Thank you for visiting this blog! I am not a great blog reader myself, so I will always wonder what drives people to these venues. Nonetheless, here I sit trying to set up a blog. Learning WordPress. Google searching (googling?) images for banners and backgrounds. I now know, I think, what a widget is. So this will definitely not be anything like a state of the art blog.
Apologies aside, I would like to share a little bit about who I am (since WordPress recommends it!) and tell folks who might read this why I am blogging.
Who am I?
In George Smiley fashion, I am a husband, tinker, pastor, student, coach.
- I am married to Kerrie. I love her dearly and will always be in thankful wonder about why she chose to marry me! She gives me wonderful advice on all things – even on this blog. She highly discouraged me from titling the site “Eclectic Theology” as a nod to Francis Turretin’s once standard Institutes of Elenctic Theology (1679-1685). Similarly, she advised me against going with my second proposed title, “Boom-Shakalaka.”
- I love to fix things, or at least find out why they are broken in the likely event that I cannot put them together again. I enjoy building things with my kids (Kerrie and I have four of them and love them all!). And I love drawing up plans for projects I will never live to complete. I think I could have been very happy as an architect or an engineer.
- Vocationally I am a pastor. I serve in the Presbyterian Church in America and believe that I am specially called to the work of prayer and the ministry of the Word and sacraments. Ministry is the most demanding, joyful, painful, and exciting pursuit imaginable.
- I am a student first and last. If I have a chance to watch Netflix, I watch documentaries. If I can take a course, I do. I am always wondering what the next educational opportunity for my kids or myself might be. In part, this blog grows out of my long habit of writing for myself. As John Calvin once put it (quoting Augustine), “I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, “John Calvin to the Reader,” 1559).
- Lacrosse is my last great avocation. I used to enjoy hunting and fishing in the counties of Maryland where I grew up. But failing vision has eliminated hunting from my schedule and greatly curtailed my fishing expeditions! I used to be a reasonably talented jazz musician, until a congenital jaw problem put my musical pursuits on hold. But for twenty-five years now I have been able to coach lacrosse at various levels for both boys and girls. I know the joys and pains of being both completely defeated and undefeated. And through it all am convinced that at the end of the day the real wins and losses show up in the roster, not the schedule summary.
Why am I Writing?
For years now, a number of folks whom I have the pleasure to pastor have asked me to write a blog. John Piper’s Desiring God ministry argues that all pastors need to blog: 6 Reasons Pastors Should Blog. So does Thom Rainer: Seven Reasons Every Pastor Should Have a Blog. If two of my all time favorite Baptists think it is a good idea, who is this Presbyterian to argue?
So I am entering the blogosphere as every good pastor presumably should. But it probably won’t be pretty. Some of things that I write about in my old school, unlined paper journals are practical, some serious, some funny. Some are downright academic – like “what in the world could the semantic derivation of perper be?” An incredibly bizarre lexeme for koine Greek don’t you think? And why would Paul choose that word in 1 Corinthians 13? So organizing content might be a challenge.
But all of the instances of blogging that will be recorded here will have at least one thing in common. Whether they are light or heavy, practical or academic, they will have as their goal the application of biblical thought to the various events and circumstances of life “on this side of heaven” so that we might live in a way that glorifies God.
Fasten your seat belts, it is going to be a bumpy ride. There will only be a grand unifying theme with very little particular continuity. You might find an entry interesting and helpful but then be bored to death and back by the next ten. And who knows, maybe Piper and Rainer will conclude that every pastor shouldn’t blog after all… In any event, welcome!