DeYoung, Restless, and… funny?

Kevin DeYoung has a post on parenting this morning that is fantastic. Funny, insightful, and encouraging. Well worth the time to read. But that’s not really what I want to write about today.

Let me make a confession. The only reason I saw DeYoung’s post is because it showed up as a shared item in Google Reader. Because I unsubscribed from his blog feed months ago. I’ve got 556 feeds subscribed at the moment, so I’m obviously not culling feeds to keep the post volume down. But I felt for a while like the only thing he was writing was strident, detailed defenses of young, restless, and reformed Calvinist theology. And I was getting very tired of reading them.

DeYoung’s post this morning, though, struck me as very different. It’s funny, practical, and insightful. When I read it instead of feeling like somebody was trying to shove neo-Calvinism down my throat I felt like I was being encouraged by a guy in a similar situation to me. I felt like Kevin might be the kind of guy that I would enjoy hanging out with and getting to know.

And then (I’m slow) it dawned on me: he’s probably been this way the whole time. It’s just my impression that’s changed.

Which leads me to a larger question: are we aware of how our online appearance causes us to look to those who might read our stuff? And conversely, am I as a reader willing to remember that there is a fully-rounded person behind those words, even if he or she doesn’t seem rounded online?

Now, I know there’s a place for topical blogs, and I can infer from Kevin’s decision to blog on The Gospel Coalition site that he’s not shooting to have a free-for-all random blog. But there’s value these days for anyone trying to be influential online to show a more well-rounded picture of who they are.

As I page back through DeYoung’s recent blog posts, I have to confess he’s being more well-rounded than I had previously given him credit for. (Whether this is a recent change or my selective memory is an issue I’ll not try to resolve here.) While there are the expected slew of book reviews, quotes of Augustine, Jonathan Edwards, and Tim Keller, and critiques of Rob Bell, there is also a video of Real Madrid’s soccer trophy getting run over by a bus, a collection of creepy Easter Bunny pictures, and an Andrew Peterson song.

I guess this means this post is less of a critique of Kevin DeYoung and more of a mea culpa for not keeping up with what all he’s posted. It also means that you shouldn’t be surprised if the next three posts on my blog are a cartoon, a nerdy musical reference, and something about programming. After all, that’s pretty much how my brain goes. No sense in pretending otherwise.

Links for 2011-04-06

These are my links for 2011-04-05 through 2011-04-06:

  • Who You Are, At Peace with God | Storied Theology
    So we need to change our internal monologues, and change the message to the body of Christ around us.

    Stop beating yourself up: God loves you. Stop talking to yourself as if you’re a stupid failure. You are embraced by God into the very person of his dearly beloved Son.

    And stop talking to your children, and the children around you, and your pastor, and your parents, and your spouse, as if they are consistent failures. We must be to one another messengers of peace. And this, in turn, means being messengers of grace.

  • The Missiological Case for Hell | slacktivist

Links for 2011-04-04

Things I’ve linked recently:

  • Rands In Repose: A Hard Thing is Done by Figuring Out How to Start
    "We’re addicted quick fixes, top ten lists, and four-hour work weeks, but the truth is – if it wasn’t hard, everyone would be doing it and a hard thing is never done by reading a list or a book or an article about doing it. A hard thing is done by figuring out how to start."

  • Exploring Love Wins 2 | Jesus Creed
    So, there’s a fifth approach that many take today:

    We don’t know what becomes of the millions, perhaps billions, who have never heard the gospel.

    But, this appeal to agnosticism is for far too many a cop-out. It is too often born in a conviction that doesn’t have courage. Many of these are true-blue exclusivists but don’t like its implications, so they say “I don’t know” or “That’s in God’s hands.” [On other kinds of agnosticism, see below.] Some use agnosticism as a cloak for a universalism or pluralism they don’t want to admit.

    So, I contend we have to get inside this problem and explore it through the problem itself and not explore it simply through our already confident soteriology or doctrine of Scripture.

    An excellent post by Scot McKnight.

Links for 2011-03-31

Things I’ve linked recently:

  • Tweetage Wasteland : Buried Under an Avalanche of Options
    "Yes, I want to watch a movie. I just can’t decide whether to watch it via Netflix, AppleTV, Pay-Per-View, Amazon, Blu-ray, Boxee, Vudu, Roku, or whether I should watch it on my iPhone, my iPad, my laptop, my desktop or my TV. If I want, I can even download the movie to my iPhone and then stream it to my AppleTV. I was confused enough when I had to choose between Betamax and VHS. What’s next, a hundred and eleven flavors of popcorn?"

    Oh boy do I resonate with this.

Links for 2011-03-23

Things I’ve linked recently:

  • Love Loses: Rob Bell, John Piper, and the Tone Of Public Conversation – The Rabbit Room
    "What if we examined the motives of our hearts by being curious whenever we feel defensiveness or anger rise up in us: “Is this legitimate or is this a symptom that my identity isn’t firmly rooted in Christ, or that deep down I believe the salvation of the world is some how up to me?” Asking ourselves this may spare us from being ugly and reactionary."

    Wise words from Jason Grey.

Links for 2011-03-21

Things I’ve linked recently:

Links for 2010-08-02

Things I’ve linked recently:

  • "…I trust that in these seven years I have laid to rest any suggestion that to be interested in social justice you have to deny the resurrection of Jesus, or that to be interested in eternal salvation you have to treat the world as irrelevant. When I spoke in the Lords a few months ago about the future use of our massive and untapped coal stocks here in the north-east, I had Radio Newcastle on the phone. What, they wanted to know, was a bishop doing talking about coal? Fortunately Psalm 24 came straight to mind. Well, I replied, in the good book it says that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and you can’t get much more fullness of the earth than all that coal down there. That’s why the Miners’ Gala which we celebrated last weekend remains so important to us here in Durham. God and creation belong together. In Isaiah’s vision, in Paul’s exposition, they belong exactly together. The root of Jesse, Paul declares – in a letter to Rome of all places! – ‘rises to rule the nations’. The resurrection serves notice on Caesar that his time is up, that he is reduced to a secondary role – still important, but strictly limited; and every act of justice and mercy puts that victory into practice. "

Links for 2010-07-27

Things I’ve linked recently:

  • So I sometimes talk to my church about the "ministry of being normal". As believers, we are necessarily going to have a lot of distance between us and those who don't follow Christ. We live differently, love differently, hope differently. We're citizens of a different country.

    But it might be helpful if we limit the distance between us and the world in a lot of other ways. We don't have to flaunt our lack of a TV and be weird and preachy about grinding your own grain. That only serves to put unnecessary distance between us and the people we're trying to reach. Instead, we should try to engage the world around us, know what our neighbors care about, and try to inhabit the same universe they do.

    If they are going to persecute us, let us at least be for things that really have something to do with being a Christian.

Links for 2010-05-24

Things I’ve linked recently: