About

I am a former American Baptist turned Agnostic turned Lutheran.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southeran Seminary in Columbia, SC.  I am also a  Diaconal Minister candidate for the ELCA.  My work mainly focuses in social ministry/justice.  In the past, I have worked with homeless individuals.

I consider myself to be a confessional but progressive, evangelical catholic Lutheran.  I have shed most of his fundamentalist beliefs of his days as an American Baptist.  I do not believe in inerrancy, a literal six day creation, that Jonah was actually swallowed by a large fish, etc.

I currently sit on the board of directors for Hospitality House, a shelter homeless women.

I am married to his wonderful wife, McKenzie.  We have a beautiful daughter, Ella, and are the proud parents of a cat, Pecan and a dog, Brigid (named after St. Brigid of Kildare).

I love football and am a huge Steelers fan.  I also have a love of hockey and can be seen supporting the Colorado Avalanche or the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I blog about whatever I feel like, but stick mostly to Religion/Theology, Politics, Social Justice, and, on occasion, being a Lutheran.  I also read a lot and have been known to review books.  I currently review for InterVarsity Press, Oxford University Press, Zondervan, and Augsburg Fortress.  I will happily accept manuscripts for review and/or endorsement.

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14 thoughts on “About

    • Nicholas,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I contemplated posting about it, but I feel that any such post on my part would be ill-advised at this point. Even though I have graduated, I am still in the candidacy process and would not want anything I write to influence that process. I am also looking for a job and am worried about the same thing.

  1. on a related note:

    St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of La Mesa Dissolves Affiliation with
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

    LA MESA, Calif. — On Sunday, December 13, 2009, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in La Mesa, Calif., held a legally called and conducted meeting to take its second and final vote to sever ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The congregation’s vote was nearly unanimous. St. Luke’s is now affiliated with the Fellowship of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (FELC).
    According to St. Luke’s bylaws and constitution, two votes are necessary to terminate the congregation’s relationship with the ELCA. The first vote was held on September 13, 1009. This second vote finalizes that process.
    Cited among St. Luke’s reasons for severing its affiliation with were:
    • The ELCA’s rapid drift from Scripture and the Lutheran statements of faith over its short 20 year history.
    • Insufficient honesty by the institutional ELCA dealing with its member congregations.
    • “Top down” governance characterized by unaccountable, non-representative voting procedures at synodical and national gatherings.
    • Use of congregational benevolence money for policies contrary to Lutheran teaching.
    • Increasing focus on secular politics, signaling a move away from the Protestant teaching of “Christ alone” toward policies and programs founded on generic, religious humanism.
    • Conviction that the self-destructive tendencies of the ELCA endanger the vitality of the congregation.
    The move away from the ELCA has been fomenting for some time at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and St. Luke’s council and congregation had discussed departure from the ELCA for many years. St. Luke’s Council President Richard Floegel and Pastor Mark Menacher, Ph.D. were valuable resources in the congregation’s decision-making process.
    “A number of years ago we lost a group of long-time members and friends because of the ELCA’s direction and polices,” said St. Luke’s Council President Richard Floegel in a July letter to the St. Luke’s congregation. “At that time, rather than publicly discuss or debate the ELCA’s departure from our core beliefs, members were simply left to leave St. Luke’s.
    “In an effort to address this ongoing situation, three years ago St. Luke’s Church Council and congregation gave the call committee a mandate to find a pastor who would put God first, who was well grounded in scripture, and who would help us return to our ‘Genuinely Lutheran’ roots. We believed that Pastor Mark fulfilled those criteria and extended the call to him.”
    Also, on November 25, 2009, Penasquitos Lutheran Church in Rancho Penasquitos passed their second and final vote to leave the ELCA with a 97 percent majority. Other area ELCA congregations taking similar action are Christ the King Lutheran Church, Fallbrook, and the Lutheran Church of the Cross, Laguna Woods.
    The dissolution of the relationship between St. Luke’s and the ELCA was a process of several months. St. Luke’s Lutheran Church is entitled to keep its property at 5150 Wilson St. in La Mesa. This is significant since many churches in the ELCA wanting to leave the ELCA may not be entitled to the church property if they leave.
    For more information on the dissolution of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church’s relationship with the ELCA, please contact St. Luke’s Communication Director Andy Killion at (619) 251-8000 or andy.killion@gmail.com

  2. Just thought I’d submit a typo report. (Sorry. I proofread everything as I read it. I just wish I could do that with my own writing. But I digress.) On this page, you describe yourself as a “former Bapitst.”

    Cheers,

    Mitchell Powell

  3. Pingback: ftc regs find their way into biblioblogging

  4. I’d like to share a new book with you. Lawrence Goudge’s Cover Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs. Goudge believes that Jesus wanted social justice for the world. I have discovered a new book that shows how His message was covered up by His Gentile followers. The church has blinkered its past. It’s no secret that Jesus strove to bring in the kingdom of justice here on earth and his followers implemented it in the communal society we read about in Acts 2:44-47. The church’s dirty secret is that the Jewish followers of Jesus continued to hold his vision dear, later influencing such sects as the Bogomils and even, according to their own oral traditions, the Doukhobors. After exterminating the Jewish followers of Jesus, the church’s historians buried this history of justice-seeking but an author by the name of Lawrence Goudge has exhumed their story and presented it in ‘Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs.’ This book does the world a great service by illuminating for the first time this vital part of the history of social justice. I found it at http://tinyurl.com/69cazll .

  5. Craig, I have a question for. Let me give you a context: a Lutheran clergy man refused to eat the Lord’s Supper with me recently because of doctrinal differences about the Supper. What is your take?

    • My guess is this Lutheran pastor is from one of the more conservative Lutheran denominations, probably LCMS or WELS. If that is the case, then situation is not surprising. I’ve heard stories of the elements being removed from the table if there is a non-doctrinally confessional Lutheran present. This is often referred to as Close or Closed Communion.

      Being an ELCA Lutheran, I find this kind of action to be reprehensible. We are commanded by Christ to observe the Lord’s Supper. No conditions of doctrine were attached, merely the command, “Do this…” Anything else is human invention. I think Open Communion is more in line with what Scripture teaches.

      It seems to me that those who fall under the Close or Closed Communion category are worried about being offended by a different doctrine concerning the Lord’s Supper.

      Hope this helps and I’m sorry you had this experience.

      • Thanks. Well, it’s unfortunate when we allow doctrinal differences to so divide that we can’t eat the Supper together. But I understand.

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