Yes, this past week was my spring break. That’s why I had the time to do interviews, moderate comments, answer emails, etc. If all this had happened any other time, I’d have been at work or preparing sermons, etc. So “Thank You, Lord!” for the time to enjoy my 15 minutes.
Here are some of the thoughts, impressions and memories from the week. (Every paragraph is a separate thought. No continuity.)
What if Jeremiah had written “The Coming Judean Collapse?” I think he would have heard “That will never happen. We’ve got the temple….the temple….the temple….” Then they would have thrown him in a well.
A surprising number of angry gays and atheists now say the word “evangelical” in as venomous and hateful a way as you would say “Nazi” or “serial killer.”
The best radio interview I did this week was on the secular radio station. First question was “Are evangelicals Protestants?” It got better.
Do Mormons not know that evangelicals don’t consider them to be part of orthodox Christianity? How do you miss that?
No Presbyterians told me their church was the true church I’d been looking for my entire life. That’s odd, because….well…you should know.
It’s rather an uncomfortable situation when you’re being interviewed on media that you’ve predicted will likely vanish within ten years….and they keep asking you about it. I felt like I should give an offering.
James White and Phil Johnson said nice things about me. Phil wrote me two nice notes. I don’t want to be schmaltzy here, but those bits of appreciation helped me let go of a lot of bitterness and hurt in my emotions; stuff I’ve been carrying around since 2006. I am so thankful to God for those notes, because they remind me of the beauty of Christian reconciliation, even when it is far, far from perfect.
How could someone say “I want to poison all evangelicals and their children?” It’s evidence of an amazing amount of hurt. I never know another person’s experience, but I am sure there are mistreatments and abuses that can produce that need to verbalize hatred. It feels strange receiving those words from a total stranger that I don’t know at all. I think it’s useful to experience some of that, because it’s the backbone of so many kinds of hatred common in our world.
The lady from the Glenn Beck radio program was really frantically trying to get me on the show….but she kept calling here and I was gone. My lack of a cell phone lifestyle is a pain to many people. I’m happy being a semi-Luddite.
How can I say this? There are some Lutherans on whom the concepts of planting new churches and rethinking missional approaches to church growth do not exactly fall as familiar or welcome concepts. I was interviewed by one.
My parents would never have understood any of this.
I’ve asked a bunch of people to read what I wrote to see what kind of trouble I may be in with the Baptists. They all tell me I have nothing to be concerned about. They obviously don’t know Baptists. They can say that the entire church is apostate and the rapture is tomorrow and it’s cool, but if I say there’s going to be some fall off, I’ll be accused of telling people to become Catholics. Oh well, it’s in God’s hands.
I’ll never again nod when someone says Catholics aren’t evangelistic. I’ve had at least 25 appeals for conversion in my mailbox this week. Is there a bounty on my head at the Vatican? (Poster?)
I don’t get how this piece attracted so many new agers. I had a lot of them wanting to post all kinds of weirdness. You know, there’s just a limit to how much theological diversity I can digest. This is why I know nothing about Orthodoxy. I just look at all these various spiritualities, and I say “Someone else needs to pick this one up.”
Why would I possibly have any idea where a good church is for someone located in the middle of nowhere?
“Mr. Spencer, can you explain election and predestination?” Sure. Can I explain chaos theory in the space I have left over?
I’m really, really tired. This isn’t what I wanted to do on spring break. Comment moderation…please go away soon.
A guy called me from California to explain to me that all the problems in Catholicism and Christianity go back to giving up the Latin mass. If we have the Latin mass, there will be so many men signing up to be priests you won’t know what to do with them. He went on and on. Clearly deranged. Why is he telling ME this, of all people? (No, it wasn’t Mel Gibson.) Does he think evangelicals need Latin services?
And to the guy who sent me 30 pages explaining transubstantiation, thanks and I’ll get right back to you on that.
I heard from ONE angry Baptist. I have no idea what the rest of them were doing.
So many people agreed with me. Or agreed enough that I was stunned.
I thought Mark Galli at Christianity Today did a good job. I’m irritated at a couple of lines pretty royally, but the rest is so good, and I like his stuff so much, that it doesn’t matter. He’s the better judge and I’m a guy writing in my boxers.
People can’t spell evangelical. My favorite is evngl. Several times. Most be a Vulcan spellcheck.
I was reminded again how many of us are homeless in evangelicalism. It’s sad. I know we can be a difficult and hard to please bunch, but most of us want a church more than anything else. Not a circus or a show, but a church. Is that so hard?
“J” is the most fun I’ve had on this blog in a long time. It wasn’t his claims that made me laugh, but it was the incredible comparison between the claims some Christians are making (“Most people that can read attended a Christian school.”) and his answers. Thanks for keeping things positive and interesting “J.” I’ll get you those BHT keys.
This whole experience needed a playlist.