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“There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.”

I love that quote from G. K. Chesterton. Not a surprising statement, considering it comes from a man who once wrote a lengthy essay about his fascination with all the items he found in his pants pocket.

Like Chesterton, I am fascinated by all kinds of things. One of the reasons I write and read blogs is because I am curious. There’s so much to learn. So many interesting voices to listen to. So many insights into life and love that arise from places you least expect.

Is Your Blog Post “Christian?”

When I first considered moving my blog home to The Gospel Coalition neighborhood, I realized that my choice of subject matter and daily links would be more eclectic than some of my blog neighbors. Perhaps that’s why, in the past few months, I’ve received occasional comments or emails from readers puzzled about my choice of topic for a blog post or link. Almost always, the question concerns the perceived “Christian-ness” of the choice.

Here’s an example. My post on “7 Myths about the Columbine Shooting” earlier this week prompted this comment:

A question about your article….and I accept I might be missing something here…apart from a review of a book and you sharing some things you learned from it….I’m struggling to see how this article is either helpful to a Christian or is relevant to a Christian. I guess another way of putting it might be, what is there about the article that makes it ‘Gospel Coalition’ content? Just curious?

No, the commenter isn’t missing anything. He’s right. There was nothing distinctively Christian about the post, apart from the fact it was written by me – a Christian. I wrote about the book because I found it fascinating and thought others would be interested in some of the truths I learned.

That said, the Columbine post certainly provides a number of possibilities for further conversation. Here are a few:

  • The power of the media to shape a narrative in the wake of a tragedy.
  • The persistence of myth-making and conspiracy theories in our culture.
  • The willingness of Christians to pass on an inaccurate martyr story in order to invest a terrible tragedy with spiritual significance.
  • The ongoing discussion about bullying among children and teenagers.

Though I didn’t pursue these avenues in detail, I knew the blog post might spark some good thought in these directions.

Living on Earth as Citizens of Heaven

Whenever I hear from readers who wonder why my daily links do not always relate directly to Christianity, the church, or pastoral ministry, I point them to the name of this blog: Kingdom People: Living on Earth as Citizens of Heaven.

Too many times, we think of something as “Christian” only when it is directly tied to our being “citizens of heaven” instead of our “living on earth.” But I don’t think we can separate the two. Those of us who seek to improve our ability to exegete the Bible for our congregations should also be experts at exegeting the culture. Kevin Vanhoozer writes:

I cannot love my neighbor unless I understand him and the cultural world he inhabits. Cultural literacy – the ability to understand patterns and products of everyday life – is thus an integral aspect of obeying the law of love. (Everyday Theology, 19)

So why learn to read culture? Vanhoozer offers three reasons:

  1. It helps to know what is forming one’s spirit. It helps to be able to name the powers and principalities that vie for the control of one’s mind, soul, heart, and strength.
  2. To make sure that the scripts we perform in everyday life are in accord with the Scriptures – the story of what God is doing in Jesus Christ through the Spirit to give meaning and life to the world – rather than some other story.
  3. Because we need to know where we are in the drama of redemption. The world is our stage, but culture is the setting for our next scene.

Chesterton was right. There are no uninteresting subjects, only uninterested people. That’s why, whenever I find something of interest on the web, my first thought is not – Is this Christian? - but Is this interesting? Is it “worth a look?” Is there humor in it? Pathos? Insight into the way the world works? The way people think? If so, I’ll link to it or write a post about it.

This whole world is God’s. As Nate Wilson reminds us, “To an infinite artist, a Creator in love with His craft, there is no unimportant corner, there is no thrown-away image, no tattered thread in the novel left untied.”


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18 thoughts on “Your Blog Post Isn’t “Christian””

  1. Jim Elmquist says:

    Trevin…great blog…I look forward to it everyday…your subject today…whether your blog is Christian or not…one thing you do not say, I think implied, but not said…and I agree that there are lots of interesting things out there and we should know about lots of them…but what you did not say is, I’m sure you pass all those things through your “Christian” prism or the matrix of God’s Word when choosing items…to go to extreme here…there may be an article about how Christian girls can become playboy models…don’t know there is one or not but that may be interesting to some…but would that pass your Christian prism or matrix???…just a thought…as a Christian, all things are spiritual and all things must be viewed through that context…if it is not so, I have lived my 70 years all wrong…I think you understand what I mean…you do good work here…”I love this Christian blog”…

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Jim,

      You’re absolutely right. Everything I link to should pass through the “Christian” prism. It’s just not that the link or blog post has to make that Christian worldview explicit every time.

      So, we can have a good laugh at a funny YouTube clip and enjoy it as part of God’s good creation without having to super-spiritualize it by making a Christian comment on it.

      That’s my main point. Christianity informs my worldview, but Christianity is not the only thing worth writing about and talking about. It is not the thing we look at all day, but the lens we look through to see the world.

  2. Larry says:

    Good thoughts. I’m reminded of Martin Luther’s quote:

    “The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”

    I don’t have to be a “Christian writer” or a “Christian accountant” meaning I only write about theology or only do the books for churches. I can be a writer who is Christian or an accountant who is Christian and glorify God in my daily vocation by doing quality work on behalf my fellow man. I think this doctrine of vocation that was recovered during the Reformation has fallen on hard times once again and the church would do well to recover and teach it.

    1. Wesley says:

      Great quote from Luther!

  3. Mel says:

    I love your blog. God belongs everywhere and not just in little Christian boxes.

  4. Keep it up! Also, props for the Vanhoozer quote. He’s pretty much the the man when it comes to…well, anything he writes. But seriously, I like the eclectic mix. I find a lot of value in the non-devotional type posts as well as the “Christian” ones with Bible verses in them.

  5. Alex Adkison says:

    I find blog post like the one you did on Columbine very interesting. I still remember where I was when the shooting happened. I grew up hearing these myths and I may have never read the book. The blog you wrote brought clarity to a tragic event that is still seared in the minds of many today. Besides, always reading “Christian” blogs is tiresome. It’s refreshing to read a blog like the one you wrote on Columbine. Thanks for the blog and keep em coming.

  6. Clarification Dave says:

    This is similar to the issue in the Contemporary Christian Music industry about whether songs have enough JPMs (“Jesus” Per Minute mentions).

  7. Flyaway says:

    “[Barth] recalls that 40 years ago he advised young theologians ‘to take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.'”

    Thanks Trevin for your great blog making it more possible to do what Barth advised.

  8. Trevin Wax says:

    Thanks, all, for the kind words. Felt like the right time to explain the rationale for the blog posts and links.

  9. dean says:

    It reminds me of the book of Esther or Ruth ( I cant remember at present), which doesnt mention God.

    Also a Christian perspective will at times be harmonious with other world views & personal ideas depending on the subject as we share our humanity & image bearing qualities.

    Your interests play a part in your uniqueness & what you have been given is meant to be shared to bring a beneficial enrichment to the kingdom.

  10. Bayley says:

    Keep doing what you do! Your blog is the only one that I read every day and frankly I was a bit concerned when you moved to GC, worried that they might try to squeeze you into a box. I have a whole folder of bookmarked links from Kingdom People and I’d say over half are “not Christian”. Here’s my vote of support!

  11. Ed Lauber says:

    I like the post. Understanding people in the cultural world they inhabit is central to the ministry of Bible translation. One thought though. We need categories to think, even though they can constrain our thinking in unhelpful ways. If a category, say “Christian”, can be expanded to cover everything, then it effectively loses its meaning.

  12. Kyle Jones says:

    Love this post, and your blog, keep up the good work! We find many of the same things interesting, and we are both Christians, awesome!

    Side note: you know this must be good because I took all the trouble to come to the actual blog from my google reader feed so I could leave this comment. :P :P :P

  13. Ann Holmes says:

    Thanks for this post! It’s that world-and-life view “thing” that makes all of life “coram Deo”! Thanks so much for pointing that out.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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