About Eclectic Christian

What is Eclectic Christian?

Welcome to Eclectic Christian.  My name is Mike Bell.  I work as an internet Web Developer, but I am also theologically trained.

I am active in my local church which I care about deeply, but I also believe that we can look beyond our own churches to learn from the wealth of different traditions that are represented in Christ’s Church. In short, I want to emphasize that which I find good about the way that others are seeking to follow Christ.

Sometimes though, to find the good, we have to ask hard questions.  Why do we believe and act the way that we do as Christians?  Are there issues that need to be addressed?

I also have an Economics and Statistics background, and if there is a new statistical study that is relevant to what is going on in the church today, I will try to present it in understandable terms.  Most of all I will try to speak from my heart, of matters that are important to me.  Perhaps they will be important to you as well too.

From time to time we will be publishing guest posts from others who have expressed a similar vision.

People like Joshua Hearne who notes that he is an Eclectic Christian as he is “not real caught up in the whole Baptist thing because [he is] far more interested in the whole Christian thing.”

People like Mitch Sylvia who writes: “We need to focus on what unites us as Christ’s body not on what divides us. Christ is glorified and honored when the members of His Church live in harmony and unity with each other.”

People like C. Michael Patton who states: “It is the person and work of Christ that is the center of Christianity. “Who do men say that I am?” is the most important theological question there is. If you get this wrong, all else will not only come undone, but it will be meaningless. If you get this right, there is a foundational unifying factor that we must recognize and in light of which all other issue must find their place.’

People like Michael Spencer who asks: “What if we recognized some churches feed the poor, or do liturgy, or preach faithfully or address the issue of race better than we do? And what if we weren’t afraid to point out those strengths? What if we sat down and learned from one another? What if we sent some of our people to the other church to listen, watch, worship, pray, work and learn? And then come back and share the gathered wealth? What if we embraced our brothers and sisters in Christ rather than in every point of doctrine? What if we confessed our common faith rather than constantly pointing out the deficiencies of the other tradition?”

We think it is going to be an exciting journey. Won’t you join us?

We invite you to leave a comment below if you feel that you are a like minded Eclectic Christian too.

25 Responses to About Eclectic Christian

  1. Big "V" says:

    Thanks for the input re: baptism. Also, I really appreciate the term “Eclectic Christian.” Sounds a lot like me, too. Glad I found your website. Good stuff. Thanks, Bro.

  2. Nigel says:

    I like the vision of this website. The Body of Christ is a pretty amazing thing. Ephesians 1:23

  3. B. M. Temple says:

    Would you be so kind as to tell me where you found the sermon and hymn, “Himself,” by A. B. Simpson. I would like very much to locate
    the book that it came from, so that perhaps I could find the book and read it. I shared this with a friend of mine, and her daughter.
    They also, were blessed. They would like to read it, too.
    I attended Nyack when it was Nyack Missionary Institute…probably before your parents were out of kindergarden!
    May the Lord bless you, and all those whom you love, and all those
    who love you. In Him, B. M. Temple

  4. B.M. Temple,

    I found it using a Google search at http://www.biblebelievers.com/simpson-ab_himself.html

    I believe that Christian Publications out of Harrisburg may have printed versions as well.

    If you are looking for other early Alliance material Ambrose University (Formerly Canadian Bible College and Canadian Theological Seminary) have a great collection online here.

    Thanks for the age compliment. I am older than I look.

  5. Bill Rayborn says:

    Mike,

    I wonder if you and your friends have seen my new on-line magazine for worship leaders.

    It’s called iLevite. It’s free, published monthly and supported by advertising.

    Everyone is invited to take a look by going to http://www.ilevite.com

    If you register (that’s free too) you will get iLevite each month and have access to areas not available to those who do not register.

    Thanks so much.

    =bR=

  6. hiscrivener says:

    Hey, EC. Nice niche in which you have plied your craft. I appreciate people that can find issues in the Body of Christ and point them to pragmatically instead of esoterically.

    I don’t know how you feel about linking, but I think we can cut from the same cloth – you more internal issues and “The Writing on the Wall” (http://hiscrivener.wordpress.com) more external issues seen in breaking news.

    At any rate, keep it up.

  7. Joe says:

    I came to this Blog from a link and I think I found out that I think very much like y’all. It’s more about the love and devotion of ones self to Christ Jesus than to point out how we all differ .The true “Christian” wil make thier self to be like Christ then they will”love unconditionally” without motive of rising above anyone else and being better through our faith in our own church (e.g. Penticostial,Baptist,Presbitayrian,ETC.).Only paying attention to what truly is of, and for Christ Jesus may we become His .
    Thanks for letting rant about this.Joe

  8. Nice to have you visit Joe. We are excited about the future of this blog.

    Mike Bell

  9. Wolf Paul says:

    Josh,

    Today’s entry here sent me over to your TTSTM blog, and I was browsing through older entries when I came across the Nov 9 entry titled “Kristallnacht”.

    I realize that this is the name given to that event by the Nazis at the time; however, in the meantime in the German-speaking countries the realization has gained ground that this is too innocuous a name for the horrible events of that night.

    So the name “Reichspogromnacht” has replaced Kristallnacht as the proper designation for that day and night — an officially sanctioned pogrom against the Jewish people. Perhaps you could add that information to the article for future reference.

    Regards,

    Wolf Paul

  10. Josh says:

    Thank you very much for the information. Part of my intention was to include the name “Kristallnacht” because I don’t want to lose some of the scandal–the people talked about the broken glass when broken people were everywhere to be found–associated with it.

    I will update my version to include this title, as well. I very much appreciate your reading and also your willingness to let me know about how to make it better.

  11. David E. Holt says:

    Great group of folks here – didn’t realize there were so many like minded thinkers! Sounds a bit self-serving, but you’d love reading my book. Check it out if you’d like, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzA-XHtyRS4 for a video introduction. For personal contact: fsdeh@embarqmail.com
    A fellow Eclectic!

  12. Thanks for dropping by David. I listened to the introduction to your book. It sounds like you have a lot to offer. I thought the knock on Bible Colleges and Seminary was a little off base. The reason why I went to seminary was to learn from those who had been there: In the Church, the Mission field, the Counselor’s office. Not to mention the privilege of sitting under men (and women) who devoted their lives to learning from God’s word.

  13. David E. Holt says:

    Hi! No insult to Bible Colleges or Seminaries intended. Perhaps you’d have to read the book to know what I was talking about. I’m not talking about education or learning from great men – I did that, too. I’m talking about some of the practical things discovered through my ministry which are not, and could not, be included in those schools. You’d just have to live it to discover it – and then share it with readers. That’s what I’ve done in the long run. And those are the things I was talking about. Hope that clears things. I had a great college and seminary training – but I learned much “on the field,” too.—Thanks for checking out the video introducing the book. Oh, and should you decide you want to read it, contact me – I’ll discount it for you.

  14. Steve Mundy says:

    I think you use “care with the compassion of a Salvationist” in your definition, since up to that point you were using denominations. And in my opinion, The Salvation Army certainly puts all other denominations to shame when it comes to caring for their community. What I call … practicing what they preach. Anyway, quite a thought-provoking definition. Well done!

  15. David E. Holt says:

    Thanks for including me in this latest blog! My youtube video address has changed to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg1dnd8Wdlc
    Note: that ending is Wd(lower case L)c

    I appreciate the concepts you encourage -just wish I could find a local congregation espousing your approach to Christianity!
    David

  16. Joanie Wyant says:

    It was suggested to me that I have the personality of an Eclectic Christian. I am a Total Jesus Freak, and like the band Newsboys sings: “I’m not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ” However, I have Dabbled in a variety of philosophies and still returned always to my faith in God….I also have a spiritual gift, that is kinda scary to me….because I don’t think I should be receiving the information that’s given to me….

    Anyways, Jesus is my Rock.

    Joanie

    • Hi Joanie,

      Thanks for the note. I saw the Newsboys in concert two years ago. Awesome expeirience. One other little side note. One of the sign that frequently accompanied the filling of the spirits in Acts, was “speaking boldly”. So, I really like the Newsboys quote.

      God bless.

      Mike

  17. Do you guys have a twitter? I can’t seem to find you on there.

  18. Hi! Glad to get Eclectic Christian – lost you for a while. Think you’re doing “the faith” much good! Appreciate so much your thoughts and the way you express them.
    God bless, David

  19. Sorry – forgot to put a foward / between .com and abcs – but have corrected it as of this post.

  20. DebD says:

    Michael,

    I saw in a comment you left on internetmonk that your grandfather had worked in Zambia. Can you contact me? I’d like to know more.

    Thanks!

  21. [...] 26, 2010 · Leave a Comment Mike Bell over at Internet Monk has a fabulous post about Canadians peaking in on American Christianity and [...]

  22. Bruce says:

    Where is Mike Bell now? I haven’t seen any recent posts.

  23. Julie Collins says:

    How encouraging to find your Website, and that of iMonk! You see, this last Thursday, at a Book Discussion Group at an Antiochian Orthodox Church, we were asked to introduce ourselves and give a brief statement of identity (Orthodox, Catechumate, Baptist, etc, e.g.. One fellow said he was an “Orthodox-Catholic-Baptist”). I found myself saying, “Eclectic” for the 1st time, not knowing there were others who had observed this of themselves. It was so much easier than going through the list of all the denominations to which I either had belonged, or visited over 50 some years of being in love with Jesus. Then, I looked it up to see if I’d used the word correctly…. Besides the “picking and choosing among many” idea I’d had in mind, I found that part of its definition is this delightful phrase: ” drawing from many sources.” Then I found your site today (Sat.). I, too, try to focus on fellowshiping with all I meet that love Jesus, and on the points we have in common, versus on the differences. To me, that seems to fit with Jesus’ own behavior better than bickering. Thanks for the site, and the sense of community it fosters!

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