If you’ve been unlucky enough to read my previous posts about how I came to use the name SpoiledMilks, I’ll explain why I started using it for my non-MySpace/Facebook blog name, and what in the world I’m doing with my blog.
Why I Blog
After I graduated from CCBC York, my friend/teacher Lindsay, who blogs at MyDigitalSeminary (he’s more clever with names than I am, as you’ll see below), told me how he got into blogging and that I should consider doing it too. Simply enough, there are bloggers who review books for free. They request a book from a publisher, read and review the book, and they get to keep the book for future reference or sharing.
In the middle of Bible college I realized I wanted to teach the Bible, which requires books. No matter who you are, nobody knows everything. We learn from the writings of others. We stand on the shoulders of giants (but we shouldn’t forget the little people too). If others have spent more years than I in the Bible, then I should (and do) consider their thoughts and conclusions as worthy enough to read and to help guide me in my own reading and teaching. We are a community of believers. Biblical authors write so that they can help others outside of their immediate community.
Studying the Bible to the point where I can teach it well would require purchasing books, and good theology books aren’t cheap (and neither are the lousy ones). Christians come to the Bible from different perspectives, and if they come to the Bible humbly, the Bible leads them to remove certain perspectives and it reinforces others. Yet the fact remains that I don’t want to follow one person and their own single perspective.
I grew up in a non-denominational church which was closest to Baptist theology (which makes sense since it had previously been a Baptist church). From my studies, I have only grown more firm in my stance on Baptism, but now I can explain it better than I could have previously. On the other hand, I’ve changed my mind on other points (like eschatology). I’ve become both more discerning and (hopefully) more gracious. I’ve seen good arguments, better arguments, and just plain bad arguments.
Why read so much?
Think of what it means to run a business, or run for office, to be a chef, a mother, a manager, a home owner. Business owners must be very nuanced in knowing economics, finances, law, etc., so that they can make a profit (and not be sued—(way to go America)). Home owners need to know how to cook (to stay alive) and how to keep their house in good shape (to avoid experiencing the stress of a busted pipe). One’s view on politics will affect who he votes for and will affects how society will be run. The better one understands politics, economics, and human behavior, the better they will understand how they should vote (whether or not they make the correct decision is another matter).
Theology isn’t a mere theoretical matter (though it is all too easy to keep it there). Theology has a massive affect on how we live. It shapes our worldview, something the biblical authors were well aware of. The Bible’s story shapes how we think and live, and knowing it accurately leads to more wisdom. To know the Bible means we have to know how to read the Bible. Growing up I had a very bare-bones knowledge to the Bible (Adam-Eve, Abraham, Moses, sinners, Jesus, resurrection, Paul, heaven), but I didn’t know how much (of anything) fit together. “Be like Abraham because he was good” (except when he wasn’t). Jesus spoke nice things (except where it’s difficult), and Paul told us to love one another (and sometimes harshly demanded strict obedience or expulsion from the church body).
But to blog one needs a name.
Why I used “SpoiledMilks”
- Some were already familiar with the name.
- I couldn’t think of anything better.
- I don’t write well enough for people to remember some generic theology blog name in the midst of all the other blogs with better writers (who wants to read “Theoretical Theology”? “Theology Thoughts”? “Theolocajun”? “Stop Eating Rice Krispies“?)
But I realized I could implement “SpoiledMilks” into my blog. When I reviewed a book, aspects of the book that were very good were placed under a “chocolate milks” section (because everyone likes chocolate milk). Parts that hindered the book were placed under a “spoiled milks” section. I added a Lagniappe (“a little something extra”) section for book details and a place to thank the publisher. Today I don’t use the Chocolate/Spoiled milks sections so much because it can tend to divide my thoughts too much. Often the same place in a book that I think was well written will also have a “spoiled” aftertaste to it. So now I just do whatever I want.
I’ve been able to review over 160 books for roughly 20 different publishers, lectures in six different courses, and have had views from 138 countries. I haven’t had an incredible amount of views in my four years of blogging, but I have saved more money that I would have had to spend, I have learned more than I thought I could know, and am excited to continue to learn and draw closer to God through his normal, boring, exciting, supernatural Word. And since Mari is pregnant with our first(!), the weight is only growing as to how I will image Christ to both my wife and my child(ren). This doesn’t mean that I need to read even more, but that I need to think deeply about what I read, about what our Father is like, who this Jesus is whom we worship, and how that should influence our lives in every aspect. We are not Americans/Norwegians/men/women/parents/children/students/teachers who are Christians, but we are Christians first who live out Christ before those who are Americans, Norwegians, men, women, children, students, teachers, etc.
Hopefully what I read comes out well on my blog. Writing so much has only helped my writing style (which has gone from terrible to… better). I hope to be writing on this for years to come. Sometimes frequently; sometimes not. But this blog is an outlet for me to remember something I read, to share something with you so that you don’t need to read every book I read, and to share it with you in the hopes that you grow in your love for God and his word.