Star Wars, Episode VII (or, as Saturday Night Live called it, Star Wars and the Four Jamaicans) opens one week from tonight! If you haven't taken the time to swing by a Verizon store and grab their free Google Cardboard "hardware," and downloaded the Jakku Spy feature from the Star Wars app, you should. It's incredibly cool, and all free! That saves you hundreds of dollars on the cost of an Oculus Rift, while allowing you to experience one of the burgeoning technologies featured in Mr. Klein's Wild Ride. As for me, I'll be parked in front of Regal Cinemas in Lacey next Thursday, then at the Seattle Science Center IMAX on Friday. I've also been scarce on social media to avoid spoilers, so wish me luck! Er...the Force. Whatever.
If it seems I've been scarce around my own website as well, you're not wrong. I've been overwhelmed with work and kinda-work these last few months. I'm not complaining; every assignment helps. I was hired by an educational game company to work through Halloween, but that job was extended three times and will continue through at least January 18th. I've also done paid acting work for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, two radio interviews, the Creative Colloquy Volume Two release party, and further prep for Credeaux Canvas. Consequently, writing for fun--or even to promote my published writing--has largely fallen by the wayside. That won't last forever, but it also won't change much over the next week. With what little free time I had remaining last week, I followed friends' suggestions and played through Valve's Portal. Yep, that's me, a cutting-edge gamer from eight years ago.
Mostly I want to recommend the work of a guy named Mike McHargue, aka "Science Mike." I looked him up on the advice of my brother- and sister-in-law, and boy, did they fit the speaker to his audience and vice versa. If you've enjoyed my lines of questioning on this site in the past, particularly my nonfiction efforts on Rereading the Bible, then prepare to meet your new obsession. Like me, Science Mike was raised in a fundamentalist Christian religion but struggled to reconcile his growing understanding of scientific naturalism. Like me, he discovered moral conflicts between himself and his sexist, homophobic denomination. Like me, he made the change to atheism in early adulthood. Unlike me, however, he changed back--not to fundamentalism, but to a humanistic Christianity that reveres the Bible without believing every word of it. We differ in only one respect: he think it's somewhat more likely that God exists than that he does not, while I think it's slightly less likely (while still acknowledging the strong possibility of a deist or otherwise hands-off definition of a Creator). He knows more about science than I do, especially computer science. He claims a subjective experience of God I do not, yet admits anecdotal evidence shouldn't convince any other rational person to believe. I find him fascinating. I love what he does, and it offers a safe path for Christians who can no longer accept the fundamentalist notions of their parents or peer group but still wish to seek Jesus's nature in their lives.
Give him a shot, won't you? He's at MikeMcHargue.com . I've been devouring his podcast over the last twelve hours as I worked and worked out. From where I sit, the world could use a whole lot more Christians (and other religious truth-seekers) just like him.