Debate Magazine

Breaking the Silence

Posted on the 16 October 2017 by Alanbean @FOJ_TX

I want to write a book that addresses all the issues, questions and concerns we weren’t allowed to mention when I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s.  Over the next few months, I will be sharing my ideas with you, more or less as they come to me, and as often as possible. 

I have been a pastor, but I rarely preach these days.  

I am not an academic teaching at a prestigious seminary or university.  

I am not a writer/speaker.  

In short, I am not the sort of person who typically writes books about living the Christian faith.

Here’s what I bring to the table.  

I was a pastor for 20 years, so I understand the inner workings of churches and the pressures pastors face. 

I spent 15 years leading a faith-based criminal justice reform non-profit called Friends of Justice.  I still have an iron in that fire, albeit on a very part-time basis.  Several dozen people avoided lengthy prison terms because Friends of Justice was on the beat. The folks who sit on juries, I discovered, are much like the people I preached to on Sunday mornings.  That’s not necessarily a good thing, if you are a criminal defendant.

I have a PhD in church history and theology and I have my face in a book every chance I get.  So I have a pretty good idea of how Christians have thought about God, Jesus and the Church over the past 2000 years.

Finally, my paying gig for the past three years has been as a hospice chaplain.  I am constantly talking to dying people and have learned a lot from them.  Since I will soon be 65, I have more than a passing interest in human mortality and it’s distressing implications. 
I will be writing for people who want to believe the Bible but aren’t sure what that means anymore.  I am writing for people who love Jesus but aren’t sure about his followers (or his old man).

And I’m looking for feedback and reaction.  If you see yourself as one if the people I am writing for please read my stuff and tell me what you think.


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