Thursday, August 26, 2010 | By: Zachary Bartels

More Than Questions

I recently put together a new web page to serve as an outreach tool for my church. You can check it out by clicking on Or, if you’re super lazy, you can just read some of the text below.

These days, it’s cool to look for God—just as long as you don’t find him.

Today, our culture is all about “being spiritual, but not religious;” all about eternally seeking the Divine, but never claiming to have “found God.” The answer, we’re told, is to just keep asking the questions. From movie stars to academics to corporate gurus, the wisdom du jour tells us that, when it comes to spiritual things, the journey is important—not the destination. We value having the conversation, not reaching any conclusions. Looking within ourselves, not without. We’re into doubt, not certainty. In fact, if you think you really know something about God, you’re doing it wrong.

Churches have even begun to echo this spiritual fad. We’ve moved beyond the dogmatism and exclusive religious claims of ages past, and into a more flexible, organic spirituality—one more suited for today’s world. We’ve embraced the best aspects of the world’s faith traditions while rejecting the antiquated, narrow-minded elements of organized religion. After all,every religion teaches basically the same thing.

We’ve spiritually evolved.

So, why are people feeling emptier than ever?

Maybe we’ve missed something. Something big.

Maybe we weren’t meant to float from spiritual fad to spiritual fad, patching together a god of our own design. Perhaps we were intended to land on some answers. Perhaps God created us with some destination in mind, not just an aimless journey. What if he intended for us to actually find him? If that were the case, would you want to know?

Well, if you do, you’ll have to head over to and check it out. Hurry, the suspense is killing you. Literally, it’s slowly killing you.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | By: Zachary Bartels

Kinda Extras

A few posts ago, I reproduced the full text of the paper I presented at the Kinda Christianity signing/in-store event. In the same post, I promised to also share some of the visual materials that I presented there. As partial fulfillment of that promise, I offer: this Guide to Advanced Techniques!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | By: Zachary Bartels

Free Resource!

If you regularly read this space, you are doubtless aware that my partner-in-crime Ted Kluck and I have started a small imprint, called Gut Check Press. We have released one book (you can learn more about it by clicking the small banner ad to your left), and have several others in the pipline, including:

  • Audio book, Facing Tyson: Fifteen Fighters, Fifteen Stories (due out next month, in conjunction with WAC Productions)

  • Younger, Restlesser, Reformeder, our follow-up to Kinda Christianity, wherein we satirize smug, self-important young Calvinists (read: us)

  • A cookbook, entitled Saucy Broad: A Culinary Manifesto of Hope

  • A book about predestination by a brilliant young Baptist minister (not me).

  • A book about Christian music by Ronnie Martin of the always-cutting-edge Joy Electric

  • Five other projects in various stages of completion, including one by me.
But all of those are going to cost you money to procure (unless you’re a blogger who wants to review them, in which case we’ll probably hook you up for free). That's why Gut Check Press is pleased to offer you a free resource (the first of many) to help keep your scholarly chops up.

We are proud to present the first offering from our new line, Gut Check Smackademic, Everybody Can Change: A Critical Cinematic, Philosophical, Socio-Political, Theological Literary Analysis of Sylvester Stallone’s Seminal Work, Rocky IV.

Click here to download this brilliant piece free of charge! And don’t forget to leave glowing feedback about the paper below.