Question Mark: Q&A with Mark Sandlin

Question Mark: Q&A with Mark Sandlin July 20, 2014

Question Mark — Week of July 20


From time to time, I ask for questions on my personal Facebook page (feel free to friend request me). Based on nothing in particular, I’ll pick five of them to answer.

Admittedly, most of the questions deserve much more consideration than I can give them in a few paragraphs, but I think this could be a good place to start conversation and possibly to challenge some long-held opinions of what a Christian must believe. It might even be something you want to share on your various social media outlets in order to start conversations there.

So without further ado, I give you this week’s questions.


1) Why are we so quick to forget to see each other as human beings? (from Jana Harrison Currier)

I think it’s a sophisticated “survival of the fittest” instinct.

Our society has bought into the myth that there is a limited quantity of the things needed to meet our basic needs, so we have become somewhat conditioned to see others as a threat to our own well-being – because of their perceived impact on the things which provide our basic needs.

If I can see “those people” who are coming after what I think is a limited quantity of the stuff I need as human beings (just like me), with needs just like me, and I try to keep them from having their basic needs met, it keeps me from meeting mybasic need of seeing myself as moral and worthy of other people’s respect.

If, however, I view “those people” as less than human, I’m golden.

Give me my stuff.


2) Is it okay to cite works other than scripture when describing your goal setting/realization process? Must we look only to the Bible for inspiration? (from Frannie Bash Nemo)

To say that the Bible is the only resource to which we can turn for inspiration is an attempt to limit God.

We experience God in so many things: the awe-inspiring brilliance of the night sky, the calm brought on by a gentle ocean breeze, the warmth of the sun on our face, and even death.

To think for one moment that we can’t experience God in a meaningful way outside of the Bible isn’t just an attempt to limit God; it’s a full-on denial of personal experience.

I also suspect it is very much about trying to control people.


3) What would be your drag queen persona? (Name, and style or music choices). (from Samantha Jo Haub)

Anita Bourbon. 80’s Pop – but only one-hit wonders.


4) Inspired by many conversations with biblical scholar, Jennifer Bird, who is spending a week with me, “Was Jesus a feminist?” (from Ellin Jimmerson)

Jesus was a humanist.

There’s just no way to be a humanist and not also be a feminist. Pick any time in human history, find a humanist and they are also going to be a feminist.

When I look at the life and teachings of Jesus within the context of his cultural settings, it seems clear that he was a feminist. Women were among the earliest disciples (Luke 8:1-3). He seemed to be frequently including women when others couldn’t understand why (John 4:27).

The point: Because of his belief that we are all created equally, he was willing to completely dismiss cultural biases against women in order to include them. On that basis alone, I’d say he was a feminist.


5) Will you please describe your first bicycle? (from Judy Simpson)

I’ll have to describe the first one I remember.

I’m certain that I had bikes before this one, but this one was epic!

Well, to my 14-year-old mind, it was epic.

It was a Huffy Pro Thunder Z2. The seat, handlebar grips AND the tires were all a matching light blue. The body was a true blue blazed with gold lettering, Pro Thunder. The gold was then echoed in the coloring of the brake calipers, hand levers and crankset.

Wow. I loved that bike! Thanks for kicking up the memory.








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