Pepper Grinder FAQs


Q - Is your name really pepper?
A - Nah. Pepper was sort of a college nickname. It had nothing to do with my skin color or personality or anything interesting like that.

Q - Why is your website called The Pepper Grinder?
A - See the question above about my name. Also, when God was bringing me to the point of writing this blog, I sometimes felt like a peppercorn being ground up. Finally, I sometimes feel so different from most of the Christians I meet, that I think that if they are the salt of the earth, I must be the pepper!

Q - Are you a pastor or something?
A - Nope. See my for more details.

Q - If you aren't a pastor, why should I listen to you?
A - If I ever say something that goes against the teaching of the Bible, you should NOT listen to me. I'd encourage you to read the passages I talk about for yourself and see if what I say fits with what you read. If it does, great. If it doesn't, you should ignore what I said. (For more on this see the posting).
Many years ago, my wife and I attended a well-known Christian seminar. I remember finding some of the things we were taught amazingly eye-opening. However, when I got home and looked up the passages for myself, I often couldn't see it anymore--the passage did not seem to be saying anything like what we were told it was saying. Watch out for that kind of stuff and please email me and let me know if you see me doing something foolish like that!

Q - How often do you post?
A - My goal is to post every week or two, often in the Friday to Sunday period. The latest posting will always be on the home page. Keep in mind that if you don't want to have to keep checking to see if there's a new posting, you can go to the to either sign up for the RSS feed or to be notified by email when there's a new posting.

Q - What is the difference between a "Bible post" and some other kind of post (like in the checkbox on the )?
A - When I first started this blog, my intention was to have most or all of the posts be based on Bible passages. To prepare for a post like this, I do intensive study of some Bible verses, and then write up the relevant parts of what I discovered in a fascinating and effervescent manner (or so I hope). These posts take a good chunk of time to research and write, to say nothing of the extra time required of my editor (Mrs. Pepper) since these posts are usually on the long side. Because of a pure lack of time and also because I had other things I wanted to talk about, I started doing some pieces that I call "Off the Cuff." Though I may quote a Bible passage in these posts, and though I hope that what I say is in line with the Bible, these posts are not the product of careful study on my part. I want to make the distinction clear because I would hope that my readers would give MUCH more weight to what the Bible says than to my random musings.

Q - Why do many of your Old Testament translations use the word Yahweh when other translations just say Lord?
A - First let me say that the reason is NOT that I belong to some cult that thinks you have to only pray to God as Yahweh. I think many people in the church I currently attend would look funny and scratch their heads if I started talking about Yahweh.
Yahweh is simply an English transliteration of the name that the Lord gave himself when speaking with Moses in Exodus 3. (Jehovah is an older transliteration, but most scholars think that Yahweh is a lot closer to the original Hebrew.)  The practice of saying the Lord instead of Yahweh dates back to the Jews, who, fearful of using God’s name in vain, would say “Adonai” (Hebrew for “my Lord”) when they were reading a passage that contained “Yahweh.”  I use Yahweh because it is God’s personal, intimate name that he provided just for his children.  Saying “the Lord” seems to me to make Old Testament passages where people were talking to or about God less personal than they really were. It is as if someone were typing a transcript of a conversation between me and one of my children, and every time he or she said, "Papa," the transcriber typed "Father."

Q - Why do I need to enter a user name and password to post a comment?
A - I used to have a system where all comments people tried to post got emailed to me, and then I would put them on the website. However, I wanted a system where people could post comments and have them appear immediately. Unfortunately, judging from the comments that come into my inbox, I knew that if I let anyone post, most of the comments would be links to sites where you can buy cheap Viagra or Cialis. Because of this, I created a system that requires a simple login to post.

Q - How do I get a user name created so I can post?
A - When you post a comment, it will pop up a page to either sign in or create an account. Just fill in the new account stuff, click the Create Account button, and your account will be created.

Q - I just posted a comment, why don't I see it?
A - If you're a new user, your comment won't appear on the site right away. Once I'm convinced that you are legitimate, I'll post your comment, and change your status so that future posts go up on the site immediately. If you think comments are not appearing that should be, you can always contact me and ask me what's up.

Q - Do you limit what people are allowed to post?
A - Yes. I reserve the right to pull any comment and ban a user from future commenting if the person is trying to sell something, is being abusive of other commenters, or is saying things that are going to be deeply offensive to other readers. I will NOT pull a comment because the writer disagrees with me. I would LOVE to have some lively discussions, and those are going to involve some disagreement. Just please don't try to sell something, or to belittle others.

Q - I created an account, but I'm having trouble signing in so I can comment. What do I do?
A - When you have tried to sign in and failed, You should see a link at the bottom of the page to reset your password. As long as you know your user name and the email you used to create your account, you can get a new password emailed to you. If there's still a problem, you can always contact me.

Q - I posted a comment with a link, but I don't see it. What's up with that?
A - The program I wrote to handle comments strips out things like actual links to web pages. You can still put an Internet address in (e.g. but you can't put a link in that people can just click on and get whisked off to wherever. Sorry if that's a little less convenient, but once again, I'm trying to guard against people who are only interested in selling stuff or generating more hits on their website to boost their ad revenues.

Q - Why do I keep getting these annoying emails telling me that someone has posted a comment to a comment thread I was part of? or conversely How can I receive email alerts when someone posts a comment to a comment thread I participated in?
A - First, a word of explanation about terminology. When someone posts a comment and you reply to their comment, you are taking part in a comment thread. When you post a new comment, you are starting a new thread. When someone creates an account on the Pepper Grinder (which is only needed if you want to post comments), you can choose three options. One is to receive an email anytime someone posts a response to a thread you've been part of. This means that if you respond to a comment and 20 people respond to the same comment after you (and, no, nothing close to this type of comment storm has ever occurred on this website), you'll receive 20 email notifications. The next option is to receive email notifications when someone responds to a comment thread you started. This means that in the previous scenario, you would receive no emails, but if 20 people respond to a new comment you made, you will get those 20 emails. The final option is to receive no emails about comments. This means that even if you make a new insightful comment and the Pope, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin all respond and tell you how much they loved your comment, you won't know about it unless you happen to check the comment page or the posting that you commented on. If you want to change your comment setting, all you have to do is to go to the and select a different option. The change will take effect immediately and you can change the setting as often as you like.