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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Christian Book Stores: a symptom of our sickness (aka: Western American Christianity)

I always felt like there might be something off with "Christian Book Stores". 

Why do we need a seperate store? 

I would look through the books, periodically find an interesting title to add to the shelf. It would be the meandering opinion of some pastor or armchair theologian who'd cherry picked a few verses to build a system of "being a better leader", or "praying more effectively", or some new secret end times truth which had been revealed to them.

Today, just less than a year into a journey away from pop-Christianity (what Dr Michael Hieser calls Christian Middle Earth), I find myself staring at a catalog that came in the mail with great displeasure.

Not a single peer-reviewed book, mostly the same big names that have been taking up space for decades, and out of all the Bible editions they offered, I had to flip to the small-text "Other Bibles" to even find one I would gladly endorse or tell someone to get. 

It's like... Waking up from the Matrix. 

We've become so siloed that we can no longer think well. Which was all too obvious this past few years, as Christians were among the top misbehaving class of people in America (myself included). 

We do not, corporately, have the mind of Christ. We do not think logically and dispassionately about all angles of a topic before taking a side. We find out just cause and raise the battle-flag, drawing our lines in the sand (rather than building bridges). 

What could one say about the Christian Book Store magazines? They're intellectual cotton candy. I'm sure that's an overstatement, they probably help some people feel better or get closer to God. 


I find myself challenged, and in turn feel the need to challenge my kin-folk.

It's time we begin to use our minds better. 

We can be skeptical about the world-narrative while not buying every looney unsubstantiated Qanon nonsense conspiracy theory that comes along. 

We can suspend our credulity about an article title, until we've read the article, asked tough questions, and weighed actual evidence.

If an article is from "our side", we can demand they do their due diligence, check sources, provide sources, credible sources...

If an article is from "them", we can demand that we, ourselves, ask if they could be right. Is it possible they see something that's hiding in my Blindspot? Is it possible I'm right but they are too? Is it possible I'm seeing the trunk, they the leg, but neither of us is seeing the elephant in the room?

A link to an article, or Bible verse, does not a "source" make. 

Biblical case must begin with a discussion of where the text was found, what argument or theological statement is the author making, what cultural factors are involved in the making of that textual statement? Picking a verse out of that context without addressing that context, is irresponsible, and not "proof" of your pet system.

Articles claiming someone did something, or that masks do work, or don't work, or that so-and-so is making money from something... Mist include primary source material. An article from a hack-website, an article from a news channel, and even an article from the WHO or CDC, does not make it a credible source. Peer-reveiwed studies, scholarly articles, duplicateble studies, hard documented facts... These are sources. 

You want to claim a study? Who performed the study, when, under what conditions, for how long, and what we're the controls? We must, begin, to, think, better.

Christian Book Stores are a sample of our current demand. 

They provide what we buy.

Stop buying intellectual cotton candy. 

Start demanding better thinking, of your pastor, or your authors, and of yourself. 

Next time a Facebook posts claims something that works your emotions into a fenzy.... STOP. Demand credible sources. Learn how to think.


Good riddens western American Christianity. 

Hello, Kingdom of God, and a renewed mind.

Darrell Wolfe, Storyteller

PS: I'm building a list of reputable resources on my new website. It's short now, but I'll be adding a little more each week.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

What if: Your superpower was being able to disappear into books?

Short Story/Creative Fiction Playground:

Buzzing. Humming. Vibrating. The incessant noise, whatever one called it, refused to be found.

“Where are you?!” Dirk yelled, alone in his house.

Papers lay strewn across the floor. Doors, cabinets, and drawers remained open all throughout the house. Yet, Dirk could not locate the sound anywhere.

With a hefty sigh of exasperation, he sat in his reading chair adjacent the bookshelf, hands between his legs, hunched over, staring at the mess he’d have to clean up now that his temper had cooled.

Buzz, “There it is again- “ he closed his eyes, and listened carefully for the sound to give away its location. Up. Right. Inches away? Feet?

Standing, hands on the shelf, he scanned, eyes sill closed, listening for the location. Faintly, he had the image of pages blowing against each other, the sound not unlike the time he left a strap out the window of the car and drove down the freeway.

Opening his eyes, Dirk found himself staring at a copy Car & Driver Magazine. Taking it from the shelf, the pages shocked his hands with static electricity. He flipped through and found an article about the time the author had driven his parents car up the coast of California.

Dirk took the magazine back to the chair and sat down. When he looked up from the article, he was no longer in the chair, but seated in a 1959 Ford Galaxie Sunliner[ 1959 Ford Galaxie Sunliner convertible - 1957 Ford - Wikipedia] with the top down.  The author of the article, though much younger, was in the driver’s seat…. 


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

False Idols: American Politics, Abortion, and American Christianity's Golden Calves.

American Christianity and American Politics joined forces a number of years ago (starting about the time of the "Moral Majority") to create an unholy union. 

Politics has become the golden calf for many churches in the USA.

Throughout history, from King Saul, King David, and King Solomon... To Constantine... To King's of Europe... To Donald Trump... When God's people gain political power, it corrupts the church and it damages society. 

Abortion, even, has become a golden calf. 

What!? How could you say that!? 

Here's why:

When anything other than God himself becomes an Ultimate Thing, people (made in God's image) loose their own ability to Image God in the process. 

When stopping Abortion (baby murder) becomes more important than God, it becomes the idol.

The Church destroys people too. In an effort to protect the unborn (good thing) they steam roll the dignity and significance of the born (humans made as God's Image). 

The Church has been guilty of murdering abortion doctors, standing in picket lines and screaming "murderer" with hateful faces at women who already feel trapped and hopeless.

Pot (Right), meet Kettle (Left).

Okay, so that's extremists, obviously a violation of God's will. But that's fringe.

Not so fast. 

Pro-Choice dialogue has become so one-note that other matters are ignored in the process. 

Where is the discussion about what circumstances brought women to the clinic in the first place? If discussed at all, it’s usually in the tone of “sin” and “sinners”. Rather than seeing, poor, broken, hurting people who feel trapped and have few choices. 

Where is your “outrage” when these same children you fought to give life to are born into poverty, raised in poverty, addiction, abuse, and sent into school systems designed to fail them all while having no access to services that other kids have?

Where is your outrage when the immigrant shows up on our border and is shot on site, or dies trying to get here because they were so desperate to try? Why aren’t you curious about the conditions that made them so desperate to try? 

Well, they should come legally, get in line like everyone else. 

Really? Is that your answer? 

Are you Christian or American; you’re going to have to choose. 

If you are in God’s Kingdom, enforcing his Kingdom Rule on earth, seeking to implement God’s will on earth as it is in heaven, then, you’re going to have to start caring about an awful lot of things you dismiss and refuse to even consider. 

I frequently see posts from so-called Christians who say: “If you vote for a pro-choice candidate, you endorse baby murder and are in danger of hell.” 

Why not: “If you vote for the mistreatment of immigrants and the continuation of national and international policies that create and perpetuate poverty in other countries, you are in danger of hell?” 

This is what it means to choose an Ultimate Thing over God. 

You become so myopic about your “righteous cause” that you fail on virtually every other measure. 

So before you get so focused on one thing that you start to denigrate your fellow human beings, why don’t you take a chill pill, step back, and let God be the God of the planet. If he wants to judge them, he can. It’s not your job. 

Your job, NUMBER ONE Job, ONLY Job, is to Love God and Love your Neighbor. 

It’s hard to love your neighbor while you are shouting at them, calling them names, and failing to listen to their hearts’ cry. 

Step a whole bunch of steps back, realize that here is no “right” side. No, the Republicans are NOT more righteous than the Democrats, not by a long shot. 

In fact, when you start to see it from Gods perspective, the Republicans, Democrats, and the entire spectrum from American Christianity are all blind, naked, and poor spiritually. 

It’s time to get a perspective that includes a broader view. 

We need to see how things are seen by fellow Christians in every  nation around the world, every tradition, every time in history from the beginning to now, and look at the principles of God’s word. 

You can fight for a righteous cause and still be fighting God in the process. I argue that most American Christians fall into this category today. 

It’s time American Christians took fewer sides, spoke up for more causes, and used a broader lens and worldview, lest we have our lamp stand taken from us.

If someone spreads false teachings and does not agree with sound words (that is, those of our Lord Jesus Christ) and with the teaching that accords with godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in controversies and verbal disputes. This gives rise to envy, dissension, slanders, evil suspicions, and constant bickering by people corrupted in their minds and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a way of making a profit. 1 Timothy 6:3‭-‬5 NET

Note: This new political party is another example of Christians using a failed worldview. It’s a better shot at what we need to be doing, a bit more nuanced, but still way off.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Where's my tribe?

I'm a xxxxxxx? 

One of the hard parts of deconstruction and reconstruction, is a lack of label and identity.

My identity, ultimately, is found in God and His Word. I am a child of YHWH, follower of The Way, first called Christian at Antioch, citizen of The Kingdom of God, blood bought, spirit filled, believer, adopted brother of Jesus, adopted son of God.... 

But when it comes to a group of fellow traveler's... there is no movement or "group" that fits.

I'm not Liberal but I'm definitely post-conservative.

I'm Christian, but I reject much of western American Christianity.

I'm spirit filled, and believe in the healthy expression of all God's spiritual gifts; but, I reject Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Word of Faith expressions and definitions of those terms. 

If I had to gather a group of like minded mentors, I'd appeal to Drs Michael S. Heiser , N. T. Wright , Tim Mackie and the BibleProject, Bob Hamp , John Walton and his work on Genesis, and a few others that are slipping my mind at the moment... With a scatter shot of Phil Vischer and Skye Jethani ... 

So what tribe do I bring to? The scholar tribe? The thinker tribe? Hm... 

I guess I'll keep growing and find out.


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Underline what matters...

It's funny how things stick with you. My best friend in highschool once quipped: "If you underline everything, you've underlined nothing." I still use that principal today. 

While not every time I underline something, I often think of her and hear her voice saying those words. We lost touched over the years, purposefully for her part, probably for good reason... but I often wonder how she's doing, what she's experienced in life... And pray for her. 

If you're out there, I hope you are well. I hope you had grand adventures! I hope you underlined life's experiences in the places that mattered. 


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Eternal Life: Do you know that means? I didn't.

"It takes a good theologian to help you misunderstand the Bible." Jesse Duplantis

It's fascinating that I've been in Western American Christianity for my whole life, read the Bible through it's filters, and walked away believing that the "gospel/good news" was "believe in Jesus and go to heaven when you die". 

Now yes, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, so my Flavia is with him now. 

But our FINAL destination is not some disembodied state called heaven. That's a way-station. A rest stop. A "pending final outcome" place. 

Should Jesus return before I die, Jesus and Flavia are coming here to join me, I'm not being taken anywhere. 

The return of Jesus involves the resurrection of the dead, new bodies, a rejoining of Heaven and Earth into one overlapping space. 

We quote "eternal life" as if it was some weird disembodied state in the clouds. 


Jesus tied the terms "eternal life" and "resurrection" into one single concept. 

We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. 

We will meet the Lord in the air.... Not to leave earth, bit to welcome Him home TO Earth as our returning King! 

Gives a far different context to the Good News of the Kingdom of God. 

The Kingdom of God is not loosely related to some idea about believing on Jesus so we can go to heaven when we die. 

The Kingdom of God IS the Good News! 

Jesus came announcing God's planet takeover plan. 

Jesus became the first fruits of the resurrection! 

Jesus sent the spirit to dwell in us so we can become pockets of the Kingdom now, here, doing his will on earth as it is in heaven. 

And then, one day, the Kingdom of God shall culminate and climax in The Return of The King, the return of those who died in Jesus with resurrection bodies, the changing of our bodies, and our meeting them all in the air to welcome them home. 

Then, we will have eternal life, in resurrection bodies, in a new heaven and earth overlapping with each other as one space. 

To quote the Thai peoples, it will be: Same-same, just different! 


What culture are you incentiviving?

You get what you incentivize. 

I work in the fraud call center for a bank. When I was hired the culture was built around being aware, stopping fraud, we were constantly told what our fraud loss numbers were as a dept compared to the budget for loss. We each felt personally responsible for protecting the bank because any loss we let through affected our seal neighbor.

In the last two years, they've moved away from that model and added a handle time. So what's incentivized now? Average Handle Time (AHT). So, someone calls in and they pass the identity test procedures but I'm still suspicious that might not be them. Do I press for more identification? Unless I'm dead sure it's not them... Heck jo I don't! You want quick calls. You gave a test procedure. They passed. I'm giving you your quick call. You can have me be thorough or quick, you chose quick. 

Business owners, pastors, leaders... What are you seeing in your culture that you don't like? I guarantee YOU are incentiviving that culture. 

You won't change it be yelling, or lecturing. You'll only ever change it by changing the incentives, including what you use to measure "success". 


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Waking from the Matrix of American Christianity

Once you learn to read the Bible in its own original contexts, it's almost impossible to see things the way you were taught in Sunday school. 

It's like, every single thing I heard in church was partially correct, not false, mostly, but almost all of it was twisted out of context to the point it didn't quite even mean what it was actually supposed to mean. 

Just a few years in Bible School, and some thoughtful podcast listening, and some reading of scholars, and I feel like I've been awakened from the Matrix. 

The depth, richness, and nuance of the biblical text in its own original context makes American Christianity feel like a plastic version of the real thing. Like a Hot Wheels car held up by a three year old, next to the matching real car driven by his Daddy. 

It's not that we've been "wrong", most of the time... 

But I now see the entire culture of American Christianity as the church in Revelation that didn't know it was blind and naked. 

The Bible is more true for me now, than it's ever been, but, far less "simple" than I thought it was. 

I need to go write a blog post and stop pontificating.... 

Shalom y'all. 🤓


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