I am an aspiring author and blogger, as well as an adjunct Old Testament instructor at the University of North Alabama. I hope to use this blog as a “hub” for all my writing projects. If you subscribe and follow my blog, you will soon find out that I like to write on a wide range of topics, from Biblical Studies, Church History, Theology, Cultural and Social Issues, as well as things like Literature and Poetry. This should not be surprising if you know me. I graduated college with a B.S. Ed. in English Literature, and then went on to graduate school and eventually got an M.A. in Theological Studies, another M.A. in Old Testament, and eventually a PhD in Old Testament.
I have been a full-time teacher for 16 years. My career has been as an English and Biblical Worldview teacher at various Christian high schools in California, Arkansas, and Alabama. I also taught English as a Foreign Language with the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan–I was part of the first Peace Corps team to go into Kazakhstan after the Soviet Union fell.
I have also written a number of books and Bible translations (admittedly most of them are self-published):
- The Heresy of Ham: What Every Evangelical Needs to Know About the Creation-Evolution Debate
- Getting Schooled: The Lessons, Plans, and Life of a Teacher
- The New Testament: JAV
- The Old Testament–Torah and Former Prophets: JAV
- The Old Testament–The Major and Minor Prophets: JAV
- The Old Testament–The Writings: JAV
- Up Until August: Selected Poems from my Inner Life
I grew up in Carol Stream, Illinois, and grew up in the Assemblies of God church in a thoroughly Evangelical subculture. Over time, I eventually found my way to Eastern Orthodoxy.
Some of my favorite writers are: C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Merton, Kathleen Norris, Kallistos Ware, N.T. Wright, Gordon Fee…the list can go on.
As for music, the two biggest influences have been Sting and U2. Having grown up a good Evangelical Christian kid in the eighties, I still have no shame in admitting I still listen to my Amy Grant, Keith Green, Phil Keaggy, Petra, and Bob Bennett.
I feel I am a poet at heart, but I have become what I call a “blue-collar” Biblical scholar. I think the most effective way to understand theology and the Christian hope is through poetry and literature. After all, the majority of the Bible comes in the form of poetry and literature…even when it is about historical events.
I love learning about Biblical Studies, Church History, and Philosophy, and I love the challenges of the academic world. At the same time, though, I have always felt I have a vocation to take what I’ve learned in the academic world and present it in a clear, easy to understand fashion to the majority of Christians who never will go to graduate school. In short, I want to take the world of academia and make it accessible to the laity.