I’m Open To Other Views

People have this idea that I always think I’m right, that I am arrogant and don’t listen to other people’s perspectives. Well those people are dumb.

But seriously, I like to think of myself as a pretty open-minded person. I am ready to hear and learn from other people. The problem is that THEY think they know everything and usually they don’t.

Take this conversation I had the other day. I was talking with a guy about Amillennialism and trying to explain it in small words because, as I explained to him, he didn’t know anything about eschatology because his pastors never wanted him to think. So he started to argue with me. He couldn’t help it. He had been indoctrinated, brainwashed if you will. I tried to be patient, but he kept asking all these questions that I couldn’t answer. They were the type of questions his pastor probably told him to ask even though he paused thoughtfully before asking them (I think that was part of his training as well, to make the trick questions seem more genuine). Well I was getting exhausted trying to explain these difficult concepts to someone so under the brain-control of some local pastor. Finally I had to shake him up; I had to get his head out of the haze, so I said “Listen buddy, if you don’t believe this is true, then you are blind to the truth.” That showed him. He shut right up … and he left before we could finish our conversation, but it was obviously because he knew I was right.

There was this other time when I was telling a friend how God had spoken to me about election. How he had laid it all out there for me and I finally understood it all for the first time. Do you know what my friend did? Tried to “discuss” the topic with me. As if there were anything left to discuss! When God tells you something you know it’s true. Why would people try to change your mind about it?

Then there was this other time. A buddy of mine was concerned that I may be a little too zealous about my feelings concerning how I interpret the Bible. He explained that he thought it may not make sense to say that when you read the Bible in faith you come to the same conclusions I have. I said I didn’t understand his concerns. He told me there were a lot of people who interpreted the Bible differently than I do who have come to different conclusions, but they seemed to have demonstrated great faith in their Christian walks. I told him they obviously didn’t. He asked me why I thought that, and I said that if they had REAL faith they would have come to the same conclusions I did. He asked me how I knew this. I said it was because I had real faith. He went silent. That’s what I thought!

See, the problem isn’t that I won’t listen to others. The problem is that they don’t have any good arguments to oppose mine. Is it wrong that my views are hole-proof? I don’t think so. Maybe if other people weren’t so blind and faithless, and would actually listen to God they would come to the truth as well, and maybe then I could learn something from them.


Not Alone in Feeling Alone – guest post at The Assembling of the Church

Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church has graciously allowed me to share my thoughts with his readers. What was the one thing I wanted to say to them?

“You are not alone.” That is the thing that I want to say to you. You are not alone, even when it feels like it. Many readers on this blog see the value of community and meaningful relationships among the Body of Christ. Many readers on this blog have faced resistance when trying to implement those things into their lives and into the group of believers they are part of. That can be very discouraging and often very lonesome. I know. I’m there.

Check out the post, Guest Blogger: Not Alone in Feeling Alone, to read the rest. I really appreciate Alan giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts on his blog! Maybe I can get him to write something for me sometime soon. We’ll see.

Oh, also, in the meantime check out Running Late, a short story Alan wrote for Zombie Theology!


Physician, Heal Thyself – an excerpt from And The Dead Shall Rise First

In case you are interested in And the Dead Shall Rise First, the zombie novel I am working on, today, in the spirit of Friday the 13th, at zombietheology.com I have posted “Physician, Heal Thyself,” a working excerpt from the book. This excerpt, as well as the rest of the book, is far from polished, and I would love to get some feedback on it.

And the Dead Shall Rise First is a novel about the church’s response to a virus that has turned the majority of humanity into zombies.

It is the year 2020 and civilization died one year ago. A virus and horror like never before imagined has gripped our world. EPV (Evolved Photoplasm Virus) is infecting and killing the majority of humanity. It isn’t stopping there. The dead are reanimating and have one single drive: consume all life. Is this the End, Armageddon, the Apocalypse, those things foretold in prophecy throughout Scripture and history? Will the church be able to overcome her division to help bring relief and hope to the world in the midst of all this devastation, or will she simply wither and die in a fractured irrelevant self-induced coma? What hope can she bring to the few remaining survivors of the pandemic? What relief can she bring to so many people who find themselves widowed, orphaned, tired, starving, sick, homeless, and utterly hopeless? And, ultimately, where is God in the midst of all this mess? These are the questions that the Final Council must ask, and the answers are not only crucial to the survival of the faith, but to the survival of humanity.

Also make sure you get back to zombietheology.com next Saturday, May 21st. There will be another surprise in honor of Harold Camping’s “Judgement Day” prediction.



Not Reactionary: a response to people thinking christians are reactionary

This morning I read a tweet announcing that this individual was about to read a book by the name of Christ Alone. Sounded like a boring old Christian book to me, but it was better than that.  Only a few weeks after the release of Love Wins there is ALREADY a “response” book out there against it. That is impressive. Do you remember the Da Vinci Code? Here are just a few of the “response” books to that:

  • The Da Vinci Code Controversy
  • Breaking the Da Vinci Code
  • The Da Vinci Hoax
  • Exploring the Da Vinci Code
  • Da Vinci Code Decoded
  • The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code
  • Cracking Da Vinci’s Code
  • Cracking the Da Vinci Code (not to be confused with Cracking Da Vinci’s Code)

Seriously, I did not just make that up. So what is the point? I’m not sure that I have a point but I just found this interesting. Are Christians overly reactionary? Or are “Christian” publishing companies just really good marketers who know how to ride the coat tales of the success of others? Do Christians worry too much about people being tricked into abandoning the faith by every popular book or movie that questions Christian beliefs? Do Christians not have enough of a foundation in Christ not to be washed around by every contradictory belief out there?

Those are some of the concerns that are raised in my mind when I see this trend of books in “response” or offering a “Christian perspective” on certain popular subjects. Why bother responding? Why not just teach the truth from a positive angle (i.e. this is the truth) as opposed to the negative angle (i.e. this is not true, this is not true …)? It seems much more effective to teach one truth thus opposing ALL beliefs that contradict that truth than to go out and try to disprove every particular opposing belief out there.


Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor – book review

The following book review is copied from my reading blog, Reading in Southern Maine where I write brief thoughts on the books I am reading.

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor
By Chuck Black

Synopsis: Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor is book five of The Knights of Arrethtrae series. In this part of the series a young man, Quinlan, feels called to become a knight of the King and follow the Prince. He first trains with a skilled knight and later a Silent Warrior who teach him to fight and overcome his self doubt and fear. After his training is complete he returns to his hometown to fight the hidden Shadow Warriors. When the enemy leader, Lucius finds out that Sir Quinlan has returned he launches an all out attack on the city. The small band of knights under the leadership of Quinlan must lead the charge in the battle against Lucius’ Shadow Warriors.

My Opinion: So Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor is an allegory and full of various Christian truths and life lessons. I think that Black does a mediocre job at presenting this allegory in an interesting and engaging way.

I would say that the good thing about the allegorical element is that many of the truths that he alludes to in the story are important, i.e. trust in the Prince and not ourselves, The King choosing the weak of the world, following the Prince requires complete surrender and a sacrifice of everything but is rewarded greatly when you one day cross the Great Sea, and many others.

The thing that I thought was sub par about the allegory was the totally transparent way that it was presented. Many times Black would almost quote the Bible verbatim through some character’s speech or he would add elements that really didn’t make sense in the story, but fed the allegory. He discusses how the King sent the Prince from across the Great Sea to bring the Kings people back to him and how they rejected him and he died “on a tree” (what does that even mean?) but the King brought him back to life using the Life Spice. Black tries to explain how this death and resurrection enabled the knights to follow the Prince, but it never really makes much sense. I felt like a lot of the more obvious “Christian” themes seemed overly forced into the story.

Aside from the failures in the allegory I thought the book was pretty good. I think that younger kids, probably boys in their tweens mostly, would really enjoy reading this book and would get a lot out of it. The battles are pretty engaging and exciting, and the characters are dynamic enough that you grow to like (or dislike) them. There is a little humor tossed into the mix to keep the dramatic elements from being too overwhelming for younger readers. It certainly isn’t C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but it is another series that could be worth picking up if you have a young avid reader.

FYI: the land Arrethtrae, where the story takes place, is a backward combination of the words Earth and Terra.

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor at amazon.com

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their Blogging for Books program.


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