A Campsite Reflection

I took my oldest two kids, Matthias and Alethea, camping last week. It was Matthias’ third time and Alethea’s second camping adventure here in Texas. So far, we have visited three different state parks; we’re hoping to visit a different park each camping trip. To prove my commitment, I am now the proud owner of a state park pass—hopefully this encourages a few extra outings.
Camping is a special time. Somehow time seems to slow so that at eleven a.m., when we finished our first hike together, we were all convinced we had missed lunch and were approaching mid-afternoon. It is also an ideal time for reflection. Which prompted me to consider the shift from myself as a child participant camper to a parent facilitator. As the ChildI grew up in a camping family. There was even a year in which my parents took me and my brothers tent camping once a month for a full year—for any southerners reading along, the significance of this is that half of Wisconsin’s year is winter (the kind with snow)! I…

Living Peaceably with One Another

Road Rage One of the ways I have been earning money for living and school down here in Dallas is as a swimming pool cleaner. It is the Dallas equivalent to window cleaning in Chicago, I think. I have the same driving route week to week, which means that I know the construction patters and scheduled lane closures. This puts me in a position where I often must decide what to do with the people who either see the lane closure late or purposely prefer to fly down the side of the road aiming to ‘cut in line.’ My instinct—and yours too, don’t lie!—is to lock the other car out and look straight ahead like it isn’t clearly and obviously purposeful. This is a dangerous instinct.
Last year, not far from my own driving route, two drivers gave into that instinct and instead of being peaceful drivers, became driven by their tempers. The situation escalated to the point where both drivers pulled over for a face to face confrontation. The first driver opened his door, yelled some very creative things …

On Being Gracious with One Another

Five months ago, the birth of our fourth child went smoothly and without incident. This is why Audrey and I were shocked, when at a home visit, our midwife discovered that our baby girl’s heart rate was alarmingly slow. My mother had been planning to leave that morning, but she decided to stay with our other three kids. Minutes later we were on the way to the emergency room. Upon arriving, a nurse checked our daughter’s pulse, and seeing that it was still too low, the nurse’s body language became excited and concerned. She tapped our baby’s cheeks and shook her hands trying to wake her up and elicit a change in heartbeat. Only minutes after arriving at the hospital, were in a room where our baby was laying on a table and no fewer than five nurses and doctors bustled around the room gathering various equipment and gear. This began a process that would put us in the NICU for the next 48 hours—after which we brought home a perfectly healthy baby.
During that time my mom stayed longer than…

Inerrancy or Interpretation? - How Evangelicals Err by Conflation

At the end of this semester I’ll have some more “Semester Highlights.” I have two Greek classes and a systematic theology class I am in right now and they’re shaping up to be pretty exciting, if intense. Until then, maybe I can share a few ‘What’s on my mind’ posts. This is that.
Evangelicals are allowing dictionary definitions of theological terms run away from their historical and theological definitions. I think this is evident in several areas, but for now I only want to focus on the doctrine of inerrancy.[1] The most conservative of Evangelicals have begun to conflate an important doctrine, that is, inerrancy, with the hermeutical method they subscribe to—whether they are fully aware of it or not. This does damage within our churches because: 1) It is not orthodox; 2) It gives us a phrase which we too-willingly weaponize and direct toward people with whom we disagree: ‘You deny the inerrancy of Scripture! That’s heresy!’ There is so much division right now, I’d prefer if we coul…

Fall 2017 Semester Highlight: Jürgen Moltman's The Crucified God

DTS offers students from Bible colleges the opportunity to test into an advanced standing program. Instead of merely skipping classes, I take accelerated courses that are 3 credits each but cover 6-9 program credits. The net result for me is that my program’s total length is 27 credits shorter—nearly a full year. So instead of taking 120 credits, I’ll take 93—18 of which are “advanced standing” courses.
This semester’s advanced standing class was the first of two covering systematic theology. The assumption is that we have already had significant education in this area, so it is a chance to dive into a specific area much deeper. We were to choose a book on a topic of interest to us and read it deeply and thoroughly and present an extensive outline and presentation.
My list of books and authors to read is long. The difficulty was narrowing my choices. Because I want to go onto to get a PhD, I have several incredibly influential thinkers who I am itching to read (indeed, whom I must re…

Fall 2017 Semester Highlight: Textual Criticism

This past fall semester I began my academic internship at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM). Dr. Daniel Wallace (the professor with whom I took Honors Greek I and II) is its president. CSNTM has the goal of digitizing Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. The result is an online library of stunning high res images that can be viewed for free by scholars and the curious alike at This internship is partly helping a worthwhile nonprofit in its day to day affairs, and a fairly intense introduction to the field of textual criticism.
What is textual criticism? IT IS SCARY AND THREATENING. IT WILL DESTROY YOUR FAITH. Just kidding. It is necessary and whether any of us realize it or not, it is foundational to every single standard English translation (yes, even including the KJV—no one gets a pass).
As a discipline it becomes a necessary process for any document when the following are true: 1) The original (autograph) is lost, 2) There is more than on…