How This Blog Came to Exist and Why I Keep It Going
I began this blog about ten years ago after much gentle pressure from friends. Since its inception, I have posted about 1,700 distinct essays here. Whenever I sit down to write a new blog post I think to myself “But I already wrote about that….” Yes, I have written about almost every conceivable topic—related to Christian theology. That is one reason my blog posts have decreased in frequency. Yet, I realize that some people are new here and have not read all (approximately) 1,700 blog essays! (I don’t know the exact number of them because this blog existed for a time before it was “adopted” by Patheos and I didn’t keep records before then. I’m sure the folks at Patheos know how many I have posted since then.)
So what cause me finally to succumb to my friends’ gentle pressure and start this blog? Two things. First, of course, my frustration with Calvinists’ ever ongoing misrepresentations of Arminianism. Second, right at that time a Southern state passed laws criminalizing giving any aid to illegal immigrants. I blogged then that one could not be a Christian and vote to criminalize giving food or water or shelter or even a ride to anyone in need. There was, of course, the predictable backlash but nothing has changed my mind about that. (And I won’t tolerate any mentioning of the obvious exceptions the law made such as emergency workers.)
As to the first reason: I still read and hear horrible misrepresentations of Arminianism by Calvinists who know better. Their blogs are full of them. Some magazines still publish them. But I have come to terms with that phenomenon and I don’t let it get to me as I once did. Also, the whole “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement has weakened considerably. I frequently meet men and women in their thirties (or older) who “testify” that they were at one time hard core Calvinists under the influence of the leaders of that movement but are no more.
In fact, in my book Against Calvinism (and here) I told the story of a college student who, in the 1980s, told me I was not a Christian because I am an Arminians. I never mentioned his name. However, he read the book and recognized himself and called me about a year ago. We had a very nice conversation and he apologized for what he said when he was in college and told me that he has since left that “circle” and no longer considers himself a Calvinist. I think that Calvinism appeals to young Christians because it claims to have all the answers and a highly systematic explanation of God and the Bible. As they mature, many, of not most, of them change their minds.
As for the second reason: Recent laws passed in Georgia and being considered in other states convince me that many people who consider themselves Christians cannot be real Christians. The people I am thinking of put political party above following Jesus. That is as clear to me as anything can be.
Sometimes I do feel like a voice crying alone in the wilderness, but those who come here to support me and thank me encourage me to keep on keeping on.
*Here I always speak only for myself and not for anyone else—individual or organization. If you wish to comment, be sure not to include a hyper-link. Keep your comment civil and respectful, not rude. Stick to the subject and do not misrepresent anything I have written or said. Be brief.