Sunday, September 23, 2012

30 Things When Turning 30

I have recently celebrated my 30th birthday. I have decided to reflect briefly on 30 things I have learned about Christianity, life, philosophy, and apologetics. Some of these things are meant to be serious, and others funny. I’ll let you decide which is which.

  1. Do not conduct impromptu church business meetings. Ever.
  2. If you don’t like me, then there’s probably something wrong with you.
  3. It is very difficult to be truly objective in an argument.
  4. There are many good reasons to believe in the Christian God.
  5. There are no good reasons to think there cannot be a God.
  6. Just because a word can be translated that way, it does not mean it should be translated that way.
  7. Don’t put Twinkies on your pizza.
  8. There is no point in exclusive dating before the age of 16.
  9. If something happens 95% of the time, you are not the exception.
  10. Unbelievably, college really is much easier than real life.
  11. I do not know the depths of God’s patience and love toward me.
  12. Because of counterfactuals, what God knows just about you alone would boggle any finite mind.
  13. Spiritual disciplines are extremely hard. I don’t know if there are any I have mastered.
  14. Most people are willing to ask for help to change their lives (spiritual and physical); most people are not willing to do what the answer requires.
  15. Your religion is not identical to your politics.
  16. There are things more important in life than Calvinism vs. Arminianism.
  17. With notable exceptions (see #9), you should not leave your church family unless God moves you.
  18. It doesn’t matter how well you worship God out on the boat. Nothing can replace a gathered body of believers.
  19. Biblical literacy is essential to holiness.
  20. Theological and philosophical consistency is essential to biblical interpretation.
  21. Don’t jump off a moving truck, even if it’s slowing down. Ever.
  22. Everyone can learn a small part of Christian apologetics.
  23. Scholarship does not equate to theological liberalism.
  24. Scholarship should not take away from living a good Christian life to the external world.
  25. Don’t be afraid to try more things.
  26. When it comes to church, learning, and the Christian life, never be satisfied.
  27. Raising children must be a 24/7 job.
  28. Be proactive, not reactive.
  29. Social acceptance is our thirty pieces of silver.
  30. Your debt is probably too much debt, and you need to get out of it!

Go ahead and ask me about any of these; there is probably a story!


  1. Hi Randy,
    Which words do you have in mind for item 6 ?

  2. Hi James, thanks for commenting! Well what I actually had in mind was the practice of pastors/theologians to use Greek and Hebrew (but mostly Greek) to commit the so-called "semantic range" fallacy. It's where you see a word in English, note the Greek word behind it, mention that "it can be translated such-and-such," and then doing so without good reason. This does not mean I think someone is reasoning fallaciously every time they mention an alternate translation. It's just not always appropriate (many times it is not). An example in English is "love." That word can mean romantic love, friendship love, hyperbolic love. Imagine translators two thousand years from now insisting, "In the sentence 'I love pizza,' love can mean romance. Therefore, it is best to conclude this man wanted to marry his food."

    In Greek, some examples can include diakonon in Romans 16 (the word can be translated "deacon" as well as "servant"), ekklesia in Acts 19 (it can mean "church" or "assembly"), or pretty much most nouns in the Greek New Testament. Again, this is not to minimize the idea that there are legitimate differences in opinion on how words should be translated. It's just to emphasize the point that one must have a good reason for preferring a possible translation, based both on context and grammar. Does that make sense?

  3. You can't stop me from putting Twinkies on my pizza. Ever.


  4. Randy,
    Sure, it makes plenty of sense. I hope it didn't appear as if I was questioning the reasoning behind that particular item, but I was curious as to which words, in particular, you find people using alternative translations for without sufficient, plausible reasons.

  5. 8) How about 24? :(
    10) I have college PLUS a part-time job. That's pretty hard. I envy those who don't have to do that.
    26) Amen!

    6) How about the words typically translated "rape" in Deuteronomy 22:25 and 22:28? From what I have heard and seen, it's actually two different Hebrew words and the one in v.28 doesn't necessarily mean rape. Here's Matt Flannagan's post on it.

    If this is true, it would be a good apologetic for the challenge that the Old Testament commands immoral things.

  6. Kyle, I got ya beat. I had college plus a near-full-time job of 35 hours (and taking 14-15 credit hours on top of it), and I still think college days were easier. :) As far as dating, well...that can be a long story in and of itself lol. Indeed, the two words are different in Hebrew and the King James at least reflects the difference (the first being the rape scenario of "forced" and the second the same idea as we would say "he had his hands all over her").

  7. Frank, that was from the movie Heavyweights--just thought I'd throw it in there. :)

    1. Haha, I'll have to check that out. Happy belated birthday by the way!



Please remember to see the comment guidelines if you are unfamiliar with them. God bless and thanks for dropping by!