Barfing Makes Me Barf

WordPress recently wished me a happy anniversary.  I published 33 posts in 2012, which kind of surprises me.  I didn’t figure I’d keep it going for a year.  While I certainly tapered off on the number of posts near the end of 2012, largely because my mind was distracted with some work-related shenanigans, I actually made it through an entire year of barfing up my ramblings at an average of nearly 3 posts per month.  I found it useful to be able to sort of sit down and flesh out some of my own  thoughts, if only for myself.  It’s easy enough to have an opinion about something, but it is quite another to be able to think it through carefully enough to lay it out publicly and be prepared to defend it.

In 2011, after finishing a chronological read through the Bible, I found I kind of missed the cover to cover goal.  Not only have I slowly become, I think, a better student of the biblical text, literary context, history, and culture, but I guess I’ve also become at least a semi-avid reader (you’ve got to get your context from somewhere).  Now, if you ask my mother, or my wife, you’ll find out that all the way up through 2011 I would have told you I HATE reading.  They both love to read; always have.  My mother tried in vain to encourage me to like reading when I was young.  I couldn’t stand it.  I’d much rather watch the movie than read the book.  I think it turns out that maybe I was just reading the wrong things.  Basically, when it comes to fiction, I’d still rather see the movie.  Being a technology enthusiast, I love multimedia for storytelling.  In the past year though, I’ve consumed 14 books (that I can recall), which is probably more than my previous lifetime total as far as books that I’ve read of my own volition.  Amazon has helped significantly in that regard, as having books in electronic version rather than paper version so makes it easy to haul a whole library around.  Plus, being an IT professional, I’m a tech junkie.  I like to read now, but if it isn’t on Kindle, there’s still little chance I will read it.  If I find a book I want that isn’t in Kindle format, you’ll find me clicking that button that says “Tell the publisher I’d like to see this title on Kindle” rather than the “Buy” button.

Beyond Kindle, it turns out what I actually like to consume books, just not novels!  It turns out rather than a good story, I like ideas and matters of utmost importance.  C.S. Lewis wrote, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”  I think this is a true statement, and perhaps I’ve finally realized it.  I’ve decided in a war of ideas, one can either be a soldier or a victim.  Being a bystander relegates you to being the latter.  This would explain the reading material I started consuming in 2012 I guess, along with acquiring a distance learning certificate in Christian Apologetics via Biola University’s apologetics department.

  1. Spiritual Warfare, Karl Payne
  2. Decision Making and the Will of God, Garry Friesen
  3. Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas
  4. Is God a Moral Monster, Paul Copan
  5. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Norm Geisler and Frank Turek
  6. True Reason, Collection of Essays by misc authors
  7. Reasonable Faith, William Lane Craig
  8. Relativism, Greg Koukl
  9. Tactics, Greg Koukl
  10. Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult, Garrett DeWeese and J.P. Moreland
  11. Seven Days That Divide the World, John Lennox
  12. Adventures in Churchland, Dan Kimball
  13. Love Your God With All Your Mind, J.P. Moreland
  14. Disappointment With God, Philip Yancey

Currently, I’m in the midst of a systematic theology book by Michael Horton, but I’ve decided to take a break and read the just released “Cold Case Christianity” by homicide detective J. Warner Wallace.  The latter which I’ve been anticipating for a year.  I love unique perspectives, so 13% in (because the Kindle doesn’t think in pages) it is living up to the anticipation!  Perhaps this year I’ll have to try taking up book reviews.

You probably see a theme here, as it is the same theme emerged in my occasional blog posts.  Initially I had intended to blog what I was thinking about, which I figured was about a lot of different things that interest me.  However, it turns out that what interests me the most, are things that I believe are of infinite importance, and so I want to try to understand them the best that I can.  While I’m interested in computers/technology, running, photography, video games, and other pop culture, it turns out that a lot of time my thought patterns about even those things always come back to apologetics, theology, and understanding/defending my own faith in a triune God of the universe who ultimately rules over all these things.  I like to think about it, talk about it, be challenged to refine my own views, and challenge other people to refine their views.  I really appreciate the folks that have chimed in, even if it was to disagree with my views!  Civil argumentation is the only way any of us can actually come to know and believe anything true.  It certainly isn’t in a vacuum of unchallenged group-think that the truth is reached.  Lest you think that’s what I’m doing because of my book list, it’s also worth pointing out that I also consume the ideas of scholars like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, Bart Ehrman, etc.  I generally gather information from the skeptical crowd in YouTube, podcast, and blog form though, as I prefer my money go to supporting the authors and publishers of the side I find myself agreeing with.  I’m considering changing that policy this year though, as I haven’t yet found somebody to loan me books like “The God Delusion”, “God is Not Great”,  “The Moral Landscape”, or a “Universe from Nothing”.  A borrowed book would have to be paper anyway…yuck!

In any case, I guess I’ll give up this year and admit that if I’m going to keep this blogging thing up (which remains to be seen), that it will most often be about apologetic or theological matters, even if the thought was spawned by work, play, politics, or pop culture.  Binding all of those things together with my faith is unavoidable by my worldview.  If you want to kindly set me straight on anything, whether you share most of my worldview (Classical Christianity), very little of my worldview (none is not likely), or somewhere in the middle…go for it!  I don’t offend easily.  If things of infinite importance don’t interest you, then you might as well steer clear!

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7 thoughts on “Barfing Makes Me Barf

  1. I am not one to read philosophical/apologetic books. It takes me 10 minutes to read one page (I know pages) because I try to take in every word. That is why I have picked up Mere Christianity a half dozen times and never get to find out “What Christians Believe.” I find it much easier for me to have you read the books and teach me through your blogs. Keep them coming, I usually don’t comment but I try to read them all.

    • That remind me! Mere Christianity was the only book I read on paper this year. I knew there was one I read in traditional print and I couldn’t remember what it was. Thanks!

      That’s a good one. Don’t give up on it. My mind wanders easily so I have to go back all the time and re-read pages I just read, yet I have no idea what they said. It’s why I’ve always hated reading. I let it beat me for a long time. Don’t let it beat you!

  2. I love reading your blogs! Your titles always draw me in thinking you are going to go down a whole different path and by the time I work through the post I am enlightened and learn so much! Not all of us are blessed with the kind of intelligent mind you have! So, I, like Travis J, love to hear your take on things and the way you make us think through theology in a deep way. Keep up the blogging! It is the only barf I readily go to! (I just started a blog myself but am very techno challenged and am trying to figure it out. Maybe you could help me if you have time.)

    • Aww…Thanks. My mind isn’t any more intelligent than the next person’s. I’m just a bit of a natural skeptic, so I like to try to get to the bottom of things to make sure I’m believing the most reasonable things, rather than just the ones people can build the best emotional case around. Feel free to message me if you need any tech help! 🙂

  3. Hey Michael I’m honored that you would break from Horton’s really good book for my much less academic one! Looking forward to reading what you think if you ever take up book reviews!

    • Jim – I’m the one who’s honored! It’s nice of you to take the time to not only read but comment! I guess it all depends on what you mean by “academic”. I’ve found your book to be quite educational so far 🙂 In any case, it’s gents like you who made me latch onto apologetics which really led to me cracking a theology book like Horton’s. Looking forward to crossing the border to hear you speak at Apologetics Canada with WLC this spring!

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