles over. No one will think it is odd or going against our culture to do so. And althought the letter of the policy is against drinking and smoking in all forms, the culture of Bethel is different. In other words, who Bethel actually IS as a seminary community is incongrous with who they are in writing. If I felt that I was leading anyone astray, or living in conflict with my brothers and sisters by having a cold one, I would have sufficient reason not to. But I don’t feel the need to conform to a statement on a paper that has no real value. I might be living without integrity in this area, but if I am dishonoring anything, it is a document, not the Bethel Community.

  18. Thoughtful Convictions on January 13th, 2007 9:58 am

    Good debate and thoughts - a couple things:

    1) The fact that the Board of Trustees at Bethel do not have to follow the policy is alone enough to not follow the policy. If the leaders of the school, Leith Anderson, Jerry Sheveland, etc. etc. do not have to follow the policy they govern, how can anyone follow any of it? Do as I say, not as I do?

    2) Schools within Bethel, Graduate School and College of Adult and Professional Studies do not follow the lifestyle statement. So, 20% of the school is exempt? Ridiculous -

    3) Recently over the summer the college faculty voted to lift the policy and 70% or so voted against it - too bad it was non-binding as the Board (who sets policy along with President Brushaber) controls this piece. See the same board who does not have to follow the policy, and who I know from personal experiences drink - at least the board member I went out to dinner with a few years ago.

    So, as someone who obviously is part of this system that we are talking about, knows this policy will be gone when President Brushaber retires, and is not worried about the policy. The campus should be a dry campus and those who are 21 should be able to drink off-campus.

    I feel for you Pete and appreciate your struggle, but, the policy is flawed and needs to be changed. A funny side note - if Bethel tried to fire people because they were drinking, I would be interested to see how fast that policy would be gone as it would not have a leg to stand on in court. But, I could be wrong. A few thoughts from an insider who likes Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam - :)

  19. dlw on January 13th, 2007 2:20 pm

    I would not say that the no alcohol policy comes from Bethel’s fundamentalist past. Bethel’s history is different from the fundamentalists. In Sweden, in the 19th ctry, there was an absolutely horrific drinking problem. It is a problem still today and if you watch contemporary swedish films, there is almost always some reference to the problem of a significant portion of the population over-drinking. (I myself found my bike trashed after going off to visit a friend for a weekend when I was in Sweden. I also encountered a number of drunks at night who were quite disorderly.)

    I see the no alcohol policy as reflecting this past tradition where the Swedish Baptists chose not to drink and that Bethel has held onto it so as not to alienate elderly MBC supporters who still see such a commitment as one of their distinctives. Though, I also have read defenses of the policy that make absurd claims that drinking alcohol leads to alcoholism. I also think it reflects concern about Bethel becoming known as a party school, though it is a relatively inept way of dealing with this problem.

    Having said that, I’d like to see the policy changed(though, I’ve kept it while in the US, helped some by my poverty and disdain for cheap alcohol.) and the state law changed so that 18 yr olds can legally drink. I’d couple that with much more serious penalties for them driving drunk. And, I’d like to see all advertisement of alcohol prohibited, as is done in France, so as to tilt the balance of power more in favor of higher quality, lower quantity alcoholic beverages, whose higher prices tend to discourage drunkenness and other attendant evils among Joe Six-packs.


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