Do you remember mix tapes?
Today, we call them playlists.
When I was in high school in the 1990s, I was pretty good at making the perfect mix tape for any occasion. I probably made at least a hundred of those things. I’d make one for every road trip, every friend, every girlfriend, every summer weekend.
I always had dozens of blank tapes on hand — 60 minutes and 90 minutes, depending on the occasion. I’d sit for hours, scouring through hundreds of CDs that my stepdad had collected via the Columbia House catalogs. I’d pluck the best songs from the CDs and transfer them to the cassette tapes, crafting, through song, the perfect message.
My friend Jim and I would get together and compare mix tapes. His were always a little better quality because he had some secret way to blend the tracks. My transitions between songs were never as smooth.
I once met a man who would engage me in deep theological discussions. At the time, I had a pretty good idea of where I was coming from. I was still a fairly new Christian and explained my beliefs as best I could. He, on the other hand, seemed to be all over the place with his beliefs. On the face of it, it sounded somewhat like Christianity, but it had a pinch of some “new age” things, a dash of Buddhism (reincarnation), something I can only describe as a “happy hunting ground” scenario, and some other things I’d never heard of before.
I was confused. And I finally admitted my ignorance and confusion and asked him: What exactly do you believe?
The answer was surprising. Continue reading “Don’t reduce God to a mix tape”