What the Hell Is Going On

By Scott Keith and Paul Koch


Something strange is a foot at The Jagged Word

The Jagged Word began as a simple idea in the adventurous mind of Pastor Paul Koch. As a parish pastor he was becomingly increasingly frustrated with the state of preaching in the church, particularly in the LC-MS, and was tired of just ranting from the sideline. Though he is a recovering Luddite, he thought that the blogosphere might be a place to make an impact. The point was simple; if he could make a big enough impact, he could no longer be ignored.

In his reinvigorated friendship with Scott Keith, he found a companion equally desirous to make a stand upon the unmitigated proclamation of the Gospel. And so, like all great movements, things started developing through the conversation of friends. While out together one evening with their wives (making our usual trek from bar to bar), Paul was convinced that he should at least give it a go. True, it might have just been the Makers Mark talking, but why not give it a shot?


So The Jagged Word was born. Initially, Paul was the only author and a majority of the posts revolved around preaching. Soon after, Paul asked Scott to write about culture as it relates to and interplays with the message of the Gospel, and the Cantankerous Critic was born. Within weeks Paul asked Graham Glover to write about the Christian in the political realm, and the Emperors Chair was born. It wasn’t long before other friends came on board; Joel Hess was commenting on art and music and eventually Bob Hiller was bridging the gap between the culture of sports and the experience of our faith. Before anyone really knew what was going on, The Jagged Word was thoughtfully ruminating on art & music, culture, politics, family life, sports, and yes, still much was said about preaching. These conversations have continued to grow and take shape over a short time.

Now all of the authors on The Jagged Word are what you might call opinionated and desirous of freedom. That is why we like each other. In fact, even if The Jagged Word was non-existent, I know we would still enjoy each other’s company settled in the corner of a bar. In our various ways we try to connect our readers to the power and freedom of the Gospel as we encounter it on the lips of another through our day-to-day lives. We seek to explore what it means for Christian people to “play in God’s playground” from a distinctly Lutheran perspective.

Though sometimes our writings can be controversial or “jagged,” we hope that they are also inspiring and thought provoking. From the baseball diamond, to the bar on Friday night to the pulpit on Sunday morning, here we attempt to tell the greatest of old stories in the newest of our own stories, so that the Gospel might be heard in all aspects of the modern life.


Interwoven throughout everything at The Jagged Word is the heartfelt belief that only God saves sinners and that we are all sinners. God uses a jagged word we call the Gospel of Christ to bring saved sinners to Himself. We all need to hear the Good News of God’s grace won for us through the person and work of Christ Jesus. We hear this message on the lips of others in every part of our everyday lives.  We, at times, are those lips of the Gospel to others. The word of the cross is jagged, and those who preach and teach it are too. That is why we are The Jagged Word.

We’re sure that you are already well acquainted with the 5 authors on The Jagged Word. We have four Reverends and one Doctor on the list. We are also blessed to have the support of Rev. Ross Engel (or as we call him the Dean of Awesome) and Rev. Tim Barkett. As you can see, there are a lot of guys and a lot of Revs on that list (not that there is anything wrong with that). But times, they are a changing! Beginning next week, the lovely and talented Cindy Koch will be writing about women and women’s issues. Caleb Keith, will slip into the roll of commenting on technology. Both hosts from the popular podcast “Virtue in the Wasteland,” Dr. Jeff Mallinson and Dr. Daniel van Voorhis, will begin writing regularly for The Jagged Word. Jeff will recap the issues from Virtue in the Wasteland on a week-to-week basis, and Dan will be commenting on the culture of fashion.


These new authors will almost double our content and enable us to explore even more of our society, in an attempt to understand just what the hell is going on.

Lastly, we have been hard at work developing a more formal relationship with our friends over at 1517 The Legacy Project. We have some big things in the works and are excited about the prospects for the future. If you are unfamiliar with them check them out! They’re doing great work.


It should be noted that, even though all the writers for The Jagged Word are LC-MS Lutherans, we do not seek to represent any particular church body. (This is not the CTCR – sorry, inside joke.) We seek only the truth of the Gospel.  In other words, don’t get your panties in a wad when we venture a bit beyond the corral. We make no claim to doctrinal purity in everything or anything that we write. We are mixing it up with the Gospel in God’s playground for public consumption and debate. The Jagged Word is happy to remain the pink mohawk of theological conversation. We are the giant middle finger to the party line. You can be damn sure we will have some fun along the way.

Keep it Jagged People!