Welcome

Welcome to my new blog – cleverly titled “The Welcome Matt”. I know what you’re thinking — after all that deliberation about what to call his blog, he came up with that?

Really, though, it kind of illustrates what I hope this blog and my life is all about: welcoming people. Welcoming people into a relationship with Jesus. Welcoming people to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences with me. Welcoming people to be honest about struggles and doubt. Welcoming people to see Jesus through the mess that the Christiandom has become. And welcoming people to waste some of their time reading what I have to say about a plethora of different topics.

I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts, opinions, and questions with you here. Thanks for stopping by – and don’t forget to wipe your feet.

Why I Didn’t Like The Deathly Hallows

I know a lot of people out there loved The Deathly Hallows, but I just cannot force myself to. For me, the best (and perhaps only?) redeeming piece of narrative it contained was the Snape storyline.

Other than that, you have the good guys doing a bunch of aimless, pointless, and quite boring wandering around the woods with no direction or clue of what they are supposed to be doing. Once they do finally figure it out, it deals with a brand new set of magical relics that haven’t ever been mentioned, or alluded to in the previous six books – even though they are the most powerful and most famous relics around.

One of those relics, the Elder Wand, was shrouded in so many inconsistencies and contradictions it didn’t even make sense by the end of the story. The Elder Wand supposedly makes you never lose a duel, but Dumbledore won it from his boyhood friend/competitor by beating him a duel.

And the way the power transfers from owner to owner is convoluted, too. At first, the wand changes ownership when the owner dies. Then it is possible that the wand chooses a new owner when the original owner is just defeated, not killed. Then it becomes just a matter of disarming someone that makes the wand choose a new owner. And then, it turns out that you don’t even have to actually have the Elder Wand to have the power of the Elder Wand! (What a worthless relic after all!) All you have to do is disarm someone who has the Elder Wand, and the power of the Elder Wand transfers into your own Wand! How convenient!

All of this was done to explain away how Harry actually has the power of the elder wand even though he doesn’t actually have the elder wand (confused yet?). Dumbledore had the Elder Wand (which he won in a duel despite the wand never losing a duel) and then Draco disarmed Dumbledore. Even though Dumbledore was not dueling with Draco, and Draco did not take the Elder Wand after he disarmed Dumbledore, somehow the power and authority of the Elder Wand then transferred to Draco’s wand. Huh?!? So when Harry then disarms Draco later on, Harry’s wand ends up with the power and authority of the Elder Wand (which at the time rested in Draco’s non-Elder Wand wand). And so, even though Voldemort steals the actual Elder Wand and thinks himself invincible, the Elder Wand Voldemort has is actually just a piece of junk now. The power of the Elder Wand has been transferred from the Elder Wand into Draco’s regular wand, and then from Draco’s regular wand to Harry’s regular wand. So now Harry has the Elder Wand power, twice removed from the Elder Wand.

And he still doesn’t even use it to defeat Voldemort!

The whole book is like this to me — just a bunch of incredibly weak attempts to explain and tie things together that just don’t make sense. Like Ron being able to speak parseltongue. Things that just seem too… I don’t know. Contrived. Easy. And Harry never even actually defeats Voldemort, either. Voldemort kind of defeats himself, and we end up in some strange purgatory scene before Harry is brought back to life.

I could go on, but that’s probably enough about Harry Potter. Back to the original post before we chase too many rabbit trails!

Why I Didn’t Like The Deathly Hallows

I know a lot of people out there loved The Deathly Hallows, but I just cannot force myself to. For me, the best (and perhaps only?) redeeming piece of narrative it contained was the Snape storyline.

Other than that, you have the good guys doing a bunch of aimless, pointless, and quite boring wandering around the woods with no direction or clue of what they are supposed to be doing. Once they do finally figure it out, it deals with a brand new set of magical relics that haven’t ever been mentioned, or alluded to in the previous six books – even though they are the most powerful and most famous relics around.

One of those relics, the Elder Wand, was shrouded in so many inconsistencies and contradictions it didn’t even make sense by the end of the story. The Elder Wand supposedly makes you never lose a duel, but Dumbledore won it from his boyhood friend/competitor by beating him a duel.

And the way the power transfers from owner to owner is convoluted, too. At first, the wand changes ownership when the owner dies. Then it is possible that the wand chooses a new owner when the original owner is just defeated, not killed. Then it becomes just a matter of disarming someone that makes the wand choose a new owner. And then, it turns out that you don’t even have to actually have the Elder Wand to have the power of the Elder Wand! (What a worthless relic after all!) All you have to do is disarm someone who has the Elder Wand, and the power of the Elder Wand transfers into your own Wand! How convenient!

All of this was done to explain away how Harry actually has the power of the elder wand even though he doesn’t actually have the elder wand (confused yet?). Dumbledore had the Elder Wand (which he won in a duel despite the wand never losing a duel) and then Draco disarmed Dumbledore. Even though Dumbledore was not dueling with Draco, and Draco did not take the Elder Wand after he disarmed Dumbledore, somehow the power and authority of the Elder Wand then transferred to Draco’s wand. Huh?!? So when Harry then disarms Draco later on, Harry’s wand ends up with the power and authority of the Elder Wand (which at the time rested in Draco’s non-Elder Wand wand). And so, even though Voldemort steals the actual Elder Wand and thinks himself invincible, the Elder Wand Voldemort has is actually just a piece of junk now. The power of the Elder Wand has been transferred from the Elder Wand into Draco’s regular wand, and then from Draco’s regular wand to Harry’s regular wand. So now Harry has the Elder Wand power, twice removed from the Elder Wand.

And he still doesn’t even use it to defeat Voldemort!

The whole book is like this to me — just a bunch of incredibly weak attempts to explain and tie things together that just don’t make sense. Like Ron being able to speak parseltongue. Things that just seem too… I don’t know. Contrived. Easy. And Harry never even actually defeats Voldemort, either. Voldemort kind of defeats himself, and we end up in some strange purgatory scene before Harry is brought back to life.

I could go on, but that’s probably enough about Harry Potter. Back to the original post before we chase too many rabbit trails!

Who I Am

My name is Matt Coulter, and I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus is not simply the most important thing in my life – he is my life. As an ancient follower of Jesus once wrote, “in him we live and move and have our being.”

I follow Jesus because I believe he offers us all the chance to take part in the redemption of God’s creation – to live life the way God intended it to be back before we humans screwed it up. I believe the world is being redeemed, and that God has chosen us, his once “very good” creations, to work through to accomplish it. I believe Jesus when he said he came not to condemn, but to offer us “abundant life” — and I try to live that message out in my relationships with others.

I am married to an incredibly beautiful and amazing woman named Shelly. Her laugh is the best sound and her smile the best sight in all the world. We have two impossibly sweet boys (a three-year-old and a one-year-old) who have completely stolen my heart to depths I never dreamed possible.

My passions are teaching, studying cultural trends and shifts, especially as they relate to the Church; dialogging Scripture and life with friends; writing books and blogs; watching football; playing music (piano and a little guitar), and hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities (when it’s warm enough here in Wyoming to do them). I think a good Jack and Coke makes almost any gathering automatically better.

I’ve been burned by church and burned out on church and am tired of the religious games played at church. I am striving to find Jesus in the midst of the mess we’ve made and passionate about helping others do the same. This blog will hopefully reflect those passions and desires in an encouraging, uplifting, and empowering way.

Who I Am

My name is Matt Coulter, and I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus is not simply the most important thing in my life – he is my life. As an ancient follower of Jesus once wrote, “in him we live and move and have our being.”

I follow Jesus because I believe he offers us all the chance to take part in the redemption of God’s creation – to live life the way God intended it to be back before we humans screwed it up. I believe the world is being redeemed, and that God has chosen us, his once “very good” creations, to work through to accomplish it. I believe Jesus when he said he came not to condemn, but to offer us “abundant life” — and I try to live that message out in my relationships with others.

I am married to an incredibly beautiful and amazing woman named Shelly. Her laugh is the best sound and her smile the best sight in all the world. We have two impossibly sweet boys (a three-year-old and a one-year-old) who have completely stolen my heart to depths I never dreamed possible.

My passions are teaching, studying cultural trends and shifts, especially as they relate to the Church; dialogging Scripture and life with friends; writing books and blogs; watching football; playing music (piano and a little guitar), and hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities (when it’s warm enough here in Wyoming to do them). I think a good Jack and Coke makes almost any gathering automatically better.

I’ve been burned by church and burned out on church and am tired of the religious games played at church. I am striving to find Jesus in the midst of the mess we’ve made and passionate about helping others do the same. This blog will hopefully reflect those passions and desires in an encouraging, uplifting, and empowering way.

The Diamonds in the Rough

Hey, thanks for checking out my blog. Here are a few of my favorite posts I’d recommend reading. They’ll help you get to know me and what this blog is about, and hopefully challenge you and draw you closer to God’s heart. Enjoy!

The one about gays and the church

The ones where we dialogged about creation and evolution

The one about baptism

The one about Old Spice, BYU, and Christian creativity

The one where I ask what we should do with culture

The one about what the church does right

The one where I dream about how church could be

The one about celebrating Ramadan with Muslims

The one about the timeliness and timelessness of Scripture

The one about teaching in the church

The one about God healing my wife

The one about new wineskins

The one about filthy language

The one about the inspiration of Scripture

The ones about spending a week in the woods with some hippies

The Diamonds in the Rough

Hey, thanks for checking out my blog. Here are a few of my favorite posts I’d recommend reading. They’ll help you get to know me and what this blog is about, and hopefully challenge you and draw you closer to God’s heart. Enjoy!

The one about gays and the church

The ones where we dialogged about creation and evolution

The one about baptism

The one about Old Spice, BYU, and Christian creativity

The one where I ask what we should do with culture

The one about what the church does right

The one where I dream about how church could be

The one about celebrating Ramadan with Muslims

The one about the timeliness and timelessness of Scripture

The one about teaching in the church

The one about God healing my wife

The one about new wineskins

The one about filthy language

The one about the inspiration of Scripture

The ones about spending a week in the woods with some hippies