Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

An Unwanted Birthday Gift

I had a birthday in the last couple of weeks and Kris surprised me with this statement. “After dinner tonight, we’re going to the mall to get something you don’t want.” This, of course, got me to thinking about what I clearly don’t want but which Kris thinks I need.
So, after a dinner at Olive Garden, we drove over to the mall. On our way into JC Penney, Kris said, “I saw what you need here today so I know right where they are.”
Sure enough, Kris thought I needed something I didn’t: Blue Jeans.
We estimate that I haven’t owned or worn blue jeans since my PhD days in Nottingham, but it may be even further back than that. Kris had picked out a pair of carpenter jeans to remind me of my previous jeans … Oshkosh B’Gosh painter pants. Sure enough, I tried them on and, much to my surprise, I liked the feel. “Hmmm,” I was saying to myself, “they don’t make ’em the way they used to.” I even smiled a bit when Kris said, “How do they fit?”
Laura and Mark came to our home Saturday evening and, when Laura saw the jeans, she just laughed. “Dad, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in jeans.” Then she remembered a comment I made when we were in England. Laura had seen that the little English girls were wearing skirts to school so she wanted to wear skirts. My comment: “We’re Americans, Laura; we wear jeans.” (Laura says I said that; I don’t remember saying that.) But soon thereafter, Laura began wearing skirts to school and I forgot about jeans …
Until Friday night.
Hey, Tony, what color of belt do I wear with jeans?

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posted November 12, 2007 at 12:31 am

Kris told me at the Emergent conference in AUstin that you “needed a pair of jeans.” I believe I was wearing a pair of jeans at the time, as were, oh 99% of the attendees. I seem to remember that you received grief about your slacks at the same conference.
You should have seen this one comming, bro.
It’s best to wear a brown leather belt, I think.

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posted November 12, 2007 at 12:49 am

Hey Scot,
I don’t know if I could picture you in jeans either. Here is some fashion tips if you want to be cool in your fly new jeans:
1. Make sure they ride low on your hips. Apparently that is a fashion statement that says, “I am wearing awesome boxers – check mine out.”
2. Another style approach is to take an S.O.S. pad and rub the blue off the jeans and make holes all over them. This will allow for ample ventilation and move-ability. This is the style people are drawn to for some reason. I guess it makes them feel holier than thou.
3. Any kind of belt will make your jeans cool. Red, yellow, chartreuse, or aqua is a few suggestions that will really draw some attention. Brown, black or white are out of style. If you can find the shiny spike ones, those are what work the best. If someone makes fun of you for your outfit, you can take off your belt and whip them.
4. Finally, always (and I do mean always) do a zipper check. Lord knows there have been too many times I have walked out of the house with the “barn door open.” If these are too many things to remember, that just means you are getting older and in need of a list to check off while wearing your new jeans. Follow these simple yet effective steps and you will fit in with the rest of society, for better or for worse.
Enjoy your new jeans. Perhaps we can see some more pictures of you modeling those bad boys!

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John W Frye

posted November 12, 2007 at 3:16 am

There IS a God! Scot is wearing blue jeans!
Way to go, Kris!!

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Ted M. Gossard

posted November 12, 2007 at 5:32 am

Those look okay, Scot. You’re moving up in the world!

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posted November 12, 2007 at 5:37 am

now girls in england want to wear jeans too school as well :)

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posted November 12, 2007 at 6:45 am

And his shirt is STILL tucked in! I guess you need to take things a little slower.

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posted November 12, 2007 at 6:45 am

My 13 yo son would recommend a pair of skateboarding shoes to set off the look. Great comments TD and when does your comic novel appear … ?

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tony jones

posted November 12, 2007 at 6:50 am

At first I thought the unwanted gift was dinner at the Olive Garden! :-)
Belt? Brown or black. Depends on the shoes. Knowing you, brown. PLEASE, no braided belts, and nothing thin. Get a really thick, chunky belt with a substantial buckle.
I’ll be wearing jeans at our session at AAR/SBL…will you?

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posted November 12, 2007 at 7:06 am

Skateboarding shoes have potential for we over-40s, from what my son tells me. Special gripping soles so you don’t slip off your skateboard, or in our cases, walking down the sidewalk … and hard sides to kick the skateboard to do tricks … good potential for “accidentally bumping” snoozing students … Will says that you don’t want to get what everyone else has, which are DC’s or Etnies. This mindset is crucial if you want to be a trendsetting fashionista, which clearly is the case here. Plus, “good” DC skateboarding shoes cost $150. He recently used his own money to purchase Audios, a brand he stands behind, at a mere $80. He says they definitely have a look that will set you apart from the crowd …

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Eileen Warren

posted November 12, 2007 at 7:46 am

Well Scot I have known you for some time – seen you in different social settings – but can’t say I’ve ever noticed you werem’t wearing jeans. Leaves me wondering what else i missed//

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posted November 12, 2007 at 7:51 am

Happy belated birthday! =)

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posted November 12, 2007 at 8:11 am

We have determined in our house that if a guy is over … well, over 40 … he really should just go ahead and tuck his shirt in. Frankly, we all have found it just a bit pathetic when a guy in his middle-age wears his shirt untucked. Just a bit too much effort there. I know you didn’t ask about that, Scot … but I’m sure you will hear it. My kids press and press my husband to untuck his shirt … but he and I have a secret pact; the shirt remains tucked. But the jeans don’t get pulled up too high. Who’d have thought that the simple wearing of blue jeans would become this culturally complicated?

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posted November 12, 2007 at 8:28 am

Question is – will an unwanted b-day gift become an unused b-day gift?
But in response to Tony (#8) – no Jeans at a professional function (casts the wrong image).

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posted November 12, 2007 at 8:36 am

I think suspenders would do the trick, the big wide ones used by construction workers, you know the rainbow ones.
You could wear the blue jeans to class! With the suspenders. What an atmosphere that would create. Sort of an academic-emergent-postmodern-whatnottowear thing going on.

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Bob Brague

posted November 12, 2007 at 8:50 am

Tony got it right. Belt should be the same color as the shoes you are wearing, with the caveat that the shoes you are wearing should be either brown or black. Back in the day, the coolest thing of all was to wear no belt with blue jeans (of course, that was fifty years ago).

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Brad Cooper

posted November 12, 2007 at 9:07 am

Tony’s right. Not too thin and no braided belts–or if you do make sure it has some wild colors or fringe….If you’re going to wear something ugly, at least make a statement. 😉 I’d go with black over brown–goes with everything….although brown is more subtle or if you’re going for the earthy gotta-be-green look. Of course, the real question here is: WWJD? Did Jesus wear jeans and a belt?….

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posted November 12, 2007 at 10:23 am

I remember a weekend in London a few years ago – I think I had the only pair of jeans in town!
I, too, bought some jeans over the weekend at JC Penny’s – %75 off!

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Mark E

posted November 12, 2007 at 10:30 am

If you keep your shirt hanging free (untucked) then you don’t have to worry about what color your belt is (except in the men’s room but this doesn’t matter since you never look down). :)
In Christ,
Mark E

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Scott M. Collins

posted November 12, 2007 at 10:47 am

Looks great! Though I have begun to prefer khakis these days as well.
As my wife taught me, the belt always matches the shoes and Navy Blue and Black don’t always go together (but Navy Blue doesn’t go with a “bright” brown either!). I have some maroon and black dress shoes that save the day for the few times I have to dress up these days.

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posted November 12, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Belt with jeans? Who does that, Scot? If you need a belt, the jeans don’t fit. :)
Just kidding!

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Scott Eaton

posted November 12, 2007 at 3:20 pm


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posted November 12, 2007 at 4:17 pm

Tennis shoes are what’s worn here so there goes matching the belt to the shoes. A brown belt, not too wide, not too thin. A brown belt always goes with jeans. Or a web belt – off white/light brown/beige.

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posted November 12, 2007 at 4:18 pm

I think it is time to nominate Scot for the show “What Not to Wear.”

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Rachel Madvig

posted November 12, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Hope you had a happy birthday!
I like the jeans, McKnight. They make for a good story :)

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Heather Fischer

posted November 12, 2007 at 7:50 pm

“Comment by RJS: But in response to Tony (#8) – no Jeans at a professional function (casts the wrong image).”
I believe that would be Jones’ point. Right?

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posted November 12, 2007 at 8:05 pm

Probably – but Tony is a grad student and thinks like one (either that or his academic circles differ much from mine). It has been amazing as I age, to watch my colleagues move from jeans to professional image. At the meetings I attend students wear jeans ? professors do not (even though most did as students or post docs – and still do in more casual circumstances).

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posted November 13, 2007 at 1:31 pm

i just love that you’re wearing a pair of birks… at least it looks like a pair of birks…

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posted November 13, 2007 at 3:23 pm

Happy Birthday. Something else we share. Tim won’t wear jeans either. In fact, he’s the only teacher who wears a sports coat and tie everyday of the year, except game days when he wears the required Hermiston High polo. Konnie keeps trying to get her dad into a pair of jeans, but he prefers his athletic wear or his cords.

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posted November 19, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Atmospherics « Growing Up in Church

[…] I was relieved to see Scot McKnight wearing his brand new blue jeans at the? session about the Emergents. Or was? this simply? another indication of the decline of rigorous thinking as Mr. Suit suggested? After all, on Sunday, N.T. Wright dismissed? the postmoderns? as “fluffy.” […]

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