I am the husband of Suzanne, (the smartest and boldest person I know), and the father of Natalie, Dylan, Jake, and the player to be named in January. I am an ordained deacon in the Florida Conference and the Minister of Discipleship at Southside UMC. I attended (most of the time) Florida Southern College, Candler School of Theology, and Reformed Theological Seminary (a long story).
1.) Why do you blog?
For enjoyment and for the occasional opportunity to add value to someone’s life. While I don’t want to take myself too seriously and think that major influence is being exerted from my humble blog, I have had the chance every now and then to minister to someone through something I wrote or something I provided a link to.
2.) What has been your best blogging experience?
Clearly, figuring out how to even do a blog. Second, being asked by John to do this interview.
3.) What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Even though I am still a novice myself, it seems pretty clear that having purpose and passion for your blogging efforts will help your blog last for more than a month. I found this post at the evangelical outpost to be extremely helpful and informative to novice bloggers.
Though I have only been technically “blogging” since May of this year, I have been around the web since about 1998. In fact, I was probably blogging without calling it that. Here’s a quick sketch of my life on the web.
4. If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
1.) Al Mohler’s blog
2.) Gene Edward Veith’s blog
3.) George Grant’s blog
That was a tough question, but those are the blogs I usually look at first each day. However, they are by no means the only ones I read each day. And, I’m discovering, the longer I have my own blog, the more great blogs I am finding and profiting from.
5.) Who are your spiritual heroes?
Great question. In no particular order: A.W. Tozer, Richard Baxter, St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Bernard of Clairvaux, Gerard Groote, C.S. Lewis, John Newton, John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper, and many others. To paraphrase Hebrews 11:4, “Even though they’re dead, they still speak.”
6.) What are you reading at the moment?
Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart, When God Says War is Right by Darrell Cole, Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill, Love Is Stronger Than Death by Peter Kreeft, and This World: Playground or Battleground? by A.W. Tozer
7.) What is your favorite hymn and why?
I guess that’s a little like asking which one of my children is my favorite. Five of my favorite hymns are:
Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
The Church’s One Foundation
And Can It Be That I Should Gain
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
I love these hymns for pretty much the same reason. They are rich with biblical truth and feeling. They are God-centered and Christ-exalting. They all humble me and remove me from the center of the universe. And they don’t have 50 stanzas of “na na, na na na na, na na, na na na na.”
8.) Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you’ve changed your mind?
I’ve changed my mind on capital punishment two or three times.
I used to be into evidentialist apologetics…but now I would call myself a presuppositionalist.
I used to think mercy, peace, and justice issues were just for “liberals” (hanging my head in shame, even still)
I now believe God is much more sovereign than I used to believe.
9.)What philosophical thesis do you think is most important in combat?
I guess this will be a boring answer in light of some of the other folks’ clever answers to this question, but I think that the traditional Just War theory is still a good rule of thumb. I ought to plug the book I referred to earlier, When God Says War is Right.
10.) If you could effect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
Probably something along the lines of putting a halt to yanking God out of the public square.
11.) If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
To actually practice and enforce what’s in the Book of Discipline.
12.) What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
To seek to glorify God in all you do, to be intentional in the living of your days, and not to take yourself too seriously.
13.) What, if anything, do you worry about?
I probably worry about my children more than I should. Worrying seems fairly inconsistent with the sovereignty I spoke about in question 8. I’m working on it. Pray for me.
14.) If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you would do differently?
These kinds of questions are always difficult. Clearly I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if I hadn’t taken some of the roads that I chose years ago. And Lord forbid that I wouldn’t be with my wife and children. And I don’t know what I would do if God hadn’t called me into ordained ministry. But, if those things were to remain the same, then I would have to say that I would have pursued God more faithfully, taken college more seriously, studied harder, and had a clearer direction of where I was going.
15.) Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
Perhaps an English, Scottish, or Welsh countryside.
16.) What do you like doing in your spare time?
reading, reading to my children, wrestling with my children, celebrating family worship, going out on dates with my wife, watching my children discover and utilize their gifts and talents, watching University of Georgia football games (even when they play poorly…which lately is most of the time), having the occasional guys’ night out
17.) What is your most treasured possession?
Well, if we’re agreed that I do not “possess” the members of my family, then I would have to say that I have an 1836 edition of The Saints’ Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter that John Wesley wrote the introduction to. I also have a complete set of the works of Charles Dickens from the 1800’s that means a lot to me as well.
18.) What talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to play a musical instrument well. Probably the piano.
19.) If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be?
Richard Baxter, A.W. Tozer, and C.S. Lewis