As you might have seen on Instagram and Facebook on Saturday, this is the last post on MorningEncouragement.com.
The LAST one.
I will continue to write and blog and create and podcast and YouTube and all of that kind of stuff, but it’s going to look much, much different in 2018.
I can’t tell you all of the details yet, because they are still in the workings, BUT what I can tell you is that something new and different is coming somewhere around mid-2018 that I’m more excited about than I’ve been about anything else ministry-related in a long, long time.
The content will be similar to what’s been on MorningEncouragement.com over the last 4 years, but will also be very, very different.
Like, VERY different.
Some people are going to absolutely love it because it’s going to bring the Bible to life in some unique and different and really fresh ways. And, with that, other people are going to loathe it because it’s going to push up against the status quo in its uniqueness and different-ness.
The idea, I can tell you, came about after the last class I took at Alliance Theological Seminary this past October. It was a communications course taught by a father and son team, Martin and Bo Sanders. We looked at a lot of different things over the course of the 4 days that we were together, but the thing that jumped out at me the most was this idea that how we’ve grown to understand the Bible and interpret the Bible and apply the Bible and even read the Bible might not necessarily be the best ways and that there are (in fact) other ways to understand the stories and texts than how we’ve always understood them.
We’ve become so certain.
We’ve become so assured.
We’ve become so arrogant, really, with our systematic theologies and doctrines and creeds.
We assume that we understand the Bible, have it figured out, and know all the ins and outs and details of who God is, what He does, and why He does it. We build our cases, defend our views, and roll our eyes at anyone who sees it differently so much so that we’ve brought ourselves to a place where we almost worship the Golden Calf of some kind of Biblical certainty instead of dancing with a collection of ancient texts that can give us more insight to an inclusive and compassionate God and what it looks like to live a life that reflects Him to all people, everywhere, than we ever knew or thought possible.
The Bible: it’s not a document to be mastered and defended, but an ancient collection of writings and poems and pieces of literature that give us an understanding of the God who fills its pages, the God who has always loved everyone, everywhere, and expects you and me to do the same now and forevermore.
And the words on the pages weren’t downloaded from heaven, placed into someone’s brain, and then magically transmitted onto paper.
They were written by people who lived in various times throughout history and who experienced various kinds of political regimes, varying kinds of economies, and had varying understandings of who God was, what He stood for, and what He wanted for people.
All of these things (and more) show me that the Bible isn’t a constitution of sorts that outlines history into a neat and systematic box while showing us how to live good moral lives as much as it is a book full of stories and poems and documents and prophecies where people wrestled with how to live on this earth and how to follow God.
And so (with all of THAT in mind) if you find a book or a teacher or a pastor or whatever who puts the Bible into a nice little box and ties that box up with a nice little ribbon, it’s probably a pretty weak and somewhat lame understanding of the book.
… There’s so much more to say, but I’ll leave you with that.
I would like to thank everyone, however – thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your love and support over these last 4 years. It’s because of many of you that I kept writing. And because I kept writing, I kept discovering. And because I kept discovering, I ended up going back to school. And because I went back to school, I’ve re-fallen in love with the Bible. And because I’ve re-fallen in love with the Bible, I’ve come to understand myself and my purpose and my walk with God better. And because I’ve come to understand those things better, I’m a better man. And husband. And father. And son. And friend. And because I’m better at those things, I’m a better human being. And because I’m a better human being, I’m ready to be more adequately used by God to storm the gates of hell a little bit harder.
So, thank you. I’m better because of all of you, I’m better because of our last 4 years together on this blog. And I have a much firmer grasp on my destiny and my calling and my dreams.
The blog will be up for a while (until late Summer 2018), so if there are any posts you’d like, go get them. You can print them. Share them. Pass them along. Burn them if you hate them. HA! And the App, too. That will be up for another few months and then it will be off the App store. Maybe sooner, not sure yet. So download it if you like and all of the content will remain for a while before it all goes dark late next Summer.
Darkness is good, though. Because it’s always dark before it’s light. And a great light is coming … I’ll keep you posted.