I believe the hope of the world is the church.
I also believe the church needs more people committed to going deep with God, together.
This blog and my life’s work are about these two things. For much of the last 32 years, I have been a pastor and a professor. Living in two different worlds, seminary and the church, has been a perfect fit. Each role informs the other. I believe each needs the other, should support the other, and that both are absolutely essential.
Several years ago, I began writing as a response to what I was reading and experiencing in my “peditations” of Proverbs (peditations = walking meditations meant to assist one in the journey of skillful living). This exercise led me to start this blog and ultimately begin a wider conversation with other Christ followers who are equally as passionate about challenging and deepening their faith.
As a young person, I didn’t know the life God was calling me to live. At 16 years old I came to Christ through the ministry of Youth for Christ. I set my sights on being a career officer in the Air Force, but as I prepared, I began to sense a call to ministry instead. I changed course hours before I was to board a plane for the Academy in Colorado Springs.
I attended San Diego University and pursued a degree in International Relations, which served as a good foundation for my Master’s level work at Western Seminary. In seminary God brought significant men into my life who prepared me for pastoral ministry. I eventually went on to Dallas Seminary, where I earned a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.
I recently repositioned, giving less time to pastoral work (I’ve pastored two churches in Oregon – Southeast Portland and Beaverton, and one in Wassenaar, the Netherlands). I am devoting more of my time to writing and teaching. I continue as a professor of Pastoral Theology and Leadership at Western Seminary and enjoy teaching abroad in Beirut, India, Turkey and Israel.
My first book, Under an Open Heaven, will be released on February 27, 2017. It is a call to live the life an open heaven has enabled us to live.
My wife, Heather, and I live on the west side of Portland with our daughter, Kate. Our son, Nate, is serving on a ship, Logos Hope, which is a ministry of Operation Mobilization.
I occasionally head for the wilderness in northeast Washington, near the Canadian border, to write, kayak on the Pend Oreille River, and observe eagles, deer, and other critters.
Competitive tennis is a long-time pastime, as is reading. My favorite authors include Eugene Peterson, Thomas Oden, N. T. Wright, Ruth Haley Barton, Tim Keller, David Brooks, and Ross Douthat.