Thinking about life, faith and the world.

What’s in This Name?

“But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” – James 1: 19

The apostle James penned those words around 50 A.D. – good advice for any generation, but perhaps none more than our own. Arguing today is for winning, not discovering truth. No slander or insult is off limits, and conciliation is treason.

As for me, I never made it my mission to live out James’ admonition, but I do seem to be wired that way – at least with respect to slowness. The speaking part drives some people crazy, especially my kids. At times they must feel like Charlie Babbitt, Tom Cruise’s character in “Rain Man,” bound to a relative who measures life by a different clock: “He is answering a question from a half hour ago!”

I make no apologies, but this can be a problem. My thoughts don’t always get out in a timely way, and once they do find daylight, I’m not always articulate off the cuff. But I like to write, and when I do, I can massage the words at my own pace and make myself clear. At going-on-49 years, I’ve got some things to say. God willing, I’ll share them with anyone who’s interested.

Some facts about me:

  • My wife and I have the full span of the teenage years covered with two daughters, a son and a nephew, 13 through 19 –  three of them living with us in northwest New Jersey, one away at college.
  • My career has consisted of about five years reporting for daily newspapers, followed by 21 years of reporting, writing, editing and traffic-copping in a business-to-business publishing house.
  • My politics are conservative, but not dogmatically so; my affiliation is independent.
  • My faith trumps my politics and everything else. For those who know the denominational landscape, our church is a member of the Christian & Missionary Alliance, although what a church teaches and how it treats people are more important to us than the logo outside.

I think a lot. I think about morality and faith and politics and current events. I think when I’m mowing the grass or folding laundry or on a long drive. It’s time to let some thoughts out.

In the spirit of James’ first-century plea, the name of this blog was supposed to be “slowtospeak.” But I’ve discovered that naming a blog is like naming a band (not that I’ve ever done that): most of the good names are taken. The best you can hope for is some alphanumeric variation on something that works. So I rummaged for a Biblical phrase that would capture another aspect of what I’m trying to do here. I found 1 Peter 3:15: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I’ve been working on it, and that has been part of the journey that brought me here.

Sometimes this blog will be as current as…okay, last week’s headlines…slow to speak and all that. I hope to offer considered opinions, not impulsive rants. At other times the issues will have a more eternal perspective. I’ll spend a fair amount of time at the intersection of faith and reason, a place some would say doesn’t exist. I believe it does.

I’ll call things as I see them, but no warranty is made as to the accuracy or clarity of the blogger’s vision. Agree or disagree, but in case the message hasn’t come through, I’m interested in civil discourse. This medium lends itself to plenty of anonymous, uncivil discourse, which won’t shock me. I will never respond in kind, but I don’t have to respond at all, and I probably won’t. To those who come with a constructive attitude, please don’t feed the trolls.

I’ve got some posts teed up and ready to go. If anyone pays attention, I hope the feedback will keep the ideas coming. If you’ve read this far, thanks, and welcome to reason4thehope.


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