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Perpetual student of theology.

What does it mean to be a Christian theologian? After changing my major three times, I learned to grapple with the meaning of my vocation. I found it hard, however, to pinpoint a way of being which made sense of my calling as a theologian. Does being a theologian mean making sure the Church exists within the right propositional truths? Perhaps, it is the job of the theologian to develop an accurate “Statement of Beliefs” for a congregation or making sure the teaching pastor’s work is thoroughly orthodox. But these job descriptions do not necessarily need the theologian, they need…

This icon was commissioned by His Grace Bishop DEMETRI for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul (Midwest Chancery of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America) in Toledo, Ohio. The icon is from the hand of Diane Plaskon Koory.

This is my final sermon from the Fall semester of 2020. It was delivered on the week of All Saints’ Day and the morning after the election of the President of the United States. This is still in manuscript form, but hopefully, the message reaches you without the medium of my own voice. In this tumultuous age, we need the lives and stories of the saints to remind us of the great treasure we have in Christ and the hope of resurrection in his return.

I put the finishing touches on this sermon on election night of 2020. I drove…

Ecclesial Identity in 1 Peter 1:17–21

This is the first of a pair of manuscripts on hope for my homiletics course, Fall 2020.

My parents have been married for over 25 years. My father is a native of Edmond, the town I grew up in, but my mother grew up a few hours away. They only met one another when my mom moved to Edmond to finish her Bachelor’s Degree and only two months after they met, they were engaged. They decided to settle in the town they met, and somewhere along the way, they had me. Especially when I was a child, my mother would…

“The Transfiguration.” Tempera on wood, Theophanes the Greek c. 1408

How art formed my understanding of Jesus.

“Isenheim Altarpiece,” Matthias Grünewald, 1512–1516. Oil on panel.

When I reflect upon my image of Christ, stripped of the theological jargon that I have become so accustomed to, I often return to the same image from my early years. When I was a child, I spent much of my time in the church I grew up in and, even into my adolescence, I quite literally grew up in the church. Every Sunday morning, and often many other days during the week, I passed by the same bust on my way into the sanctuary. It was small, cast in bronze, and rested upon a flimsy wooden pillar. The image…

The Dark Knight Trilogy with Saint Augustine’s Confessions

Years ago, I walked down a sticky, darkened aisle and settled into my creaky theater seat for the second night of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. This showing, however, was unlike those other nights I had walked through clouds of buttery fog hanging in the theater. I suspect many others had a similar experience going to see The Dark Knight Rises that evening. Only a few nights prior, the violence on the screen came to life in an Aurora theater. Twenty minutes into the final installment of everyone’s favorite Batman, a body armor-clad gunman flung open the exit door…

The Church, the State, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Whittington, PJ. “Notre Dame Lights.” 2018. JPEG.

In recent days, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as we know it. Schools, businesses, and cities throughout the world have closed to the public and many are forced into their homes indefinitely. In the midst of this mass self-quarantine, the Church has had to ask questions like; In what sense should the Church submit to the State? How should the Church care for Her own? How does the Church show concern for the “common good”? During these chaotic times, words like those from James K.A. Smith can be helpful guides for…

An engagement with Dr. Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited

Boston University Photography © 2005 Boston University all rights reserved

In his seminal work, originally published in 1949, Howard Thurman seeks to answer the question, “Why is it that Christianity seems impotent to deal radically, and therefore effectively, with the issues of discrimination and injustice on the basis of race, religion and national origin?”(xix) In this updated edition published in 1997, Vincent Harding provides a charitable primer in the Foreward for what he names as “the centerpiece of the Black prophet-mystic’s lifelong attempt to bring the harrowing beauty of the African-American experience into deep engagement with what he called ‘the…

Meditations on Confession in the Lenten Season

“Christ in the Desert,” Ivan Kramskoi, 1872. Oil on canvas.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

The smell of musty books on the shelf and the old dog beneath me waft upward with the heat from the large stone hearth that extends slightly out into the large room like a warm peninsula in a cold, green, arctic sea. Across the room, an old man is perched atop his large red-leather chair cloaked in an even larger sheepskin. He peers through his binoculars toward a window that dances with small figures of red and white dashing through fields of green…

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