Goodbye my friends, it’s time to go. At least for now.

After a year of blogging, I need a break. The book beckons, and with a December deadline and a full time job—and the realization that I am working hard for my family and not seeing them too much—something had to go.

The blog needs a rest as well. Over the past year, I’ve been tempted to believe that the cyberworld somehow NEEDS to hear my opinions, and in the process have become slow to listen and quick to pontificate. That’s the last thing my friends—or my family—needs, isn't it?

For example, over the last couple of days, MT has made a number of salient points about economics in the comments sections, and I’ve been too busy firing back at him to see that he’s raise a vital point: How do we create a fair economic system that works? If the minimum wage goes up, for example, and people lose their jobs as a result, then that policy has boomeranged and ended it hurting the people it was intended to help. It’s quite a quandary, and one not likely to be solved on the comments page any time soon. But it's a vital discussion, if we want to be people of the Book.

Yesterday, I finished a piece on Jim Wallis, and something he said in an interview has stuck with me.

“Jesus says the very hairs on our head are numbered. This God knows us--this God knows everything about us--this God loves us and wants a relationship with us so that we can join God in God’s purposes in the world.”

That's Christianity in a nutshell. Love God. Love your neighbor. (and your enemies). And try and shape your part of the world into something that resembles the kingdom of God.

Two last thoughts, this time from the Wittenburg Door's interview with Jerry Jenkins. (It's a fascinating read, especially what is said, and left unsaid, about the relationship between him and Tim LaHaye. Jenkins, who by all accounts is a gentle, teddy bear of a man, seems the oddest person to have written books about the end of the world.)

On the success of Left Behind: "People are scared to death and they're looking for something beyond themselves."

On how he responds to people that disagree with him:

I'd say, "Friends, I respect that you've studied this with an open mind; you come to a conclusion that's different than mine. You may be right, you may be wrong. Obviously, we believe our way is right. For one thing, the prophesies of the Old Testament were literally fulfilled by Jesus, so why wouldn't the prophesies of the New Testament be literally fulfilled? To me it makes sense."

We believe that prophecy is history written in events. We take this literal approach and say, "Where you can take it literally—take it literally." I have friends and loved ones on the other side of this issue, and sometimes they'll say, "He has bad theology." Well, can't we just disagree?

I don't agree with Jenkin's theology but his approach here seems right on. Listen respectfully to another side and then respectfully disagree. It's advice I've got to try out myself--since yesterday I hung up on someone whom I disagree with vehemetly, without giving them a chance to speak. It felt good--but wasn't very Christian. Got to work on that.



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