Tag Archives: Blogs

A Beginner’s Guide: 10 Classic Fallen + Flawed Posts


Where you get schooled in the basics of Fallen and Flawed.

So, to help you understand what this blog is all about, I created a beginner’s guide…

Think of it as a historical primer on the purpose behind this blog.

More importantly, see it as a guide to help you plan, launch and grow your own Christian blog.

My hope is I can help at least one person do just that. Let me know what you think.

Here they are:

Why You Must Endure My Half-Baked Ideas What are the payoffs to working through your doubts about Christianity? One is you won’t base your faith on half-baked ideas. There are more.

Have You Read the Book Behind This Blog? It’s still shocking to me how much a few wrong turns could change my life. Read the story behind this blog. And the book that started it.

I Am Orin Scrivello, Sadistic Blogger When someone blasted me on a blog post with foul language, it triggered a rather sadistic thought.

5 Reasons Why I Waited a Year to Launch This Blog This might sound strange to you, but I waited over 365 days before launching this blog. Why did I wait so long? The answer may surprise you.

Are Public Rebukes Okay? My Advice Do the rules for church discipline apply to the impersonal, disembodied world of blogging? My answer might surprise you.

The 5 A.M. Secret: How to Balance Blog and Family How do I manage to balance job, family, friends and blog? Simple. I use the 5 A.M. secret.

Why Reformed Bloggers Wear Me Out We need more Christians bloggers who will converse and confront atheist bloggers. Here are 4 ways to do that.

Tim Keller’s Guide to Vibrant Blogging Hard to believe that a 58-year old pastor in NYC could teach you anything about blogging. But he can.

Why I Blog [It’s the New M.A., Dummy] Did you know you can earn a Masters degree by blogging? Okay, you can’t really. But you can come real close. Find out how.

My Unorthodox Copyright Policy [or, Why It’s Okay to Steal This Blog] The content on this blog is yours. It’s yours to use however you please. But there’s a catch.

Note: Bookmark this post so you can take your time working through this list. There’s a lot of content here. And you probably won’t be able to read it all in one day.

Also,  if you haven’t already. That way you can get all the latests posts.

I Am Orin Scrivello, Sadistic Blogger

I’m nothing but a sadist. And a blogger. Let me explain. 

Last night I got a great comment on this post Know the Difference Between Religion and the Gospel?:

“I got a great story. It starts like this: F*CK your GOD. Let the consequences BEGIN. ps. Got a tip for U: read more BOOKS>”

Fortunately, his comment ties into a thought that’s been brewing in my head for quite some time. Let me explain.

Poster Child for Careless, Thoughtless Pain

Sadist. That’s the one word that majestically describes Steve Martin’s character in the film .

Orin Scrivello is the poster child for pain. He’s the poster child for careless, thoughtless, inhumane physical punishment.

He spent his childhood shooting puppies. Poisoning guppies. Bashing cat heads. Thus, his mom recommends he become a dentist. Suitable occupation.

Not a priest. Not a teacher. But a dentist.

I think it’s safe to say Orin’s maladjusted and borderline insane. And exactly the opposite of Katie.

Which reminds me of what Tim Keller said about preaching: We are like Orin when we pour on the difficult, bitter texts of the Bible without prefacing…without easing in a bit…without entering their world first.

More than once  speaks to this, too.

We’d never dream of walking into a room where someone is sleeping and turn on the bright lights. It’d freak them out to bad.

So, we’re coached to be witnesses, preachers and evangelists who take it slow.

Where I Struggle With His Advice

This is a new one for me. I don’t have the patience to work slowly. Build the relationship. Ease into the conversation. [That’s probably why I’m a writer.]

I think I know why: Fear and insecurity drives me to bail on the conversation as soon as possible. So, get it over with quickly. That means simply drop the bomb and move on.

It’s sadistic, I know. And causes lots of damage. Call me “Orin, the Sadistic Christian.”

But let me ask you this: If I would have approached last night’s post differently–entered the non-Christian’s world, say–would that have blunted the message? Would that have changed the commenter’s response from ferocious to calm?

I don’t think so. But I’d like to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments. Brutal and all. I’m here to learn.

Have You Read the Book Behind This Blog?

It’s still shocking to me how much a few wrong turns could change my life. Read the story behind this blog. And the book that started it.

It’s still shocking to me how much a few wrong turns could change my life.

I married, graduated , got a job, bought a house, fathered two children and attended the same church for nine years.

Then everything disintegrated.

To make a long story short, that disentegration drove me to the cross. And for the first time in my life I finally met my redeemer.

The Reformed Reader

Before my conversion, I was a book reader. After my conversion I was still a book reader. Of different sorts.

I leveled J. I. Packer’s  in two days. Made short work of Tozer’s . Even crawled through the first volume of Geisler’s 

All books I highly recommend.

But I’m not here to tell you about those. There’s another book I want to introduce to you.

The Book in Question

It was this book–a book I read during my 10th anniversary with my wife–that planted the seed for this blog.

The book I’m talking about is Ravi Zacherias’ 

In this compelling defense of the Christian faith, Zacharias demonstrated that how we answer the question of God’s existence will infect every inch of our everyday lives: Our relationships. Our integrity. Our morality. Even our perception of truth.

It was, indeed, the essence of the human condition. My friend, at that point the direction for this blog was born.

Pre-Blogging Angst

However, as you might remember, it took me a year to launch this blog. And for the first four months of that year–before I read Zacherias–I knew I wanted to launch a blog. . .I just didn’t know what to write about.

Imagine you’re me for a minute.

You want to write. Share your faith. You see blogging can move you down that path. But you’re not sure what you can write about that will distinquish you from 17 gazillion other blogs.

Then imagine you wrestled with this idea for months. On end.

The Cover Is Lifted

That’s why reading Can Man Live Without God? was such a fanatical boost to my brain and soul. It was truly an a-ha moment.

Immediately I knew I wanted to call this blog  The Human Condition Blog. But there was a problem:  was taken.

I then considered Young American Christian. That URL was way too long.

It wasn’t until I heard  describe the condition of man as “fallen and flawed” that I knew I had my name.

Funny thing is, that was four days before I launched this blog.

Here’s What I Need from You

So, I pretty much got the overall flavor for this blog. What I don’t have is a . In fact, for the last year I’ve been toying with this blogs tag line. Even to this day I tinker with it.

Currently I have “A curmudgeon’s guide to conquering the human condition.” It’s also been “Curmudgeon’s guide to living a vivid, meaningful life.”

What I need from you is this: tell me what you think the tag line should be. You’ve been reading the content for a month, week or day. How would you describe the content in one short sentence?

Why I’m a Little Reluctant to Do This

It’s only been two months. I may not have enough momentum or content to give you a fair shot at this.

But, you know what? I’m a firm believer in the strategies  and. That means I’m counting on you to contribute.

So, when you got a few seconds, let me know what you think: Is my tag line and content out of synch? Is there something I could do better? More of?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Why I Blog (It’s the New M. A., Dummy)

Where you learn how to blog your happy self to a Master of Arts. Or something. 

Did you know you can earn a Masters degree by blogging?

Okay…you can’t really. But you can come really close.

Let me show you how.

The Three Types of Bloggers

There are three types of bloggers.

1. Journalists

2. Diarists

3. Educationalists

Andrew Sullivan is your journalist. He follows political and cultural events as they develop and writes about them on his blog .

Mommy bloggers like the  are diarists. They write exquisite, entertaining and personal posts about the unpredictable drama of being a mother.

Finally, there’s your educationalist. Marc McGuiness at  is an educationalist. He writes thoughtful blog posts designed to teach or inform.

Earn a Masters

Each blogger type has its place and function. I simply chose one over the other because of my goals. My goals are simple: I want to earn a Masters of Art in Theology. Without having to .

How am I going to do that? Write content that centers around theology, philosophy and literature.

Now, part of my plan for this blog as an M. A. was to treat it as a terminal task. Two reasons for this.

1. This means in two years I can stop blogging. If I want to. I have a destination in mind and I can get off the bus respectfully if I need to. Kind of like enlistment.

2. I’ve got to really focus on my content. Treating this blog like a theology M. A. means I’m pouring myself into one narrow subject for two years.

Now, in two years I doubt anyone will reward me with a M. A. I may not even pass an exit exam. Nonetheless, I’ll be a lot smarter than I was.

Besides, I’ll have a volume of writing that prepares me for my next point.

Write a Book

Get this: Blogging is nothing more than writing a book one page a day. Rand Fish at .

He says that bloggers should write like they’re preparing for a book. It’s a great way to show a potential publisher or agent that you can write. And that you actually have a built in audience.

Furthermore, a blog’s content can serve as the foundation for a future book. Just look at  and his .

Articulate. Organize. Sharpen My Thoughts.

Blogging also helps me articulate, organize and sharpen my thoughts. Those cloudy, opaque ideas become crystal clear arguments. In the meanwhile, my brain builds muscle.

This was the case when I wrote my review for The Shack.

See, after reading the book I knew that something was godawfully wrong. But I had trouble articulating it to people. It wasn’t until I sat down and grouped my thoughts together that I truly understood what was wrong with the book. And how to say that.

Now I’ve got 7 clear bullet points where I once had a dim blob.

Practice Writing

Finally, blogging just flat-out makes you a better writer. Especially if you have an agressive content schedule.

Brian Clark at  summed it up best when he said to become a better writer simply .

Naturally, my first 10,000 posts will be dung. But anyone is bound to become at least marginally better if he writes 10,000 posts.

If they’ve got talent. Watch out.

Just look at the masters: , , . Their early stuff is a joke compared to their later stuff.

Writing more means perfecting the craft. Blogging is my tool to do that.

What’s Your Excuse for Blogging?

Do you write a blog? Why? What got you into it? Do you have a goal? Do you even care?

5 Reasons Why I Waited a Year to Launch This Blog

This might sound strange to you, but  I waited over 365 days before launching this blog. Why I waited so long. 

The ability to launch and run blogs is so easy. I could have launched my blog within hours of getting the idea.

But that was part of the problem.

The ease with which to get into blogging: Low entry, means very little planning. Very little counting of the cost.

I wanted to avoid that.

Over the years I  jumped into two other serious blogging projects without much thought. My passion for these projects faded quickly. And I eventually bailed.

I didn’t want that to happen again. I wanted this to work.

Plan and Prepare with Purpose

The idea for this blog came to me shortly after November 30, 2007. That means I could have easily launched this blog in January 2008 at the latest.

Instead, I decided to launch this blog on December 1, 2008. And during that time I was waiting I decided to develop a business and marketing plan, write articles and learn as much as I could about blogging.

Share My Plan with Others

One thing I discovered is that creating a business and marketing plan for blogging doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, my plans evolved over a handful of emails to my wife. I simply explained to her what I planned on doing.

Sharing your idea with someone will help you refine your idea, too.  do this all the time.

In this case, my wife was my sounding board. She pointed out blind spots in my idea. Expanded areas I neglected. But most importantly, she pointed out my competitive advantage.

Discover My Competitive Advantage

Halfway through 2008 my blog idea cystallized. My wife and I saw how my blog could fit into the blogging community.

By discovering my competitive advantage I saw how I could exploit weaknesses and distinquish myself…something I needed to do if I were going to thrive in a competitve place.

All I did was read as many blogs as I could in widely different fields like politics, social media and Christianity.

But that wasn’t all.

Sustain the Passion for a Year

Another part of me wanted to see if I could simply  before I launched the blog.  Having two failed blog projects under my belt, I was concerned I couldn’t.

Turns out I could.

In the course of six months I wrote 33 articles and generated 44 more titles and topics. Darren Rowse says this a good signal that I .

Naturally, when December 2008 arrived, I was ready to roll.

Abstain from Distractions

However, the most important aspect of waiting so long was that I wanted to abstain from writing, audience chasing and pursuing the approval of men.

Up until November 30, 2007, my life was consumed by writing, chasing audiences and pursuing man’s approval.

This is what got me into trouble to begin with.

Great blogging is only part writing. The other part is participation. Participation like:

  • Reading blogs.
  • Commenting on blogs.
  • Replying to comments.
  • Networking with bloggers.

In essence, great bloggers build relationships with people. This includes seeking approval.

I knew first and foremost I needed to seek God’s approval for my blogging idea. And if at the end of that year, if I still had peace with God on this topic, move forward.

You know the end of the story–I believe I found God’s favor.

What Did You Do Before You Started Blogging?

Let me know what you did before you launched your blog. Did you plan for months, weeks or days? What inspired you to launch your blog? How do you keep the blog fire burning?