JR Forasteros is a pastor, blogger and pop culture junkie. This is his website. http://jrforasteros.com/
Now why should you visit his site? Here are a few reasons.
1. Rethink “Pastor”
What comes you mind when you hear the word “pastor”? Try it out. Write down the immediate associations that spring to mind, no matter how bizarre.
When I tried that exercise I came up with the following:
Top of the list was “suit” (followed by “olive color” for some reason). An olive colored, double-breasted suit. For some reason, that’s what “pastor” means to me.
And there were more thoughts too.
Next was “pulpit” followed closely by “smile” (that’s a good one!), “guilt” (not so good), “awkward to spot in the liquor store” (“Brother Rauser! I’m buying the communion wine. Why are you here?”), “aloof,” and taking up the rear, “gospel” and “Bible“.
I should add that when the word “gospel” came to me, I was thinking not of the gospel of proclamation but rather a southern gospel quartet. I guess that came from the fact that my parents played a lot of Bill Gaither when I was young.
Oh, and there was one more association: wooden pew.
So those are all the churchy associations that come when I think “pastor”.
That’s a good reason to visit JR. Forasteros. Here is a pic of JR. from his homepage. As you can see, he has tattoos, he is jumping in an industrial landscape, and he’s wearing a “Smashing Pumpkins” t-shirt! (When I was a kid, “smashing pumpkins” wasn’t a band, it was something wayward Christian youth did instead of attending the church’s October 31 “Hallelujah Party”.)
Bottom line: JR. looks more at home in a skate park than behind a pulpit. But then who said Jesus’ closest representatives are awkward, smiling old men in olive green double-breasted suits?
I say we need more tattooed pastors who wear rockin’ tees and jump in industrial landscapes.
2. He likes my stuff!
JR. has reviewed my last two apologetics books and he had good things to say about each one of’ ’em. (See his reviews on The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails and God or Godless.)
Now he has reviewed my latest book What on Earth Do we Know About Heaven?
Whew! He liked that one too! In the review he writes: “Bottom Line: What On Earth Do We Know About Heaven is a fun, challenging read that will stir your imagination and provoke your faith. Well worth your time.”
Now you really have to visit his site.
3. He has cool friends and a unique podcast.
Once a week JR. joins Clay Morgan and Matt Mikalatos for The Storymen Podcast on which I was a guest last week. This is the most dynamic triadic synergy since Rush released 2112.
4. JR. likes Stephen King?!
As you might have guessed, not all the books JR. reviews fit under the categories “practical ministry”, “inspirational”, or “victorious Christian living”. For goodness sake, he reviewed Stephen King’s new novel Doctor Sleep and he liked it. One often hears these days of the flood of youth leaving the church. Do you think the hemorrhaging might subside if more young Christians realized they could find something of value in the latest Stephen King offering?