By Jeff Goins, Editor
What the God is billed as a community for curious Christians. Launched on March 15, 2010 the community at What the God is invited to explore their deepest darkest questions about God, life, the Bible and everything in between – but in a light-hearted and humorous fashion.
Authors Jesse Medina (whom you may recognize as an author of various Wrecked articles and occasional commenter) and AJ Teaters tackle the questions that Christians ask – or not – in a genuine effort to look for Biblical truth without getting bogged down in solemn academia. I recently had the opportunity interview them and ask some questions about What the God.
What is “What the God”?
AJ: It’s a blog we started as an avenue for Christians to be able to explore questions about God, life, relationships, the Bible and pretty much everything else in a light-hearted, humorous way. As one of our Facebook friends put it, we’re asking questions and broaching topics that most of us think, but would never ask.
What kinds of questions? Why wouldn’t someone ask the questions you guys write about?
Jesse: There’s a probably a few reasons. One is that the questions we tackle can sometimes be in the realm of ridiculous you know, those questions you have thought, but they aren’t important enough to actually ask…or you’re ashamed to ask. Another reason is that most Christians are afraid of the answer they’ll get be it condemnation for asking in the first place or trite Sunday-school answers that aren’t really helpful.
How did it get started? What’s the story behind it?
AJ: Like every great story it has action, adventure, suspense and romance – including a good looking hero myself. Jesse had posted a vague and random Tweet on Twitter asking if anyone wanted to start a blog with him. Being the completely irrational thinker that I am, I commented back and said that I would do it. He didn’t reply, so I kept berating him about it until he accepted me as a legitimate colleague.
Jesse: Which I have not! I wanted to start a site for young, hip, humble Christians like ourselves to be able to ask questions and join in discussions where they felt accepted and could explore freely. In real-life conversations, me and my friends talk about this stuff, but with a great deal of sarcasm it makes it fun while still being valuable I wanted a site where that could be done.
AJ: We actually went to college together, but we weren’t friends. We didn’t hate each other or anything, we just weren’t really friends. We connected after college when one of our mutual friends got married and we were both groomsmen. But it wasn’t until a couple of years later that we connected on Twitter and started What the God. The funny part is that we live more than 650 miles away from each other and have not met face-to-face since starting this site.
Really – another Christian blog? What are you hoping to accomplish with this? What will make it unique? Jesse: Our primary goal is to overthrow online magazines primarily focused on social justice and inspirational stories.
AJ: Honestly, we’re hoping to further God’s Kingdom. We want to provide a place for Christians to build each other up and spur one another on with opposing viewpoints, tough questions, and humor. We may not always agree, but our disagreement is secondary to what we have in common: Jesus Christ. So, we look at these questions from our own perspectives, have fun with it, and invite others to participate.
Jesse: We’re not too concerned with being the next big thing. We’re pretty confident that we could take on Jon Acuff in a cage fight…we don’t need to do so in the blogosphere plus, well, he would destroy us with his fantastic wit and side hugs. If people connect with what we’re doing, great. That’s all we’re trying to do is give those people who aren’t already getting that connection a place to go.
What kinds of questions are you answering on WTG?
AJ: People’s deepest, darkest, most personal questions. You know, the ones that keep you up at night.
Jesse: Why Didn’t Jesus Write Anything Down? Will There Be Sex in Heaven? Why Was God So Pissed in the Old Testament? What Social Network Would Jesus Use? Why Doesn’t God Talk Back?
AJ: Told you.
Jesse: A couple of upcoming ones are: Why Did Jesus Have to Die? What’s up with Speaking in Tongues? and Why Did Jesus Get Baptized?
How can people get involved? Where can they find you?
Jesse: Um…the blog? [said in Ron Burgundy-esque fashion]
AJ: You’ll have to excuse Jesse, he’s…slow. He didn’t get that you were asking where else they could get involved. Check us out on Twitter (@WTGod) and we have a Facebook page linked from the blog. The best ways to get involved are by commenting on articles and sharing your own questions. We also really want What the God to be user-driven so we love to have guest writers who are willing to tackle a question, make it funny, and still offer some food for thought.
Jesse: Speaking of which…aren’t you going to be writing one for us, Jeff? When can we expect that?
I’ll pray about it.
If you’re looking for a place to be able to ask honest questions and explore answers to those questions while having a good laugh, What the God may just be the place for you. To connect check out their blog, become a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Jeff graduated from Illinois College, a small liberal arts school, with a degree in Spanish and Religion. He lives in Nashville, TN. He works for Adventures In Missions, edits this silly little magazine, and loves to do new things. He just got married in January. Check out his blog: Pilgrimage of the Heart.