A Reason to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Everything about the world seems just right. Red and golden leaves saunter to the ground, the air is crisp, and the atmosphere stirs with holiday excitement. I relish crackling fires with my favorite pipe and a good book, I delight in home cooked food shared around a bountiful table with people I love, and I’m grateful for ever flowing wine when the conversation turns political. It’s boot weather, after all, and cardigans are in vogue.

I suppose when I wrote everything about the world seems just right, I exaggerated. I do get carried away by Thanksgiving. Sometimes the Arminian side of the family comes to dinner, sometimes that one Baptist aunt gives you dirty looks for that glass of wine in your hand, and sometimes the dog sneaks into the kitchen and helps himself to the rolls (true story). And when the Arminians start Arminianing, the Baptists start raising eyebrows, and the dog eats your rolls, it all floods back to you: everything about the world isn’t right. In fact, it’s a lot worse than debates about free will, and dogs eating calories you don’t need. Those little moments are cracks in the perfect Thanksgiving dome we construct, reminders that, try as we may, we can’t make Thanksgiving day perfect. There’s too much wrong. In the periphery of our minds, we’re reminded sin exists, even in this make believe reality called “the perfect Thanksgiving.”

And so, when the cracks form and the awareness of everything wrong floods back into mind (which will probably happen when Uncle Frank inevitably says, “So, how about that election, huh?”), remember this crucial Thanksgiving fact: The Gospel is good news. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” is something to be grateful for (Romans 8:1, emphasis added)! That Paul wrote Christ is reconciling “to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” is good news (Colossians 1:20)!

More than beautiful leaves, crisp air, and holiday excitement, more than the fire, pipe, and good books, and even more than delicious food and loved ones, I give thanks for the Gospel. If the dog eats your rolls, and everything goes sideways, remember the gift of God’s grace, it’s more than a good reason to give thanks.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

Coolvinism: The Blog

Welcome, gentle reader, to my home away from Twitter. If my tweets are shots of espresso, then my blog is a big pot of freshly brewed fair trade coffee. This, my friends, is long-form Coolvinism.

I enjoy humor, and I think God enjoys humor. I know Martin Luther enjoyed humor, he once said, “If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.” I concur, Dr. Luther. Of course, there are different schools of thought on the matter. Saint Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) said that “laughter is the beginning of the destruction of the soul.” I bet he was the life of the potluck…

I started tweeting as Coolvinism because I found many humorous things in and about the church, and I found younger church going adults of the hipster persuasion especially humorous. And, to be honest, I feel quite comfortable poking fun at them because I count myself among their ranks.

So, why the blog? There aren’t 140 character limits here, thank goodness, and that means more meat (sorry, vegans). This is my place to share humorous thoughts without limitations. I’ve also given myself extra freedom to explore thoughts on theology, the church, and culture. I aim to maintain the flavor of Coolvinism throughout my musings and meanderings. I’ll still be snobby about my coffee, Bible translations, and theologians, and I’ll no doubt reference obscure theological works you’ve probably never even heard of, and of course I’ll make time to poke a little fun at youth pastors. Together, we’ll celebrate bacon, moleskin journals, and the refined comfort of a well made cardigan.

I want to share thoughts and laughs with you, and that’s what this place is for. We can talk about books, beards, and coffee too. I have much to say concerning those subjects, and I invite you to come along for the ride. So grab your thick-rimmed glasses, brew a cup of your best beans, and let’s do some exegesis together.