In keeping with the season here in the good ole’ USA, I want to give thanks for the following people. . . hundreds more can be added to the list, but these are on my mind this morning.
These names appear in no particular order and indicate no particular priority.
Dr. Michael Brown: for your resolve to stay in the line of fire, and treat everyone – friend and foe – with the graciousness of Jesus Christ.
Adrian Warnock: for being a model to the Reformed and New Calvinists of not being sectarian, elitist, exclusive, and ingrown. Thanks Adrian for modeling Paul’s words, “the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you.” May your tribe increase!
Mary DeMuth: for being the most gifted Christian female author alive who shows all authors — famous, unknown, and infamous — how to be accessible to everyone. May your tribe increase also!
Steve Brown: for being the most amazing talk radio show host alive, bar none.
Michelle Shaeffer: for being one of the nicest and most resourceful people on the planet.
Nicole Cottrell: for being a superb blogger, encourager, and friend.
Jamal Jivanjee: for loving Celine Dion.
Milt Rodriguez: for an unwavering friendship and co-working relationship.
Jon Zens: for being an example of integrity, biblical soundness, and Christ-like conduct. He has more theological degrees than a thermometer yet is unafraid to challenge the very system from which he matriculated.
Derwin Gray: for being an example of extraordinary gifting mingled with deep humility and the willingness to learn from the rabble-rousers.
Rick Warren: for showing us how to maintain faith in the presence of unspeakable tragedy and ignoring savage professing Christians who think the worst about everyone but themselves. (And special thanks for tweeting two of my blog posts to your countless followers over the years).
Greg Boyd: for being a vanguard for truth no matter where it leads. And also for learning how to talk trash and having a sense of humor!
Craig Keener: for your enormously helpful comments on Jesus: A Theography, God’s Favorite Place on Earth, and Pouring Holy Water on Strange Fire. They are all the better because of your critical eye.
Phil Cooke: for your friendship, generosity, and insight.
Jeremy Myers: for helping me with all things blogorious over the years. (Yes, I just made that word up on the spot.)
Michael Morrell: for being one of my closest friends despite our profound theological disagreements (still praying for your salvation, bro!)
Ray Edwards: for your friendship, encouragement, and the many lessons you’ve taught me about copywriting.
Ralph Polendo: for your brilliant design work. (Ralph created the covers for Rethinking the Will of God, Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ, Epic Jesus, Beyond Evangelical, When the Pages Are Blank, etc.)
David Flowers: for having a jealous dog named “Buddy,” his love for “Gotta Life Radio,” hot saki, and introducing me to Jim Gaffigan. In other words, thanks for always making me laugh.
Ryan Rhoades: for creating the cover for Pouring Holy Water on Strange Fire.
Rodrigo Aguilera: for your amazing talent in creating websites, namely FrankViola.net, FromEternitytoHere.org, ReimaginingChurch.org, theJesusManifesto.com and PaganChristianity.org and the many superb banners.
Bart Breen: for being one of the best book reviewers on earth for Amazon.com, and for exposing those who pretend to be abuse advocates who instead abuse and deliberately mislead God’s people.
Leonard Sweet: for being the Frank Zappa of the Christian world today and not surrendering to the exclusive, elitism that’s in the drinking water of the academic Christian community, but putting the supremacy of Christ and the oneness of the Body above the academy.
Felicity Dale: for being a powerful voice for the kingdom and for encouraging women in ministry.
Greg Daniel: for being a man of integrity, an amazing agent and friend.
Hal Miller: for giving me sound advice from thousands of miles away for many years and for teaching me how to wordsmith.
Ken Eastburn: for his gracious spirit and support.
Keith Giles: for his friendship and diligence in serving God.
Ed Stetzer: for showing all Christians how to love the lost and be open to all the parts of Christ’s multifarious Body.
George Barna: for his courage in putting his life on the line by co-authoring a little red book five years ago.
And thanks to all of you . . . . my readers, blog subscribers, and podcast listeners.
You are more of a blessing and encouragement in my life than you’ll ever realize.