A Hearty Welcome

It's been an eventful week here on the blog! First, I made some people angry, as I am wont to do. Then John Pattison wondered how to rebuke the largest Christian publishing company in the world. Then a magazine edited by Bill Kristol mentioned us and claimed Donald Miller traveled three hours every Sunday to attend church.

And then, because we love what has happened in our community over the last couple years, we decided to expand.

We brought on a host of new, spectacular writers. Based on what they've posted so far, we're sure we made the right call.

So here's a rundown of some folks we've added of late.

Karen Spears Zacharias - This was more a question of 'why isn't karen already a contributor?' She's been writing for Burnside for a long time. She lives in Oregon (well, some of the time). She has an incredible book on fear out right now. She's been an invaluable supporter, and even helped this person get a book deal. What's more, in her first post, she wrote in her awesome gothic South style about sex and a professor named Peter Cumming.

Betsy Zabel - Betsy's actually been with us for months now, but hasn't been properly introduced. I met her a few years ago at a small college in Ohio that neither of us were attending. It's not all that rare to meet aspiring writers, but it's rare to meet aspiring writers who are this good. She joins Kim Gottschild and Diane Nienhuis as our Midwestern trio.

John Blase - John Blase spent twelve years behind the pulpit. The wine and women didn’t get him, but the doubt finally did. Now he edits the books of others by day and writes his own by night, sorta like Batman. He lives in Colorado with his wife, three kids, and a Beagle. His book, Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas, releases in September ‘09 from David C. Cook publishing. He blogs regularly at www.thedirtyshame.blogspot.com and is proud to be among this fine smattering of contributors called BWC. (Thanks, John.)

Diane Nienhuis - Diane has been a part of Burnside for a long, long while. She's a schoolteacher in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is Dutch, and therefore Reformed. She often will decide to undertake something crazy, like not using plastic products for a month, or not wearing clothes. Then she'll write about the experience in entertaining fashion. She should have been writing for the blog a long time ago.

Hillary Manton Lodge - I know Hillary because she came to our home community group for a while. She also happens to be an incredible writer, a graduate of a prestigious journalism program, and she has a novel coming out in 2010 called Plain Jayne. I told her she should call it Jayne, Plain and Tall, but she didn't listen. Then I found out that was already a book title.

Billy Ivey - Like many of the folks above, Billy has contributed to Burnside for a long while. For a while, I couldn't tell him and Chad Gibbs apart because they're both similarly hilarious, and now they both live in Birmingham. In fact, I'm still not sure they're different people. If you scroll down this page, you'll find a series of letters Billy wrote to the Trojan condom company. You'll enjoy those.


We have a few more, but I'll wait until next week to introduce the rest.


  1. welcome everyone, i look forward to drawing you!

  2. Thanks, Jordan.
    And just to clarify, I didn't give up Wearing clothes, I gave up Buying them. Big difference. Although, maybe that could be my next experiment?!

    And yes, for many 'round here being Dutch and Reformed (and Republican) are all the same thing. I'm trying to break the mold.

  3. Diane, does that mean you are trying to be less Dutch? Surely you aren't trying to be less Republican, right?

    To everyone else, welcome! This is a great group of writers and thinkers and do-ers, with whom I continue to be amazed I have the opportunity to belong.