Have you ever had a favorite restaurant? One that just seemed to get everything right? The right menu, the right mix of flavors, the attitude of the employees, even the ambiance. When you walked in, you just felt right at home. Then one day, you drive up and you see the dreaded sign, the one that says “Under New Management.” You might approach with a bit of apprehension, but you figure, “Hey, it can’t be that bad right? I doubt they changed everything…did they?” But when you get inside, everything was different! The decor was different, the employees were different, even the menu was completely changed! It may have had the same name on the outside, but it wasn’t the same restaurant anymore. I have to imagine that the readers of this blog might be feeling that apprehension right now, so let me try to relieve some of that concern.
When Pilgrim brought me on about a year ago, I was truly humbled and blessed to be a part of this blog. I was a part time blogger who managed to eek out a couple dozen hits a month with articles about the gospel and about evangelism. Pilgrim took the time to read what I had written and offered me a spot with the Defending Contending crew. Since that time, I have been greatly encouraged and blessed by the those who have read my articles. And while I could never hope to match the quantity and quality of some of our writers, I was thrilled to be a part of something that brought glory to God.
Earlier this month, Pilgrim advised me of his intent to step down from running this blog. Like many of you, I’m sure, I was stunned. But what shocked me even more was his request that I take the reigns of the blog! Me, a contributor with only one year under his belt, and only a fraction of the articles posted that others had done! I was humbled beyond words. After much prayerful consideration, I accepted Pilgrim’s gracious offer to helm the site and prayed that in doing so it would bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So that is how we got from there to here. What happens next? Does the menu get changed, the decor thrown out, a total and complete overhaul? No, not exactly. I have no intention of doing any kind of dramatic change over in the flow and content of Defending Contending. Readers of this blog appreciate the biblical, gospel centeredness that the contributors of this blog have brought to a wide variety of topics. Additionally, this blog’s willingness to openly address false teachers and teachings in a time where everyone wants to “play nice” has been a staple that I believe has always been appreciated. I intend to see that these things continue as they always have done.
But there is one thing that I simply must admit. I am not Pilgrim, nor can I ever hope to replace him. He has been a tireless servant of the Lord, bringing numerous articles to the site. While his articles will always remain on this site, his presence will greatly be missed. Anyone who has ever read my articles knows that my writing style and my content is different from Pilgrim’s. He has often spent much time digging into the false teachers and the cults, much to all of our benefit. However, my passion has been in the realm of evangelizing the lost and edifying the church so that they may fulfill the Great Commission. That being said, I intend to keep writing as I have been, albeit more consistently than I did before. Simply by the absence of Pilgrim’s writings and a more consistent effort of my own, some noticeable change in the flow and content will be noticed. Additionally, I may try to recruit new writers to help this site continue to grow and reach as many people with the gospel as possible. If the Lord allows this, each writer will bring his or her unique gifts to this blog and, over time, there may be noticeable changes. But as I said before, I have no intention of overhauling what we have already established here. I desire for Defending Contending to remain a light shining in the darkness of this world. I pray God continues to use us to point everyone to Jesus Christ and Him alone.
I thank Pilgrim for bringing me on with this team. I am grateful to my fellow contributors who have graciously allowed me to add my meager two cents here. I am blessed that you readers have read, commented on and even shared my articles. And most of all, I am grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who, twelve years ago, opened my eyes to the depth and depravity of my sin. Who condescended to save me from the judgment to come. And who today has opened the door to an undeserving wretch to be a light in this world, to be used on this blog and in other venues to preach His glorious gospel of grace.
If you all will have me, I look forward to serving you and our common Savior in the days to come. Thank you.