I’m always eager to connect with readers or visitors interested in similar areas of life, learning, and formal scholarship. Some of these are personal interests, some are fields where I’m mainly a practitioner and lifelong learner, and a few are formal research areas. I’m curious about virtually everything, but these areas attract my most consistent attention.
My primary interest, broadly speaking, is all things biblical studies: Hebrew and Greek, Old and New Testament exegesis, historical backgrounds, hermeneutics, and theology. All of my formal academic pursuits fall on the biblical studies spectrum, and I continue learning how much I don’t know as I explore this vast field where the history, context, and interpretation of the Christian Scriptures intersect.
By “biblical theology” I don’t just mean “what the Bible teaches” but a formal academic field devoted to tracing the scriptural narrative — both its diversity and its unity — as God’s unfolding revelation. Of course, D. A. Carson has rightly said that “everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes, and calls it biblical theology.”¹ But without getting into the morass of diverse definitions and nuanced methodologies, I’m interested in the New Testament use of the Old Testament, the macronarrative of Scripture, canonical arrangement, typology, interrelationships among the biblical covenants, and how Christian ethics arise from the biblical story. If the Bible tells the true story of the world, then the narrative arc of Scripture describes our origins, defines our existence, and destines our lives. Deliberately inhabiting this story, which climaxes in Jesus the Messiah, is the path (back) to true humanity.
My PhD dissertation explores the structure and message of Psalms 90-106 within the macrostructure of the book as a whole. The past thirty years has seen an explosion of interest in the canonical form and (potentially) cohesive message of the Hebrew Psalter. I’m interested in continuing the exploration alongside a growing community of students and scholars seeking to understand the Psalter not only as a sacred collection of individual poems but as a unified mosaic testifying to the faithfulness of Israel’s God and a poetic fuel line for her (and our) messianic hope.
The biblical counseling movement, widely attributed to the bold and debated advances of Jay Adams, continues to develop. David Powlison and Heath Lambert have documented the growth (and growing pains) of this nascent movement, which has been hailed as a Godsend by some and a simplistic, unscientific, overbearing, and even dangerous development by others. Facing criticisms both legitimate and misguided, the biblical counseling movement continues to spread and exert increasing influence in the church (an influence which I celebrate but also want to hone). Fifteen years of ministry in counseling-heavy roles have fueled my passion for wise spiritual guidance, shaped my habits and instincts as a shepherd and soul-care practitioner, and taught me just how much there is to learn about anthropology, the human condition, and the bright hope for Christian sanctification. After serving as the head of Student Life and a professor of biblical counseling at Boyce College before transitioning to pastoral ministry, I plan to stay involved in the practice of counseling and the training of counselors.
Virtue and Wisdom
The Greek term ἀρετή (areté) means “virtue” or “excellence” and generally signifies “uncommon character worthy of praise.”² Different cultures and moral philosophies define virtue differently, but I’m especially interested in the biblical portrait of virtue, the intersection of narrative and virtue, the formation of the whole person, the concept of παιδεία (paideia, “training” or “instruction”), and psychological theories of human development and change.
I care about racial reconciliation not mainly as an intellectual field or even a personal interest but a family reality and gospel principle. Raising an ethnically mixed family invites both smiles and stares, but mostly it fills our lives with joy and learning. As a multiethnic family, we’re devoted to discerning the settled impulses and learned instincts of both explicit and implicit partiality. We want to live with charity, wisdom, and courage in a diverse society by learning to think and act in ways that undercut systemic racism and instinctive ethnocentrism. As Christians in a racially fragmented society, we join many in praying and working toward the omniethnic church Christ died to save and rose to build.
As a Christian minister and communicator, I’m interested in dynamics of communication, especially in the arenas of preaching, teaching, and writing. I remain fascinated by the mere actuality of human communication as well as the more intricate details of writing, the rhetorical, organizational, psychological, and artistic elements of preaching, and matters of effective pedagogy across the spectrum of life — from youth basketball to parenting to higher education.
¹ D. A. Carson, “Systematic Theology and Biblical Theology,” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, ed. T. D. Alexander, B. S. Rosner, D. A. Carson, and G. Goldsworthy, 89-104 (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2000), 91.
² BDAG, 130.
Send me a quick note if something here piques your curiosity, if you want to recommend a book, resource, or organization, or if you want to connect or collaborate in some way.