From Tony Jones, National Coordinator, Emergent Village
“You've probably checked out “The Porpoise Diving Life" website -- it's gotten a lot of attention in the past few months. The man behind it, Bill Dahl, is a creative thinker and writer. I asked him to interview himself, as though Emergent Village were interviewing him, for the E/C. So here's Bill's inner dialogue.
Emergent Question #1: Bill, what motivated you to write The Porpoise Diving Life and create a website by the same name?
Bill: To be perfectly honest, I was sitting at a writer’s conference in February 2005 and it just popped into my head. I lived in southern California at the time. I would go for walks on the beach and watch the Porpoise in utter amazement. When I got back from the conference, I started writing the manuscript.
Emergent Question #2: Isn’t The Porpoise Diving Life© really a tongue in cheek jab at the book by Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life.
Bill: When people hear the title, that’s typically their initial reaction. However, nothing could be further from the truth. I was blessed by Mr. Warren’s book. I have read it three times. If you haven’t read it, you should (a plug for Rick). However, God kept thumping my heart, telling me that “there’s another side to purpose-driven”….an inclusive rather than an exclusive side. That, of course, is “Porpoise Diving.” What I write has, believe me, absolutely nothing to do with some sort of a gimmicky reaction to Warren’s book and/or his writings or theology. It is solely based upon what God’s Spirit placed upon my heart and wouldn’t let up until I acted.
Jesus never promised us that our existence in this world and journey of faith with Him would be without pain, uncertainty, the unexpected, the incomprehensible and hardship. Perhaps there’s another dimension of truth to the Gospel message that people are yearning to hear that is outside the confines of a well-ordered, trouble-free, formula-based, prosperity laden, purpose-driven life. There is. It’s The Porpoise Diving Life ©. There is a flip-side to the “It’s not about you” theology from Warren that people are desperate to hear; “It’s all about us,” is the tag line for The Porpoise Diving Life © that appears to be terribly inviting to people, particularly when it’s coupled with the sub-title “Reality for the Rest of Us.” It’s about God, you and me. “It is time that we demand more of ourselves as Christians. We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, and if the world is going to see, feel, and touch him, it will have to be through us.” It’s all about us!
Life is filled with ups and downs, gasping for breath, playing on the surface and foraging for sustenance in the depths. People need to hear this truth from the Gospel through the life of Jesus that has practical application to their lives today, not conveyed as some sort of formula-based 40 day book that these people won’t even read. Jesus lived The Porpoise Diving Life©. Scripture proves that.
You can enjoy the rest of this interview in it’s entirety at http://theporpoisedivinglife.com/porpoise-diving-life.asp?pageID=138 and the rest Bill’s writing on his website(s) at http://billdahl.net/ and http://www.theporpoisedivinglife.com/.