Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why do I blog?

I've been thinking about that question a lot lately.

Why do I blog?

I've always said that I was thinking out loud, more or less. That I was putting my thoughts and ideas into words to better understand them and work through them. I wanted to hear feedback on what I was thinking. I wanted to share some of my heart and life.

Then too, I think I felt like I had something to prove. I felt like I had been screwed over by a lot of people who I never thought would treat me like they did... talk about me like they did... and do the same to my wife and friends. I wanted people to know that there was logic and reason and sincere passion behind what I was going through and the changes in my belief systems. I have been called (and still get called) some interesting names, and was always on the defensive. At the end of the day, I don't think I wanted to convince anyone to believe like me--I just wanted them to understand that it was okay for me to not believe what/how they believed.

I had such a huge chip on my shoulder, and its carried on for a few years. There have been some lingering reminders of things that I haven't let go of.

But I've found myself moving on. I've found myself learning to let go of a lot of the pain and anger I've carried around for a while now. I'm not changing the world here. I'm not convincing anyone to think any differently than they already do. Besides, I'd rather do those things in the real world, through real action and real conversations with real people.

And I've also found myself with less of a desire to post entries on here. Ergo, I've been thinking about deleting this blog for a while now. I don't know if I'd stop blogging altogether, but I'd stop with this blog. Its titled a certain way for specific reasons. If I were to simply blog about my life, it would need a makeover and a new name.

I haven't made up my mind yet. I don't know if I'm writing this to get your input or just to tell you what I'm thinking about. At some points, I've had up to 100 individuals checking this blog on a daily basis. Some weeks I've had hits in the thousands--which, to me, sounds like a lot for some no-name dude in south central Kentucky writing a blog. Recently, however, I've kind of leveled off at 25-40 individuals reading along regularly. So, to those of you who care: maintain the usual? Blog about heated issues in Christianity and politics and such... or drop most of that and just blog about life and include more pictures?

Just curious.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving everyone...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I went to New York City last week. To say it was "great" is not good enough. Just not good enough. It was simply terrific. The city makes you feel so alive and there's so much to experience. So I have stories and photos to share, but life is busy and I don't have enough time to write them this week.

However, there is something I want to share. My lovely wife is something of a blog stalker. She reads all kinds of blogs and rarely comments. Occasionally, she'll email me a link to one. She doesn't do this often, so when she does, its typically a good read.

Well, Brittany emailed me today. A few minutes ago actually. She sent me this link. I can assure you, Rachel is always a great writer with wonderful stories--but to call this post "beautiful" is not good enough. Just not good enough.

We are all to be about the work of setting things right--even in the small moments--because what we do matters.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Hopefully I'll have some stories to share...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Problem With John Piper...

John Piper is obviously a smart guy. He's much smarter than me, to say the least. He's a good writer and a passionate speaker. I have no doubt that he sincerely believes that the things he says, does, and teaches are Biblically correct. Because he thinks his view on Christianity is the correct view and all other views are wrong, then (in his mind and following that logic) the most loving thing he can do is to try and convince others to believe the same as he does.

I don't buy it.

I don't have an issue with Piper because he's Reformed or Baptist. I know that may shock some of you, but I really don't have an issue with someone choosing to label themselves one of those things. My issue with Piper really are "issues" in that they are two-fold.

Problem with Piper #1:
On August 19th, 2009, a tornado hit downtown Minneapolis. On that day, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was meeting there to vote on a proposal that would allow members in homosexual relationships to serve as clergy. On August 20th, 2009, John Piper wrote on his blog about this event (the tornado hitting the city at the same time as the ELCA meeting to discuss making a public stand on their denomination's approach to homosexual clergy). He wrote the following: "Conclusion: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners."

I, and millions of other Christians, don't have a problem with a person acknowledging their homosexual nature. I've written many times about my views on homosexuality. You can search my blog for those posts. I think people take verses from the Bible and use them as ammunition to prove their perspective. Being gay isn't a sin any more than having blonde hair or liking hamburgers. People can't help what they are. I've also made it clear that I think homosexual eroticism is outside of what God wants for us--but that's coming from a middle-class, white, male blogger in south central Kentucky, so take it for what you will. But I digress...

So, John Piper made the claim that God sent a tornado on downtown Minneapolis as a warning sign to the Lutherans and that Biblically it was clear what was happening. Apparently, according to John Piper, the Lutherans were endorsing sin and God was telling them not to. My problem is this: millions and millions of people will die this year because of preventable disease, lack of clean water, and starvation... and God doesn't intervene on their behalf; but, according to John Piper, God will send a tornado to warn a group of denominational leaders to keep homosexuals from being clergy.

As the French say: "WTF?"

Listen, I don't understand how God interacts with humanity. I wrestle with it daily. I want to understand. I want to better comprehend how God works and what I can do to better impact our planet. But I can promise you this: if God isn't actively intervening on behalf on the sick, hungry, and dying, then he isn't sending tornadoes on midwestern US cities to warn people about the dangers of gay church leaders.

Problem with Piper #2:
Piper has a huge audience with college students. Not only does he greatly appeal to the young, restless and reformed crowd, but he also appeals to the typical college student who is trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Though his books are wordy and complicated, people keep reading them. Though his sermons are harsh, blunt, and present a very narrow perspective on the Christian faith, people keep listening to them. I can glean the good and skip over the bad stuff. But I would venture to say that many people devour every word from the mouth of John Piper as pure Biblical truth.

So, my second problem is this: Piper has a huge audience of people that he can greatly affect with his words. People take what he says as truth--people who like him tend not to question a guy like him. So when someone reads John Piper's blog and he's saying that God sends tornadoes on midwestern cities to warn a denomination about accepting gay clergy and he drops a few verses from the Bible in, then they take that as truth. They take that as Biblical truth. They agree with him in accepting this view of God. And what kind of God is this that he's telling people about? A God who is willing to let millions of innocent children die annually because of nothing they've done, yet sends tornadoes when people start talking about homosexuality. To me, that's such a hate-filled perspective on God.

When I read about the life of Jesus (when I see the things he did, the people he spent time with, the words he shared), I don't come away with anything but a view of a God that loves humanity and wants the best for all of them. But when I read the things Piper writes and the listen to some of the things he says, I come away with a view of an angry God that is clouded by guilt and shame for being human.

I'll end this post with a question:

With the world in the state its in, what is more important to God? :

A- Saving people from the hell they're caught in all over the world? (ie, ending sex trafficking, providing clean water, feeding the starving, making international trade fair, protecting against preventable disease, stopping genocide, etc.)


B- Barring homosexuals from church leadership and maintaining their second class citizenship in most churches?

You decide.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Increasing readership...

I used to write about a lot of different things--most of which were quite "controversial" for some people. I wasn't intentionally trying to upset others (though that's fun at times), but was really trying to work through certain theological concepts and social constructs that I had been discouraged from discussing in the past. I wanted to be able to think out loud, ask questions, voice my doubts, and openly discuss things. Its a great way to vent. Its a great way to promote honest conversation among people with opposite view points. Its a great way to get people to read your blog.

But for the past few months, I've kind of taken a break from that for multiple reasons. I've been busy at work, busy in general, and I haven't felt like dealing with any in-depth research, writing, and the discussion that goes along with it. In fact, I've mainly been reading a bunch of good fiction novels and stayed away from books that required too much thinking. As a result, I haven't had as many hits on my blog. Traffic has greatly decreased and this troubles me. I liked logging into the service I have that monitors my blog and seeing how many visits my blog has had over the past few weeks.

So, in effort to increase my blog readership, I'm going to start posting some things that have bouncing around in my head for a while. Things I've avoided because I know what the reaction will be. For instance, I've been told to avoid questioning and critiquing people that are well known and well liked in the evangelical arena. But I'm fairly sure my next post is going to be about John Piper and his hateful version of Christianity that he spreads. That's coming as soon as I can get it written. Tell your friends.

PS-I've been watching "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" as I write this. Its hard not to be happy when watching such a movie. I highly recommend that you rent it sometime soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pic of the day:

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This is one of the best fiction books I've ever read. Hands down in my Top 10. I loved it. LOVED it.

Its about the life and times of Jesus from the point of view of Levi who is called Biff, Jesus' best friend. It starts with their childhoods, then moves on to the times that we have no Biblical account of (ages 12-30), then finishes with Jesus' ministry and death. The take on his life and personality are interesting, the story line is engaging, and the dialogue is "laugh out loud" funny. (I was particularly fond of Moore's depiction of the disciples/apostles of Jesus.)

It is irreverent. It is sacrilegious. It is hilarious. It is terrific. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Here's the author's blessing, the first thing printed in the book:

"If you have come to these pages for laughter,
may you find it.
If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise
and your blood boil.
If you seek adventure, may this story sing you
away to blissful escape.
If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may
you reach comfortable conclusions.
All books reveal perfection, by what they are or
what they are not.
May you find that which you seek, in these pages
or outside them.
May you find perfection, and know it
by name."