What’s In A Name?

Rose from the Garden of Gethsemane in JerusalemConsidering the difficulty I've had in coming up with a name for this blog, one might think that I should stop before I get started. But this is not the first time I have had this problem. Every now and then in my business we have to come up with a name for a new store or website. The pragmatic engineering side of me says that, if we are going to sell widgets, then we should name the store Widgets and the website widgets.com. Simple, right? Yes, it's a little too simple, which would make me a marketing firm's worst client.

If the issue is creativity, then I plead guilty. Luckily (I mean, by divine providence), God gave me a spouse with ultra-creativity so that our girls would not be named #1, #2, and #3. We had several years to think about names; we drew from family names; and we relied on my wife to put on the finishing touches. Voila! They were named. However, beyond the fact that our girls' names have some sort of family connection, there was no meaning to them. We just liked them. Sure, everyone looks up the meaning of a name, but most of the time Westerners pick a name they like, then afterwards go look up the meaning in a baby name book to make sure it doesn't mean "harbinger of doom." (By the way, have you ever seen a negative meaning to a name? That wouldn't sell many books now, would it?) Westerners almost never really come up with a meaning and then craft the name from it. If we honestly did that, then our first child's name would mean "beautiful one," the second "selfish one," and the third "destructive one" as the reality of our human condition sank in.

However, opposite to the naming of our progeny, I already know the essence of this blog. It's subject, it's topics, it's core have not been elusive. This blog will be a reflection of my reading, thinking, and, ultimately, learning. I am fascinated with apologetics, especially those subjects surrounding the reliability of the new testament documents and the historical truth of Christ's resurrection. Being an engineer, I am also intrigued with science. Studying the world that God has created continues to amaze me. How God's power, brilliance, and creativity are all on display. I enjoy theology in both who God is and how he deals with his covenant people and the rest of the world. The tension between biblical and systematic is a wonderful challenge to me. Finally, what wraps all of these subjects together is my commitment to in-depth study of God's Word. This is the source of my desire to write and the table from which I am fed.

How can I fit each of these subjects into one name? Is it even possible? “Seeking Truth, Seeking God” was one of the first ideas. It is general enough to fit just about everything in, however it has one major problem: it's way too corny. Second was “Believing In The Resurrection.” Again, that covers a lot of topics and is central to my thinking and living. I liked this one, and still do, but it's not very titleific (new word!). It's too long and doesn't really roll off the tongue. After a few other ideas, I've finally landed on “Grafted In.”

"Grafted In" may not perfectly encompass every topic I enjoy writing about, however it does describe the background from which I write. I have been grafted in to God's covenant people. I have been adopted into his family, an heir of his promises and a recipient of his love. This covers the person of God, the story of God, my place in God, my motivation to show reasons for God, and my desire to know more about God. It's a historical story. It's a true story.

Juliet's view is that a name is arbitrary and meaningless. She loved Romeo regardless of his last name, for a name does not make up the essence of an object – that is left up to the object alone. As true as that may ring, unfortunately it didn't work out that way for her. The names of Montague and Capulet carried too much weight and that weight eventually crushed the lovers. I hope I have reached a middle ground between Juliet's view and the reality of the world. I hope “Grafted In” would be a name that initially draws people in and piques their interest, but the content, the core itself, would be the thing that continues to bring them back. Hopefully it won't get crushed in the process!