Thoughts (Stolen and Otherwise)

1. In the interest of future summers full of warm weather and clear skies in Western Pennsylvania, I have recently removed the aboveground pool in my backyard. I am still in the process of tearing down the deck that had accompanied the pool and I have to admit that I am enjoying the destructive nature of the work. On the other hand, I have also been relatively careful to preserve the wood in the process, so that it can be reclaimed for a new project.

… deconstruction and building anew… there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

2. Tim Keller has a new book coming out this month called Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical. I tend to appreciate Keller’s books, so when I stumbled across the listing on Amazon, I clicked on the link. I found something kind of weird there. Under the description section, there was a review on Keller himself that said this, “Superb… we should be grateful to Keller for his wisdom, scholarship, and humility”.

The weird part is that the credit for the statement is given to the Gospel Coalition, which is an organization that was founded by Keller along with D.A. Carson back in 2005. I had to look a little further into it because it certainly seemed to the half-trained eye like Tim Keller might have been calling himself “superb” and complimenting himself on his humility in the same blurb.

It turns out that there is only a nugget of truth to that thought. The quote is actually from a review of Keller’s book Preaching which was written by Christopher Ash and posted to the TGC website. It would seem like an endorsement from Christopher Ash wouldn’t carry a lot of weight, so they took the words that Ash wrote and attributed them to an organization whose credibility is in large part derived from the person who is being complimented.

It’s not as bad as it originally looked, but that is still, as I said, kind of weird.


3. A few months ago I drove through the neighborhood that our church used to inhabit to find that the long-vacant property that we used to call home was now a vape shop. I do a lot of complaining about “church” and some things that happened in this one helped to get my foot out the door, but I also experienced ekklesia in this place in a way that has helped fuel the dissatisfaction that I have experienced ever since. For that reason, I’m kind of sad that it is a vape shop now. Pretty cool mural, though.

4. I have still been mired in a certain degree of writer’s block recently. It’s a new experience for me, not so much the writer’s block itself, but the modest growth that I have had in readership over the last few months has actually put me in a position, for the first time, where I feel like I need to create content. It’s a nice problem to have, and I trust that it will be a growth experience. Mostly just hoping that my brain starts working again soon.

5. From other blogs and social media that I follow, I can definitely identify with the need of those who have left the church to be affirmed in their experience and decision, and simply to be told that they aren’t crazy or disobedient or heretical, so that will likely be a longstanding part of what I write about here. I am finding that part of what is contributing to my drought when it comes to writing is rooted in a desire to be more positive and encouraging in what I am writing.

I am not purely defined by my ecclesiology and hope to show that I have a lot to offer in other areas going forward as well.

Just a reminder that you can follow me on Twitter @UntenableWhale and Facebook. Also, check out some of the great blogs that I follow and that support me by clicking the menu on your desktop or by scrolling to the bottom of the page on mobile.

What do you think about what I’m thinking this week? Or better yet, what are you thinking?


15 thoughts on “Thoughts (Stolen and Otherwise)

  1. I’m having the same writers block issue as you. Today I wrote a satirical post that benefits absolutely no one but me. Oh well. Hopefully someone else will find the humor it. I do tend to laugh at my own jokes. I’m my own audience most days around here. Anyway, I know the feelings. I have more readers too yet I feel like most of what I write is utterly disappointing. Not saying you feel that way or that what you write is–but I definitely feel like most of what I write is. I need to figure out a way to get over that one.

    • I think that my #1 up there is a fairly big contributor. I haven’t had as much time to collect my thoughts in the last couple weeks as I sometimes might. It is rare that I get something down and think, “man, I really knocked that one out of the park”, but I can feel otherwise productive and generally happy with what I am writing. Recently, I have had very few things that I even felt moved to attempt to finish, let alone polish.

      I am fighting the urge to “sports metaphor” my way to explanation since I know that you aren’t a sports person.

      Btw, I enjoyed your van post as well. 🙂

  2. Dallas, i hope you keep a big enough sand print from your pool base.. felt like a campfire on the beach the other night with all that sand between my toes and stars shining overhead..

    • Yeah, hate to break it to you, but I don’t think I’ll be keeping the sand. Pretty sure it’s not practical. Down to four posts that I need to get out of the ground and the deck will be finished. Then it is just on to getting rid of the massive amount of rock and broken concrete that was underneath. I rest secure in knowing that you can get rid of pretty much anything if you offer it for free on craigslist.

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