Monday, December 26, 2005


For those of you who know me, the first question out of your mouth when you see this blog will probably be something to the effect of, "For Pete's sake, Christian, YET ANOTHER BLOG??? WHY???" Good question. Here's your answer.

The biggest reason I've started yet another blog is that I wanted someplace where I could speak theologically and not feel guilty about it. After all, Granitepeaks is for family stuff; the Granitepeaks Photoblog is for (you guessed it) "photos of family stuff"; See Life Differently was a possibility, but that's more focused on practical theology or cultural apologetics (eg. we try hard there to speak in a way that ordinary folks and non-Christians can understand); the only other option was the Missoula Project (but that's really aimed at people interested in the church plant we'll be leading in the Fall of 2006).

So, you can see that I really did need another blog. Honest. Really. Of course, once you decide you need a blog, then you have to decide what to name it. Which, as every blogger knows, is really hard now that blogging is the rage. The reason, of course, is that all the really cool blog names are already taken. So one is left with options like (hmm... guess not - that's one's already taken too!). You see what I mean.

So after lots of thought and innumerable dead ends, I came up with Wayfaring Pilgrim.

Why that name, you ask? Well, the easy answer is that it was available. I also find it fitting, though - in many ways, my life seems like its been filled with lots of wayfaring. Long roads, full of heartache and lessons learned the hard way.

Having moved some 12 or 13 times in the last 15 years, I can relate with the pilgrim part too. Not just physically, but spiritually - I feel like I'm in the constant process of discovering that I'm not quite where I need to be in terms of faith and practice. At the same time, I've become increasingly convinced that I'm actually on a journey to somewhere - God is the one in control, relentlessly leading, refining, shaping.

So that explains the blog name. Of course, many these days would question the whole desire to speak theologically in the first place. After all, doesn't theology just muddy the waters? Wouldn't we all be better off if we just focused on living like Jesus?

Sure. The only problem with that suggestion is that in order to live like Jesus, you have to have beliefs about Jesus, about what how he intends for us to follow him. And that, my friends, is theology. "No creed but Christ" is rubbish - everybody has a creed. It's just that some choose to leave their beliefs implicit and unexpressed, lurking in the background behind every practice. And sooner or later, the people you share your life with will run into the implications of those beliefs. Often with painful results.

I decided long ago that I'd rather just be upfront about what I believe. To try and figure out what I think, to try and say why I think it. More times than not, I'm usually wrong. But there is something very helpful about trying to state it plainly - it forces you to examine yourself, your convictions, your practices. And that can be a very good thing. Plus it helps those around you know why you act so wacky. At least they know what they're in for...

The purpose of this site, then, is to give me a chance to capture my theological wackiness in print. To give others a chance to see how confused I am, so that they can better understand why I act the way I do, and maybe even offer some suggestions on how to improve my thinking.

I'll say up front that this site is not for everyone. In fact, most sane people will probably be bored out of their gourds by most of the stuff that gets published here. Those who disagree with me, however, will probably love it - it's sure to offer plenty of ammunition. And that's ok. Because all I'm really trying to do here is say what I think about things that interest me, the beliefs that drive my praxis.

If you have comments or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. If you're having trouble locating a particular piece of incriminating evidence, just ask - if I haven't already written something on it, I'd probably be willing to put something into print. And who knews, perhaps some of what I say might actually resonate with a few hardy souls on pigrimages similar to mine.

This site is for folks like them, for folks like me. Enjoy!


At 2:10 PM, Blogger Christian said...

Test post...

At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Andrew Jones said...


thnks for this. Too many things to respond to . . but as one of the usual suspects, let me just pick up on one of these points:

3. . . "But they seem to demonstrate little awareness of a biblical theological / redemptive-historical approach which finds its meta-narrative coherence in all of Scripture."

I feel this is a welcomed critique of the American/western church in general, one in which i hope the emerging church will help to steer towards a more holistic, congruent sweep of the history of God.

I was asked this morning to recommend a book on the Kingdom and I immediately suggested Arthur Glasser's "Announcing The Kingdom" which gives a macro view of the whole of God's redemptive plan through the Scriptures - and not just the Gospels or Acts.

I studied chronological storytelling at Seminary (Golden Gate Baptist) to know and tell the story from creation to Christ in 45 minutes - a discipline that i often demand from my own students who will start churches in the emerging culture. . .

and i find that younger people out of the emerging culture are more likely to inquire about the fuller story - context, geography, how it links with the other stories and events, where it connects, the complexity of an interwoven story.

I am all for a wholistic understanding of Scripture and not for a segmented, pick and mix, chopped and diced approach that i observed in Sunday School.

I think the emerging church has done well to offer the Gospels and Acts as a necessary addition to an ecclesiology dominated by Pauline letters (which we love also, and read as narrative as well as propositional rather than 'either/or') and I look forward to the impending contribution of non-Western theologians who will no doubt shed light on the Old Testament's impact on our understanding of what God has been accomplishing all the way through human history with his chosen people.

Hey - love the look of your blog, btw - great colors and design!

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Christian said...

Good words, Andrew - I too am a fan (as you guessed) of "the bigger story", and I love the fact that they had you doing this at seminary, and that you are still making use of it today with your own students.

I sometimes wonder if the fact that "meta-narrative" is on the skids these days is due more to the fact that we've done such a poor job of finding / understanding / sharing a metanarrative to the biblical story - so I wonder if people are rejecting it more on pragmatic grounds than on real philosophical convictions that it doesn't exist.

My hope (belief) is that the story will speak for itself, if we just do a little better job of bringing it to the fore and getting ourselves out of the way...

Thanks for the feedback!


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