Deconstruction is in vogue
I recently looked at #exchristian posts on Instagram. There are a lot of them. It’s pretty popular to recount what is wrong with the Church. Why? And how far should it go?
Deconstruction is more than just saying what’s wrong with church. A lot of times it’s saying what’s wrong with the Christian faith. It’s saying Christianity is essentially stupid. That’s often what deconstructionists say. But, they don’t so often set out to prove their claims.
Memes in no way prove that a worldview has no meaning or validity. And proving that there are problems with a church, the Church, or particular people in the Church is not the same as proving that Christianity gives an inaccurate picture of the world.
Deconstruction has happened before
Deconstruction is not new. The hashtags are new but deconstruction has actually been happening since the beginning of Christianity.
For example, the apostle Paul and other early Christians argued for the truthfulness of Christianity while others sought to disprove it (see Luke 1:3; Acts 1:3; 9:22; 17:3; 18:4-5, 28; 19:8; 24:25; 26:22-26; 28:23).
People have sought to deconstruct all sorts of aspects of Christianity. Early Christians were accused of cannibalism because of confusion over the Lord’s Supper. They were accused of atheism because they didn’t believe in the pantheon of Greek gods. And they were accused of political disloyalty because they wouldn’t give ultimate allegiance to the empire or offer sacrifices to the emperor.
There are things that should deconstruct
Many memes convey important messages, important critiques that should be taken to heart. There are many sad and despicable things that happen in the church. My family and I have experienced some of those things.
Spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, making idols of pastors, legalism, pridefulness, inhospitality, just to mention a few, are unacceptable and should be condemned as such. Many movements have important things that should be gleaned from them. There are things that can be learned from #exchristians. There are also things that should be confessed and cried over.
Jesus Himself “deconstructed” things
Jesus criticized the religious leaders. He was a rebel with a cause. He reached out and welcomed the Samaritan woman even when that was socially unacceptable (Jn 4). Jesus tipped tables in the Temple. He composed a letter through the hands of John partially to critique and challenge the Church (Rev. 2-3).
Jesus wasn’t silent. He brought up stuff but also proposed solutions. The apostle Paul modeled the same approach.
I believe church leaders should take the same approach. They should take the opportunity to listen, learn, and lovingly address problems.
How does one know what should be deconstructed?
Friedrich Nietzsche, the famous and influential German philosopher, came from a very devout family. Yet, he ended up a very articulate deconstructionist. He very poetically and memorably said: God is dead and we killed him.
Nietzsche didn’t stop there, though. He spelled out what that means for our lives. He reasoned, and I think rightly, that if God is dead, then there is no actual meaning or morality. It is might that makes right. The strong slay and the strong say what is right and what is wrong.
Nietzsche lit a fuse and dynamited God and with Him all basis for morality and actual meaning. So, how much should be deconstructed and destroyed? How do we know? On what basis can we judge what is right and wrong?
If we’re going to prune for the sake of health and good fruit, how much do we cut back? If we cut back too far do we not lose all hope of fruit and flourishing?
There is a point to pruning but if we prune back the very existence of purpose that seems like a cut too far. It seems to me that’s not going to serve the purpose of the pruning.
If one of the problems we’re critiquing is people’s failure to love it seems foolish and unproductive to cut off the possibility of the existence of actual love. And yet, that seems to be what many are doing. Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist said in his book, The God Delusion, that morality and love are simply a “blessed precious mistake;” a happenstance of evolution.
Yet, as G.K. Chesterton said, if we rebel against everything we lose the grounds and ability to rebel against anything. So, is there a basis for actual truth? If so, what? And how does one know? If not, how does one know what should be deconstructed?
What are the reasons for deconstruction?
Christians and so-called “Christians” often fail to live the Christian ethic. They fail to live a life of love. Often they even carry out evil actions. Sexual abuse seems to have even become prevalent. And so people reason, not so unreasonably, that Christianity is pointless if not also a plague on society.
Problems with people acting immorally, of course, don’t actually prove that Christianity is a shallow or wrong worldview though. This is especially the case if people are using Christian criteria to critique Christianity. Yuval Noah Harari has said,
“Americans got the idea of equality from Christianity, which argues that every person has a divinely created soul, and that all souls are equal before God. However, if we do not believe in the Christian myths about God, creation and souls, what does it mean that all people are “equal”?
It doesn’t make sense to say Christianity is wrong and yet also use Christian morality as a measurement of what is morally wrong. If someone is to critique Christianity they must have an epistemological basis to do so. That is, they must have knowledge of what is right and wrong.
Is that knowledge just innate? If so, why? And how does it work?
Some people grew up attending a church that only offered empty platitudes and forced dogmatism. Their genuine questions were not able to be asked and certainly weren’t honestly answered. And so, when they confronted challenges or hostility with their beliefs they give it up. They don’t feel they have solid grounds for continuing to be committed to it.
Some “former Christians” deconstruct Christianity not because of reasoned augmentation but because of Christian morality. Some people don’t like what Christianity says about sexuality or other moral issues. So, they criticize Christianity on moral grounds although they may have no warranted ground for their sense of morality.
 See his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
 Nietzsche grounded meaning in a doctrine he called “eternal recurrence.” He essentially proposed living in such a way that if your life was to eternally reoccur that you would be living in such a way that it would be less terrible. Nietzsche grounded purpose in this fictitious notion. Fictitious because Nietzsche did not actually believe in God or in the reoccurrence of our lives.
 Dawkins says, “Could it be that our Good Samaritan urges are misfirings”? By Dawkins account we have “programmed into our brains altruistic urges, alongside sexual urges, hunger urges, xenophobic urges and so on…. We can no more help ourselves feeling pity when we see a weeping unfortunate (who is unrelated and unable to reciprocate) than we can help ourselves feeling lust for a member of the opposite sex (who may be infertile or otherwise unable to reproduce). Both are misfirings, Darwinian mistakes: blessed, precious mistakes”). (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, 252-53).
But, if we are brutes, why shouldn’t we be brutal? Nietzsche, for instance, promotes the strong acting like “large birds of prey” and freely abusing the weak “lambs” because after all that’s what comes naturally and there is no God to impose morals. He said, “I expressly want to place on record that at the time when mankind felt no shame towards its cruelty, life on earth was more cheerful than it is today,… The heavens darkened over man in direct proportion to the increase in his feeling shame at being man” (See par. 7 of the Second Essay in On the Genealogy of Morality).
Jean-Paul Sartre said, “The existentialists… thinks it very distressing that God does not exist, because all possibility of finding values in a heaven of ideas disappears along with Him; there can no longer be an a priori Good, since there is not infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. Nowhere is it written that the Good exists, what we must be honest, that we must not lie; because the fact is we are on a plane where there are only men” (Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions, 22).
If we don’t acknowledge God then the moral laws that flow from His character are gone as well, and we are left with blind skepticism and relativism; every person doing whatever is right in their own eyes. As we consider this we should never forget that, as Martin Luther King Jr. exhorted, “everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal.’”
 Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (New York: Harper, 2015), 109.
 As Romans 1 says, “people suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
Photo by Aaron Burden
John Adams said a long time ago, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And the conservative Edmund Burke said, “What is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.” Here are some similar insights Alexis de Tocqueville shared in his book, Democracy in America*:
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
“Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of morals amongst all.”
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
“When a nation[‘s] well of public virtue has run dry: in such a place one no longer finds citizens but only subjects.”
“The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.”
“A nation cannot long remain strong when every man belonging to it is individually weak.”
“What one must fear, moreover, is not so much the sight of the immorality of the great as that of immorality leading to greatness.”
“So religion, which among the Americans never directly takes part in the government of society, must be considered as the ﬁrst of their political institutions; for if it does not give them the taste for liberty, it singularly facilitates their use of it.”
“Religion is much more necessary in the republic.”
“In order that society should exist, and a fortiori, that a society should prosper, it is required that all the minds of the citizens should be rallied and held together by certain predominant ideas.”**
“Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot… How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie be not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? and what can be done with a people which is its own master, if it be not submissive to the Divinity?”
No matter who ultimately gets elected, if what Adams and Tocqueville said were right, and I think they were, it’s only a matter of time before a pretty significant downfall of America. Many moral dominos have fallen, and I don’t so much mean abortion and gender confusion. I mean the more common and prevalent lack of virtue, which has precipitated more visible concerns. Now the only truth that is readily accepted is that there is no truth, only what is right for the autonomous self. Those were dominos. Those have been falling.
America needs: revival. Not of the Republican Party, but of people set on fire for the true Savior. Revival is what would make people “moral and religious,” as Adams spoke of and which our Nation rests or topples on.
Whatever happens, Christians trust the One who has the government on His shoulders. The One who is “called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The One of whom it can be said: “Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Whatever happens, Christians can trust that God is very adept at using a remnant for His good purposes to highlight His glory and goodness. Perhaps America won’t be saved, but perhaps millions of Americans will be?!
*As an aside, I think it is interesting to note what Tocqueville said about wealth in America remembering that Scripture says, that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). Many have “noted the American obsession with work and the restless quest for the “almighty dollar” (Tocqueville, Democracy in America). Tocqueville also said, “The love of wealth is . . . to be traced, either as a principal or an accessory motive, at the bottom of all that the Americans do” (Ibid.). As well as, “One must go to America to understand what power material well-being exerts on political actions and even on opinions themselves, which ought to be subject only to reason” (Ibid.).
**Such as the reality of objective truth actually existing.
Here are some resources and quotes I’ve found helpful in thinking about this years election…
I highly suggest that you check out Jonathan Leeman’s article: “What Makes a Vote Moral or Immoral? The Ethics of Voting.” And I found Justin Taylor’s article “The Case Against Pro-Lifers Voting for Joe Biden” helpful too. Taylor quotes John Piper: “No endorsement of any single issue qualifies a person to hold public office. Being pro-life does not make a person a good governor, mayor, or president. But there are numerous single issues that disqualify a person from public office.”
I recently read David Platt’s helpful book, Before You Vote: Seven Questions Every Christian Should Ask. You should buy it right now on Kindle. Here are a bunch of quotes from that book:
“This world is not a democracy. This world is a monarchy, and God is the King.”
“In the end, what’s most important, and what I am definitively advocating for based on God’s Word, is the realization that how we use our vote is a matter of faithfulness before God. For our vote is a unique privilege and responsibility that God has entrusted to us by his grace, and God calls us to use every means of grace he grants us to love him above all and love our neighbors as ourselves.”
“Even if we lose every freedom and protection we have as followers of Jesus in the United States, and even if our government were to become a completely totalitarian regime, we could still live an abundant life as long as we didn’t look to political leaders, platforms, or policies for our ultimate security and satisfaction. We can still have hope, peace, joy, and confidence regardless of what happens in our government, as long as… we look to Jesus alone for these things, and all of our hope hinges on him.”
“We are not worried or panicked about elections, no matter how important they may seem… Instead, we seek the kingdom of Jesus and his sinless righteousness with true peace and total confidence in his supreme reign. After all, we know that throughout history, leaders have risen and fallen. Presidents have come and gone. Through it all, one King alone has remained constant, and he is not up for election. Regardless of what president is chosen in our country, Jesus will be in control of it all.”
“According to God,… my concern in voting should not just be for me and my children but also for others and their children.”
“A clear takeaway from the book of Jonah is that we are to work for the spread of God’s love in all nations more than we are to seek safety, security, prosperity, and comfort in our own nation.”
“By God’s grace, we have been given so much as citizens of the United States of America. For all that God has granted us, we should be deeply grateful. At the same time, we follow a King who commands us to lay down our rights and use the grace he has given to love our neighbors as ourselves. This, after all, is the essence of the gospel that has saved us.”
“You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15).
We might be tempted to think that stealing isn’t relevant to us. We know it’s wrong and we don’t do it but that just might not be the case.
I was convicted of stealing when I was in college… I was stealing and I went to a Christian college. What was I stealing do you think?… Music. I was pirating music…
There are a lot of things people do that often is not considered stealing when it really is.
So, what does God say about stealing?…
1) What does God says about stealing?
God says, “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15). So, what does it mean to steal? It means to take something that doesn’t belong to you or to receive something in an unlawful way.
Even taking supplies from the church, from a hospital, or even a hotel is stealing. I read, “one hotel reported in its first year of business having to replace thirty-eight thousand spoons, eighteen thousand tiles, three hundred and fifty-five coffee pots… one hundred Bible!”
So, there is all sorts of ways that stealing happens. “You don’t need to put panty hose over your face and sneak into a house to be a thief. You can steal in broad daylight, in the marketplace, whenever you defraud or deceive. ” Scripture demands honesty in all our dealings no matter how small and insignificant they may seem (see e.g. Lev. 19:35; Deut. 25:15).
Stealing is more of a problem then it might at first seem. There is stealing, for example, on both sides of credit cards. “In recent decades credit card debt has risen from five billion to more than five hundred billion dollars.” Not only that, but “each year Americans spend more money on various forms of gambling than they do on food or clothing.”
One catechism says, “God forbids not only outright theft and robbery, but also such wicked schemes and devices as false weights and measures, deceptive merchandising, counterfeit money, and usury; we must not defraud our neighbor in any way, whether by force or by show of right. In addition God forbids all greed and all abuse or squandering of his gifts.”
The Ten Commandments are hard but good. They function like a mirror. They show us our sin.Read More…
It’s very interesting and perplexing to me that as a society we want and we are begging for and demanding what is good. We are acknowledging that things are very wrong in society. That seems to be the case no matter where you are politically, whatever side you find yourself on.
We acknowledge there’s a problem, but as Plato pointed out a very long time ago, good people make for a good society. That seems to make clear sense. Yet, society seems soiled. Thus, we have found the problem, and it’s me.
When someone is sick there’s a medical analysis. This entails five different elements:
- The Ideal (of what’s healthy)
- Observation (of symptoms/signs)
- Diagnosis (or analysis of disease/disorder)
- Prognosis (or prediction of cure/remedy)
- Prescription (or instruction for treatment/action for a cure)
I believe that society is in need of an analysis. What are we observing? What’s the problem? Can it be fixed? If so, how?
We are observing a lot of problems or symptoms: violence, racism, inability to patiently discuss important issues, pride, etc. What is the disease? The disease seems to be a problem with people. Many people lack goodness. What’s the cure? We must be good. What then is the solution? We must learn to be good. That is the prescription. That is the treatment.
This seems very shallow and very simple. But it is not. Stick with me.
If we want a good society, we must have good people. Yet, I’m not sure we even have an understanding of what “good” or healthy even is. Do we even have a starting place for what constitutes good or healthy? If not, how could we possibly arrive at a prognosis or prescription let alone be in a place to give a diagnosis?!
The English writer and philosopher, G.K. Chesterton, once said, “What is wrong is that we don’t ask what is right.” We have no way by which to measure what is wrong and what is right. That is an obvious problem. You can’t build much with a standard that’s not standard.
If good individuals make for a good society, as seems to make sense. Perhaps the first and foundational prescription is to return to the conviction that there is such a thing as “good.” And not merely what is good for the subjective individual, but a good beyond and above us that corrects us.
In any field of work you have to have a standard, a means to measure; a way to know what is healthy and what is not. We have an idea of when one is overweight because we understand that there is a range of healthy weight. How can we prescribe a cure when there is no standard for what is good or healthy? And how can there be hope when there is no standard of healthy?
We, as a society, for the most part, don’t have a clear way to say what is good. And we don’t have a pathway to make good people. If anything, we have many conflicting things shaping people. Porn is prevalent and it makes objects of people and materialism is too and it plays down the importance of people in place of the value of objects. Ours is a conflicted society.
I believe the disorder in society comes from a plague more destructive than any pandemic, and that plague is sin. Its signs are everywhere. In my heart and actions, and yours too.
The diagnosis is deadly if not dealt with. The plague exponentially increases if not dealt with. It wreaks havoc on the scale of the Tsar Bomb. It leaves devastating effects on generations. It leaves gaping holes in individuals and is the downfall of society if not dealt with.
The prognosis, however, thankfully reveals that progress is possible. But it will be slow and painful. And it entails admitting there’s a problem; a problem, a plague, not just out there in the world, out there in others, but in me.
When someone observes a ghastly problem and knows the cure we inherently know the right thing to do in that case. It is to cure. Humans often fumble around talking about problems and we hustle around trying to cure. But all the while only grasping at what it meant to be truly healthy. We half see and so we get the diagnosis, prognosis, and prescription wrong. We always have.
I believe, however, that hope is not lost. I believe Messiah Jesus, the Healthy One, has brought the cure. He who did not have the plague took our problems, our sin, upon Himself on the cross. He showed us the cure, it is Himself. It is love. Death is the only answer. Death to self. We must die to self, we must love.
We must turn from our prideful and sinful ways and trust in Jesus our loving cure. Jesus gives us 1) the ideal of healthy, 2) the observation about what’s wrong, 3) the diagnosis, 4) the prognosis, and 5) the prescription. Without the provision of those five elements the only prognosis is death.
I was considering the word and concept of justice today so I looked up the definition of “justice.” The search returned a few definitions that stuck to me: “moral rightness,” “the quality of being just,” and “moral principle determining just conduct.” To understand or seek justice then, we need to have an idea of what it means to be “just” or “moral.” We have to have a “moral principle” whereby we can measure “just conduct.”
In America today we have calls for justice. Justice is right and good. Christians especially are called to do justice and love mercy (Micah 6:8). Do the majority of Americans, however, know what “moral principle” we are basing our measurements of “just conduct” on? Do most Americans believe that there is a “moral principle” that guides us? If so, can most Americans articulate where our “moral principle” comes from?
It seems to me if the foundation for “moral principle” has eroded then justice does not have a foundation upon which to stand. Thus, I say this not because I am not for justice, I say this because I am for justice.
Perhaps with our calls for justice in America, we should also consider the foundation of justice: moral principle. Perhaps we should consider if justice can have a steady place on which to perch.
Perhaps we should also hear calls to return to moral principle and the bedrock of truth. Without truth, calls for justice ring empty.
I believe there is a basis for justice. Because I believe there is truth.
Jesus Himself actually said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus is truth made tangible. He lived and walked justice. He is in reality what everyone should be and live.
I believe in justice and that we have a “moral principle determining just conduct” because the LORD has given it to us. Because He is righteous and “He loves righteous deeds” (Psalm 11:7) and “hates the wicked and the one who loves violence” (Psalm 11:5).
“O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart; You will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”(Psalm 10:17-18).
Why do black lives and LGBTQ+ lives matter? This is an important question because some people have views that don’t support the idea of lives mattering. For example, Charles Darwin, the most famous proponent of evolution titled his book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle of Life. And in his book, The Decent of Man, he says,
“The Western nations of Europe… now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors [that they] stand at the summit of civilization…. The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races through the world.”
Does a strict Darwinian view of the world lead to all lives mattering? It does not appear so. That’s why this question is important. Why do black lives and LGTBQ+ lives matter?
If we cut off our objective moral legs, we have no way to stand. If we say morality doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter. We can’t pick and choose. We can’t both say people are the way they are and have the desires they have and it’s fine and say it’s not okay for people to be certain ways and do certain things. That’s the crucial thing we need to consider.
Black lives matter. LGBTQ+ lives matter. White lives matter. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But why?
That is a super important question and one that sadly isn’t receiving a lot of sustained thought. Why do black lives matter? Why do lives matter at all? Where do we get this concept? Is it true?
Jesus said, black lives matter. Jesus said, LGBTQ+ lives matter. Jesus said, all lives matter.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-38).
But does Jesus matter? And if He doesn’t on what basis then are we saying all these lives matter? This may seem like a stupid question. We just know all types of lives matter, right? But do we?
The common view that many have is Darwinian evolution, that we came from nothing and we are going to nothing; from purposelessness to purposelessness. Where is meaning, morality, and lives mattering to be found? Is there a basis for human rights?
Also, did the Roman culture, in whose hands Jesus was murdered say, all lives matter? Did Joseph Stalin say all lives matter? Did Friedrich Nietzsche? Did Adolf Hitler? Did Mao Zedong? Is it even possible to say all lives matter or any lives matter when the highest maximum is have it your way and do what’s right for you? Could it be that “just as long as no one gets hurt” has been trampled upon and obliterated by “you can do whatever you want”? If God is dead, and we killed him, as Nietzsche said, what follows? Perhaps Nietzsche was right, perhaps that makes all things permissible? Each person doing what is right in their own eyes, whatever that might be. Who is anyone, who or what is God, to restrain? …We are who we are and we want what we want and that’s nobodies business, right?
How or where, then, do we get the concept of lives, any lives, ultimately mattering? The concept of lives mattering would be merely imaginary (a social construct). Perhaps good for America right now but not for all people at all times and places.
We can’t deconstruct everything and still have a basis which to say lives matter or to say that we must love others. We can’t both say we can do whatever we want and you can’t do certain things (like be racist or homophobic).
How does the good news of Jesus speak to politics?
First, I think it’s important that we see and agree that the good news that Jesus brings is better news than politics has ever or could ever bring. Let’s look at a simple outline of some forms of government that God’s people have been under in the Bible:
- Government by God (in Eden)
- Oppression and Slavery (in Egypt)
- Tribal Leadership
- Roman Rule
Out of the six forms of government only one was perfect: Government by God. And even that got messed up because of human sin. Representative democracy as good as it is, is not perfect and never will be. It has worked well. But it is important that we realize that it will never be perfect.
Jesus brings better news than politics can ever bring. Jesus gets us back to perfect government by God. And He does so by giving His very own life. Jesus will make things forever right (Rev. 21).
Let’s not put our hope in any political promise. Let’s hope in Jesus and in His Kingdom. Jesus is the true King and Savior.
Second, the gospel tells us our ultimate citizenship is somewhere else. As Christians, we live knowing that we don’t have a permanent home here. We’re looking for the forever and perfect home that is to come (Heb.13:14 cf. 10:34; 11:10, 16; 2 Cor. 5:4), a home prepared for us by Jesus Himself (Jn. 14:2).
How should Christians think about and respond to the coronavirus? Here are some initial thoughts…
Plague and the Problem of Evil
Christians see the world in a way that makes sense of the world. We have an understanding of why plagues and the problem of evil exist.
That leads us to acknowledge something else that’s super important to focus on: Jesus. Jesus did not leave us to our problems. He did not leave us to simply wallow in plagues. Instead, He Himself plunged headlong into our sorrow.
“The God of The Bible becomes completely human and hurts in every way that we do—from physical pain to social rejection, misunderstanding, hatred, violence, and death. He endures it all. And because he suffers all of this with us, he can empathize with our sorrow and pain. Even more amazingly, Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection are the avenues through which he overcomes all evil, pain, and misery and is able to offer us the promise that disappointment will give way to joy, brokenness to eternal healing, and evil to good. Because of Christ’s agony, death will die and life will live on forever.”
Therefore, even in the midst of plague and the problem of evil we can point people to Jesus. We can point people to hope, no matter what happens. Therefore, Christian, continue to worship Christ as Lord and always be ready to tell everyone the reason you have hope even in the midst of the chaos of the curse and the coronavirus (1 Pet. 3:15).
I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 10 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)