"Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom?" –Marvin Martian

Jason Blair

Send an e-mail http://www.arsgratia.com/

I was born in the early 70s, came of age in the 80s, learned some vocational stuff and started working in the 90s, and began learning new stuff in the late 00s. I was raised in the United Methodist Church, where I was baptized and confirmed. After that, I gave God hardly a second thought. In the later half of college, God chased me down and reconciled me to himself through his son, Jesus. I was evangelized by a fundamentalist, and discipled in the Evangelical Free church, where I serve to this day. During that time, I got baptized again (which if you asked me about it today, I would say was unnecessary). I was taught the typical "ask Jesus into your heart" evangelicalism, with all the culture war, moralist, pre-mil-dispy accessories. I became a fan of CCM (which in the 90s was pretty cool, but today is a steaming pile of ...), and was fortunately introduced to the Cornerstone Festival, which may lie at the beginning of my understanding that there's a whole lot more to Christianity than the evangelical wasteland. I'm a network administrator (computer geek) by trade. That makes me a Slashdot reader from way back. It was there that I noticed a tag line at the end of someone's post (probably PWinn or Kurt, but I honestly don't know) that lead me to this site called the BHT. After getting used to the layout and the stream of converstaion, I was hooked. It also confirmed my suspicions that not all was well in the evangelical world. It was about this time that I was getting into the emerging church conversation, and serving the one thing our church did along those lines. Tapping into the iMonk site, and getting into Robert Webber has since broadened my Christian experience to the point that I accept that my theological home lies somewhere between an evangelicalism that hasn't gone off the rails and the Anglicans. In other words, I'm a theological mutt, and I have no one spiritual home, save that of Christ himself. Other than that, I'm a seminary student (Baptist, if you must know: Bethel Seminary in Saint Paul, MN) aspiring to pastoral service, a musician (guitar and sax, mostly rock/blues, but I'll try almost anything once), a martial artist (taekwondo plus a few other goodies). More importantly, I'm a husband to the coolest chick on the planet who I don't deserve, and the dad to two amazing little girls we adopted in the late fall of 2009. Most importantly, I belong to Jesus Christ, and I want nothing for this life but to love him, and in him to love others.

There may be no faker set of people than the folks who say they value authenticity and community. Best line of the day. Christendom is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet. The thing about authenticity and community is that any group you could find to fit that description in truth is largely unknown to […]

I’ve always wanted to read Moby Dick “because it’s a classic.” But every person I’ve heard describe it makes me want to leave it there on the shelf. How did something so apparently loathed become so well regarded?

I’ll own that confession on L’Engle. My Mother-in-law gave me A Wrinkle in Time. I started it that evening and did not stop until it was finished. I repent in sackcloth and ashes for missing out on her this long. I don’t care if the story was intended for a young audience. It’s magnificent, and […]

Some Merton for Us

My mom and my wife are out picking up some last minute food. My aunt and daughters are engaged in some activity. Grandma is reading, or napping, or both. And so I have a few moments of quiet and contemplation as Advent draws to a close. What better way to spend it by having a […]

Jaredd, I gave a Twitter-length answer on our Twitter thread, but this may be a better format. There’s no need to wrap your mind around how I’d measure the effect, because I have no intention to do so. I do find immense value in asking questions, though, even if they are uncomfortable. In this case, […]

While the US national media allows our less-than-ideal race relations issues to have a moment of attention, I couldn’t help but wonder whatever happened to all that reconciliation stuff us dudes were supposed to have learned in Promise Keepers back in the late 90s/early 00s.

For those who celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you’re all recovering well from the turkey hangover. It looks like I’ll be the proud owner of a new (beginner’s) mandolin on Tuesday. Do any of you play? I think I’m going to have to start learning a bunch of Irish music.

What is your dissertation about?

I was just musing over the idea that I would gladly trade much of the leadership coursework I had in seminary for more history and hermeneutics. Shea’s answers are, of course, the correct ones. – I read something sad today. I followed the Jolly Blogger back in the days when we used to read those. […]