I am a husband, father, minister, teacher, writer, and business owner.
I was raised in the Nazarene Church (think Wesleyan/Methodist roots) and am now a Confirmed Episcopalian in an evangelical high church context.
I earned a BA in Religion from Trevecca Nazarene University (2003), a Master of Divinity from Mercer University, McAfee School of Theology (2008) and as of December 2021, I completed a Doctor of Ministry program at Mercer University, McAfee School of Theology. My doctoral focused was ethnographic research with non-religious persons around the sociological phenomena of transcendental signals. The title of my doctoral thesis is, “Haunted By Faith: An Ethnographic Study of Signals of Transcendence in Nones.” I am interested in doing ministry and theological thinking at the intersection of faith and culture, observing phenomena as expressions of faith instead of doing theology for a church or faith expression that is not incarnate. My primary academic approach is phenomenological and anthropological in orientation. Because I believe in constructing faithful local theologies, I use these as interpretive frames from which I do ministry and theology. While some traditions talk about three legged stools or quadrilaterals, I embrace six formative factors of for doing theology: reason, tradition, scripture, culture, experience, and revelation
I strive to keep one foot in the church, one in the academy, and one in culture, living at the interstices of all three. I am involved in the academic world via conferences, scholarly publications, and research. I also have a few books up my sleeve I am hammering away at in my spare time. I serve as an acolyte and lector at my local parish, as well as participating in parish wide ministry when invited.
I am also a business owner and remain engaged in the materiality of the world on a daily basis: I am a blue collar worker with a white collar education, so to speak. I do not inhabit an “ivory tower” but I do wish to bring together intellect and faith, careful reflection with liturgical practice and cultural engagement. I have passion to theorize faith and praxis that takes the humanities seriously as they engage Christianity, theology, philosophy, economics, etc., which means my thinking tends to not be predictably “left” or “right” version of anything. I find those blogs/books/columns too partisan and ideologically driven, merely seeing the name of the site or the author already telling you the content of the “ideas.” Reality is always more ambiguous and filled with aporia than we would like to admit. The Gospel, and subsequently theology, should not be a continual confirmation bias. It should also challenge our sensibilities when we read it, and the world, with open hearts and minds.
I currently reside in Cleveland, TN, am married, and have 3 sons and a daughter with whom I love sharing the stories of my life…stories that have led to the thinking on this page. I welcome you to struggle with me as we grapple with life together. Welcome to the Paranormalchrist!