By Scott Keith

I have a dog named Kai, who is a Siberian Husky. At one time, she was a legit sled dog. She, along with her three sisters, would pull me on a small, one-person sled around a 3.5-mile loop in a little place called Hope Valley, California, which is near Lake Tahoe. Kai was what is referred to as the lead dog, which is the dog who is in charge of all the other dogs and the one who listens to the directions of the musher (me). These days, she is a bit older and a lot slower. She still likes to pull, but now her pulling is on a collar, not a harness as we take our daily one-mile walk around the neighborhood.

By Scott Keith

Happy New Year, everyone! As I sit next to a roaring fire in our cabin in Big Bear and write this blog, I am trying to envision what 2017 will be like. The truth is, I have no idea. For me, and I suspect for others, 2016 was a mixed bag of both personal victories and failures. That is life, at least until the Lord comes again to bring us to Himself in glory. This year, I have been quite surprised to learn about all the people who call 2016 the worst year ever. And culling social media toward the close of the year reminded me of a series I binged watch with Joy this year.

By Scott Keith

I’ve been lucky enough to have been trained under two of the greatest living Lutheran apologists, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt and Dr. John Warwick Montgomery. I’ve even had some tutoring from others along the way. Shaun C. Henson of Oxford University has done some interesting work with the idea of the universality of religious experience, which he shared with me while I was there. I have, in my own time as an apologist, made use of all of the tricks that these fine men have placed in my bag throughout the years.

By Scott Keith

A few years ago, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt retired from Concordia University in Irvine. Rod’s retirement gave him the occasion to give a final public lecture, which I attended. I had Rod as a theology and philosophy professor and considered him a “theological” colleague. It seemed natural to expect that Rod’s lecture would be on a topic of theology, and I settled into my seat ready for just that. The lecture was not at all what I expected. Knowing Rod for as long as I have, I have come to expect the unexpected. Rod’s lecture, “Education, Gospel, and Freedom,” was more or less on the state of education and the disintegration of academic discourse.

By Scott Keith

*This blog is by a previous employee and friend, Matt Lawler. He has contributed to The Jagged Word in the past, and the other day he surprised me with a couple of submissions. I love to give aspiring writers a shot at a wider audience, so I’ll be running Matt’s piece in place of mine today. Enjoy Matt’s article.


I tend to spend a decent chunk of my time on the web, getting lost on Wikipedia and reading the most random things imaginable. In the midst of one of these binges, I learned an interesting factoid. During World War II, the United States set up various military bases on islands in the South Pacific to more effectively combat the threat of Imperial Japan. After the war, some anthropologists studying the natives of these islands found something incredible. The islanders, never having been exposed to such incredible technology, had developed an entire religion centered around what they had seen. This religion was labeled by the anthropologists as a “cargo cult.” It consisted of idols in the form of replica airplanes, watchtowers, guns, and crates made out of twigs and leaves by the islanders. They believed that these objects were gifts from the gods, or gods themselves, and worshiped them as such. As a matter of fact, several of these cargo cults persist to this very day.

By Scott Keith

I understand that what I am about to write is full of irony and perhaps even sanctimony or hypocrisy because this will be published on the internet and shared on various social media platforms.

I recently listened to an Art of Manliness podcast (ha, perhaps another form of social media), which interviewed Christina Cook, author of The Joy of Missing Out. In part, her book recounts a thirty-day period in which she gave up the internet, even email. I say “even email” because that is the work-related medium that I have a hard time eliminating from my daily life.

By Scott Keith

Not so long ago, right here on The Jagged Word, I made an offer to show up at any church within a reasonable distance of my house and participate in a Q & A session with any group of unbelievers a congregation could gather. So far, I have been invited to one congregation in Los Angeles and one Skype interview with a college from the University of Alabama. Needless to say, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to real people who have real questions about life, faith, and salvation.

By Joy Keith –

The Good:

This year the Keith Clan is heading to Gardnerville, NV to be with my hubby’s mom. We Keiths don’t have many traditions. Each and every year our nomadic family talks to each of the Grandmothers and one another to determine what the best Thanksgiving plan is. Will we go to Arizona to be with my mom, or NV to be by his? Will either one of them be able to come to CA? Are the grown kids able to get off work? Are people sick this year and can’t travel? Will we spend it with friends not too far away who we don’t see often enough? All these things seem to get thrown into the recipe of what will be the plan this year. So, our tradition seems to be that we have a lack of tradition. This is true concerning everything but what food we will eat. The menu is the same and a tradition: turkey, mashers and gravy, beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry and my absolute favorite––STUFFING, followed by the exquisitely baked pumpkin (and one alternating dish which is “TBD” by me each year) pies!