Yikes – New Students Arrive Today!

In which I describe in great detail my panicked yet joyous feelings as the school year begins.

these are random freshmen from some other school... but you get the ideaNew students arrive on campus today. Yikes!

To Do:

  • Brush my teeth really well, including my tongue so my breath doesn’t stink.
  • Shave head. Carefully. We don’t want a repeat of that incident when I missed a patch and looked like a Who from Whoville.
  • Trim edges of beard. The difference between an epic prophet beard and a crazy cult leader beard is surprisingly hard to define, but raggedy beard edges have something to do with it. That, and neck hair. Say no to the throat beard.
  • Print literature for tabling: new student devotional guide, Why Jesus? essay, The Jesus FAQ.
  • Practice smiling in the mirror.
  • Double check on throat hair.

P.S. I don’t think I’ve publicized it here, but I put a new writing online. I mention it above in the “print literature” bullet point – it’s a ten-day devotional guide for new students called Thrive. It, along with all my other writings, is indexed here.

Change The University, Change The World

Aerial Shot of Stanford CampusI just added a new PDF to my growing list of essays and Bible studies: Change the University, Change the World. I wrote it for my seminary’s alumni magazine, Rapport, in 2008.

It looks so much more professional than all my other stuff – it’s amazing what an editor and some graphic design can do to make content sparkle. 🙂

I’ll be putting some more essays up soon. Thanks to all who have taken the time to give me feedback in the comments section of my blog, on Facebook notes, and on Google Buzz. I appreciate it very much.

An Unofficial Response to Westboro Baptist Church

The notorious Westboro Baptist Church is holding a protest at Stanford this Friday (see a good summary at Fiat Lux: why here, their identity, their beliefs, their legal history). In response, the Stanford community is planning a counter-rally at the same time and place as Westboro’s protest.

A group of Christian ministries signed a joint statement opposing Westboro, but the Stanford Daily has apparently declined to publish it (at least, I can’t find it in the online paper). Perhaps it will appear soon (UPDATE: it was published in the op-ed section the day after I put this post up). But in case it does not, I would like to give my own personal response to them here. The official statement was designed to garner support from several different ministries, but what follows is language that no one else but me has signed off on. Consequently, it is considerably more direct.

I think Westboro Baptist Church is crazy. I also think it is unwise to hold a rally opposing a group which thrives on conflict. Attention is the drug they crave. They have become a recurring national news story merely because of their ability to draw crowds and media.

I refuse to protest them, and I also refuse to ignore them. I am in no way ambivalent about their presence on campus: what they are doing is wrong. It heaps shame upon Christ and it causes people made in God’s image to experience an alienating anguish. I believe that prayer is the most effective possible response to this situation. I, my ministry, and several other Christian groups at Stanford will hold a prayer meeting while the protest is going on at which we will ask God to convict Westboro members of their sin and lead them to repentance.

So yeah. That’s what one preacher thinks about their presence.

Chi Alpha Favorably Profiled In The Stanford Daily

Halls of Learning - Stanford QuadThe Stanford Daily published an article titled Testimonies On Stanford Faith about people in our ministry (Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship).

The website the article focuses on is testimonies.stanford.edu.

Reading this article was very encouraging to me because I always fear that Chi Alpha will wind up in the Daily because of some boneheaded thing I said in a sermon… this was a much better experience. 😉

Baptism on Campus

January 29th I had a great privilege. I was able to baptize my friend Kelly in the Claw Fountain in between the Bookstore and Old Union.


easy virtue online download

The water was cold. In fact, I saw Kelly’s eyes shoot open when she went under the water and I could practically read the thoughts running through her brain, “I want to gasp. But if I gasp, I’ll drown. Drowning is bad at a baptism. But I want to gasp so badly.”

Fortunately, the warm California sun brought her back from the brink of hypothermia right after I pulled her up. I’m just glad I told her to bring a change of clothes and a towel!


watch slaughter online If having a baptism out in public strikes you as a little odd I’d like to point out that it has ample Biblical and historical precedent. The most famous Biblical example is from Acts 8:36-38:

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

Yeah. So we did that.

And I hope we get to do it again soon. 🙂