To Whet Your Appetite: 11/17/11


Time Keeps on Slippin, Slippin, Slippin…

There are only 10,080 minutes in a week and we use every single one of them.

We divvy our minutes out like candy to tasks like a school, reading, watching TV, video games, eating, going to the bathroom, sleeping, talking, driving, exercising, cleaning, playing on our smartphones, scanning the internet for useless blogs like this one, doodling, chores, and occasionally doing real work at a job (tasks not necessarily listed in order of priority).

With so many different things vying for our limited time, how do we decide what to do with our days?

Well, obviously there are certain responsibilities and necessary acts we need to fulfill. If we don’t work then we don’t have money for food, rent, clothing, etc. If we don’t sleep then our brains turn to liquid and drip out our ears (look it up!).

But what do we do with the extra bit of time that is not dictated by responsibility?

1.21 gigawatts?!


Because our time is limited we need to be careful how we use it. I believe that time is one of our most valuable gifts given by God. We can always earn more money. We can always eat more food. We can always find more love.

When it comes to time, there is no return policy. Once you use it, it is gone and it is not coming back—no DeLorean to save you.

We know this in the back of our heads and yet we act like we have all the time in the world.  We fritter our precious minutes away without a second thought.  I once spent a whole day watching LOST episodes (that show is as addictive as potato chips), never mind that I had finals that week.

Maybe we should think about it a little more. Maybe we should pray, like the Psalmist prayed, “teach us to number our days” (90:12).


Tony Reinke, in his book Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books, outlines a list of priorities he uses to decide which books, out of the millions of books in print, to read and which to reject. I have tweaked the list a bit and turned them into questions that we can ask ourselves when deciding how to use our precious spare time.

Will this help me to know and delight in Christ?

Our first priority should always be seeking after Christ. If we call ourselves Christ’s followers, citizens of the heavenly city, then we should start living like it.

Will this kindle spiritual reflection?

We may think we understand everything about the Christian life: grace, faith, love, and salvation. The thing is we will never fully understand these concepts and so we should continually seek to grow in this.

Will this initiate personal change?

Right theology is nothing without right living. We should constantly realize our sin, repent, confess and change. We should be able to look back a year from now and say, “I am not the same person I was a year ago.”

Will this enable me to pursue vocational excellence?

As Christians, in everything we do we are called to “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23). This means we ought to seek to be the best employees we can be, as worship to God.  Even in our spare time we can pursue such excellence.

Will this help me enjoy life?

Now, seeking to enjoy life should first and foremost not contradict following any of the previous priorities, eliminating any excuse to indulge in sin. Yet, we should also realize that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). God has blessed us with certain things and it is ok to enjoy them, acknowledging that He is the Gift-Giver therefore glorifying Him.

Does this mean that all our time needs to be filled with priorities 1 and 2, keeping us from getting to 4 or 5? No. In fact, these priorities are interconnected and usually by fulfilling the lower ones we can also fulfill the more important ones.

Instead, this should cause us to reevaluate how we spend our time and give us a new perspective as to how we can redeem our LOST minutes.

To Whet Your Appetite: 11/10/11

  • Some more really good insights into the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky incident down at Penn State from author Ted Kluck.  We need to remember that when we elevate people to heroes (i.e. JoPa) that not even they are good apart from Christ.  We all need a Savior.  Al Mohler uses the JoPa incident as a warning to Christian leaders to always be on our guard and remember our moral responsibility to protect those who are weaker than us.
  • These days, more and more private Christian colleges are choosing to side with secular academia than the church. There is a great desire among Christian intellectuals to fit in and not be labeled as “fundamentalist,” “anti-intellectual,” or ignorant.  Al Mohler writes about two different colleges: one siding with the ivory tower and one repenting and coming back to the covering of the church.
  • For you tech savvy Christians out there, here are some great suggestions for iPhone apps.
  • Mark Driscoll, one of the most popular preachers in America today and great trainer of aspiring church planters reveals 16 things he looks for in a preacher.  Also, Kevin DeYoung explains about how storytelling and preaching should be different.  Stories are subtle, contain subtext and have many layers.  Sermons instead should be clear, direct, and proclaim undeniable truth.
  • The Gospel Coalition takes a look at the messiah complex of Lady Gaga and reveals why she falls short.
  • John Piper calls young adults to grow up and leave adolescence, or as he calls it, “adultolescence.”

Moral Obligations and Joe Paterno


Much will be said in the coming days and week about the scandal exploding at Penn State.  Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator from the program, is being charged with sexually assaulting multiple children over a span of time while in employment at the university.  Many witnesses and victims have come forth to testify against Sandusky.  Among them is a former graduate assistant who claims he witnessed Sandusky rape a young boy in the football team’s showers in 2002.  This graduate assistant immediately brought it to the attention of the head football coach, Joe Paterno.  Paterno notified the athletic director and the vice president of the university and that was that.

There was apparently no follow up, no confrontation, no call to the police, and not even an investigation into the identity of the boy and Sandusky was able to retire from the university with position and prestige.

As more and more details have surfaced about the horrendous actions that Sandusky allegedly committed, outrage over Paterno’s inaction has led him to announce Wednesday that he will retire from his position as head coach at the end of the football season. Update: As of Wednesday night, Joe Paterno has been fired by the board of trustees from his position as head coach.  Thousands of Penn State students rioted in response to Paterno’s termination.


Joe Paterno (84) is known as one of the greatest living legends of college football.  He has coached as Penn State’s head coach for 46 years and owns more wins than any other major college football coach in history.

All of this has been tarnished in just over the course of a weekend.

While Paterno committed no outright heinous act, people have accused him of failing to fulfill a moral obligation.  A coach should above all protect people, not just his football program.

I find this extremely intriguing.  Most sports scandals involve an act of commission: adultery, cheating, steroids, brawls, drugs, play-for-pay, or domestic violence.  They committed an act to get in hot water.

You do not see many scandals where the person is accused because of doing nothing wrong.  But that is precisely the problem; Paterno should have done something.

Paterno preached, “Do the right thing” to his players and yet he did nothing.


Every time there is public outrage over a scandal I am reminded that even in the midst of our postmodern, relativistic, your-truth-is-your-truth-and-my-truth-is-my-truth society, we still have a moral standard and this standard is written on every human heart by God through the conscience (Romans 2:15-16).

People were disgusted with Tiger Woods’ extramarital affairs.  Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring and animal brutality caused even my loveable little sister to call for his head on a platter.  Coach Jim Tressel’s cover up at Ohio State and the University of Miami’s problems with amoral boosters have put a huge blight on college football.

You can quibble about the gray areas all you want but at the end of the day, right is right and wrong is wrong.  There is absolute good and there is absolute evil.  Ask any victim of sexual assault.

This includes even the things we fail to do.  James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”  Theologians identify such inaction as a sin of omission.


When you fail to include the whole truth in a story because it could alter someone’s perception of you; when you know your wife needs help around the house but you decide to play video games or watch TV; when you know someone really needs a strong rebuke in love but you flounder in small talk; when you know someone weaker is being abused and subjected to a powerful monster but you shove it under the rug hoping it will work out on its own, it is sin.

I think it is so easy to lower our standards when it comes to sins of omission.  We justify, make excuses, or shift blame.  We think no one will notice or get hurt because we haven’t done anything wrong.  But that is precisely the problem; we should have done something.


Jesus was the opposite.  Instead of justification, excuses, and selfishness, His heart was full of compassion.

Continually in the Gospels, it states that Jesus had compassion for the lost and the broken.  This compassion was a deep pity, a true sorrow over their condition.  But it did not stop at emotion, Jesus’ compassion always moved Him to action.

When Jesus saw the poor, the broken, and the diseased following Him, “He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd,” and in response he sent his disciples to them to proclaim the Gospel (Matthew 9:36).

When four thousand men followed Jesus out to the Sea of Galilee, Jesus said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.  And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way” (Matthew 15:32).

It was compassion that moved the Good Samaritan to forgo race, religion, and prejudice to bandage the wounded traveler (Luke 10:33).

It was compassion that caused the father of the Prodigal Son to throw off social restraint and dignity and run to embrace his slop-covered, wayward son (Luke 15:20).

It is compassion that causes the Lord to forgive all the junk in our lives if we come to Him (Lamentations 3:32; Micah 7:19; Zechariah 10:6; Romans 9:15).

Do we feel anything when we see a need?

Let us remember the heart of Christ, the essence of the Gospel—in the little things and in the big things—and do the good we know we are called to do as followers of Him.

What We Can Learn About Marriage From the Kardashians

The news is overrun with yet another celebrity divorce, this time concerning reality TV star Kim Kardashian and basketball player Kris Humphries. Sadly, it is never really a shock when a celebrity gets divorced but the extent of Kim and Kris’s marriage was shorter than a college semester—72 days.

While many have resorted to potshots and gossip, I think it is easy to forget that Kim and Kris are people too with real emotions. Divorce is never pretty and clean, no matter how long the marriage was.

Instead of resorting to dancing on the ashes of someone else’s broken marriage, I have two things to keep in mind for those thinking about, considering, dreaming, wishing upon a star for, or desiring marriage.

The Song of Solomon (the book of loooooove) says multiple times to “not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” (2:7). The lesson here is to not rush things.

Get to know the person. Ask questions. For goodness sake, go on a date.

So much of our culture is about instant gratification (fast food, fast internet, fast pass at Disneyland) but we cannot treat marriage like a cheeseburger.  When dating, emotions are high and hormones are raging but you have to remind yourself that good things take time.

Being hot is not the only foundation for a relationship.  What are their beliefs? What are their political views? What are their interests and dreams?  What are their future goals and plans?  What are their struggles? Finding out the answers to these questions are extremely important.

According to some gossip sites (take it for what its worth), some of the reasons for the Kardashian divorce were that they could not agree on when to start a family and where to live.  These are issues usually talked about and decided before marriage.

There is no formula or set amount of time to wait—it could be months for some and years for others—but it needs to be long enough for you to know what you are getting into. No major decision should be made without a little bit of research. You do not want to wake up on your honeymoon and realize that you do not know the person lying next to you!

Consider this: when dating everyone is usually on their best behavior. Do you really know them or do you only know the dating version of Mr. Tall Dark And Handsome?

See how they act around other people. If you are a girl, watch how your boyfriend treats his mother; is he gentle with her, encouraging, and a humble servant? If you are a guy, watch how your girlfriend treats her dad; is she respectful?

Understand that you can never fully know someone—there are couples who have been married for fifty years who are still learning about each other—but take the time to know someone enough that you are not blindsided by an awkward hygiene habit or something potentially more damaging to the relationship.

It is really easy to confuse the two.

You look across the table at your date and they seem to be glowing. Everything they say sounds like angels playing harps. When your hands touch little jolts of electricity pulse through your fingers. He’s got nice abs. She’s got dreamy eyes. Whenever you think about your future, they are there, holding you in their arms.

This must be love…right?

Our culture has confused love with lust. Lust says, “I need you, I desire you, I’ve gotta gotta have you!” Movies, books, songs, and magazines paint this overwhelming desire as love. While possibly romantic sounding, the root of it is selfishness. That person wants you to make them feel better and in most cases to satisfy their sexual desires.

If your marriage is based off of this view of love, what’s going to happen if the spouse begins to feel some sort of spark with someone else? The inevitable conclusion will be that they have fallen out of love with you and now love someone else. Too many marriages have ended because the “spark was gone.”

The Bible pictures the love between an man and wife differently. Sure the emotions are there and the fireworks but underneath that is a foundation—an action. John 3:16 does not say, “For God so loved the world that He felt fuzzy feelings and saw fireworks whenever you prayed to Him.” Instead it says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”

God loved so much that He acted selflessly. It’s a choice to say, “I have your best interest in mind and not my own.” It starts with realizing that the relationship is not about you at all.

This kind of love is based on a choice, not emotions. Emotions run on a roller coaster, up and down and sideways with every new circumstance. If your love is predicated upon the emotions you feel then you are in for a rude awakening when they change—and they will change.

Marital love that the Bible portrays should be unconditional. You can’t earn it and you can’t lose it. It is given freely.

It is eternal. It is not going to end because it is time for something new and interesting.

It is sacrificial. Their needs go before yours. You’re tired from a day’s work and want to watch football but she needs help with the dishes and kids—guess which one love chooses?

This kind of love takes time and it takes a lot of work. I am just a beginner at it…ask my wife. But what is great is that this kind of eternal love fosters a satisfaction and joy that outshines any rush that any new relationship could offer.

Which would you rather?

Further reading:
Mark Driscoll’s article on Dating, Relating, and Fornicating.
The Resurgence explains Why the World is Wrong About Marriage.
Kevin DeYoung tries to explain where all the dudes’ brides are and gives some advice about What Not to Say to a Single Woman.

Book Blurbs: November

Once a month I will write about some of the books that I have been reading or am planning to read in the near future.  This is far from a full personal reading list which in my opinion seems a little self-glorifying (“Come and have a taste of the great knowledge that I have gained through reading 100 books a month”) and potentially embarrassing (considering how many romance novels I read…just, um, kidding).  I’m only going to write about books that I consider helpful, fascinating, or just all around a good read.

Take it for what it is.

Should Christians Embrace Evolution: Biblical & Scientific Responses, edited by Norman C. Nevin and foreword by Wayne Grudem. With the acceptance of Theistic Evolution (the theory that God used the evolutionary process to bring about all life) on the rise in the church, this book is a theological and scientific examination and response.  I am teaching a creationism class at Ekklesia so I was extremely interested in this book.  Basically, the books is half theological (written by theologians) and half scientific (written by scientists). It is well written and easy to understand without losing the punch of a deeply theological and/or scientific argument.  Many creationism books fall back on straw man arguments or cliches. This book avoids both and spends more time displaying the evidence for creation instead of just focusing on the evidence against evolution.  The conclusion at the end of the book to the title’s question is a resounding no.

Three Views on Creation and Evolution, edited by J.P. Moreland and John Mark Reynolds. Part of the Counterpoints series published by Zondervan, Three Views takes Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism and Theistic Evolution and pits them against each other, each questioning the other and defending themselves.  I always enjoy hearing from other viewpoints and seeing why they differ from mine so I enjoyed this book and have enjoyed the other books from the Counterpoints series that I have perused.  Available on Kindle.

Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books, by Tony Reinke. This is literally a book about reading books, which either sounds cannibalistic or redundant, I haven’t decided yet.  More specifically, Lit! is a book about how Christians should read books, both Christian and non-Christian.  In fact, Reinke has a whole chapter on the benefits of reading non-Christian books (gasp!).  He splits the book into two halves, one dedicated to the “theology of books and reading” and the other on “some practical advice on book reading.” Despite my constant sarcasm, this was actually a really interesting book and inspired me to broaden my reading horizons to includes genres and viewpoints that I normally would not have.  This is also an encouraging book for those of you who either have a hard time reading or retaining what you have read.  For those of you who do not like to read, wait until the movie comes out. Available on Kindle.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxes. This is a biography on the life of controversial theologian/pastor/spy/assassin Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The book follows Bonhoeffer as he tries to grapple with being a faithful Christian and a loyal German during World War II.  Needless to say, Bonhoeffer chooses to be faithful to Christ and the Word of God while almost all of the German church chooses country and Hitler.  To be honest I have not read that many biographies but this one intrigued me for many reasons.  First, Bonhoeffer was a man who stood for the truth in a country that had abandoned it and that is something that resonates in my heart as our country sinks further into moral relativism.  Second, I am absolutely fascinated by the psychology of Bonhoeffer’s ethics and theology that allowed him to be willing to conspire towards Hitler’s assassination.  A post in the future will examine these themes from the book.  Available on Kindle.

Disciplines of a Godly Man, by R. Kent Hughes. I am of firm belief that men today need to be more disciplined, not in the sense of just working hard (although that is a big part!) but living life in a holistically disciplined way.  How Hughes sees this working out in a man’s life is through 18 different disciplines that men ought to cultivate in their lives.  I had always thought of myself as a disciplined man until I hit chapter one.  A great kick in the pants to the men of our culture that are content with and proud of an undisciplined life.  I don’t normally say this but I think every man, young or old, married or single, should read this book.  Available on Kindle.

Futurecast: What Today’s Trends Mean for Tomorrow’s World, by George Barna. This book is by the founder and head of Barna Group, the famous Christian information gathering and analyzation organization.  Barna has taken all of that information and used it to examine the trends of our culture—in areas such as money, family, religion, morals—and what they will lead to in the future.  A word of warning though: Barna’s theology of the church and examination of ancient church history is a little iffy and he becomes a little bias towards house churches; in this, Barna loses his objectivity that he keeps for most of the remainder of the book.  All in all, a fascinating and seemingly accurate look at our culture and what the future holds.  Available on Kindle.

The Reason For Sports: A Christian Fanifesto, by Ted Kluck.  Kluck calls for an accurate theology of sports within the church.  We can neither become idolatrous of sports or reject them.  Kluck finds a biblical middle ground through sports stories and relates them to the Christian life.  This book is in fact a collection of essays covering topics from Mike Tyson, steroids, athlete apologies, and humility (or the lack of it).  I enjoyed Kluck in Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be
and Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion and I love sports so I knew this would be a match made in heaven.  Kluck tends to stick to his big guns, which is writing about sports and giving vivid stories, but even when he writes about the Bible and its truths, he does so with flare.  Available on Kindle.

Forbidden (The Books of Mortals), by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee.  Forbidden is set in a dystopian future where the whole world has nearly destroyed itself but is now united under the Order.  Little does everyone know that they are actually “dead”, not zombie dead but dead in the sense that they have been stripped of the essence that makes us human, emotion.  One man name Rom is cured of his death and chaos ensues.  Dekker is like the Dean Koontz of Christianity—thrillers, sci fi, and fantasy are his MO.  Dekker’s books are like my guilty pleasure, my cheesecake amongst wheatgrass smoothies; pastors aren’t supposed to read these kinds of books, right?!  To be honest, I really like Dekker’s style of writing.  He has a way of writing that makes it feel like I am watching an action flick—sometimes even like I am in it.  I was interested to see how Tosca Lee’s presence would affect this style.  The only difference I see is that the prose is clever and flows, which was lacking in Dekker’s previous books (No offense, Ted!).  Forbidden is the first of a planned trilogy and I am interested to see what happens next!  Caution to those who do not like violence; this book is full of it like heart is full of blood.  Available on Kindle.

The Question of Authority

I live in a town stuck in the 60’s and 70’s.  If anyone has ever called Eugene, Oregon a hippie town it would be an understatement. The town’s identity formed during that time-period influenced by the University of Oregon and the likes of Ken Kesey and Steve Prefontaine. Afterwards the people never left town or the 20th century. In many ways, the rest of the country has remained in the days of drugs and disco too.

Viva La Revolución

Under the shadows of the Vietnam War, the JFK assassination, the Cold War and Watergate arose a social revolution. Those in authority were deemed responsible for the rampant materialism and corruption of the Western world. Standards and inhibitions were cast aside like a broken bongo drum and up rose a new morality—free love, free living, and free experimentation that was free from “the Man,” and free from God.

While the tassels, leather vests, bell-bottoms, big hair and VW buses have now left most of the US except Eugene, our country’s mindset remains unchanged.

Are we asking the right questions?

The popular bumper sticker of the 70’s ordering its readers to “Question Authority” is still riding on many cars. A quick scan of television channels will yield pictures of clueless parents, students rallying against teachers and principals, athletes arguing with coaches, employees sticking it to their bosses, and revolutionaries upending governments.

You can be independent, you can do what you want and no one can tell you otherwise.

The Question of Authority

What does the Bible have to say about authority?

The Bible pictures the Christian life as one under authority and that ultimate authority belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:6; Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:10).

Lucifer’s attempt to begin his own “social revolution” and his failure to respect God’s authority sent him crashing out of heaven faster than the USS Enterprise at warp speed (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-17). Herod’s willingness to be called a god made him worm food (Acts 12:20-23). Christians would do well to not try and assert themselves over God’s authority.

A popular idea in the church, especially among young men, is that they need no authority in their life other than God. It is a holy version of Batman and Robin (Adam West version)—them and Jesus against the world. I have watched many of these believers beat their chests against the church and the government, giving loud criticisms with no real solutions.

The reality is that believers who are unwilling to submit to the authorities God has placed over their lives are therefore unwilling to submit to God (Romans 13:2).

While God is the ultimate authority, the Bible also reveals that Christian’s are to submit to other authorities too. Those who refuse to submit to authority are not humble but are considered prideful (1 Peter 5:5-6). Those who want authority must first learn to be under it (Matthew 20:25-28).

Government, Church, Family

The New Testament authors believed that all human authority has been given by God (John 19:11; Romans 13:1). The authorities the Bible calls Christians to submit to are traditionally described as three main institutions: government, church, and family.

The notion that God established the government may be the hardest for most to swallow. Scandal has ravaged the United States government in ridiculous and novel fashion as of late. Power plays, self-aggrandizing speeches, and congressional dysfunction seem to be the norm. How could God expect any self-respecting human to place themselves under such a flawed organization? Does anyone actually follow the speed limit and pay their taxes?

The government that the believers of the first century were under makes ours look as innocent as the von Trapp family. Nero, the emperor of Rome, lived a debauched lifestyle. It is even rumored that to make room for a new palace, he set fire to Rome. He blamed the Christians for the fire and attempted to systematically exterminate every believer. It is this emperor Paul calls his Roman readers to be subject to (13:1). It might not kill us to pay our taxes.

In spite of the potential for its own slew of scandals, the Church—specifically the church leadership—also retains authority over believers from God. Paul informs the elders of Ephesus that it was the Holy Spirit who placed them in leadership over the church of God (Acts 20:28).

It is popular today to criticize church leaders, to tell them that they have lost sight of Christ and that we are here to put them back on track.

Instead, the Bible states that because a church leader’s authority comes from God, believers are to respect and obey them (1 Thessalonians 5:12; Hebrews 13:17). Pastors, in turn, are not to use this authority to dominate other believers but shepherd them (1 Peter 5:2-3).

The authority of a parent is so important to the Lord that He orders respect for mother and father in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16). Now, I have heard many a disgruntled teenager proclaim that they respect their parents but that does not mean they need to obey them, as if some divine loophole was discovered. Paul obliterates such an excuse when he equates obedience with respect (Ephesians 6:1-2). Like it or not, you need to do the dishes.

Civil Disobedience

Of course, the inevitable question comes, “Is there a time when it is ok to disobey authority?”


It is right and good to disobey authority that commands you to disobey God’s authority. The book of Daniel is a shining example of civil disobedience. Unwilling to worship idols, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bend a knee to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue (3:1-30). Unwilling to stop communing with his Lord, Daniel violated King Darius’ prohibition of prayer (6:1-28). See also the book of Acts.

God’s authority must be preeminent in our lives.  Part of placing ourselves under that authority is respecting and obeying the men and women He has placed in authority over us.

Ultimately, the Bible states, submitting to authority is to our benefit in so far as it does not question God’s authority (Hebrews 13:17). Who would question helping themselves?

To Whet Your Appetite: 11/02/11

John MacArthur has been blogging about his concerns for the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement. He sums them up in three main points:

  • They may not have a high view of Scripture
  • They may not have a high view of God
  • They may not have a proper idea of church


Do all dogs go to heaven? Well, these new pet ministries may not answer that question but they do want to serve humans through serving their pets. Next we may see a pet baptismal.

For those of you Mac-heads/Apple-ites/iPhonians fascinated by Steve Jobs, his massive authorized biography is causing quite a stir. Here is an interesting Christian perspective on the book and Jobs by Tim Challies:

“Steve Jobs was not a nice person. In fact, he was often downright horrible, bearing lifelong grudges, throwing tantrums and berating the people who worked for him and with him. He seemed to have a binary view of the world where some things were wonderful and other things were horrible; there was little space between. He despised the mediocre or even the merely good. He used his keen intuition about other people to find and then exploit their vulnerabilities in a way that maximized the hurt he could inflict upon them. He was a brutal boss and a brutal man. He was the kind of man who would praise his own parents for adopting him and then pretty much abandon his own daughter.”


My hometown is Portland, Oregon and I am proud of it. Unfortunately, I am not proud of the rampant sex industry infesting the city and its suburbs. It is mostly agreed upon that the greater Portland area has more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the US. Recently, it has come to light that the Portland sex industry also includes sexually trafficked young women and children. On Monday, Christianity Today wrote a column about what Portland Christians are trying to do about it.