Photo by Dave Tada

erelah-tabbris asked a question:

What do you do when you have a bunch of different people telling you their interpretation of the bible a bunch of different ways, and if you dont believe in their way you go to hell? There are so many. If you sin you lose salvation, if you aren’t perfect, if you don’t do works, if you like un-godly things, if you mess up at all, all these ways saying its that way or hell. How do we know who’s is the right way? And what if we are all wrong?

Hey dear friend, to be truthful: I think having multiple interpretations is okay. What’s not okay is when these interpretations turn me into a jerk.

When a church says, “My way is the only way,” I think the main intent is that everyone likes to be in the Insider’s Club. It feels cool to have the keys to supernatural secret-sauce. We like a tiny little narrow doorway of doctrine.

Continue Reading…


What does prayer do? Is it just asking for things? How do I pray?
A view on the glorious discipline of prayer in less than two minutes.

Subscribe to my channel here. Love y’all!

— J.S.

[Thank you to Steven Hause of pudgyproductions]



No one is the one-dimensional, black-and-white, evil caricature that we so wish them to be. No one is the version of a person you worship on a pedestal.
It is easier to hate a cartoon-parody idea; to denigrate a hologram; to blast an artificial; to praise the effigy.
If you and I could sit down for coffee: we would discover multiple dimensions, a mess of motives, hidden layers, two profoundly broken people hanging on.
We are wildly struggling, conflicted, complex.
We are not wholly evil nor holy good.
Let go of heroic prejudice and villainous archetypes. There was only one hero, crushed at a cross; and one villain, who was defeated there too.
So we blood-stained sinners are stripped of pretension and cling to the true good; us sinners saved by an undeserved grace.
The sooner we get there, the sooner we are known and truly know.


– J.S.

everarking asked a question:

Hi pastor Park, what are helpful questions to think about when discerning starting dating /going into relationships?

Hey dear friend, I must first applaud you for taking this seriously. Relationships are no small thing, and for you to even pause to ask questions means you’re ahead of the game.

Please allow me to share this post, which showed up in my first book:

- 6 Ways To Be Ready To Pursue A Relationship

Also, here’s a list of questions that showed up in my book on relationships, which is not an entirely complete list, but could help for a start.

Continue Reading…


How do we actually love someone? What does it mean that God loves us? What is the “Christian” concept of love? Why is it unique?
Defining the gritty, painful, crazy depth of love in two and a half minutes.

Subscribe to my channel here. Love y’all!

— J.S.


[Thank you to Steven Hause of pudgyproductions]



I received an email from a couple who recently picked up my book on relationships, and it made me quite emotional to see how God was moving in their lives. It’s always overwhelming to see how grace can travel the planet to people you never met. This isn’t about a book, but what Jesus can do when he crash-lands into our lives with reckless grace. With their permission, this is their testimony.

The lady said, “I just had to tell you what a huge difference your Christianese Dating book has made in my boyfriend and me. I discovered it on Amazon as I was desperately searching for something about ‘Christian dating,’ because I am in my first relationship and felt pretty clueless. Your words of grace were so helpful for me. I am a legalist by nature and was looking for some hard and fast rules, but your message was just what I needed to remind me that I am not living in a black and white world, but serving a loving savior.”

The guy said, “For me, having seen so many relationships go bad, I was almost of the opinion that having a girlfriend was some sort of necessary evil. A minefield that contained very little room for error and even less grace. Your book helped me look past the legalistic views constantly being pushed onto me and remember what is true: that a God-centered relationship is filled with an abundance of grace and can be an overwhelmingly positive experience!”

Love y’all and praying for each of you today.
— J.S.


Wedding Ceremony.

March 28, 2015 — 4 Comments

BW wedding ceremony


My wife and I during the wedding ceremony. She was crying; apparently I had a dust cloud over me.
— J.S.



This is wonderful artwork from Cristina G., a quote from my newest book, Mad About God.

It perhaps encapsulates the entire theme of the book.
Thank you for the art, dear sister!
– J.S.


Mad About God final cover


This is my newest book, on persevering through trials and suffering, called Mad About God: When We Over-Spiritualize Pain and Turn Tragedy Into a Lesson.

You’ve heard others spiritualize pain by saying, “God is doing this for you good” or “Everything happens for a reason” or “God has an amazing plan for your life” — but in the middle of the mushroom cloud, even the best theology doesn’t make sense. Sometimes, you just want to be angry with God. We want to shake a fist and shout against the dark.

This is a journey through our heartache, where we’ll discover a safe place to vent and to grieve without formulas. I also go over depression, sexy cancer, second world problems, misquoting verses for inspirational Instagrams, the hijacking of Jeremiah 29:11, and the theology of True Detective, Louis C.K., and The Shawshank Redemption.

Here’s a video on the themes of the book:



The book is available in both paperback and ebook.
Love y’all and be blessed ..!
– J.S.


I Will, Anyway.

March 24, 2015 — 8 Comments



In the end, you can’t really force someone to do anything, even if it’s for their good.

You can’t force someone to respect your feelings or care about your passions or believe your dreams.
You can’t force someone to believe your side of the story, even when you’re right.
You can’t force an apology.
You can’t force someone to engage in social justice or fight for the poor or to become nuanced in culture and history.
You can’t force growth.
You can’t force someone to show up on time, or even show up at all.

In the end, I’ve learned that people will do whatever they want, even if that means stepping on you or neglecting you or abandoning you or belittling you or choosing others over you. I’ve probably done this as much as it’s been done to me. It’s a terrible cycle that leaves us bitter, suspicious, paranoid, and completely jaded.

I’ve also learned that I don’t care if you don’t care. I have to love anyway. I have to be patient anyway. I have to be jaded to being jaded. Because I don’t want to perpetuate someone else’s cycle of apathy and neglect. I don’t want to be one more rung in the ladder of indifference. I don’t want to be a reactionary pawn.

No, I cannot force anything on you, and I won’t. I can only pour out what I have. Even if you don’t care. Especially if you don’t care. I’ll pour out anyway. In the end, our lives will have been given over to dust. I’d rather mine will have been given over to you.

— J.S.



Is suffering a “part of God’s Plan”? Does God use trials to teach us a lesson? Does everything really happen for a reason?

A hard look at the Problem of God vs. Suffering, and why easy answers won’t work in the middle of the mess.

Get my new book on persevering through trials & suffering, Mad About God.

– J.S.



The entire storyline of the Bible in two and a half minutes. And a different way to see the Gospel.

Subscribe to my channel here.
Be blessed and love y’all!

– J.S.

[Thank you to Steven Hause of pudgyproductions]


julettejoonengaged-041

They say everyone gets a honeymoon period at the start of your marriage, but whoever brandished that idea: I want a refund.

Marriage is hard work right out of the gate. Our sentimental ideas about romance get tossed out very, very quickly — and I want you to be ready. Everyone told me what to expect, but no matter how much you prepare, it’s still a jump in the deep end. The more you know about what’s coming, the quicker you can stand on your two feet.

I know that marriage isn’t for everyone (contrary to our culture, singleness is not an illness), but whether you’re not in the dating scene or you’ve been married for years, here are three things I learned instantly in the first week of marriage. These lessons could be valuable and necessary for our entire journey.

1) Marriage pulls down the hologram and brings about the gritty reality of your spouse (and yourself too).

My wife and I dated for six years before we were married, and in those six years, I have never heard her pass gas once. I would constantly tell her that it was okay, but my wife was dead-set on maintaining an air of elegance. No pun intended.

About four days into the marriage, on a wonderful crisp morning in Florida, I asked my wife, “Are you boiling eggs?”

She said, “No. I’m not boiling eggs.”

“Are the sprinklers on outside?”

“No. The sprinklers are not on.”

“But then what’s that sm—”

And it hit me. Pun intended.

[By the way, I have my wife’s permission to share this story. I’m proud to say that she now regularly passes gas around me with the most exuberant freedom.]

In dating, we’re often on our best behavior. It’s like a job interview, where both sides show off their impressive benefits and credentials. In marriage, you see the rough, raw edges of the entire person. Marriage creates perhaps the closest proximity you will ever have with another human being. You’ll see every insecurity and neurotic tendency. There will be friction.

This is more than just about keeping up a pretty image.

It’s also a way of learning how to love an entire person and not just the parts that you like.

In Timothy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage, he discusses how we each have fault lines in our hearts, like the cracks of a great bridge. These fault lines get exposed when we collide with another person, so that we spill anger or jealousy or anxiety. A married couple, because they’re so close in space, will inevitably drive a truck through each other’s hearts: which exposes all the fault lines. Deep-seated flaws will shake out of us like shaking a tree in the autumn. It’s in this exposure that we can choose to face our flaws, so that they would be re-shaped by the love we share. The sooner, the better.

You’ll also see every dream, hope, talent, passion, and ambition in your spouse. You’ll see what lights them up and gets them excited. This means that marriage is often about showing grace for your spouse’s worst and promoting their very best. Love sees a greatness in someone who cannot see it in themselves. And if marriage is one of the most intimate unions in the universe, then it has the power to encourage a person beyond their self-imposed limits. Though this can happen in many types of relationships, marriage offers a profound intensity to spiritual growth. Finally, we can pull down our holograms of who we pretend to be, and actually become the people we were meant to be.

Continue Reading…

Whenever a blogger is telling me to do something, I want to know: “What gives you the right to teach something? What do you do? What have you done? Why should I listen? Are you just blogging to blog at me?”

I get the suspicion that some bloggers are only telling people what they’re not really doing themselves. I’ve been guilty of the same thing. Maybe it’s a vicarious self-punishment. Maybe it’s to look hard. Mostly though, I sense it’s just to go viral, because everyone eats that up. We always want to know the Top Twelve Things To Do Before We’re 22. We love those quotes from books we’ve never read that stir our guts for a few seconds. We love the insider secrets and pseudo-religious feelings of inspiration and guilt. So most bloggers are barely stitched up collections of quotes and inspirational zingers, like a literary Frankenstein with zero soul.

I’m sorry to sound so harsh: but those quotes weren’t written just to quote, you know. Great people wrote them to move us into greatness.

I see too many young-ish bloggers trying to go viral just by blogging. It’s a bit Kardashian-esque, like being famous for being famous. I don’t mean that blogging young is wrong. It’s great if you go viral with your words. But when the fancy articulation is over, I hope you actually care about people.

I want to know that you’re looking out for my best.
I want to know you have credibility.
I want to know you love real people’s stories and not your own glory.
I want to know you’re actually living out your blog.
And most of all, I’m preaching this to myself. I hope you’re preaching it to you, too.

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How is God three in one? Why does the Christian faith need a Trinitarian God? Does any analogy really work?
An explanation of this unexplainable doctrine in less than three minutes. And a unique way to see the Trinity. I got really excited about this one.

Subscribe to my channel here. Love y’all!

— J.S.


[Thank you to Steven Hause of pudgyproductions]


JS Park XChurch


I’m super excited to be a part of the blogging contributor team for XXXChurch!

For all my posts, check here.

If you don’t know, XXXChurch is led by Craig Gross, who has led the frontlines on awareness for porn addiction and founded X3Watch, the leading accountability software.  He also nationally debates former porn-actor Ron Jeremy about the dangers of porn.

Craig and I made contact after I shared my book on quitting porn, which he found highly practical and different than the current resources on the market.  I was a bit star-struck since I consider Craig’s books to be one of the primary helps in quitting my own porn addiction (I’ve been sober for over three years!). I’m looking forward to teaming up with him!

My first blog post for XXXChurch is here!

— J.S.


julettejoonengaged-043
Photo by Angel He, from my engagement shoot at Buddy Brew of Tampa, FL


This is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of my new book on dating and relationships, called The Christianese Dating Culture. This was my personal favorite chapter to write, about the difficult, gritty reality of relationships.


We have a propensity for over-romanticism in our hyper-sentimental culture, and when reality meets expectations, we get disillusioned and jump ship. I’ve seen it happen all the time: in marriages, in parenting, in careers, in church. A poor estimation of the daily grit of life will always cause us to check out and quit too early.

This is a prevalent pattern in a world of five-minute ramen and eight minute abs – we run out at the first sign of trouble. It gets easier to do this each time, until we’re jumping from one half-committed island to another.

There’s a depth to all these things, a kind of marathon endurance that pushes past the emotional spark of grandeur. When the fun of beginning is over, then there’s an actual finish-line ahead of us.

My fiancé and I probably look cute in pictures (her much more than me), and maybe our story would give you a false idea that it was “love at first sight” and it somehow fell into place. We’ve been together six years, and I still have a crush on her like it was the first week. Yet most of our six years was effort upon grace upon sacrifice. At the three-year mark, we had broken up for six months because we were sure it was over. We found our way around again, painfully, through many brutally honest conversations, and this is the shape of everyday love.

Nothing is wrong with high standards or even high expectations. It’s just that these will only tell half the story. It’s an incomplete picture that we expect to complete the picture in our heads. Real life involves a lot of sweaty armpits, standing around in line, sending texts with embarrassing typos, coughing really weird at the wrong moment, pulling out wedgies when no one notices, and the constant waiting for the next best thing to happen.


My dear friend: The honeymoon has to end.

The start is the easy part.

We begin things well. It’s hard to finish strong.

It’s good to get excited, but excitement must give way to a deeper, truer pulse.

If you can persevere past the naïve burst of beginning —

We can expand our wonderful first memories into a beautifully woven story.


Relationships are a lot more embarrassing and gritty than we would like to admit. When I hear a glamorous story about how a couple fell into each other’s arms, I’m absolutely sure that’s not how it happened.

No one wants to talk about the regretful text messages or the immature arguments or the tactless yelling over the art of arguing. The first fart. The long stream of farts from then on forever. Crusty-eyed drool face. The pre-makeup face. Cry-face. Yawn-face. The obnoxious hyper-moments when you apparently lose control of your civilized body and do puppet shows and movie impressions.

Soon you’ll encounter all the crustiness of a real person.

Eventually, everyone “falls out of like.” You’ll be in the direct space of all a person’s grossness, including your own. As Tim Keller says, “Finally, you have nowhere to run.”

When the romanticized feelings go: where do we go from there?


Purchase my book on Amazon here for less than nine dollars, the e-book for only four. Be blessed, dear friends! — J.S.


Photo by Christian Holmér, CC BY 2.0

Disclaimer: To protect my family and myself, I am not using names and I’m purposefully obscuring certain details. I cannot confirm them privately, either. These are well-known people in Christian circles who I still believe are doing helpful things, despite the terror behind closed doors.  I must be careful here, because 1) they would absolutely crucify me if they saw this post, and 2) they could also deny having ever met me, despite email correspondences and recorded conversations.  But I have to speak up.

I want to tell you about my most horrifying church experience ever, because it began so ordinary and subtle, and I want to protect you from the nightmare I eventually woke up to.

I know there must be so many more terrible experiences at church and mine is not nearly the worst, yet I hope you’ll know that not every horror story about church happens in a cult of backwood druids sacrificing goats to chanting.  It can happen in the most mundane sort of atmosphere with a slowly tightening chokehold, until it’s too late.

Years ago, I befriended the lead pastor of a church ministry that was doing amazing things in the community and we first became friends over the phone. The pastor explained that every church in America was doing it wrong.  This really appealed to my discontent about the church culture, and our phone calls were filled with tons of encouragement and positive affirmation over my “gifts, talent, treasures, insights, and abilities given by God.”  Whenever I spoke bad about my own church, the lead pastor agreed as loudly as possible.

In the first few months, he offered me a position at his ministry, but I was obligated to my current church.  However, I was still able to visit.  I was completely seduced by the way he and his team did ministry.  Their preaching was fun, their services were boisterous, their praise team was incredible, and they knew every single family by name.  They were well-respected by the community and they were funded completely by other churches and individuals from all over the world.  All the while, they were saying, “We do it better than the other guys” and their website sold tons of church curriculum.  I even bought some.

Continue Reading…

My mom and dad came to this country separately over thirty years ago and met in New York City, where they were married; my dad came to the U.S. with sixty dollars in his single pair of pants, and my mom couldn’t speak a word of English.  My dad was a Vietnam War Veteran, 2nd Lieutenant in the R.O.K. Army on the side of the U.S., and the only escaped prisoner of war from the Tet Offensive in 1969.  He’s also a licensed veterinarian and a Grand Master of Tae Kwon Do, a ninth degree black belt, the 54th 9th degree in the world.

Before my parents divorced when I was fourteen, my mom owned a laundromat and a grocery store next door to each other and would run back and forth between them to serve customers; sometimes she took old clothes that people left behind because we were too poor to afford any. My dad owned a martial arts dojo and mopped the entire floor every morning, then taught four classes in the evenings almost all in Korean.  Between the two of them, they worked almost 200 hours per week and slept maybe three hours per night.

One summer, someone spraypainted a swastika on the front wall of the dojo. My dad painted over it, but on those hot humid days, we could still see that Nazi symbol like an angry pulsing scar.

We got a message on our answering machine — maybe the same Nazi artists — who spent a good ten minutes making fun of my dad’s accent. I remember seeing my dad listen to it several times, staring quietly out a window. When he noticed me, he turned it off and said, “Just boys playing a joke.” The voices were from grown men.

When we visited with friends, we felt the invisible walls of cliques and class between us.  We were aliens from another world, just a foreign prop in the hero-story of the Westerner.  I was the token Asian.  When I visit churches, I still am.  Christians feel proud to know me because I meet their diversity quota; my other friends are proud to know me because they can make Asian jokes and explain, “Don’t worry, I have an Asian friend.”

In elementary school, when I first made friends and came over, I would immediately take off my shoes and bow to their parents.  I remember freaking out the first time I saw a fork.  I asked for two sticks to eat my food, and they said, “No, you can stab your food now.”  I still slightly bow to people as a reflex, and I still don’t get forks.

When I meet native Koreans from my own country, they call me kyopo, which is a slang term for misplaced native.  They make fun of my heavy American accent when I try to speak Korean.  They’re surprised I’m taller than them and say, “It must be hormones in the McDonald’s.”  They think I’m arrogant because I watch American TV shows and I have a blog written entirely in English.

I live in two worlds. I do not fully embody either, yet belong to both.

Continue Reading…

About a year ago, I donated half my salary to charity to fight human trafficking.  I had saved for the entire year to make one check for $10,000.

I don’t say this to brag, at all.

I say this because I’m a selfish person.  I love comfort, my shiny things, the safety of a new gadget and adding things to my wish list.  I am naturally lazy and indulgent and self-absorbed.

But I also believe in a God who humbled Himself to become one of us.  I believe in a God who paid an infinite price to set us free.  I believe in a God who wrote Himself into the story of humanity to enter our struggle, to lead us into life, and to ultimately exchange our brokenness for grace.

Because I believe in a God who has this sort of heart —

I am compelled to have the same heart for others.

The selflessness of God utterly melted my selfishness to pieces.  His grace tenderized my conceited heart.  I gave my life away because God did the same for me.

Continue Reading…


Image from http://couragehopestrength.tumblr.com


I was going through followers the other day and noticed some blogs that were “last updated 6 months ago” or longer. There were a lot of these.

Maybe they got bored or distracted or busy — but my guess is they probably didn’t get the huge number of likes and follows and reblogs they were expecting, and just gave up.

Please don’t do that. There are very few things we do consistently in this life. We’re quick to jump from island to island of halfway commitment. Taking a break is totally okay: but I exhort you to persist in sharing your one unique voice with the world community.

If you’re about to jump ship: please do NOT bail on your blog. Do what you must — take a sabbath, go on hiatus, commune with nature, restore relationships, try new things — but come back and tell us about it.

It doesn’t matter if you only have a few readers. You’re not doing it for that. And even if you were, those few people who follow you might really be encouraged by what you have to say. You might be the only one saying it.

But more than that: your blog is a captured snapshot of your one fleeting transitory life, like the dust mote suspended in a sunbeam that shimmers for a spectacular moment in time. It is beauty wrapped in expression, and you are putting something into the world that no one else can. God made you for it.

So keep sharing. Keep making art. Keep writing music. Keep taking pictures. Keep encouraging others. In some small way: you are healing your part of the universe. You are needed more than you know. You are making a bigger impact than you think.

— J.S.



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Image from HD4 Wallpapers

If you ever met me, you would think I was an extrovert — I preach, I lead praise, I talk to everyone, I talk too much, and you can hear me laughing from across the street — but I am a full-blooded introvert.

If it were up to me, I’d rather be in my boxers all day eating Godiva while browsing food photo blogs and bothering my dog and cracking up at YouTube videos of Whose Line Is It Anyway and leaving dry ironic comments all over Facebook while reading the latest theory on how Sherlock survived the second season finale. 

I intensely guard my personal space and my private life.  It takes a herculean effort to step outside my comfort zone and interact with messy, fleshy, real live human beings.

Here’s how you handle us.

Continue Reading…

Image from weheartit.com

Ever prayed more for someone just because they’re hot?

Come on, I’ve done that too. Let’s not act like we’re above judging looks here. We give more cred to someone based on their defined jawline and bigger bra size than their less tangible patience and hospitality and compassion.

A very fleshy part of our human nature presumes that good-looking people are also just good, or that less good-looking people don’t really count somehow.

In church it’s easy to ask for prayer requests from the well-off, well-dressed, clean-cut, easily approachable mid-twenties demographic. Not the weird cat lady off the street, not the dude with the one rotten tooth who talks up a storm, not the pale socially awkward kid who says dorky things.

Most Christian books have the same problem: they’re geared to that same easygoing group of believers who attend the same megachurch in a crimeless suburban gated neighborhood with the sparkling 2.5 kids and Hollywood acceptable appearance, but they have nothing to say for the sick struggling screwed-up former addict who can’t find a job because he just “looks wrong.”

Wired into all our unaware brains is the deception that appearance means more than it should: but if I could give you a pair of X-ray goggles, you’ll see a bunch of skeletons with the same hopes, dreams, ambitions, anxieties, and worries that everyone else has too.

That seventeen year old pimply kid who loves Call of Duty is the same bag of meat and bones as the athletic football captain with the perfect hair; that girl who everyone hates because of her so-called overweight body could just as easily have been the same girl with the slightly higher cheekbones who runs the gang of cheerleaders. You can honk your car horn at the punk teenager on his skateboard crossing the street, but wave at the old lady on her walker: when both are just people who run deeper than what you see.

Take a Spiritual X-Ray and we all have the same vacuum of eternity within our souls with the same desperate longing inside. You and I could do way better than our visual addiction to all things sight, and instead see by vision.

Continue Reading…


Photo by H.T. Yu, CC BY 2.0

An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

Edit: December 21st, 2014
– My new book on quitting porn addiction is here! In paperback on sale for only $5.69 and e-book for 2.99 on Amazon! It contains this entire series of posts plus brand new info, fully updated and fleshed out, with specific steps to quit.

My podcast series “Cutting It Off” — here.

Why Do I Use Porn? Why Can’t I Stop? Here.

Every question submitted about porn on this blog, here.

**Updated: May 2013

For the podcast episode based on this post, click here.

The science behind porn addiction will not surprise you.  It can be easily mocked as apocalyptic research with an old-fashioned bias, but excuses to use porn are also biased by the hand down your pants. Objective evidence of pornography’s effects has one goal: to show how much porn screws up your brain. For some that will be enough to quit.

Obviously, something serious is happening in the neurology of a person who will not stop using porn.  Constant exposure to graphic, unreal, out-of-bounds sex doesn’t just go in one hand and out the other (bad pun). Like the heroin addict or the gambler or the alcoholic, several key things are happening.

Much of the following research is borrowed and not my own. Please keep in mind that the term “addiction” is a serious term and might or might not apply to you, but it’s worth investigating. I don’t mean to over-dramatize here or make a big show of scientific language, but porn use does have a particular undeniable effect on the brain.

Sources include Craig Gross’ Pure Eyes, Eyes of Integrity, and Dirty Little Secret, and William Struther’s Wired For Intimacy. I’ve read and re-read these important resources and highly recommend them to you.  There is also Michael Leahy’s Porn Nation, Mike Wilkerson’s Redemption, Tim Chester’s Closing The Window, and David Powlison’s tiny booklet Slaying The Dragon. Where possible, I’ve tried to research articles and current news behind pornography and the porn industry. And of course, there is personal experience with addiction plus countless hours spent with young and old porn addicts.

The Addict’s Path:

Continue Reading…


Image by creationswap


2sharksswimming asked a question:

Can you explain to me why we don’t follow all the old testament laws? Thank you :)


Hey dear friend, definitely. Please allow me the grace to point you to a few posts here, some of which you can also find in my first book

- The Down-Low on The Old Testament Commands

- God Seems A Little Crazy In The Old Testament — A Mega-Post on the OT

- The Old Covenant Law Versus The New Testament Principle

Though the Old Testament Law was entirely fulfilled in Christ for us, the OT Law still stands in principle for us today. Even the weird things about shellfish and fibers shows a very meticulous God who was perfect, even quirky, and shows a God we could’ve never made up.

I want to be careful that I’m not downplaying the Old Testament at all. I often hear preachers who dismiss the OT rather abruptly, and though I understand their intentions, we must recall that Jesus had a huge reverence for the Hebrew Scriptures. The OT Law was much more than a “precursor” to all Jesus did, but revealed the entire perfection of God’s character. It outlines our need for a savior all the more.

— J.S.


Image by Jessi Lynn

imkwonjihye asked a question:

Hi pastor j.s! I think you may cover this in your new book, but still wanted to ask, does God aim to teach us something when we go through difficult circumstances or is it to bring us to him? Often times I feel like I have to justify my suffering and get something out of it, just so I don’t go crazy at the reason for it all. At the same time, constantly justifying suffering leaves me in a state of battle, instead of just being (?) I don’t know if I’m making sense. What does God want me to do…

Hello dear friend, this is very much covered in my newest book about persevering through pain, which you can find here.

The main crux of the book is that I don’t believe pain always has a lesson. In other words, I think it’s unfair to connect the dots to some epiphany on every instance of pain. When a preacher says, “God is using this for your good” or “God has an amazing plan for your life,” it can be very cruel and degrading to an actual suffering person.  This only works in the quiet suburban stillness of a privileged gated community. It hardly works for cancer, a car accident, or a dilapidated third world village.

Certainly, pain can bring us towards God. It can be sublimated for strength and wisdom and deeper friendships. But I don’t know if God is using it for those things. Pain is part of a fractured, fallen world. God is not some cold teacher who waits for us to “get it.” I believe He grieves with us, and there’s no bigger evidence of this than the sending of His Son.

Continue Reading…


Very thankful for Rachel Denk’s wonderful review of my latest book, Mad About God.

An excerpt from her review:

“How many times do you feel like you have to be ‘in the right mindset’ or at a ‘good place’ with God in order to come before Him? Don’t you ever feel like you’ve been told since God is almighty and righteous that we have no right to be upset or angry with Him? And when we can’t suppress pain, anger, or bitterness, all of that is somehow transformed into guilt.

“… J.S. Park beautifully deconstructs all of these notions that have been drilled into us for far too long. And guess what? It’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to doubt. It’s okay to not understand why things happen and question God.

“J.S. asks the hard questions. He prompts the difficult ideas. He opens the can of worms that may never truly be shut. My favorite passages from the book include Hijacking And Reclaiming Jeremiah 29:11, Our Hollywood Craze To Live An Epic Life, and The Problem With Job: As We Bleed, We Find Our Deepest Need. Sound intriguing just from the titles? You better believe it. These passages floored me – I often caught myself reading this and thinking how someone seemed to understand this little aspect of my heart and soul that had been secretly struggling for so long.”


axopia asked a question:

Let me start by saying that you’re an amazing human being. You’re so graceful and friendly and warm, sometimes I can’t believe you’re real! I feel like you’ve been my friend forever even though we’ve never spoken, it’s unbelievable. Anyway, I’ve been a Christian for about two years, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing something wrong. I feel like I’m too involved with my own life and I’m not focusing nearly enough on my faith. Do you have any advice on how I can become closer with God?

My dear friend, I truly did need your encouragement today. Thank you so much for your wonderful words, which I know I don’t deserve. Truly do appreciate you.

I believe that all of us at some point will feel like I’m not doing enough or I’m doing something wrong. It’s all a part of our faith-journey. It’s part of being human. And sometimes it only means that we’re being too hard on ourselves.

Continue Reading…

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All four of my books are available on my Amazon author page here:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NZ70FDW

(Please consider leaving a review for any you might have read!)
Be blessed and love y’all!
– J.S.


Pain Is Not A Lesson.

March 23, 2015 — 2 Comments


Image from worshipgifs


I believe that sometimes, pain is just pain.

Sometimes it just hurts.

Until we see the face of God, we mostly won’t know the why. Even then, I’m not sure there will be a neat bow-tie at the end.

In the waiting, I don’t want to moralize my pain. I refuse to connect the dots at someone who is hurting in the lowest bottom of their soul. I cannot pretty-up grief with retrospective hindsight or poetic reflection. I will not diminish someone’s tragedy into an allegory. I cannot take a human wound and flip it into a cute outline for my logical sensibilities.

Pain sucks. It’s dirty. It’s not fit for books and movies. It doesn’t always resolve. It’s not romantic. It doesn’t need an answer or a fix-it-all. That drives me crazy, but nearly every answer has always come up short and trite and impractical. Pain is a terrible teacher who we try to force answers from, but maybe we’re demanding something that it can’t give.

I want to let pain be as it is, because it’s part of what makes us human. It’s to be experienced, not always explained. I’m trying to be okay with that. I’m trying to live with the wounds. I want to let life unfold, not to escape or avoid or deny, but to let the deepest hurt become part of me, a part of our human story.

– J.S. from Mad About God: When We Over-Spiritualize Pain and Turn Tragedy Into A Lesson



Thank you to my dear brother Peter D. Webb, super Christian blogger and awesome friend for picking up my new book on persevering through pain! I quoted him in it as well.

Pick up my book Mad About God here!

[Photo from Peter’s blog here]


Jesus, Imagined.

March 20, 2015 — 4 Comments



Jesus doesn’t love the better awesomer version of you.
He loves you right now.
He loves you into the you that you could not have imagined.

— J.S.