I’m a former pastor, author, theologian, and writer for various Christian publishers from Grand Rapids, MI.
I create and curate content within the tension of spirituality and theology, politics and culture, belief and practice, existing and emerging forms of Church, the Kingdom of God and America, modern and postmodern thought, and the gritty drama that is our pilgrim story.
I grew up in West Michigan and spent five years in Washington D.C. working on Capitol Hill after graduating college before moving back to my home town. While on Capitol Hill, I worked for a United States Senator and later pastored among this community of people. Through the Center for Christian Statesmanship, I led bible studies and mentored congressional staffers in the Way of Jesus, and delivered Bibles to and prayed with Members of Congress.
This experience and vantage point in government, coupled a degree in Political Science, gives me a unique perspective on faith, Church, and the American experience that I hope will help others live in the tension of faith in Jesus Christ and post-Christian America.
Through my experience in DC I had a crisis of faith that stemmed from my experience ministering among postmodern, post-Christian young adults. Of my theology, doctrine, spirituality, ministry and life, I dropped all preconceived notions, deeply held beliefs and practices in an effort to re-understand my faith in Jesus Christ.In so doing, I entered a period of deconstruction and reconstruction the likes of which I had never experienced in my theology and spirituality.
Like many other younger evangelicals, the Emerging Church conversation was helpful in my faith deconstructive effort.
During this time I became involved in the conversation through blogging, became friends with some leaders, and even attended Brian McLaren’s church. But then something happened: I returned to my hometown, Grand Rapids, MI, to pursue seminary studies.
During this season I came to realize that while Emergent may believe it is believing differently—and consequently believe it is offering the world a different Christianity that is more believable than the current form—in reality the emerging church simply believes otherly; the form of Christianity this version pushes is neither innovative nor different: it is a form of Christianity other-than the versions that currently exist but mirror those that have already existed.
In light of my experiences with Emergent and academic studies, I desire to help a new generation reorient itself around the historic Christian faith, while missionally connecting that faith to our post-Christian world.
For three years, I helped pastor a Grand Rapids area Evangelical Covenant Church, Fellowship Covenant Church. In May 2010 I received the Master of Divinity at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (specialization in Church Planting and Development) and was awarded the Nikolai Wiens award for pastoral ministry excellence. In May 2012 I received the Master of Theology in Historical Theology from the same institution. I also pastored for half a decade with the Evangelical Covenant Church and do freelance writing and editorial work for Christian publishers.
I also create and curate content in the form of larger works from time to time. My first book, the (un)offensive gospel of Jesus, was released in October 2008. In 2012, I launched an innovative prayer book series for West Michigan, called Prayers for My City. The same year I published my Masters Thesis as a book with preface, afterword, and foreword from Michael Wittmer, called Reimagining the Kingdom. My latest work is a spiritual coming-of-age novel series about a twentysomething wrestling with the seeming disconnect between the Christian faith and our shifting postmodern world.
During my free time, you can find my blogging, jogging, reading at my favorite local coffeehouse, and enjoying life with my lovely wife and son, and our dog, Zoe.
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