About Joel Anderson

I am an aspiring author and blogger, as well as an adjunct Old Testament instructor at UNA.  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.

At this point in my life, though, I am devoting all my time to my writing projects. I have a memoir entitled Getting Schooled that I currently am in the process of trying to get published. It is a humorous book about a number of my funny teaching experiences over the years. I’ve written a book entitled, The Heresy of Ham, in which I address the claims and tactics of the young earth creationist movement, and argue that not only is young earth creationism anti-science, but it is actually rooted in a deeply flawed reading of Genesis 1-11, and it completely ignores, and indeed rejects, the historical testimony of the Church.

In addition to that, I’m am slowly but surely working on my own translation of the Bible.

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.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Joel,

    I am looking for the origins of the story mentioned on your blog which comes from C.S Lewis’s book Mere Christianity of a man who wore a mask. I have heard this story as a child and I am trying to find the original story.

    Story as I remember:
    There was a very ugly looking king who never left his palace. Then a mask maker made a very handsome mask for him wearing which the king started going out. But the mask maker became greedy and started blackmailing the king for money or he will reveal the secret to the world. Once king was outside and the greedy mask maker snatched out the mask from the king’s face, but now the king became handsome from the outside as now he felt handsome from the inside.

    Could you please help me with this.

    Thank you,
    Amrit

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