About the blog…..
Hello, and welcome to Reconciling Viewpoints! My name is Dan McMonagle, and I’m a novice blogger — in fact, I’m really more of a mathematician and musician than a writer….
The reason I started this blog was to talk about issues (especially theological) where differences in opinion cause division, but…   I’ve got other interests in life that occasionally dominate my thinking — family stuff, kid’s sports, music., etc.  The primary blog topics will still be theological/apologetic in nature, but I will also post on these other topics, if for no other reason than to post more often!
About the theological stuff:

We all believe some truths, but none of us get it 100% right....

You’ve heard the one about blindfolded people each touching different body parts of an elephant – leg, ear, trunk, and tail – and how the descriptions of what they are touching vary?  Or how about a scenario where a car accident is witnessed from different angles, and each witness believes a different driver is at fault?  We have a similar situation with “truth” regarding God and religion in part because we all see and experience life through different “filters”.

My goal with this blog is to help us all improve our perspective on the “truth” by looking from vantage points that vary from what we normally restrict ourselves to.  To truly see completely from another’s point of view is impossible, but we can gain perspective by attempting to see from a different angle, maybe one we never thought we’d be gazing from.

For more about why I’m doing this, here’s a link to my first blog post: https://reconcilingviewpoints.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/hello-world/

My two-fold mission statement for Reconciling Viewpoints is to:  

  1. Promote unity among believers by finding common ground where there have been differences in belief based on biblical interpretation and theological understanding, and
  2. Promote the gospel among nonbelievers by reducing or removing stumbling blocks that arise from intellectual objections that deter people from coming to faith.

About the author….

Dan McMonagle lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and three boys.  A mathematician, a musician, and now a “wanna be” writer, Dan could be considered a “renaissance man” of sorts… or a “jack of all trades, but a master of none”, depending on who you ask.  When he’s not busy with his day job as an actuary, Dan likes to spend his time involved with kid’s sports (baseball, football), church (musician, worship leader, works with kids) and family life.


3 Responses to About

  1. I’ve been reading “The Future of Evangelicalism” and the many comments.
    So you have had questions that you have been keeping to yourself for some 25 years. Are you ready to be really challenged? I’ve been outside the walls of traditional Christianity for some 40 years (I’m 75). Are you ready to look at the Christian FAITH from a different vantage point without feeling that anything you might have thought or done in the past was a mistake?

    We seem to have quite a lot of common ground – as a teenager I wanted to be an actuary – but at the age of 30 became a computer programmer in 1967.

    As a Brit I have been watching the Christian scene in the US for many years – and spent a couple of weeks in the Pacific Northwest in 1987. I came to the conclusion several years ago that I am not an ‘evangelical’. My life really came alive after reading “The Shack” when it was first published privately in 2007 (just 11,000 copies).

    The ‘eruptions’ over Rob Bell’s book are not dissimilar to the love / hate reactions to “The Shack” – and for me highlight the fundamental difference between those who see the Bible as the Word of God and those who see Jesus as the Word of God – between those who want to take the Bible literally and those who recognise the significance of myth and symbolism.

    I guess I’ve said enough

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Yeah, I think we do have a lot in common! I haven’t read Rob Bell’s book but saw some of the interviews and thought he makes a lot of great points….. And I LOVED “The Shack”. I totally get what you are saying about those that see the Bible as the Word of God vs. Jesus as the Word of God. Personally, I think there is a balance point on how much to take literally vs. symbolically, and the church would do well to make progress towards finding that spot. (That is what my “reconciling viewpoints” title is about.)

      I’ve stayed within the walls of the church over the years even though I’ve had questions. Two reasons for that…. First, I found that when I stayed outside of Christian fellowship (a couple years in my 20’s), I just floundered and wasn’t really maturing. Second, when I’ve been in church, I’ve been able to use my gifts to help edify the body (I play guitar, lead worship, write music, teach kids, etc.) and have been edified by others in the body too. Do my “questions” make me feel like a misfit? Not with most people, but occasionally. Is it worth the effort to get past that and stick around to minister in the church? To me it is, but I understand when others don’t come up with the same conclusion.

      Thanks again for commenting….. Did I see a link to a blog for you? I’ll check it out. Hang in there, my brother in Christ.

  2. I have absolutely no problem when people decide to stay within the four walls. We always need to bear in mind that God has allowed imperfect churches to exist for a reason. We are all at different stages of the journey and although I say I have been outside the walls of traditional church for some 40 years it was less than 2 years ago that I stopped attending completely.

    It’s easy for me to ‘opt out’ – I don’t have young children – and I’ve been aware of this movement of some 2 million Christians every year away from church in Europe and North America since 2003.

    If you look at my blog you might find “Some of the Awkward Questions” challenging. Do you think I’ve missed any out?

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