Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

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Spark My Muse
Thank you!

Shownotes for Episode 13  Wine lovers have God to thank + guest Doug Jackson

First, I want to feature the book Doug and I wrote …

entitled Dog in the Gap because of a C.S. Lewis quote “Man and his dog close a gap in the universe”.


And there’s a BONUS EDITION with lots of goodies!
Read a sample here!

Will you fan the spark?

Inspired by how musician Amanda Palmer put it, “Don’t make people pay [for art]. Let them,” I am altering how Spark My Muse stays alive…from bottom to top (literally).

How does it work?

It’s up to you. I need at least $75 per episode to keep it solvent.
Every little bit helps!
So, I invite you to just listen, read, and give as you can.


Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,



Who do we have to thank for wine?

God and the Church, actually.

Wine lovers in Western civilization have the Church in Europe (and the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire–which was neither holy nor Roman ) to thank for the large-scale production, the prevalence and the excellence of wine!


Because liturgy involving wine for communion was central to Christian religious practice. Wine was ingested as the saving holy blood of Christ (and bread as the holy body of Christ), usually each and every day. The sacraments of Communion served as saving grace afforded to the Church.

As Roman Empire became officially a Christian Empire (circa 313 CE) many vineyards had to be planted, properly cultivated, and harvested. Grapes had to be made into a lot of to support the daily practice of communion throughout the Empire.

Communion served as wine was the norm among Christians world-wide until recently–in the era of pasteurization. To keep juice from grapes in a state were they would not ferment meant it had to be sufficiently boiled so the natural yeast would die. 

Vehemently opposed to alcohol, Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician, dentist, and Methodist pastor from Vineyard, New Jersey, figured out the process in 1869 with Concord grapes. Most churches did not accept the switch as proper and stayed with wine.

The juice later became more popular during Victorian era because of prominent values of abstinence. A shift then began in the U.S. that made grape juice the main communion beverage (at least among certain Protestants sects).

Several hundred vineyards operating in Europe today can trace their history to monastic origins.

In the 9th-15th centuries almost 1,000 monasteries dotted Europe. They were centers of education, stability, and technical innovation. Monks and nuns could read and write–this was quite uncommon then.

Monasteries cared for the sick, helped the poor, created places of education, and invented Universities. They could not fund all this through donations. Surplus wine was sold to finance ministry work (and also beer, fruit brandies, and cheese, among many other things..even prayers and Salvation ..which–in hindsight–appears to have been a mistake ) .

So, basically, thank God (and many monks) for wine!


Sparking your muse

 Enjoy the fantastic chat with Doug Jackson!


Douglas Jackson, D.Min.
Director of the Logsdon Seminary Graduate Program

Doug Jackson came to SCS in 2006, after serving as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, since 1993. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jackson functions as a liaison between Logsdon Seminary and local churches in Corpus Christi. His areas of specialization include spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. Dr. Jackson has published and presented several articles and essays in religious and literary venues, including articles and lectures on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis.
• D.Min. – Truett Seminary (2006)
• M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985)
• B.A. – English Literature, Grand Canyon College (1982)

His blog is here.


Interview / chat notes:


MIN 8:00
on Doug preparing for a his Fall class.

A resource he is using by NT Wright – “The new perspective on Paul”
The covenant people God has saved.

Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

on his Oxford lecture
Owen Barfield an influential life-long friend of CS Lewis

Another lecture on Walter Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
Apologetic self-proclaimed validity on the rational scheme of knowing.

“Scholarship is about knowing more and more about less and less so that eventually you know everything about nothing.”

James Sire

Malcolm Guite https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.guite
Chaplain of Gerton college and Cambridge
“Faith Hope and Poetry”

He covers the imagination as a way of knowing (an epistemology).

Holly Ordway
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”

Her 2-track movement toward conversion

Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

on Spiritual atheism

….if we come up with a system that covers everything (Christians and Atheists alike)…

“Humans are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to a wasteful degree evolutionarily speaking…highly valuing the arts.” (Lisa)

Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monk and Abbot
Philip Lawrence, New Mexico
…slipping in and out of atheism….

HG Wells, and the fundamentalist reaction to him and others of his ilk.

on how science and religious circles have had an absolute unwillingness to be in one another presence and (have not wanted) to admit any weaknesses and (instead) just shout louder.


“The best apologetics can do is make Christianity credible and I don’t think it can make it inevitable.”


22:30 “Any belief in any ideal is still a leap of faith for anyone… like Justice, Love, Hope…” (Lisa)

on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

Theories of “survival behavior value” for Morality and Justice kicks the can. or it lands on simple absurdity and meaninglessness where suicide becomes a valid option.


Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?

Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

How the psalmists had to cry out to God when the answers didn’t suffice any longer. For us, this is a return more than a departure.”

“I have gained the gift of being able to respect other traditions and admire things they bring us, but I talk to people across that spectrum that have that experience.”


“We go from trusting our denominational address or theology address to trusting Christ but it doesn’t mean an abandonment of it. Choosing a room in the same house to live in.”

Spiritual disciplines most meaningful to him:
On solitude and privacy (the difference). Henri Nouwen explains the difference.
 Henri Nouwen explains in “Out of Solitude” 

Doug: Solitude is for battle. Privacy is to be alone.

Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)


“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”

“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine

Doug realized:

“My real Self can’t be with people because it’s threatened by them, because they’re going to colonize my Self and going to make me into something I’m not. As opposed to having a real Self that can listen because God is protecting that Self.”

Father Francis Kelly Nemeck wrote
The way of Spiritual Direction (his director)
…Doug and I discuss Detachment and Holy Indifference…

St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God

…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

(unknowing) Apophetic theology

“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”


“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


If you enjoyed the show please give it a stellar review on iTunes here!

Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

Michael Hyatt says he features the “Best Leaders” (Men)

Note to Readers. As you read this keep in mind I’ve been reading Michael Hyatt’s blog since 2007 and I still really enjoy it. (UPDATE – I stopped reading MH’s blog regularly a few months after writing this) Please read all of this in the spirit of grace and mutual understanding all of it is meant to be wrapped in. I have to ask the questions, but I want amiable solutions.

UPDATE as of July 11, 2013

Michael Hyatt continues to change his blog for the better. More women leaders are visible now (which wasn’t true almost at all since 2007!) and the site has come a long way since I started prodding for a more appropriate and equitable Platform for the Michael Hyatt brand a few short weeks ago.

What I think will also happen is that you will never hear about me and this incident as something he took into consideration. You will never hear him say any of this happened. He will continue to look wise and fair.

He unfollowed me Twitter and to him, I’m probably not a good leader. But, I wasn’t looking for a permission slip to make sure the right thing could happen.

I’m happy to report that I just checked and Michael Hyatt has adjusted his homepage. Now the videos featured in the sidebar do include some women. VICTORY!

UPDATE as of JUNE 26

Joy Groblebe (claiming the title of Michael Hyatt’s manager) has weighed in below in the comments section saying Hyatt is a poor example of bias. Yet, he still does not have women featured in his video leader interviews See what you think! Is she right?

UPDATE as of JUNE 25!

The post you are about to read was written last week, published in a limited sneak-peak form, and announced on Twitter and Facebook at that point. Though Michael Hyatt has too seldom featured women, yesterday Michael Hyatt did feature his longtime friend, Michele Cushatt (maybe he read the preview of the post you will read below…I’m not sure. But, great timing I must say.). You can read her article here. (It’s about females experiencing rejection. Irony.)

I found out about this surprise and rare post through this personal note from Hyatt on Twitter this morning:

FROM: @MichaelHyatt mentioned “@lisadelay The irony of this is that @MicheleCushatt was featured on my blog yesterday: http://t.co/c560ZMQiBJ”


He didn’t see the irony… :)
The article is on REJECTION. Someting women leaders and speakers may be experiencing a lot with not just Hyatt (until recently), but also with publishers in general, as Michael explained in his Twitter posts. At this point, the vast majority of Hyatt’s blog guest posts are by men. Will it maintain the status quo of white male domination in leadership expertise? Time will tell if Intentional Leadership will evolve as a Brand that way. I have every hope it will grow more diverse and vital.

# # #

Background: This Spring (2013) I posted this (excerpt):

I’ve noticed something. Not too many male leaders list women authors, leaders, and thinkers in their blogrolls or refer to them in posts. You don’t see that women influence them. What about Christian male leaders? It seems twice as bad.

Michael Hyatt’s “Intentional Leadership” blog is a favorite of mine. I LOVE it. But have you noticed that not one video on his homepage sidebar features a female leader? Does he even realize the omission? Should he maybe be more intentional on this part….I think yes! Read the whole post here.

# # #

FINALLY- the post you’ve been reading this for.

What I didn’t get to do after that Spring post was follow up. I didn’t get to share Michael Hyatt’s direct correspondence with me that day. It’s far more interesting and surprising that I imagined it would be, and not for any of the reasons I expected.

Here’s that:


So why don’t females pitch to him? Isn’t that the bigger and more important question? Should we look into that maybe?

Then I asked him if he felt he was hearing from a balance of leadership voices, and here’s his reply:


I had presumed that Mr Hyatt would give my observation some thought. Maybe he would mention the need to assess he might have a blind spot.

Could there be an unconscious oversight? Were there ways to improve? But, he inadvertently offered up more than he may have realized. His comments only strengthened my contention that a gap, a regrettable gap, exists between men and women in leadership and visibility on his blog, website, but also across the board. This only gained momentum when he continued and mentioned the world of publishing. (see below. The older post is positioned on the bottom and is a continuation of his comment posted above.)


So by his admission the publishing industry  (his experience as the CEO of Thomas Nelson is a Christian outfit) has a massive blind spot.

This is not a surprise, but certainly a disappointment. What are leaders like Hyatt doing to turn the tide if the gap is this vast?

I soon realized the aforementioned blind spots would stay largely “in shadow” that day, but it wasn’t a total loss. Hyatt did show a desire for improvement. [UPDATE – in subsequent blog posts he wrote about Blind Spots -though never did he mention this incident-perhaps it was a blind spot too.]


My exchange with Hyatt is long over and I wish him well. But, I have wonder: Has he for too long wasted his opportunity to his influence how we hear from leaders? Isn’t this the blindness that success and privilege creates?

I’ll let you decide.

Others weighed in during our Twitter conversation and things stayed interesting for most of the day, that Spring. Here are just two examples:



Yes, Hyatt has every right to feature only those he pleases, but mentioning that he doesn’t hear from women at the same time as mentioning that he only features “the best” seems deleterious.

Through his leadership we are left to wonder: Are “the Best” really predominantly male? or is Hyatt actually gleaning from a skewed pool?


More importantly, does he realize it and will things change “on his watch”? I don’t think both his claims can be true unless he holds a disparaging  view of women in leadership.

And, mind you, I don’t believe he does. I think it’s a genuine blind spot from a well-intentioned male leader (with the current #1 blog on Leadership) who hasn’t quite comprehended or addressed the light-skinned, male privilege he is privy to.

Sometimes a cautionary tale gives us a great lesson. We should learn from this:

None of us are immune to blind spots of our particular privilege.

We must be diligent agents of progress and positive change. That’s my own hope and the reason I have decided to continue the conversation today. The more of us who ask the tough questions of the powerful and prod for the answers and the transformation needed, the better off we will all be. Won’t you join me? To help, Leave a comment or share this post.

SO! Who are the “BEST VOICES”?

In truth, we don’t hear from the “best voices” by doing a google search and poking around. They don’t get pitched to us by the establishment. The “best voices” may not turn up or asked to be heard. Sometimes because it’s too noisy and sometimes it’s because they assume they are not wanted. The stats do not favor minorities (women, the poor, the physically or mentally disabled, the marginalized, and people with darker skin tones), they favor the already powerful.

This means that if you indeed want to have “the best” you must make extra efforts to find and hear from those who don’t have an equal shot. You have to work much harder at it, plain and simple.

As leaders we should admit this. To continue the conversation online please use the hashtag #bestleaders and others can follow the digital footprint and continue onward in the pursuit of improvement

These hard-to-find voices have plenty to offer even if they don’t quite have the following as of yet. The stats don’t make the leader, the character and efficacy does. I think we can all agree there.

In the next post, I’ll talk about the subtle ways language reenforces privilege, especially in the poor opinions and myths perpetuated about women–often unintentionally. It’s sobering. However, I’m skewering the topic not with a pitchfork but a rubber chicken. The point, and my point, isn’t to make enemies, it’s to start the conversation and act as a change agent.

Surprise Has a Payoff

(Yes. There’s a surprise message inside)

I’m hand-crafting a Superb Snail Mail Package for Chris Guillebeau the best-selling author of $100 Startup and The Art of Non-Conformity.

It’s a tribute of gratitude really to some of the things I learned from Chris, especially from his guest post at Tim Ferriss’s blog: Chris advises,

Put happiness in a box…and make people feel special.

That’s infused into the premise of Superb Snail Mail.

Though Chris is aware of the upcoming delivery, he won’t know what he’s getting until it arrives. I’m shooting for memorable, personalized delight and wonder.

My Startup that has it’s challenges…
to really know how good Superb Snail Mail is one should experience it. But a pre-customer hasn’t experienced it.

I say pre-customers optimistically…
because I have this gut feeling that with some diligence the value and “preciousness” of Superb Snail Mail will gain bona fide traction, and not merely among postal enthusiasts. In many ways this can be possible because of the power of surprise.

It’s sobering: Surprising someone runs the risk of misunderstanding…failure.

While most people like good surprises what a good surprise is varies from person to person. So, it takes some work ahead of time to do well.

What I love is that when we offer a surprise that brings delight there’s a positive payoff: A relationship is built.



Figure out how you can offer a good surprise for your team, your customer, a new friend, or someone you care about. Remember that good surprises build relationship. That means something and it builds your legacy.

How will you build relationships this week through good surprises?


Ready for my Surprise?

[Did you know] Mark Driscoll is Gay?

Rachel Evans is calling for a response to Marck Driscoll’s recent bullying of effeminate men, here: But I have to mention….doesn’t this sound a lot like an episode of GLEE?

Does this gay bully look like Mark Driscoll?
“macho man: Mark Driscoll”            Wait! Is that a flattering blouse?

Mark Driscoll is gay? Don’t kill the messenger…I didn’t come up with this.

You can find a pretty solid case HERE, compiled from his friend Don Miller, who–years ago–coined him, “the cussing pastor” in his best-selling book Blue Like Jazz. (When I say “case”…I mean Donald seems to refer to Driscoll, with some detail, right along with [other] male leaders associated with…well, gay scandals. Maybe it’s a connect-the-dots thing.)

Another person to recently point out Mark’s hyper (and perhaps suspicious) masculinity, is Brett McCracken, within the pages of his new book Hipster Christianity, (pages 103-105.)

  • “There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.” –Mark Driscoll [4]

  • (There’s a common theme of guy-on-guy fights/violence with Driscoll. You may remember he showed, the hot and sweaty brawl movie “Fight Club” as an official church event. Hum.)
Is Mark Driscoll’s Jesus Tough and Buff? 

Mark, if you’re reading this, you can stop over-doing it to throw us off track. Don and I both realize you’ve painted yourself into a corner, Mark. The gig is up, dude.


(A bit like gay twins?) Driscoll and Gay WWF wrestler “Giant Gonzales” (Both picts are just so creepy. Sorry about that.)

Nevertheless. IF Driscoll was gay, we would love him anyway. Right, everyone? Right?

There’s a punchline in here somewhere. Can you spot it?

Is Mark Driscoll too overtly macho, and (like recent pastors caught in self-created sexual hypocrisy -Eddie Long and Ted Haggard), too anti-gay to be straight? (This is where you start to realize how silly the whole topic is.)

Am I joking about Driscoll? Sure. Of course. I’m a humorist. (I’m upfront about that here at the blog.) And despite loads of circumstantial evidence, and the writing stylings of Don Miller, Mark’s certain proclivity could remain a mystery, much like Theodicy, or atonement theories. This is all probably just a loooong series of coincidences. No biggie. If Mark is gay, or tempted with homosexual thoughts or feelings, I’m sure we could trust that he’d just open up and tell us–straight out. Or, maybe, like his marriage book, he’ll hold out on telling us that he’s had some trouble until he writes a book on the topic. I”m honestly NOT worried about it. The point is, neither should any of us be!

Cue the “It’s Raining Men” ditty.


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