John, Delayed

John, Delayed October 16, 2007

I’m not a Bible scholar. I’m not a seminary student or graduate. I used to work in a kitchen that served the resident teaching priests at a major Jesuit college, but I’m afraid I didn’t learn much there beyond that priests plus college students equals unending stream of exceptional gossip.

I am also not a pastor, reverend, deacon, youth minister, Sunday school teacher, small group leader, or small group member. I’m just (alas!) a regular, middle-aged guy who remembers just about none of his college education, and who (alas!) will never win any Most Likely To Show Up To Church Next Week awards. (They should give those out. I’m a guy. I like competition. Why don’t they make church more competitive, is what I’d like to know. Like, we should all race up to take communion! Except that by that point in the service, something or other on my lower body has usually fallen asleep. So never mind.)

I am, however, most definitely a Christian. And as a Christian, I read the Bible. And as a normal human being, I very often have no idea what the Bible is talking about. Which is not the Bible’s fault, of course. It’s wholly mine. Wait. No, it’s not. It’s the culture’s fault. Is it my fault I was raised watching a minimum of seven hours of television a day? Is it my fault that before I was 18 I’d seen so many movies that to this day I’m actually more comfortable thinking of my Actual Life as a movie (with a Bruce Springsteen soundtrack, if you must know), than I am thinking of it as … something not shot in Technicolor?

Of course, I don’t always think of my life as a Technicolor movie. Sometimes I think of it as a gritty documentary. The Cereal Killer: A Bowl. A Spoon. John Shore, for instance. Or Destiny Delayed: The Man Who Wouldn’t Vacuum. Sometimes I think of it as a sitcom: John’s Island, or (my favorite!) Everybody Loves John. Sometimes it’s a cartoon. Quite often it’s a talk show. Sometimes it’s even a corporate training film. But I hate it when that happens.

Anyway, the point is, I feel like starting a regular commentary on the Gospel of John. So that’s what I’m gonna do. But next time, now. Apparently.

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  • Hi John,

    Good luck on that! I started a regular commentary on the Bible a little over a year ago, and it's been amazingly rewarding.

    I think one of the biggest keys for me in understanding the Bible has been to let the Bible set its own terms as best I can. Instead of coming to the Bible with my own questions, I try to figure out what questions the Bible itself is asking and answering, and then try to see how I and my questions fit into the picture the Bible is painting.

  • Hey John! Just want to say that I was very blessed when I read this post – esp your 2nd para ;). 'Cos I just came back from a dinner with a good friend of mine from church – he's a very ordinary guy, but he has a dream to make an impact for God in the area of writing.

    So saw your post, and realised that you're someone he can learn from… would it be ok if you could share with us any advice / ideas / tips about how we can get started in a writing career?

    Cheers n God bless,


  • Hey, YA. I did say a bit about you're asking at the end of the comments section off the "Comma Sense" tab you'll find at the top of the page. See if that helps at all.

    Wonders: I'll check out your blog!

  • John Shore not a church leader… you're funny. I think the corporate training video hold the most promise. All B&W hand-held video like The Blaire Witch Project and the opening scene is some shadowy figure in a supply closet…and we hear the opening rifts of Born in the USA rising as the door opens. I'm getting goosebumps. Let me know if you're interested, I know a video director out in southern CA.

  • This is good news, John..especially that you are starting out with John!

    (no pun intended) I can hardly wait for the first page, blog, whatever!

    Although , with your writing and thinking stlyles there could be theological earthquakes and tornadic winds of opinion. Don't be offended though! You are definitely a much needed laxative for the institution we call church. You present God as 'user-friendly' !

    Good stuff!


  • snowhite197

    Cool! I can't wait! 🙂

  • Ric: That IS good!!! You freak.

    Greta: Yeah, you know, I WAS going to call my commentary "John on John." Then I shared that idea with my wife.

    Snow: How sweet of you, to imagine I'll have anything interesting to say on the Gospel of John. And how clear that makes it that you've never, ever read anything I've ever written. Cool. Don't!

  • I look forward to reading, John. BTW, I hear theme music all the time. Doesn't everybody? Although mine's usually something from Jimmy Buffet or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

  • Nice idea John. Looking forward to it.

  • Firedancer: STONER! (But I jest. I liked the "About Me" stuff you wrote on your blog, by the way. Nice.)

    Jon: Thanks!

  • Heh heh…your name's John…you're writing about John…and Greta called you a laxative. So maybe "John In the John" or "John For the John," since you cut thru the crap and all. Can I say "crap" on a Christian's blog?

  • Kerri: No, you can't say "crap" on a Christian's blog. And you can't say "shit," either. And "asshole" is definitely out. So just watch yourself.

  • Yours is the only blog I read by someone I don't know personally. And it makes me laugh out loud. And think deep thoughts. And smile later when I think about something I've read here.

    Since you don't know me, you probably don't get how profound that is. (That you make me laugh out loud, more than once.)

    Two things keep me checking back to read more, and then telling all my friends "You gotta read this guy's blog!" 1. Your writing: humor +honesty+sarcasm+depth+truth=good stuff. 2. The conversations that take place in the comments section.


  • Can I say "ass"? Then I can tell the joke about how Abraham is the most limber man in the Bible because he tied his ass to a tree and walked up a mountain.

  • Yes, you can say "ass." But no, you CANNOT tell that joke. Ever. To anyone. Ever.

    Candi:That's just about the sweetest thing. Thank you so much.

  • How do I get my picture to show up for my little icon??

  • Send me $20. No, wait: That's not it. Be a fellow WordPress blogger.