Where I come from
I was born on a Navy base in lovely Kodiak, Alaska – an island approximately 200 miles southeast of Anchorage in the Gulf of Alaska – with a particularly auspicious beginning in life: I cried so much that I kept all the sick sailors awake. Consequently, they told my mom I had to go and they sent us both home.
Like that stay in the hospital, my stay in Kodiak was brief. After a mere two years my family moved to Port Angeles, Washington where I spent the next 16 years of my life growing up. From Port Angeles, I went off to college at Eastern Washington University, living in Spokane for 4 years, then another 6 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho working and saving money for seminary in Portland, Oregon.
Why I teach at Multnomah
I’m completely confident that God desired that I teach at Multnomah. Prior to being hired, my entire interaction with the school had been to drop off a resume a year before I graduated from doctoral studies. Then, on the eve of my doctoral graduation, out of the blue and almost a year later I received an inquiry about my availability for a teaching interview. I was psyched! Within a few weeks, I had been hired and have thanked God for such a blessing ever since. The timing was perfect, and the job is all I could ever want.
Current ministry outside class
I am dedicated to the priority of the local church in the life of the believer. For this reason, I make a point of offering my teaching a preaching gifts to the church as needed. Additionally, I have always enjoyed music and using my skills to serve the church, so I also serve in the music ministry. I hold this weekly ministry to be the highest calling of the Christian, ministering to other believers we rub shoulders with on a consistent basis. However, I also make a point of using my teaching gift as often as I have opportunity and time, so I will on occasion teach when other invitations are proffered.
Education and research
My doctoral work focused on the New Testament (1 John) and how we understand information and form ideas from written texts. Although this is still of great interest to me, and influences my teaching of Bible Study Methods, I have, in the last few years, found myself especially interested in the believer’s practice of prayer. Consequently, I have written one book on prayer (When God Says, ‘No’ — Reshaping Prayer and Learning to Listen) and am in the process of writing another addressing a different facet of prayer.
People who inspire me
I am especially inspired by the lives and writings of the early church fathers, the reformers, and the puritans. In each of these groups we see people who were both theologians and pastors and I find their dedication encouraging and challenging.
Favorite book in the Bible
My favorite book of the Bible is Romans. Like so many great theologians in the past (e.g. Luther and Calvin), I found the explanation of Grace in the pages of Romans to be life-changing. And after studying and teaching the book for 2 years at my church, I felt a sea change in my Christianity. Although the entire canon of scripture is profitable for growth, I tell my classes that if we could just master the Gospel of John, Romans and 1 Corinthians, we would be well on our way to a pleasing Christian life.
Extra-curricular, non-ministry activities
I have too many interests and not enough time to do them all well enough. I love music and play piano and guitar. I enjoy wood working and building things with my hands. (Consequently every room of our house has an unfinished project in it! Grrrrrr…) I love to read, watch movies, work out, and eat pizza.
I have been married to my wife, Kathy, since 1983. We have no children, but we have coddled a number of unruly cats over the years. The latest additions to our family are two domestic-short hair troublemakers named Boo and Radley.