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A Fear of Whales

A Fear of Whales

Uncategorized Archives

Bus Odyssey Again

posted by rgaffney

You may be wondering why, after my last experience with Greyhound Inc, I would ever consider patronizing their services again. Well it’s a long and a sad story, but basically I keep putting myself in positions where I believe they […]

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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 […]

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

Welcome

posted by

Beliefnet is delighted to bring you the clever observations of Ryan Gaffney, a campus minister at the University of Kansas.  Like Jonah in the Bible, he’s not particularly frightened by big fish, but like you and me has to deal with that […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

Bus Odyssey Again
You may be wondering why, after my last experience with Greyhound Inc, I would ever consider patronizing their services again. Well it’s a long and a sad story, but basically I keep putting myself in positions where I believe they might be the ...

posted 7:23:13pm Apr. 03, 2015 | read full post »

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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