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A Fear of Whales

A Fear of Whales

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Voy A Mexico

posted by rgaffney

Today I am leaving for Monterrey, Mexico. People keep asking me if it’s a mission trip or a vacation. I like that they have to ask. It’s mostly a vacation. I have a friend down there, and I live nearby, […]

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Theologically Correct

posted by rgaffney

Lord I lift your name on High Lord I long to sing your praises I’m so glad you’re in my life I’m so glad you came to save us You came from heaven to earth to show the way from […]

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The Majority Of Scholars

posted by rgaffney

There is a phrase I have been hearing a lot, which I have come to detest. “The majority of scholars agree that…” It is raised in bar rooms and classrooms, it comes up in discussions about every subject, at seemingly […]

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Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About “Troublesome Lesbians”

posted by rgaffney

There is an article Here (I hesitate to link it lest I help propagate the popularity of the article) it is titled “When Two Lesbians Walk Into a Church Seeking Trouble” and features the story of a wonderfully loving and […]

Ghosts

posted by rgaffney

Last year at this time I was sitting in Varsity Donuts trying to make sense of living in Rural Kansas while not actively working for InterVarsity (My term ended February 2013) Today I’m back in the same Donut shop to […]

Looking Back

posted by rgaffney

As I begin my Lenten discipline of looking back, I’m most immediately reminded of Urbana 2012, one of my freshest memories from my IV life. It was there that Terry LeBlanc spoke about the discipline of remembrance telling a story […]

Eternal Influence

posted by rgaffney

A little under 1000 years ago in Italy there lived a man named Giovanni de Bernadone, but his friends call him Francis.  Francis was a Christ follower, and if her were here today he would be the first to tell […]

In Plain Sight

posted by rgaffney

Earlier this week I wrote on awareness. I wasn’t terribly nice to the awareness industry. I beat up on it, I asked hard questions of it. I did it for a reason. A while back an old friend by the […]

What shall I do with all this Awareness?

posted by rgaffney

Non-Profits love people like me. People with initiative and influence, people who already care, who don’t need to be sold on why the mission is important. They love to give me flyers, they love to link me to Facebook pages, […]

Enforcing Modesty

posted by rgaffney

Guys, summer is over. Can we please stop with the posts policing women’s bodies? I’m not sure why but after years of relative silence the issue of women’s modesty has become “a thing” this year. It seems to have started […]

Tradition

posted by rgaffney

People joke about entering ones 20s and the passage on from teen years as a transition into “no longer knowing everything” If that’s what teenagers are characterized by than I guess the arrogance of ones 20s comes from knowing that […]

Absolution

posted by rgaffney

Once in Mr. Kaufman’s 5th and 6th grade combo class I said something really stupid and awkward. I was trying to make sound effects for a movie. I bragged on myself quite a bit; I could not deliver what I […]

Texas

posted by rgaffney

Alright so I missed a week! I’m really trying hard not to do that, but I knew the next post should really be about my adjustment to Texas, and I’ve had a hard time finding the internet time, and the […]

3 Years Ago

posted by rgaffney

Three years ago at this time I started this blog. I backdated some posts from earlier blogs when I started it. I was fundraising for InterVarsity and trying to increase my web presence. I had a lot of time on […]

Raphael

posted by rgaffney

I came across a piece of art recently that puzzled me. I recognized it immediately as a depiction of the miraculous catch of fish, a passage which I have analyzed exhaustively in the last year with InterVarsity. I knew the […]

Hate

posted by rgaffney

There is an ordinance which passed in the city I live in, which gives equal rights to sinners. Specifically speaking it adds Sexual Preference and Gender Identity to a list of protected statuses according to the American Civil Rights act. […]

Nobody has a Can Opener

posted by rgaffney

I was happy to become one of the first responders to the disaster in Oklahoma City. I was one of the late responders to Katrina, unable to find time to get down there until years after the event, and I’ve […]

Let’s talk about Cults

posted by rgaffney

The word cult evokes strong negative feelings, immediate accusations and denials… But no definitions… “Cult” is a disapprobation more than it is a proper category, people use it to mean “religious group I don’t like”. Unfortunately that doesn’t help us […]

Adaptive Challenges

posted by rgaffney

Leaders in the church today are facing a new kind of problem. Previously, the majority of the challenges faced by the church, and by church leaders, were identifiable, comprehensible, and often fully solvable. Some experts now refer to those types […]

Postmodern Apologetics

posted by rgaffney

I want to steal one other idea from the book Confident Faith which I wrote about last time and use it as a springboard into talking about something I’ve wanted to broach for a long while, but haven’t known how. […]

Confident Faith

posted by rgaffney

I love apologetics, so when I happened into a Christian bookstore today I was happy to see a new apologetics book on the bestseller list. I was even more happy to see it came from Mark Mittelberg, an author I’m […]

The Centrality of Grace

posted by rgaffney

I have a big list of blog ideas. When I get an idea for a blog, I put it on the list. When I get time to write a blog, I open a list and write a page about the […]

Apologetics and its Miscategorization

posted by rgaffney

Generally speaking, the church tolerates apologetics nerds like myself. They acknowledge us, and withhold comment except perhaps to say something like “maybe you could teach a class or something sometime” Sometime never comes. Believe it or not that’s a pretty […]

Expel The Immoral Brother

posted by rgaffney

I wrote earlier about profanity. I argued that the bible often finds profanity necessary to make it’s point. At the time I said that I wanted to make that point not just to defend profanity, but because there were other […]

Han Shot First (A Meditation on Relativism, And Why It’s Dumb)

posted by rgaffney

I will not be the first Christian to write a blog that 6 people ever will read refuting relativism. I won’t be the last. I’m not the smartest, and despite my ambition for uniqueness, my article will not break any […]

Buddhist Fisherman

posted by rgaffney

I am aware of some ministries that have become so focused on the the importance of evangelism that they talk about “The parable of the fishless fisherman”. I won’t link you said parable (as it’s copyrighted) but the gist is […]

The Trinity is not like an Egg

posted by rgaffney

I was just an an outreach for international students where the speaker was a local church pastor. One of the students was bothered by the concept of the trinity, so the pastor tried to explain it. “It’s like your family” […]

Whovangelism

posted by rgaffney

I’ve been a very effective evangelist this summer.  Not so much for Jesus; I’ve been hanging mostly with Christians.  But for Doctor Who, the long running BBC science fiction program.  I’ve converted 4 new Whovians in the last 3 months! […]

Luddites for Jesus

posted by rgaffney

Have you heard about the recent study about how people are increasingly disconnected from each other because of the Facebook and txting? Or how traffic accidents are up because people are Twittering while driving? And attendance at church is down […]

Silver and Samaritans Pt 3

posted by rgaffney

In Part 1 I talked about The healing of the beggar in Acts 3 and the three parts to peters approach, Focusing on the first part: Eye contact. Paying attention. In Part 2 I identified the second part, as a […]

Silver and Samaritans Pt 2

posted by rgaffney

I want to continue a discussion I started about Acts chapter 3. Particularly I began to highlight 3 unusual things about Peter’s response to the beggar he meets. Previously I highlighted the simple fact that Peter looked at him. I […]

Silver and Samaritans Pt 1

posted by rgaffney

I published an article last week that was based upon the good Samaritan parable that Jesus told. I did the best I could to stay faithful to the story. Without adding any elements to the story simply for dramatic effect. […]

The Good Las Vegan

posted by rgaffney

Late one Sunday afternoon a young woman was traveling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for the holiday weekend.  As she traveled she noticed her engine light was on and stopped in the city of Baker to have it checked. […]

Pedantic Word Choices

posted by rgaffney

There is an old hustler bet where you offer a sum of money (say $50) to somebody in a bar if they can drink an entire pint in a minute. An experienced drinker can often polish off a pint in […]

The People In Front Of You

posted by rgaffney

A friend of mine who is planting THISchurch dispensed some advice to me that I’d like to pass along to you. “Work with the people in front of you” he said “Not the people you wish you had in front […]

Gender

posted by rgaffney

One of the key obsessions of out modern Christian environment is gender identity. “Biblical Manliness” is a buzzword in our churches and youth ministries. Small Groups gather to read and discuss books like “Wild at Heart” and “No more Christian […]

Weight As a Social Justice Issue

posted by rgaffney

If you read my blog, You’re probably familiar with the trendy Social Justice issues in the world today. Sex Trafficking, Creation Care, Multiethnic Reconciliation… I’ve written on most of them in passing, You may see a whole post on each […]

Children’s Ministry

posted by rgaffney

On Facebook I saw a status yesterday, after volunteering at vacation bible school that said something along the lines of "Why is it that once we turn 18 we have to stop learning about God by doing crafts and singing […]

You’re Too Good For Him

posted by rgaffney

Dear Friend Dear Person I Once Knew, I have to write you this letter, but I’m afraid I can’t address it, so you’ll probably never read it. You’ve just gotten engaged to the wrong man. This marriage will end in […]

Thou Shalt Not Kill

posted by rgaffney

"The bible does not say ‘Thou Shalt not kill’" say many christian leaders "It says ‘thou shalt not murder’" And those christian leaders are lying to you. (or at least they aren’t telling you the truth) It’s easy enough to […]

Occupy Wall Street

posted by rgaffney

I might regret this. But I think perhaps it’s time to bring my perspective to bear on the Occupy Wall Street Protests. I don’t know about you, But I’ve certainty been curious about who’s side I would end up on. […]

Another Paradigm Shift

posted by rgaffney

One of the wonderful, and sometimes horribly embarrassing things about being a young man putting your thoughts on the internet, is that once they’re out there, they’re kinda out there (and my thoughts are out there in more ways than […]

New Student Outreach

posted by rgaffney

Hey Everyone! I know most of you haven’t seen or heard from me since my visit in august. Since that time I have been fully devoted to learning the ropes of what InterVarsity calls NSO “New Student Outreach”. At the […]

Facebook

posted by rgaffney

You’ve obviously heard the bad news. No, Not the unrest in Libya, not the genocide in Myanmar, not Zimbabwe with it’s insane inflation rate. Nobody cares about that stuff I mean the BAD news. Facebook has once again slightly changed […]

Ephesians

posted by rgaffney

I was talking to a student tonight and invited him to out bible study. “Oh, I’m already going to a bible study tonight” Oh Cool, With your church? “Naw, there is one with a family, they come to our church […]

Bastante Part II

posted by rgaffney

When I went to the gulf coast to help out after Hurricane Katrina I had the privilege of helping to finish a house for a family who had lost theirs. On my team was a school teacher, a pastor, a […]

Bastante

posted by rgaffney

One of the most useful words I ever learned does not exist in English. I learned in in Spanish class, where I was taught it meant “enough” but also could be used similar to the way we use “kinda”. Like […]

Pa$$w0rds

posted by rgaffney

Passwords, like underwear, should be kept private, and need to be changed every couple of years or they cease to be secure. It’s time for me to change my passwords, which means I’m spending a lot of time on the […]

Sorry For The Delay..

posted by rgaffney

I know It’s a classic line for bad blogs, to contain apologies for not updating more. But I do have another full time job, It’s really really busy this time of year. I’ll be back soon, I promise

Bus: Final Leg

posted by rgaffney

I got on the express bus to Madison. Spent time online replying to e-mails and catching up with my friend Michael who lives in New York now. It’s striking to me how utterly unreasonable it is to travel by Greyhound. […]

Bus: Leg 4

posted by rgaffney

I stayed up on the internet in a UIC lounge until about 4am, ate the other half of some really good pizza, and then walked back to the bus station. People were already lining up for the 6 am bus, […]

Bus: Chicago

posted by rgaffney

So I arrived in Chicago at about 8pm. The bus leaves for Madison at 6 am. For those of you who are bad at math that’s 8 hours I have to spend alone in downtown Chicago in the middle of […]

Bus: Leg 3

posted by rgaffney

At some point along the road to I must have switched into survival mode. It’s like my Dad, when he goes back home to New York City, and you hear his accent get thicker and his temper get shorter as […]

Bus: Leg 2.5

posted by rgaffney

About halfway to Columbia Missouri I used the restroom. I’ve used restrooms on buses before. Back in California I was a part of a very large youth group and there was no way we were going to get enough 15 […]

Bus: Leg 2

posted by rgaffney

The woman sitting next to me talked about her story, how she has a black eye from when her son and one of his friends broke into her house  last week to beat her up because they were drunk and […]

Bus: Leg 1

posted by rgaffney

The 4am bus was late, but I got on at about 5 and sat at the last seat remaining in the very front. There was another guy Leo who got on with me, and he and the bus driver were […]

Bus: Leg 0

posted by rgaffney

What the hell was I thinking? My Bus adventure has not even started yet and I’m already beginning to think this was a bad idea. Maybe the airline industry isn’t so bad after all. There’s a town not far from […]

Bus: Why Am I Doing This?

posted by rgaffney

Every year I go back up to Madison Wisconsin for some Continuing Education. I made the decision not to fly this year, Instead I’m going to take a Greyhound Bus Rather then spend about 2 hours on a plane, I’ll […]

What We’re Up Against

posted by rgaffney

There’s a lunch I go to when I can at another ministry house on campus. They gather to eat mostly organic local food, and It’s free, so win/win! But the Spiritual Director had hoped it would foster just a bit […]

The Liberal Blog

posted by rgaffney

A friend introduced me to someone recently and he asked “Oh, Is this the guy with the Liberal Blog?” …yeah that’s me   It makes sense that I would come off that way. I generally write to an audience that […]

Patronage Part 2

posted by rgaffney

So a long time ago I wrote a post about Patronage. I’ve linked it here, and you should click over and read it, because seriously It’s been a while. There I introduced to to the economic concept of supporting something, […]

Egalitarianism V Complementarianism

posted by rgaffney

A long time ago I wrote an article about Calvinism and Arminianism (Free Will and Predestination) where I argued that the debate itself was theologically valuable, and that the reason it was able to persist so long was that both […]

Now

posted by rgaffney

“Someday I’d love to take a road trip with no predetermined destination.” “I’ve been meaning to see that movie, It’s on my list” “One of these days I’ll go back and finish college” “I wish knew how to dance”   […]

Literal And Figurative

posted by rgaffney

I get asked often whether I believe Genesis to be “Literal” or “Figurative” I usually say figurative. I’m a theistic evolutionist, I think the universe is about 4 and a half billion years old, and that life on earth was […]

It’s not about Islam

posted by rgaffney

What do you know about Islam?   You know the mane of their prophet, and their holy book right? Do you know what the central tenants of their faith are? (hint: there are 5 of them) If you’re like most […]

Waiting

posted by rgaffney

It seems to be a common problem in Christendom that we feel like we are stuck waiting. It’s not a problem I am at all unfamiliar with At one point in my life I was waiting for a church to […]

Multiple Man

posted by rgaffney

Introduction Games are just a fact of life when you meet as many new people as regularly as I do. It seems like just about every month I’m in a new circle telling people my name rank and serial number, […]

On Lying

posted by rgaffney

I had a friend back in California who’s mother was completely opposed to the consumption of dairy products. her father on the other hand was more lenient on the subject, and it was a significant childhood memory for her that […]

Thoughts on Biblical Womanhood

posted by rgaffney

I’d like to show you a video of a young theologian expressing her thoughts on biblical womanhood. . All jokes aside I think the fact that this is funny to us illustrates an intriguing point about the normal desires for […]

The Banality Of Evil Part II

posted by rgaffney

I hijacked a term in my previous post in order to make a point about how sucky and lame evil is. The words “Banality of Evil” come originally from Hannah Arendt. “Banal” means trivial or common. So I first used […]

The Banality Of Evil

posted by rgaffney

It’s common, when telling stories about good versus evil to try to make good sound extra special heroic. We want the good guys, whoever they are to seem to have overcome ridiculous odds, because after all a little good can […]

Making Your Stand Against the Darkness

posted by rgaffney

In case you needed a reminder that our battle is not against flesh and blood…

Peculiar

posted by rgaffney

After camp I drove a couple of my students back home to Kansas. It was good to have the time with the three of them to engage and hear about camp from their perspective. As a ministry we always try […]

Liturgical Dance

posted by rgaffney

There is a cult down in Vista California called the Twelve Tribes that I went and visited some time ago. You should know I don’t use that term lightly. When I say “cult” I don’t mean “people who believe differently […]

Hot Sauce

posted by rgaffney

The head of our Inner-City Mission Project is named Gerry Gerry is a great old man, very wise and very neurotic, a few months ago at a staff conference I sat down with him for breakfast. “Where did you get […]

Allie

posted by rgaffney

Last night I came downstairs at camp to find two girls talking “What are you talking about?” “We’re talking about proclamations of faith” “Oh cool, have you come to any sorts of conclusions?” One of the girls, Allie, responded after […]

The Power Of Yes

posted by rgaffney

If you’ve been reading for any length of time it should not surprise you that I’m something of a rule breaker. I believe that Jesus was Neutral Good not Lawful Neutral and I also care about rules only in so […]

PowerPoint

posted by rgaffney

Tonight I ran the PowerPoint for the Musical Worship at camp. We have a slideshow with all the words to the worship songs set up on a computer, churches often need a person (or trained monkey) to accomplish the very […]

Sharks!

posted by rgaffney

The staff gathered the other night, a night before the students arrived and debriefed and hung out. At one point one of the staff asked the room full of people about a situation that had arisen. Apparently the pool at […]

Summer Camp

posted by rgaffney

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time for me to go up to camp again. I’ll be up here for two weeks, but I’ll have internet access, you can expect periodic updates about my thoughts and stories […]

The Ultimate Testimony

posted by rgaffney

I don’t have a good testimony. Most people hate it when I say that, but it’s really true. Some people have awesome testimonies and some peoples testimonies are boring like mine. The great testimony goes something like this: “I was […]

The Best Movie Ever

posted by rgaffney

What is the best movie ever? Go on. Leave a comment. Which movie is best? Not your favorite movie. I want to know the best movie. Objectively. This is another one of my favorite conversation questions, along with “What is […]

Osama bin Ladin

posted by rgaffney

It just so happens that I was visiting New York City yesterday when Osama Bin Ladin was confirmed dead. After 10 years the long search is over Late yesterday afternoon I drove past Ground Zero, I saw the new One […]

Jesus In Wonderland

posted by rgaffney

“Let’s consider your age to begin with –how old are you” “I’m seven and a half exactly.” “You needn’t say ‘exactually,’” the Queen remarked. ” I can believe it without that. Now I’ll give you something to believe. I’m just […]

The Emergent Emerging Church

posted by rgaffney

I’m just going to come right out and say it. Mark Driscoll can be pedantic at times. But not nearly so much as his followers. This has never been so obvious as with the distinction between “Emerging” and “Emergent.”  Driscoll […]

The Wonderful Plan

posted by rgaffney

If God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life (and I believe he does) Then what is it? It seems to me that the same comfortable North American Christians who like that wording, are the same people […]

God loves you and has a wonderful plan

posted by rgaffney

I suspect you are a Christian. You have probably been a believer for quite some time – 10 to 15 years at least. Do you have to have called yourself a Christian for that long in order to want to read about missionaries? About […]

Why Do We Color Eggs For Easter?

posted by rgaffney

It’s the kind of question that gets asked again every year? So why do we color eggs to celebrate the resurrection of the LORD? I used to pester my mom with this sort of question all the time when I […]

What’s Up With The Title?

posted by rgaffney

Well it’s a Jonah reference. Obviously. But it’s more than that. C.S. Lewis identified himself as “The Most Reluctant Convert,” which is an idea I could relate to, except that I was never really converted (of if I was, it […]

Fear 2.0

posted by rgaffney

Welcome, welcome all Beliefnet readers. It’s great to have you here. As you can see this is not the first blog post I’ve written. it’s just the first I’ve written HERE. I’ve had a grand total of 5 hosts so […]

Jesus Gave Blood For You

posted by rgaffney

Whoops, There was a problem with this post! Maybe you’d rather read something else – such as Why do we color Easter eggs?

Letting a Guy Down Easy (What You Need To Know)

posted by rgaffney

I don’t know why, but over the history of this Blog, my articles dating and relationships have consistently gotten the most attention. I’ve had other articles which I thought were better or more interesting, I’ve had articles that were more […]

The TARDIS

posted by rgaffney

There is a delightfully geeky young girl I know who left a status on facebook several months ago which I took note of. It has persisted in my memory as one of my all time favorite status updates. It said: […]

God’s boulder-lifting capabilities

posted by rgaffney

It’s a question as old as time itself. No, actually it’s medieval in origin — dating to around the 12th century: Could God create a boulder so heavy that he himself could not lift it? There is an older version dating […]

What Is Best In Life?

posted by rgaffney

Back in California I once took a bike trip down the coast with a buddy. We stayed in campsites at night and sampled the local food along the way. I can't express the exhilaration one feels when they are on […]

On Bullies

posted by rgaffney

Have you guys seen this video yet? It’s the one of the bully getting a taste of his own medicine. . I’m interested to hear what you all think. Obviously the bully got what was coming to him, but from […]

Learn the Original English

posted by rgaffney

I love the doing Greek word studies. Sometimes I think I even αγάπη it. Or perhaps it’s more of an Ἔρως…It’s sexy, I dig it. I like big bibles and I cannot lie. And I love that I get to […]

You ‘ re Not Jesus!

posted by rgaffney

One of my students recently put up a Blog Post. I’d love to link it here, but considering what I’m going to say about it I think I had better not for fear of inciting a flame war. Suffice it […]

Rob Bell

posted by rgaffney

I have refrained from speaking for a long time. At times I have thought it prudent to be quiet. At times I have been a coward. But here is the truth. Rob Bell is a good man and a good […]

Work

posted by rgaffney

One of my favorite things about by job as a campus minister is it’s amorphous nature. Between ministering, fund raising, networking, and personal development it is very difficult to find an activity that I might participate in which is not […]

Dissagreement and Understanding

posted by rgaffney

I've found myself frustrated lately by a number of discussions that were more heated than they needed to be. If fact, they were more existent than they needed to be, they could have just as easily not happened at all! […]

Today Was A Good Day

posted by rgaffney

People often ask me what an "average day" looks like for me as a minister at KSU. My answer is always the same, "there's no such thing" In the field, every day is different, and in the line of service […]

Dear California Police

posted by rgaffney

Dear California Department of Justice, Local Police Departments including especially CHP and La County Sheriff, and the State Legislature: Dear California. Three generations ago my great grandfather crossed the Brooklyn bridge by foot. Coming to America he got the best […]

What Are We In Favor Of Again?

posted by rgaffney

Christians are against abortion, gay marriage, and evolution. Against the continuing decay of moral values, and the increased need to be “PC” at the expense of frank honesty. We’re against socialism, communism, fascism, and liberalism. We disagree with postmodernism, nihilism, […]

HOLY $#/+!

posted by rgaffney

I want to talk a bit about some f***ing profanity. I feel strange doing it. I find myself asking “Really? This is the most important thing to talk about right now?” But I honestly think it is. Not as an […]

Surviving the Zombie Onslaught

posted by rgaffney

If you follow the blog and have been reading along you’ll have heard all about how our behavior as Christians mimics Zombies in the sense that we both don’t mean any harm as we mindlessly attempt to assimilate people. And […]

Life in Zombieland

posted by rgaffney

All Last Week I’ve been talking about zombies. And i wonder if some of you aren’t wondering if I’ve been a bit melodramatic. “Ryan” you might be thinking “I’m sorry you’ve run into a couple people who seem to want […]

The Cause of The Zombie Apocalypse

posted by rgaffney

Yesterday I rhetorically asked “what gives?” regarding the anti-intellectuality of many Christians today I want to take a shot at answering my own question. Why do we, as a people group, fear logic and reason? Why do we clip verses […]

Zombies and Evangelism

posted by rgaffney

Yesterday I wrote about a rising tide in Christianity that resembles the behavior of Zombies. many Christians think that doubt, rationality, and booksmarts are all worldly, and by extension “bad” And they want you to join them in this level […]

Zombie Christians

posted by rgaffney

Johnathan Coulton sings a song about a polite Zombie. The chorus goes All we want to do is eat your brains, We’re not unreasonable, I mean noone’s gonna eat your eyes! All We Want to do is eat your brains […]

Opposing the Devil

posted by rgaffney

So I have a confession. I’ve been watching the show “Reaper” on The CW. I know, I know, guys like me aren’t supposed to watch formulaic pulp comedies like Reaper, We’re supposed to be reading stuff and watching NOVA reruns… […]

Marraige As The Last Resort

posted by rgaffney

One popular mantra in christianity today is "What if Jesus really meant that" It's a powerful question, when applied tho things like "Sell all you have and give to the poor" or "Judge not lest ye be judged" or "early […]

My Car

posted by rgaffney

I had no idea, not the vaguest hint, yesterday morning as I woke up, I would be saying goodbye to my 1995 Toyota 4Runner I had been worried about a sore throat that I felt was coming on, which would […]

Christ’s Alignment

posted by rgaffney

It’s clear to me where Christ stands on the scale of Alignment he is obviously Neutral Good, The same alignment as Dirty Harry, the same as Spiderman, Luke Skywalker, The Boondock Saints, and The Doctor. Jesus cares about others more […]

Alignment

posted by rgaffney

Christians don’t like Dungeons & Dragons as a rule. We generally suspect that it just may possibly be a little bit The Devil. But since when have I ever payed attention to christian social conventions? I think D&D provides some […]

Serve God and Die

posted by rgaffney

"They called me Mr. Fun" said Mick, as he sat there on stage. We all understood what he meant, periodically the community would need something to break the tension or the monotony, a game, or a joke, maybe a song. […]

Did Jesus Exist Part II

posted by rgaffney

In the last article I introduced the new problem of defending the historicity of Jesus the man. And spent time “setting the goalposts” in such a way that there will be no room for wiggling away from what the evidence […]

Did Jesus Even Exist?

posted by rgaffney

The answer is “Of course he did, don’t be silly” Nonetheless it’s become popular for semi-learned skeptics to deny even the historical existence of Jesus, just for fun. I say “just for fun” because it’s not important in their mind […]

Storage Unit II

posted by rgaffney

I wrote previously about my thoughts as I moved my few worldly possessions into a storage unit. I want to take a post and talk about the conclusion to those thoughts At the time I questioned the impulse to keep […]

A ·~A

posted by rgaffney

Note: This is Part 4 is a series on Santa Clause. If you are reading through the archives you will want to Start with Part 1, and then read 2, and 3 before this one. In the last three posts […]

The Controversy

posted by rgaffney

Those articles are both cute, but I also think they do a better job than I could of articulating an important point about Santa Clause. They say exactly opposite things, but yet each, in it's own way, very meaningfully demonstrate […]

Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Clause

posted by rgaffney

This one is something of a rebuttal to the last. Even though it was written about 100 years earlier. It's a response of a Newspaper editor to a little girl on Santa Clause. You may have already seen it, but […]

On Santa Clause (A Rational Perspective)

posted by rgaffney

Today I want to share with you one of my all time favorite Christmas writings. It's posted elsewhere on the net, but I think it deserves another post. If you can. Try to read it out loud. It's even funnier […]

God is Not in Danger of Ceasing

posted by rgaffney

I get in a lot of theological conversations with people. It’s my job. I rely heavily hypothetical questions as a tool to get Christians off of the script and begin thinking with their logic centers as opposed to memory centers. […]

Misquoting Beeblebrox

posted by rgaffney

WARNING: This article may contain spoilers to “The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy”. If you somehow haven’t read that book yet, Go read that first! It’s great! One social group I tend to have an easy time getting along with […]

Uproar

posted by rgaffney

“We could play ‘Uproar’ She said” I cringed. I had no idea what kind of game “Uproar” was going to be. But I was sure it was going to be some squeaky clean mixer game like Charades, or Pictionary, that […]

A Prophet Out Of His Hometown

posted by rgaffney

In Kansas I expected cold, and weather, I expected cultural differences, I expected bad ethnic food, and good ol’ boys in pick up trucks. I mentally prepared myself to adjust to these changes, but I never predicted that I would […]

How To Get Me To Come To Your Church

posted by rgaffney

I had a phone conversation recently with a sweet old lady (I meet a lot of sweet old ladies out here) and discussed a subject which seems to be on the hearts and minds of a great deal of people […]

Emo Blogging

posted by rgaffney

Do you ever notice how blogs tend to be filled with angsty prose about how nobody understands the author? I’ve always wondered why that is. Some of you who are my more consistant readers may have noticed that I’m having […]

November

posted by rgaffney

November 6, 2009 I received an email. It said the following: “My name is Timothy Lin, and I am the Kansas Area Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  We're currently hiring for a position at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, […]

Books

posted by rgaffney

Today as I was unpacking my books to shelve them in my new home I came across an oddity. It was a 1,000 page full A+ Certification Guide for the “New and Updated” 1998 exam. A+, in case you don’t […]

March

posted by rgaffney

It’s been a while since my last update. And I’m glad to finally be filling you in on what’s transpired since my last letter. There’s big news all over this ministry as things get rolling. We’re developing partnerships with local […]

Vampires and Jesus

posted by rgaffney

At this time of year it’s not surprising to see the vampire hysteria that’s overwhelmed out nations tweens reach a fever pitch. And with it the conservative counter-frenzy against vampires and all their demonic origins from the fundamentalist right. I […]

Patronage

posted by rgaffney

Once upon a time there were only two jobs a person could have: Hunter or Gatherer. There were no Pastors then, no Artists, no Personal Enrichment Gurus. Over time our economic system expanded, we developed farming for plants and animals, […]

Micro Or Macroevolution?

posted by rgaffney

As far as I’m concerned, when someone asks the question “do you believe in evolution?” there are two responses. If you do believe that the diversity of life on earth is the result of a hereditary process similar or identical […]

Newsletter Article

posted by rgaffney

This is an article I wrote for the newsletter at the church I used to work at. It was published, in a modified form. Now that I have this audience I thought I'd share it with you. In case you […]

A Humble Proposal to Reform Our Dating System

posted by rgaffney

I wrote previously, and hopefully humorously, about some of the problems with our current conceptions in the church regarding dating. Essentially we've made it way way too complicated, resulting in way way too much pressure being put on an interaction […]

On Dating

posted by rgaffney

I feel, that in the church in particular dating has become terribly overcomplicated to the great detriment of many of our relationships. For the sake of all Men, I’d like to make a few things clear -The bible has passages […]

Good Doctrine, and Salvation

posted by rgaffney

I’ve noticed a recent and disturbing trend in the modern church to act like people are saved by their good doctrine. This is far from the case. I wrote the following study to help combat that sort of thinking. Matthew […]

P-Con

posted by rgaffney

I spent a year in Collegiate Debate, it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in school. I often lament that not everyone had the same experience. Debate is excellent for training one to think and communicate quickly and critically, It is […]

Language Learning

posted by rgaffney

I believe that the language a person speaks is one of the most important, if not the very most important factor in determining how they think. If you speak English you think in English, and that comes with all sorts […]

Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage.

posted by rgaffney

Would somebody please explain to me how having a battle with the federal government in the courts about the interpretation of the constitution is supposed to protect the sanctity of a God ordained institution between men and women. Seriously, use […]

They ‘ re Making Christian WOW

posted by rgaffney

World of Warcraft (WOW) is a massive online game made by blizzard entertainment. It has absolutely revolutionized the genre of Online RPG gaming and perhaps gaming itself. So much so that we Christians decided we needed to get in on […]

I Didn ‘ t Know Any Worse

posted by rgaffney

All those years ago today, I can remember where I was… I was a sophomore in high school, we got at about 7 in the morning, before breakfast, he said that something terrible had happened, and I should turn on […]

A Creed

posted by rgaffney

I’ve been working for a while on a new kind of creed. I want to figure out what a belief statement would look along the lines of the Apostles or Nicean creed, that focused less on the historical facts, and […]

Not Exactly My Fault

posted by rgaffney

I was going through my phone tonight. Particularly the notepad app where I store little tidbits of information that I don’t want to write on scraps of paper lest I lose them. Contact info, driving directions, ideas for books, those […]

Freeeeeedom!

posted by rgaffney

The lesson in church today was out of 1 Peter, and it began with a discussion question for the tables we were seated at “If you could be free from anything what would you want freedom from, What would that […]

The Car Accident Incident

posted by rgaffney

A strange thing happened the other night… I was out for a walk late at night, and I found that the intersection by my house was all blocked off in police tape because of an accident, walking by I could […]

Bread

posted by rgaffney

So I’ve been learning to bake this year, and in my experimentation I found to my great joy that bread is incredible when the 5tsp or so or butter is substituted for ½ cup of Bacon grease. Further proof of […]

CTR

posted by rgaffney

I finally found my CTR ring again. I’d taken it off for a shower nearly a year ago and thought it was gone forever. While I’m celebrating I thought I’d take some time to explain on the internet what so […]

Colostrum

posted by rgaffney

A friend of mine works in the Labor and Delivery ward at a local hospital. She’s loves working with babies and new mothers and being inundated with that whole experience (the kind of thing which would make me run for the hills) And through […]

The New Athiests

posted by rgaffney

Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris. Have made themselves famous with arguments against religion that center on the damage it does to society. For example: "Christianity has been responsible for an untold number of travesties like the crusades and […]

One Last Camp Thought

posted by rgaffney

Okay, So I know the last 3 posts have been theologically light and about TLC, but trust me, you do not want 2 months full of updates about what it's like to fund-raise. And this is the last one I promise. After what […]

Nerd Girls

posted by rgaffney

At camp I was able to offer a valuable lesson to someone who had never heard it before. I thought that if she hadn’t heard it then maybe ya’ll would benefit from it also, so here’s the story: While sitting […]

Teen Leadership Camp

posted by rgaffney

I spent last weekend up at camp. I was volunteering with my old church for “Teen Leadership Camp” an extension/clone of “Royal Family Kids Camp” for Jr. High and High School Youth in the foster system. The idea of both […]

About

posted by rgaffney

So what's your blog about and why in the world is it called "Fear of Whales"? Well I'll tell you. It was actually originally called "Not That Kind Of Christian" and subtitled "The Ramblings of a Mad Heathensaint" but eventually […]

Storage Unit

posted by rgaffney

Today I bought a storage unit so I could move out of the apartment I've been renting and make way for a new tenant. I'll just couch surf for a couple of weeks until I'm ready to move to Kansas. […]

Calvinism V  Arminianism

posted by rgaffney

It has been my contention for some time that most of the great debates withing the church, having raged for centuries, are able to do so only because both sides hold a piece of truth that the other misses.  Classic […]

Excommunicated

posted by rgaffney

I’ve been kicked out of my church. I’m a protestant and we don’t use the word excommunication, but we do unfortunately have vindictive congregants who start malicious rumors which persuade leaders to ask other congregants not to return. And that’s […]

I ‘ m Not Going To Africa

posted by rgaffney

Earlier this week I finally got the call from a pastor at the church who’s college ministry disfellowshipped me… If this sounds convoluted or insane, that’s because it’s both. He informed me that if by any chance I no longer […]

On Valleys In The Christian Life

posted by rgaffney

Tomorrow I will be sworn into membership of the church I’ve been going to since summer. It’s going to be the first church that I’ve belonged to since my parents split up. Now I dunno what it is, maybe It’s […]

Oh Lord, If You Get Me Out Of This I ’ll Do Anything…

posted by rgaffney

…Even go to Africa and help the pygmies! It turns out I’m going to go do just that. I don’t know why every person trying to bargain with God for their lives in a movie makes that offer, it makes […]

Rock, Paper, Apologetics

posted by rgaffney

In my short life I’ve done considerable study of the Christian based religions that deviate from the ecumenically agreed upon orthodoxy. In other words, “cults” I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Mormonism in particular, but also looked closely […]

Faith: A Crisis of the Evidence of Things Hoped For

posted by rgaffney

I’ve been wrestling with the understanding of faith from a 1st century perspective for 2 years now, I haven’t gotten to any solid ground, but I promised you all some half baked theories, so I’d like to share where I […]

Sandwhiches

posted by rgaffney

I go to a post-contemporary service at a Presbyterian church…. I realize that’s a little odd, but I'm going to have to suggest that you get used to it because it’s one of the less paradoxical aspects of my walk… […]

Surfboards Cars And Unicycles

posted by rgaffney

You guys still don’t know me out there, I want to do the normal blog thing for a post and talk about my day, That way you can get some perspective on the kind of person talking to you. I […]

Lent

posted by rgaffney

So Ash Wednesday was this last Wednesday… that can only mean one thing! It’s Lent. Happy Lent Everyone!!! …Can I say that? …Sad lent?….Contemplative lent? I really don’t know. Either way it’s lent, and that’s what I’m going to talk […]

First Post

posted by rgaffney

Hello and welcome to the dreaded first blog! The first blog has got to be the hardest to write because it is the blog that everyone goes back to and reads “how did this get started” and all that. So […]

Note

posted by rgaffney

The first several posts of this blog were written years ago on a now defunct site called Faithvine.org In 2010 i took up writing again for a less explicitly evangelical audience. The posts have been copied here and backdated.

Previous Posts

Voy A Mexico
Today I am leaving for Monterrey, Mexico. People keep asking me if it’s a mission trip or a vacation. I like that they have to ask. It’s mostly a vacation. I have a friend down there, and I live nearby, and I like tacos. But the more I think about why people keep asking me if it’s missio

posted 9:59:45am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Theologically Correct
Lord I lift your name on High Lord I long to sing your praises I'm so glad you're in my life I’m so glad you came to save us You came from heaven to earth to show the way from the earth to the cross my debt to pay from the cross to the grave from the grave to Peter, and then to the 11, an

posted 12:17:00am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Majority Of Scholars
There is a phrase I have been hearing a lot, which I have come to detest. “The majority of scholars agree that…” It is raised in bar rooms and classrooms, it comes up in discussions about every subject, at seemingly every level. It is a useless thing to say. I understand why a person would be

posted 10:55:15pm Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About “Troublesome Lesbians”
There is an article Here (I hesitate to link it lest I help propagate the popularity of the article) it is titled “When Two Lesbians Walk Into a Church Seeking Trouble” and features the story of a wonderfully loving and accepting church and how their Christian nonjudgementalism softened the hear

posted 12:19:45pm Mar. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Ghosts
Last year at this time I was sitting in Varsity Donuts trying to make sense of living in Rural Kansas while not actively working for InterVarsity (My term ended February 2013) Today I’m back in the same Donut shop to visit, a Seminarian, still making sense of my experiences here, many of which I w

posted 8:23:00pm Mar. 12, 2014 | read full post »

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