Truth and Love. If truth is not undergirded by love, it makes the possessor of that truth obnoxious and the truth repulsive. – Ravi Zacharias
Remember that the path to your heart travels through your mind. Truth matters. – Randy Alcorn
There are many gifted bloggers out there who wrestle with complex issues facing today’s Church. I used to be fully engaged in those discussions, but paid the price of not choosing my words wisely. I suffered broken relationships, compromised character and lack of self-respect.
Lots has happened since then, and I’ve begun the long journey of repairing friendships, figuring out how to express my convictions with grace, learning how to dialogue with intellectual honesty, how to think critically and humbly, and how to relax my grip on peripheral beliefs.
My main goal for this blog is to explore the intersection of truth and love, to take a step back from some of the hotter hot topics I used to jump into and look instead at the way we believers think, how we dialogue, and the values we exemplify in the process of living our faith.
I like to say I’m an evangelical pastor’s kid–turned church critic–turned advocate for thoughtful, intentional, compassionate faith.
As a pastor’s kid, I learned a lot from my behind-the-scenes view of the evangelical Church. Disturbed by a lack of depth, authenticity and compassion that I observed in too many Christian adults, I left conventional Church behind for a short while.
Thanks to my parents’ example though, discussions about God, Christian living, and church issues were a regular and stimulating part of family life. I also began to read theology and philosophy, thanks in part to my studies and the mentoring I received at L’Abri. Slowly I learned to trust God despite the way some Christians behaved, and I also grew to love the Church–warts included.
God has since given me a passion to reconnect with believers in a positive way, to think about the way we think about Christian living and church life: the joys, the sorrows, the indigestion (not of the potluck variety). Mostly, He has encouraged me to not be overcome by evil (in the Church) but to overcome it with good (Rom. 12:21).
On a personal note, over the last eight years I’ve had the privilege of helping Mom care for my Dad when he was diagnosed with early onset dementia. Among other things, this new journey exposed the Church’s rare capacity for incredible, sacrificial love. It also, sadly, showed us how the Church sometimes chooses to ignore the second-greatest commandment–to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
Although Dad’s voice has faded from our family conversations, God has used our loss to drive these conversations outside of the family unit. At Bible college and university, Christian conferences, around the dinner table with friends, and now at my blog, I’ve been blessed to learn from some pretty amazing people as we’ve discussed all kinds of issues. And I’d like nothing more than for you to join the conversation with us.
Why I’m Online
My tagline is perpetually under construction, but here’s the crux of why I’m online: I grew up in the Church, I’ve been hurt by the Church, I love the Church, and I feel God calling me to help build up the Church.
Pastor’s kids and missionary kids (I’ve been both), tend to see a lot of the garbage that happens among adults in ministry. This makes some PKs and MKs head for the hills. In my case, I went through a grieving period, and came out the other end viewing the Church as a special kind of mission field. It’s common, when discussing the Church’s faults, to hear Christians say, ‘Well, of course churches are full or hypocrites,’ or ‘The difference between Christians and the world is that we recognize our need for the Great Physician.’ But they don’t really go any further than that, and it’s rare to hear Christians talk with passion about how we’re seriously dealing with our hang-ups, vices, blind spots, complacency, and ‘respectable sins’ (in the words of the late Jerry Bridges). This is where the Church is a mission field. I’m not a poetic writer, and I struggle to sound less academic and more conversational. I’m not here to spread beautiful prose throughout the internet (although I wish I could), but I’m simply here out of obedience to a calling to help the Church heal and grow.
Here are my past taglines, for anyone who may be interested. Let me know if you have a favourite, or how to make these better:
– What they don’t teach you in Sunday school: Hacks for a mindful faith & surviving church
– I look at how today’s Church interacts w/ science/academics, theology, communication, psych, history, community & relationships
– Writer, mom, pastor’s kid. Once upon a time I also lived in Austria. I write about the Church in community, in thought, and in dialogue.