The Good Life, David Matzko McCarthy

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(Audio for segments 2 through 4 are available on CD. To roder the entire audio interview go to Contact Us and follow the instructions).
Well good afternoon everybody. You know, for years many American Christians have operated as if the American Dream and Jesus’ dream for their life are identical. Well our next guest reminds us that the good life is the God life, and he helps us understand genuine Christianity for the middle class. It’s a book titled, The Good Life, published by Brazos. The subtitle is Genuine Christianity for the Middle Class. Our guest is David Matzko McCarthy. He’s the assistant professor of theology at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Q. And David, thank you for joining us this afternoon. I appreciate it.
A. Thank you for having me.

Q. We start with a very, very interesting scripture text at your brother’s wedding, at least I found it interesting because I’ve been to a lot of weddings ¢€œ
A. Yes.

Q. ¢€œ and I can’t think of one that has chosen this text as something they would have read at their wedding. Tell us what the text was, and why it was kind of a provocative text and one that you think is suitable for those in the middle class wanting to live genuine Christianity.
A. Yes. Well, my brother was married about ten years before me so I had a lot of intervening time to think about my own marriage. But he was married in a small Methodist church in Connecticut. And the scripture passage was from Matthew 6, where it talks about the lilies of the field and the birds of the air and it says ¢€œ I don’t have the scripture right in front of me ¢€œ but seek first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness, and these things will be added to you besides. And I mention in the introduction that, as a 20-year-old or 21-year-old, I can’t remember which, I found this just wonderful as leading into marriage. And then by the time I got married myself, I wouldn’t even have thought of it because it just would seem impractical. And a lot of the book is trying to redeem that passage for myself, ten years, having been married ten years and realizing the pertinence of it.

Q. Yeah. You ask the question, Can marriage and family be lived in this spirit? I mean, this is a pivotal text for Jesus. It’s one in which he’s laying out the most basic principle of following him, which is to seek him first. And yet we in the middle class sometimes read text like this and think, well, it’s really, really a lofty, wonderful sentiment, but it can’t actually be done. And the argument in this book is that we have to rethink our life in light of faith, not rethink our faith in light of life.
A. Yes. Now, a lot of this book is self-criticism, trying to think these things through and have my own life be changed. And I would say that for many years I read that passage by just thinking, oh, that was for the disciples. Capital D, not for the little D disciple, of which I am one. So yes, I thought long and hard about how could this be possible and still send my kids to college. Yes.

Q. Now, one of the interesting things that happens in your book ¢€œ and actually I interviewed David Brooks recently and he’s got a brand new book out that’s about the middle class ¢€œ
A. Is that right.

Q. ¢€œ and he’s written Bobos in Paradise, which was about bourgeois and Bohemians. Now he’s looking at the middle class. You point out that, well first of all, your daughter came home one day and asked, Are we rich? And most of us in the middle class have had our kids ask that question. Why this emphasis on the middle class? And in what sense is the middle class rich?
A. Well, it’s partly the way you introduced this program that I don’t think of myself as rich. And this was the great quandary with my daughter that she¢â‚¬¦ I don’t think of myself as poor either but¢â‚¬¦ And so I didn’t know what really to answer. And so in a sense that’s the plight of the middle class. The scriptures talk about rich and poor often, particularly New Testament, and so where do we fit? So that’s one reason why the middle class. But the other is, as you introduced this, the American Dream, if I admitted to myself I do in the back of my mind have the dream of being rich ¢€œ not enough to actually go out and buy a lottery ticket ¢€œ but you know, it’s just kind of there. And so I was really trying to think about our ambitions ¢€œ you know, if your listeners are middle class as well or my own ambitions ¢€œ and how they should take shape or be transformed by the gospel.

Q. Yeah. Well one of the things that happens in this book is that you have to begin re-examining things like the parable of the rich young ruler.
A. Yes.

Q. Because if we ourselves fall into that category of being rich ¢€œ and particularly by comparison to the rest of the world ¢€œ suddenly now we’ve got another passage that was for the big D disciple or the really, really rich person ¢€œ
A. Right.

Q. ¢€œ and we certainly have to start thinking about radical discipleship for a fairly well-heeled middle class in America.
A. Right. And that, I really did take a different angle on that. I should say, I thought about it from a different place. And one thing, in thinking about rich and poor, I thought the burdens of the poor are imposed on them, in a sense, and the rich young man imposed burdens on himself. He was his own worst enemy. He was unable to give up ¢€œ as good as his wife was ¢€œ he was unable to give up or let go. And no one was forcing that on him, it was just his own choice. And that is partly what I was trying to think through. How do we middle class Americans, in our desire to have one lifestyle or another, kind of impose burdens upon ourselves? And how can the gospel free us from those burdens?

Q. Yeah. You organize the book around people, places, things, and God.
A. Yes.

Q. And you said that the central theme of the book is love. Talk about how the theme of love needs to be central when we think about the good life and genuine Christianity, and why organizing around people, places, things, and God was a useful way to approach the subject.
A. Well, I originally, in the first draft of this, it was God, people, places, and things. And so in my mind there was a kind of ordering or priority according to the Matthew passage, you know, seek the kingdom of God. So I was thinking love of God first, and then people, places, and things. But people that read it said that the God part was¢â‚¬¦ You needed more of a lead up to it. And so I kind of put it at the end as kind of a summary of all. So in a sense the final product is a bit different than my original logic. But the reason I saw it in terms of love is, love is desiring what is good for another, for the ones we love, and certainly desiring nearness to them because they are good, so desiring in terms of God’s goodness. And so I was trying to think through God’s love for the world ¢€œ let’s say the world as a place and certainly human beings as people ¢€œ and we as people are part of the earth and we take on¢â‚¬¦ Our lives are intimately involved with the earth, and how we make things, take on things. So you could say that it was an attempt to understand our attachments to the world and to things and to places in terms of God’s love. I would say that’s why that was that ordering.

Okay. We’re going to pick up there when we come back. Our guest is David McCarthy. His book is The Good Life, published by Brazos, available in paperback at your local bookstore or online. We’ll be right back.

(Break)

Well this is Dick Staub back with you. We’re visiting with David McCarthy. He is assistant professor of theology at Mount St. Mary’s College, and the author of The Good Life, published by Brazos.

Q. We’re talking about the middle class. And in the whole section on people you’re dealing with a number of our kind of relational dynamics leading up to what you’re describing as the need for a middle class asceticism.
A. Right.

Q. And you set that up by talking about us as people who live in a land of plenty but always want more.
A. Right.

Q. So how is that a useful kind of ramp into the subject of our relationships with people?
A. Ooh, well. Let me think here now. Wow. Well, one thing I think going on the book with that people part is friendship. And so one thing that I was trying to think through in the way that we acquire things and the kind of, say, business relationships we might have, or contractual relationships, is how easy it is to shift in to using people to some other end. And so part of that is to be bound to each other as God is bound to us, so I would say that that is the central theme. God’s friendship with us, which should be then the guide for how we are friends with each other. So hospitality and openness and willing to forsake upward mobility perhaps for the love of God.

Q. Well you get into¢â‚¬¦ You use an illustration, and you start with it as an illustration of the distinction between personal connections and cold, hard fact.
A. Right.

Q. But then you loop back to it on issues of justice and so forth.
A. Right.

Q. And it is the story of Schenectady and General Electric.
A. Right.

Q. Now, how does that story help us get at some of the stuff that matters to you around the good life and people in relationships?
A. Well, I think that we ¢€œ and that is middle class Americans ¢€œ we kind of live in two kinds of stories. One is, what is efficient and useful, but also we ¢€œ and sometimes that fits with love and sometimes it doesn’t ¢€œ but we also kind of enter into relationships that are burdensome. I mean, being a friend to another is sharing burdens, and sometimes those are the best kinds of relationships that we have that we reach kind of depths of care and love and self-giving because of our burdens. Yet there’s another kind of part of life where we think, well, you shouldn’t get attached to people who are a burden. And so I was trying to kind of think through those various ways of thinking about our relationships with others and how to highlight the first part that I just said, that lots of life is inefficient. And people aren’t always useful. And sometimes they’re a burden to us. But perhaps that’s where we find the richness of God’s love for the world.

Q. What are the implications for the issues of love and justice if we in fact, as you say, live in a land of superficial connections?
A. Yeah. Well, I was partly speaking personally on there and trying to judge myself in a sense. But I have this sense ¢€œ I tried to think it through for other reasons, the relationship between love and justice ¢€œ but my sense is that when we treat each other how we should be treated, that is, fairly, and give each other the things that we deserve, that we naturally cultivate a deep connection. And so I was trying to suggest that if we take care of the small things, that is, how we treat each other well, that if we stay around each other long enough and don’t give up on each other, that we will find deeper connections of love and caring about each other’s good.

Q. Yeah. When you talk about the Good Samaritan in that context ¢€œ
A. Right.

Q. ¢€œ and thinking about what does it mean to be a neighbor ¢€œ
A. Right.

Q. ¢€œ what do we need to learn there about this theme of love as it relates to people?
A. Well, in the Good Samaritan passage, if I remember correctly, certainly there’s the theme of God’s mercy. But I didn’t want to miss the surprise, that the one who is the example of mercy is the Samaritan, whom the Jew would have despised. A Samaritan was worse than a pagan because a Samaritan, you know, had thought¢â‚¬¦ A Samaritan was prideful and thought he was actually part of Israel and part of the Jewish faith. And you know, the pure Jew thought, well, this just wouldn’t be the case. So I was trying to introduce the challenging and binding part of love. In a sense, you know, I know for myself it’s easy for me to love my neighbor when it’s a person who’s got a flat tire on the side of the road because I can take a little time, help fix the tire, get back in my car, and never see the person again. And it’s my actual neighbors I have trouble with. I have to deal with them every day. And so that is trying to highlight that theme about how love requires steadfastness and fidelity.

Q. Now obviously there’s implications for marriage. And one of the most interesting sentences in that section is where you say, Jesus has a mixed record on family. Now we like to talk glowingly about family, first priority, focusing on the family, all that kind of stuff, and there is a kind of interesting dynamic to family when you think it through from a kingdom perspective.
A. Right, right, that our first family is God’s family. Right. And that should define how we are families. Right, right. And I think that’s the main point there that God’s family comes before, say, biological families or households.

Q. Yeah. Now that gets expanded when you get into the section on place.
A. Right, exactly.

Q. Because you talk about the church as our first home.
A. Right.

Q. Now, help us understand that, because church has become kind of a place, for many people, they go there either on specified occasions or maybe even regularly, but they certainly don’t think of it as their first home.
A. Right.

Q. They definitely think of their kind of nuclear, biological family as their family.
A. Right.

Q. What are you getting at here?
A. Well, I’m trying to get at, perhaps what I just said about family, but also that if you think about home, the place where you are most yourself, or the home where your primary relationships are, or home where you want to invite people in and have hospitality, that all of that is the call of the church. So that, I think, is the main theme. I also criticize myself there because in my life of not thinking about the church as a home, I have just thought about the church ¢€œ that is, the physical structure ¢€œ as what I personally needed out of it. And you know, I mention it, which is a true story, I kind of was grumbling when I went into the fellowship hall and saw that our folding chairs were gone, and we got these kind of padded metal chairs. And I said, you know, I kind of grumbled to the pastor. But then I kind of, you know, I thought that through and I thought, well, I’m just so wrong because it assumes that you shouldn’t be comfortable when you go into the fellowship hall. You just need to be able to pack these things up and get them out of the way. And so to actually have the church be a place where people gather and people feel welcome and people are comfortable and people use it and, you know, all the time. And this is true of many churches.

Yeah. And we’re going to pick up there when we come back. Our guest is David McCarthy. His book is The Good Life, published by Brazos. We’ll be right back.

(Break)

Well this is Dick Staub back with you. We’re visiting with David McCarthy. He is the author of The Good Life, published by Brazos, subtitled Genuine Christianity for the Middle Class.

Q. I remember back when I was in college, I would have thought that was impossible.
A. Yes, exactly. Yeah.

Q. The middle class and genuine Christianity were completely incompatible.

A. Right.

Q. For one thing, most people in the middle class were over 30 and you couldn’t trust anybody over 30, which dates me. But I want to come back to this idea of church as home, because I think it’s a radical concept and it is in fact¢â‚¬¦ You talk about architecture and how there was a time when the church was the highest point in the city, and now we have kind of these flat, squatty little buildings.
A. Right.

Q. And we don’t think very much about the importance of it being a place of beauty, attraction, of having a bigger place. You even talk about that, when we think from a kingdom perspective, we might even want a larger home so that we could have a room for a guest at all times, which I think Dorothy Day, you said, suggested.
A. Right, she did.

Q. In other words, when you start thinking things through from the kingdom perspective, you can end up with some conclusions that are radically different from where you started. And that’s a good thing.
A. Right. So I was thinking about the church should be kind of in the low places, as Jesus is, yet I was also trying to balance that out with how people grumble when they see glorious, you know, churches that really have splendor to them, yet they don’t grumble when they see a shopping mall that is just unbelievable.

Q. Or a nicely-themed restaurant.
A. Right, exactly. And also I think in the background, if I remember correctly, I also worry about¢â‚¬¦ I remember when we were buying our recent home. Oh boy, did I want a yard. And I wanted a yard, and I wanted a driveway, and I wanted a great neighborhood where there were no troubles and I never had to deal with the neighbors if I didn’t want to. Maybe I’d invite them over for a cookout or something. And we didn’t have the money to get that kind of house. So we got this house where we live next to a set of apartments that are pretty transient, and things like that. We’re not in the neighborhood we desired. And I thought, wow, isn’t that interesting about how we want homes, large, glorious homes with nice yards, that separate us from people. And I think that that should be the opposite in our churches. You know, to have a church that represents God’s glory but doesn’t separate us from people, in fact, invites people in.

Q. Well yeah, that gets into the section on things where you talk about Ambrose, who¢â‚¬¦ The problem that Ambrose had with wealth was when it was misused. And his belief was that wealth is misused when it’s a means of isolation.
A. Right.

Q. And how do you see that today in the middle class? I think it’s a very important point.
A. Yes. Well, I’ll tell you. My wife and I work very hard tithing, you know, and giving a high percentage of our income. And it’s amazing, that’s hard. You’d think it would be easier to give your money away. But for some reason it’s just ingrained in us just to not to be able to give our money away. And I think it was Chris or Ambrose ¢€œ I can’t remember which ¢€œ that says a sign that you are not possessed by your possessions is the ability to give things away. Now these weren’t, you know, these weren’t Communists or Socialists, they were supporting private property and they didn’t think that everyone should have an equal amount of money, but they did say for those people who have money or land that, you know, giving is part of their life and it’s part of having possessions. So I don’t know, I don’t know why it’s so hard except for I suppose our desire to be self-sufficient. You know, I keep my money because I don’t want to depend upon anybody else, including God, I’d like to note.

Q. Well yeah. That whole section on things is a very powerful and convicting one, I think. You talk about a research study done out of University of Chicago, I think it was, about what things are special to you.
A. Right.

Q. And you talk about conspicuous consumption and romantic consumption. You talk about debt and the fact that the problem with our current economy is that excess and irresponsibility are good for the economy so we carry a lot of debt. We, I think it is safe to say, that for the most part the middle class in America have an unhealthy relationship with things.
A. Right.

Q. Now how would the pursuit of the kingdom of God and the pursuit of the truly good life begin to change that?
A. Well one thing with that study, which I found fascinating¢â‚¬¦ Actually, I’ll tell you. That part on things, for me, was the most fascinating part of researching that. But that study suggested that the things that are most valuable to people are things that give you a sense of connection. And I mention my mother’s ¢€œ my mother is dead now and for that reason we have some of her furniture ¢€œ I mention her 30 year La-Z-Boy chair that loses parts constantly and, you know, these little things you just never know where they go. And we just kind of put them in a jar. But that chair just speaks so much of her and our life together. And in studying these economic issues I realize most of the economy encourages us to be detached from things ¢€œ particularly in the information economy because, you know, you don’t want to get tied down to your computer because you want the upgrade ¢€œ so there is this sense that actually our way of possessing things in our economy encourages detachment rather than attachment.

Q. Well, as a matter of fact, it was interesting in that study television didn’t show up. Our television did not show up as things that are special to us, and yet we spend a lot of time with a television. That’s fascinating.
A. It was fascinating for me. And I’ll tell you, the other thing that I found fascinating that was a real eye opener, was finding that author, his name is Colin Campbell, on his theory of romantic consumption. He’s not a theologian ¢€œ I don’t know if he’s Christian, I don’t know if he thinks about these things ¢€œ but what I saw, which was an eye opener, that our economy has a pseudo eschatology. That is, you know, this kind of vision of heaven. And you’re supposed to get, you know, the car¢â‚¬¦ I guess for me, with four kids, I’m in the market for the car where you shut the door and there’s no sound. You know, it’s the car as haven. But his theory was that people need new products because they always need new experiences to make their lives better than they were before, this flight from ordinary life. And I just thought that was so interesting.

Q. Now in that, I mean, a wonderful section on what we need versus what we want, some provocative questions about Mother Teresa, you get into the nature of work.
A. Yes.

Q. And for the middle class, who tend to be working stiffs and putting a lot of hours in jobs that they may not like, you get into some stuff from Dorothy Sayers.
A. Dorothy Sayers.

Q. And is it from her Creed Versus Chaos?
A. It is, yeah.

Q. And she’s re-defining work in radical ways. She says, “Work ought to be¢â‚¬¦” Well, talk about what she thought work ought to be.
A. Right. She well.. Let me see. To put it short I suppose her line is, “It is doing well what is well worth doing.” So she thought that our work, well, should be a calling, but not a calling¢â‚¬¦ For instance, she criticized ¢€œ and I don’t think I mentioned it there ¢€œ but otherwise in her work, or this discussion of work, she criticized the idea that you only can have a calling, say, to church ministry. She thinks that being a carpenter ¢€œ she herself was a playwright ¢€œ and that these can be¢â‚¬¦ If the work is good, if it’s building up creation, then it is good work. And we human beings, in the image of God, freely put our hand to creation the way that God did at the beginning. And so she thinks that that’s how we are God-like, when work serves the worker, you could say.

Yeah. And we’re going to pick up there with another couple of comments. Our guest is David McCarthy. He is the assistant professor of theology at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and the author of The Good Life, published by Brazos. And we’re scratching the surface. You can spend more time by picking up a copy of the book yourself. We’ll be right back.

(Break)

Well this is Dick Staub back with you. We’re visiting with David McCarthy. He is the author of The Good Life, and subtitled Genuine Christianity for the Middle Class. So it kind of gets into everything. It gets into the nature of our relationships, it gets into our understanding of friendship, of God’s friendship for us, which he gets into the Philippians II passage about what the nature of love and justice is in a land of superficial connections, what it means to be a neighbor, family¢â‚¬¦ I mean, getting into place, what our homes are like, how they reflect or don’t reflect the kingdom of God.

Q. We’re talking about things. And in the section on things we get into some very interesting stuff about work and re-defining work. We were talking about Dorothy Sayers and her view of work. And one of the things that she also said, she made an analogy to 20th century ¢€œ and I’m sure into the 21st century she would still say the same ¢€œ work is a hamster cage.
A. Yes.

Q. And she talked about developing an idea of work and the economy as the cultivation of human life. Now, this was, you know, this was prophetic because work, if anything, has become less the cultivation of the human, become more dehumanized. And yet this is, again, where you were talking about avocation as vocation. Talk a bit more about how Dorothy Sayers’ view of work you think really kind of fits the kingdom of God and the way we ought to be thinking about work.
A. Right. Well, one thing about her is when I first read it¢â‚¬¦ I should say, as I read it more and more and thought about it more, I realized how radical it was that she really thinks that almost everything has to change. But her view of the hamster cage, you know, the little wheel that hamsters run on, is that we have an economy that just goes nowhere, that we just have to consume more so that we can produce more, and it just keeps rolling over on itself without going anywhere. And she was trying to think about work that brings goodness into our life and serves other people and serves the good of creation. And it seems to me the radical thing about her, her view, is our economy wouldn’t grow quickly because you would care about how things were made, not only on the side of buying them, you know, caring about how a chair is made. But that in the making you would care as well, that you would make a chair for the purposes of cultivating, you know, a skill of making the chair, and these sorts of things.

Q. What you point out that we’ve almost got it reversed. We have people who do jobs they don’t like during the day and then in their free time at night they’ll teach a course at a community college about something they’re passionate about.
A. Right.

Q. Or they’ll do what they’re passionate about at night. Now, is that changeable?
A. I don’t know.

Q. I mean, but see, you’ve made a choice to be a theology professor. And I’m assuming that you love ideas, you love to interact with people who care about ideas, you have a desire to pass something on to the next generation.
A. Yes.

Q. You have elements of your work that are very missional.
A. Yes. And now, I’ll tell you the truth, I went through my 20’s blaming my mother because I kept thinking to myself, why can’t I just be a lawyer. And seriously. So I kind of felt ¢€œ and in a sense I do ¢€œ that the way I was raised, and that early in life I read the Bible and I started thinking about faith very seriously, and so I got shaped in ways that I couldn’t control, and I ended up doing what I’m doing which, like I say, I think in my 20’s or even in my early 30’s I would think, you know, why?

Q. But what you’re describing is someone who thought they were being ruined for conformity to normal American life when, in fact, you’re now deciding it was your salvation.
A. Now I have the odd experience of making much less than the graduates I teach. I don’t let them forget it.

Q. So you embrace this as a kingdom value that unfortunately very few people in the middle class actually embrace.
A. Well I’ll tell you, I embrace it as great freedom now, that nothing I do gets attached to money. And I don’t know about your listeners about how their lives are, but I have a great deal of freedom now in how I think about my life. Certainly I wrote this book, but you know what? This book isn’t going to get my career anywhere, and this book is really about how to live better and help me and my family live better as well as anybody who reads it. And I think there’s a great deal of¢â‚¬¦ I feel blessed. I feel blessed that way.

Q. Now, you now get to the final section which is based on the Nicene Creed ¢€œ
A. Yes.

Q. ¢€œ which was going to be the first section.
A. It was.

Q. And summarize how because, in fact, it’s foundational.
A. Right.

Q. So whether you look at the foundation last or first¢â‚¬¦
A. Well, I’ll tell you my thought process while I was thinking about the Creed. One was, as you mentioned, Philippians II, that is, that God’s self-giving in the sense where ¢€œ and I use Jesus’ homelessness quite a bit in the first parts of the book ¢€œ that Jesus is homeless, yes, that is true, but homeless so that he can be at home with us. And I use Zacchaeus, the story of Zacchaeus, and he’s up in a tree to see Jesus. He’s a tax collector. And Jesus yells at him, you know, yells up to him, I’m going to be a guest in your home. And so I wanted to¢â‚¬¦ That’s a theme about the Creed that this is about God’s relationship to the world, and coming into the world and embracing it. Now the other thing was the little quandary about creation out of nothing, which is the first part of the Creed, that God is the creator. And God doesn’t need creation. And it’s we human beings do need creation and we are fulfilled through creation, that is, through created things and through our own sense of, you know, our own bodilyness, our own being a human being, that our route to God is much different than God’s route to us. So that’s really about the first part of the book, how do we make our route to the kingdom through people, places, and things which are unavoidably part of our lives and part of the world. So those two things. But I’ll tell you just one more thing, if I can keep going. The last line about the resurrection of the body. And much of the book is about very bodily things. So this connection, our confession of faith about the resurrection of the body, that the spirit doesn’t like float away from the body at the end of things, that body and spirit are one and the spirit will then lift up the body. So that connection between body and spirit was important as well.

Q. And it’s important when you get at, you know, the conclusion in the first section that we’re looking for middle class asceticism.
A. Right.

Q. We’re not looking for it in kind of a dualistic, body-is-bad/spirit-is-good, or a legalistic kind of way, we’re looking at it in a holistic way, recognizing, as you said, that our own theology says that body has value.
A. Right. Yes, exactly. So it’s not a denial of the body as much as a transformation of the body. So denying ourselves, or limiting ourselves, let’s say, is a way to, well, enjoy life more. I think that’s the simple point really. You know, I teach college students. And it’s easy to make analogies to things like drinking, you know. If you drink in excess you certainly have stopped enjoying the drink a long time ago. And I think that’s the same thing with money and property and so on, that if we can do it in our limited sense with our eyes to God’s kingdom then, in fact, we’ll enjoy those things much more.

Q. We think we are consumers but we are being consumed.
A. Yes.

And we want to be consumed by the passion for the kingdom of God, seeking first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to us. Our guest has been David McCarthy. His book is The Good Life: Genuine Christianity for the Middle Class. It’s published by Brazos. It’s available in paperback at your local bookstore or you can order it online. You can link up through dickstaub.com, if you want, and we’ll refer you to it. But interesting, provocative stuff about genuine Christianity for the middle class. The title is The Good Life. We’ll be right back.

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