Twitter

Jesus is the Better Monty Hall

By on Mar 31, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Note: This post is from the previous iteration of my blog. I found it and remember that I actually liked what I wrote. So I decided to repost it for you all on this fine Friday. I really love it when I have two completely disparate thoughts that converge into an amazing revelation. So what are these current thoughts and what is the new revelation? Oh, I thought you’d never ask! You may or may not be aware of what is commonly referred to as the Monty Hall Problem. To give you a very broad overview, I will just quote from the Wiki: Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1 [but the door is not opened], and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No....

Karma, Lazarus, and the Need to Die.

By on Mar 28, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Karma is remarkably false. Like Scientology, karma presents an entirely and demonstrably fake worldview that anyone who has been alive for longer than a month or so can easily identify. Want to know my shameful quasi-secret? I wish it wasn’t so. I wish karma were real. We all do, at some level. And, I would argue, we all still believe it is real even though we can prove it wrong almost instantly. So why do we want karma to be real? If it’s so clearly false, why would we hope for it to be real? Why would we live as though it were? Kids get cancer. That’s a reality that every human being lives with, each and every day. It’s not a debatable point, it’s just a truly horrific fact. But if karma were real, the answer would be that this kid did something to deserve it. So why/how do we want it to be real? We want to believe that our striving, our hard work, our...

A Culture of Honor

By on Mar 22, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Trying to explain the culture of any organization, institution, or church is difficult without experiencing it. I call the gift of “discernment of spirits” the gift of being able to see the present. And it’s one, when you have it, that allows you to see what’s happening in the moment. It allows you to understand things, intimately, like culture. People look at the culture of their church or their business and often they miss what it really is in light of what it ought to be. That may sound confusing, but I can’t tell you the number of churches I have been in where they say their mission is [insert pithy statement scrawled on a six foot tall banner] and then assume that I totally connect with and get that. Instead, I tend to see things how they are. Which was one of the reasons planting a church was exceedingly difficult for me, personally.   And what...

The Gift Isn’t What You Think It Is

By on Mar 20, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Human beings are indoctrinated from birth, in almost every culture, to observe gift giving. Have you ever thought of that? There are almost no humans on earth who don’t understand the concept. Go low: a child in a ghetto begging for scraps understands the meals he gets are gifts. Go high: the rich, for some reason, are often honored with tributes. Gifts are a part of the world, not just a single, isolated culture or race or socioeconomic background. Why? Why would gifts be that intrinsic to our condition? Is there any, totally natural and completely explainable, reason for gifts? I would argue that if the world we live in is purely a result of what biological matter does at this current temperature, if the world is purely biological and the immaterial is merely a construct of that biological material’s evolution, there is no reason for gifts. Gifts, even the most tawdry and...

Gospel Trumps Maslow

By on Mar 15, 2017 in The Scrawl |

That’s a pretty wonkish title, I know. Whatever, it’s my blog. Every Tuesday night, the men of Immanuel Nashville meet for Theology. Theology is pretty basic: Teaching. Walking in the Light Bestowing Honor We talk about Jesus and the bible, then we confess our sins to each other, and then we finish by celebrating one another. It fits in the whole rubric of Immanuel quite well. Having gone to these since they began in January, right after we moved, I can say that they are powerful but not in a way I’m used to. I’m used to stepping into “Men’s Bible Studies” of various kinds armed to the teeth to fight heresy, proclaim the gospel, and hopefully shine some Jesus on my brothers. Theology isn’t like that. It’s very subdued in many ways. The topic isn’t ever some pet theological theory or concept or innovation: it’s Jesus and...

Why Witchcraft Makes Sense

By on Mar 9, 2017 in The Scrawl |

I can never be accused of writing boring headlines, can I? Okay, so strap in because this requires some thinking that won’t be sewn up for at least five hundred words. I’m “friends” with people on social media who are not Christians. I’m friends with people in real life who aren’t Christians. I go to church with some too, I’m sure. But through my social media experience I have observed something interesting and, finally, logical. But it doesn’t seem logical at first. The phenomena I speak of is former “Christians” now engaged in full-blown witchcraft. Not, not like 80’s witchcraft where you listened to Ozzy and cried about how hard your teenaged life was while you burned a black candle. No, I mean an actual appeal to a spirit or spirits in pursuit of power for one purpose or another. This isn’t the first time I...

The Big Lie

By on Mar 7, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Western Hemisphere, American, Southern, Cultural Christianity is no Christianity at all. And here’s one of the big reasons why. WHASCC is the spoof, the mockery that all Christianity bears as a burden. It’s both Westboro and $130M church buildings. And the real church suffers for it. But let me tell you where WHASCC wants to get into my heart. And how. And why I sometimes let it when I’m not being vigilant. Universal Healthcare and Immigration are the two big ones that spring to mind, but there are others. Universal healthcare is bad, right? I mean, it means I get less money, right? That I am paying for someone else to have something they haven’t worked for, right? I mean, why should I ever pay for someone to have something and have no benefit from it. This is Jesus up and down, right? The government says it is illegal for a hospital to deny me treatment for any...

An Angry Tree

By on Feb 21, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Since moving to Nashville, I have come to see that there is a peculiar change occurring in me week in and week out. I have never, ever, gone to a church that was as drenched in the gospel and soaked in the overwhelming grace of Jesus, as Immanuel Nashville. Hear me: they/we are far from perfect. I can find problems with anyone, and anything, ever, and can usually complain about something. But this isn’t a nitpicky sort of thing. I cannot in any way do anything but marvel at the power of God to change me that I am experiencing. And it’s not because of Ray Ortlund or any amazingly well-crafted process or program. In fact, it’s the opposite. There is no formula outside of Gospel + Safety + Time. This exposure to a rowdy, nearly ridiculous group of outcasts who have all encountered grace through crippling brokenness is doing something to me. For instance, I have never,...