stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this Friday:

  • Well, I guess I should say something about the Christianity Today editorial calling for President Trump’s removal from office, their doubling down, and the subsequent rebuttals from various corners of Christendom.
  • Nah. I don’t think I will.
  • When we talk about the depth of people, we often think of their exposure and approach to ideas. In my experience, we are better off looking at the way they approach people.
  • One can be well-educated and shallow as a sidewalk.
  • I have nothing against education, obviously. I do think shallow people love people shallowly.
  • I’m happy to be teaching, The Old Testament in Context, this Spring at Pepperdine University. Previously, I’ve taught a course entitled, Christianity and Culture. One of the big shifts will be from teaching Juniors and Seniors to Freshmen and Sophomores. I’m excited about it. I think it’ll be a blast.
  • Babe’s Chicken House in the DFW area is the 8th marvel of the world. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.
  • You know, maybe I will talk about that Christianity Today editorial. Because this is a stream of consciousness and not a well-crafted, magnum opus on the ethics of Christian Journalism in the age of Trump, I’ll say this brief bit on the matter:
  • I have been a subscriber for many years. I have subscribed to their peripheral publications (PreachingToday.com, Leadership Journal, etc.). I have friends who have written for them. But…
  • I thought the editorial was rather poor. It wasn’t reasoned well (unusual for Mark), assumed as facts things very much still open, and was directed more at straw men than most fair-minded people who might see the situation differently. It came across as smug, dismissive and judgmental toward those who might disagree with it, and was timed poorly (just a few days before Christmas). Jesus himself should have been the talk of the town in Christianity Today, not political controversy.
  • Other than that, I loved it 🙂
  • It’s not that being critical of the President or wanting him removed from office is necessarily a problem. One can make a strong Christian case for that (no really, they can). However, treatment of an issue like that must be done with care, fairness, and at least the appearance one sees the other side with dignity. That editorial did not do that. It judged the other side by saying, essentially, “If you disagree, you are going in direct opposition to the will of God.” Too much. Too false.
  • Then they doubled down a day or two later.
  • Meh.
  • But, it was better than the January cover story arguing churches shouldn’t be tax exempt. That article was off in the aforementioned ways, plus a lacked theology foundation and economic accuracy.
  • We need Christianity Today. But, are they still Christianity Today? We will see. I’ve observed an ideological pivot over the past year or more. It’s been subtle, but observable.
  • However, they aren’t left-wing, as the President tweeted in the aftermath.
  • I think many Christians will look back and marvel at how we sold out during these times. We will look back and realize how we were both silent when we should have been more vocal, and spent too much time in seismic overreaction. The damage will take time to repair.
  • It can still go differently, if we have the courage, grace and patience for it.
  • I loved the new Star Wars movie. However, I’m not a Star Wars aficionado. I simply enjoyed the effects and ending. The effects were remarkable, actually.
  • I saw the movie, Ford vs. Ferrari, and loved it even more. It’s a better overall movie than the Star Wars movie.
  • I have developed a fond interest in my late, great-uncle, Bill Stroppe, an auto and off-road racing icon and winner of the inaugural, Spirit of Ford award, for his vast contributions to Ford racing over 50 years, including the infamous Le Mans race depicted in the movie. Other winners include the A.J. Foyt’s of the world.
  • My great-uncle Bill (my grandma’s brother) is most famous for his namesake, the Stroppe edition Ford Baja Bronco, which is one of the most sought-after Broncos out there. All were custom, no two are the same, and they commemorated his victories in the Baja 500 and 1000 races.
  • I looked one up…they tend to be north of $100,000. So, if anyone wants to know what to get me for a birthday present, there you have it.
  • My full name is Timothy William Spivey, after my dad’s two brothers, Tim and Bill. Bill is named after his uncle (my great uncle), Bill Stroppe.
  • I bought a classic car (1968 Mustang) that I’m working on getting up to snuff. Maybe its in my blood.
  • My first car was a 1966 Mustang my dad rebuilt almost from the ground up.
  • I really can’t build or rebuild anything related to cars, though.
  • Except sound systems. So I’m working on the other stuff.
  • Many think my beloved Padres have really improved themselves this off-season. I am not one of them. Maybe a little. Like five wins better.
  • I’ve had a difficult time getting back into the NBA after a period of disillusionment rooted in awful officiating. The Clippers are bringing me back, slowly.
  • When I was young, I used to think people underestimated what young pastors could bring to the table. As I got older, I realized why they valued age and experience as much as they did. Now…I think both are right.
  • There are too few people who act with integrity toward others when it’s inconvenient for them. When you choose friends, find the real deal. Be kind to others, but honor those friends of high relational integrity most, rather than the relational utilitarians.
  • One of my Columbia professors, Dr. Willie Petersen asked, in a British accent, “Why are there brakes on cars.” Of course we all responded, “So you can slow down.” He responded, “No. So you can go fast.”
  • I love that, and have tried to reinforce it’s meaning in my leadership since.
  • So, why is proper governance in churches important?

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?