While it may be difficult to believe in our current cultural setting, there was a time when the pastor was viewed as a town’s leading intellectual. Pastors of what seems like a long-lost era were doctrinally grounded and biblically saturated, to be sure; but they were also well-read in other important branches of study—literature, economics, politics, philosophy, and science—and were therefore able to apply biblical truth to these areas of inquiry with keen spiritual and intellectual skill, helping their people think theologically about major trends within the church and the greater society. Continue reading “The Pastor-Theologian: Valuable and Necessary”
Growing up in Montana afforded me many good days in the great outdoors. Whether it was skiing the Beartooths, camping in West Rosebud, hiking the Absaroka wilderness, kayaking the Stillwater, rafting the Gallatin, or mountain biking and running through the Rims (a 600-1400 ft. sandstone shelf that spans west to east through Billings), there was never any shortage of adventure to be had in Big Sky country.
But it wasn’t until trusted Christ at age nineteen that my eyes were opened to the glory of God in the beauty of his creation. The pursuit of outdoor pleasure took on a whole new meaning as I beheld God’s power in jagged granite peaks or his creativity in a lake-mirrored sunset. The quiet seclusion of a forest trail was a welcome respite from the busyness of life, and a full day of dropping the tips of my skis into narrow, tree-flanked chutes offered not only exercise to refresh the body but matchless glimpses of snow, sky, and mountain to invigorate the soul. Continue reading “Better than "Outdoorsy": Jesus, Hobbies, and Your Identity”
I am currently reading Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold. Honnold is considered by many to be the best solo free-climber in the world. Even very early into his career he had already tallied a ledger of climbs that caused some of the most seasoned stone masters to sit up and take notice. But to appreciate Honnald’s well-deserved reputation, we need a little background on rock climbing.
Solving intricate climbing routes is often accomplished through the use of gear: ropes, waist harnesses, carabiners, belay devices, quick-draws, and protection (what practitioners call “pro”; metal devices pre-fitted to the rock onto which you can anchor your rope or daisy chain). But free-climbing is the practice of climbing without any pro; and the only gear utilized on a given route are rock shoes and a chalk bag. Solo free-climbing is doing all of this–by yourself. Continue reading “What Love Does: Reflections on Alex Honnold’s ‘Alone on the Wall’”
I am thankful for blogs. Good writers who would otherwise go unread are able to make helpful and edifying insights available for public perusal and reflection. Nevertheless, I am convinced that ease of writing and posting does not always guarantee better writing. At the same time, I am also convinced that Christians have the responsibility—if we are going to write about Biblical truth and important theological issues—to cherish clarity above all other literary qualities.