I am a geek of epic proportions, an intense introvert, one of the five (5) people in America that dislikes sports, an aspiring theologian and writer, and huge fan of Joss Whedon. These are the things you need to know to make sense of my universe.
I am easily frustrated with the pedestrian-minded, the one locked in a box the boundaries of which they refuse to examine, the one who takes things at face-value. My sense of justice is easily riled, and I don’t hesitate to turn over metaphorical money tables when injustices unfold before me. But to the thoughtful, considerate, and unassuming who are willing to have a dialogue, we’ll get along fine.
I have been on a theological journey for the better part of ten years. When I was too young to remember it, my father was the pastor of a United Church of Christ church, and was hard mainline and liberal. By the time I was cogent of questions like “Why do we go to church here?” and “What’s up with that?” my family had undergone a theological transformation. Having discovered the writings of John Calvin, we transitioned into the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC), the conservative alternative to the liberal congregationalism of the UCC. During this time we became the stereotypical conservative “evangelical” family of the 80s and 90s culture war.
Through the young earth creationist ministry Answers in Genesis I got interested in theology and apologetics. I spent the next few years wandering the wastelands of conservative calvinism and presbyterianism, and soon became a fierce proponent of “Christian Reconstructionism.” Through CR I found my way to the work of James Jordan and Peter Leithart, who had left the CR movement behind. I soon followed, and around this same time our family began attending a Presbyterian Church in America church (PCA). I became an emphatic Biblical Horizons acolyte, following the writings and sermons of Jordan, Leithart, Douglas Wilson, Rich Lusk and others. I had become a “Federal Visionist,” and found their attempt to restore conservative Presbyterianism from itself both interesting and compelling. At the same time, our family discovered the patriarchalist teachings of Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, and the Family-Integrated-Church movement.
Upon graduation, I looked up family-integrated churches, found one, and joined it, moving away and finding work nearby. The experience would change me forever. I found myself caught in an abusive-manipulative church environment, one which gave me PTSD from which I have not yet fully recovered. I escaped and have been rethinking my theology ever since. While my journey has profoundly changed me and I would not be who I am without the time spent in each of these movements, I no longer identify with any of them, having absorbed the good and tossed aside what is unhelpful.
I have found myself drawn more and more into the “ancient-future” movement, ecumenical movement, postfoundationalist, and post-evangelical movements, with strong elements of the New Monastic movement, and have felt drawn to the Anglican communion as the closest approximate home for myself at this time. I say “closest approximation” because my perspective is so eclectic and so “catholic” (if you like), that I have no real home beyond Christ I can fully identify with. I view this as the experience C. S. Lewis wrote about when he said that at a certain point you get up onto the wide and long viaduct of universal Christian agreement, and the moment you do you start getting accused of being from Rome when you live in Geneva, a pantheist when quoting Aquinas, a heretic when paraphrasing Augustine, etc.
I don’t know where the future will take me, but I am excited to see it unfold. I am a lifelong disciple, and this is my journey.
I was taught to be an independent-minded self learner for life by my parents, who homeschooled me. This gave me the opportunity to intensely study the issues I wanted to study, and get what I needed to know about the rest.
Associate of Arts: Washington State Community College – History
Bachelor of Arts: Marietta College – English Literature
Things I Like
The Church, reading, enjoying Geek things, challenging discussions, music of a wide variety, British humor, the occasional video game, and writing of both fiction and non-fiction.
Areas of Academic Interest
Theology, principally hermeneutics, typology, intertextuality, ecclesiology, and the intersect between theology and culture. English literature, especially medieval literature, epic poetry, and scholarly criticism of modern fantasy. I also have a more than passing interest in political theory, economics, philosophy, psychology, and postmodern epistemology.
Raised in the United Church of Christ (UCC), Conservative Christian Congregational Conference (CCCC), and Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), I currently attend a United Methodist congregation in Ohio while I continue my theological journey, which seems to be leaning more and more Anglican, and I have begun visiting an Episcopal church (ECUSA).