Please allow me to reintroduce myself

Please allow me to reintroduce myself February 5, 2015


Q: Your last post here was in December of 2012. What happened?

A: I went to the store for a pack of cigarettes. Problem is: I don’t smoke.

Q: Anything interesting happen in the last few years?

A: I became the hotly contested king of Chuck-a-Puck at Bellingham Blazers hockey games. The Seattle Seahawks won one Super Bowl and passed on another. Mars Hill became Mars Hills. The pope resigned and we elected a Jesuit. Republicans took back the Senate.

Oh and my local parish was finally rid of Fr. Flapdoodle, praise Jesus.

Q: Is Fr. Flapdoodle his real name?

A: No, it was a funny name that I used for him on this blog. Not so much to protect the guilty as to universalize him, to say that there are Fr. Flapdoodles everywhere, in too many churches. This particular Fr. F. was awful and served at the local parish for a very long time.

Q: Why did he last so long?

A: As far as I can make out, the Seattle archbishops saw Lynden as a problem parish that they’d rather not be bothered with. So we got stuck with Fr. F. That meant that a lot of us went to other nearby parishes when we could. When we had to go local, we basically offered it up.

Q: What do you mean “offered it up”?

A: Sorry, I forgot Q was Protestant. It’s been awhile. Probably best to quote the Apostle Paul to explain that one. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote that he rejoiced “in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.”

Following Paul’s example, we say that we “offer up” our suffering, in prayer, so that it can serve a higher purpose. The point isn’t that suffering is good. It’s something that’s bad that can be put to good ends.

Q: What is a Catholic like yourself doing on Patheos’s Evangelical Channel?

A: I could chalk it up to a historical accident, what with previous editor Tim Dalrymple recruiting me here. But it’s more than that. This blog was originally going to be titled “Bapto-Catholic” to highlight my history and my, well, “passions” is a bit much so let’s call them “interests.”

I’m the son of a Baptist minister and a convert to the Catholic Church. I wound up going to both Protestant and Catholic colleges. I was one of the first bloggers at Get Religion and the founder of Real Clear Religion.

Q: Still not getting it.

A: OK, the journalistic projects wouldn’t have been possible if I had left evangelical Protestantism for a sort of Catholic chauvinism. I still like, respect, and learn a lot from evangelicals – and rise to their defense when necessary. And I consider myself at least a little bit evangelical even as a Catholic.

Hopefully that’s enough reason for me to hang out on this channel. I sure hope so, because Mark Shea has the irreverent ginger-bearded mackerel-snapping convert from the Evergreen State slot pretty much locked down over on the Catholic Channel.

Q: What can readers expect to see here?

A: The usual stuff you find in a diary: stories, excerpts, stray thoughts, longer attempts to think things through, jokes. And also: videos and such that my audience might find amusing.

Q: What about cat videos?

A: No cat videos! I’m giving those up for Lent.

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