My background


One thing about myself I left out of the previous post:

I’m a faculty member in the communication department of a Christian college.

Here’s what this means:

“faculty member”
I have a restless mind. I can’t stop thinking about things and talking about them. Sometimes I over-think things. Even more often I over-talk things. My job is exciting, exhausting, extravagantly privileged, filled with interesting and engaging colleagues and frustrating bureaucracy.

“communication department”
I am obsessed with human interaction. I love it. I keep wanting to write and talk about stuff. I love conversation and dialog, even when people don’t agree. But I hate fighting. Fighting is the opposite of communicating.

“Christian college”
This is the tough part. I’m a serious Christian. I’m really into it. I mean: JESUS! Right?!

So when I became a college professor, I thought it would be awesome to profess at a Christian college. And it is awesome. But it’s also discouraging and frustrating. I understand faith in some different ways from many (probably most) of my colleagues and administrators, because everyone else here seems to be coming from similar traditional evangelical perspectives. That’s not my perspective.

So I often don’t speak honestly about what I really believe. And when I do speak up, it more often than not brings a depressing barrage of criticism and bad feeling. A person trying to love Jesus can be called a heretic only so many times before he starts feeling very bad.

I worry about how I will be seen by members of my religious community. I worry my family will be rejected. I worry about promotion and tenure. If you don’t know what “promotion and tenure” means, you’re lucky!

I expect I’ll be writing about these worries pretty often if I keep up this blog.

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Ah, the first post. A fresh, sparkly new blog. No one around other than me. So quiet. So peaceful.

In case you want to know who I am, my name’s Dave. I wasn’t born Mennonite, but landed with them because the Mennonites I know make the most sense to me, and because they’ll take in anybody. Like a lot of people in my church, the Mennonites were my last stop on the way out of church, and by God’s grace I’m still hanging on.

I’ve tried to figure out why my faith is finally coming alive again. By doing a lot of reading and talking to people and especially listening, I realize I’ve felt so weird in the Evangelical world I grew up in because I’m one of those people they’re calling “emerging church Christians.” I have a certain set of questions, and convictions, and probably character flaws, that makes me extremely uncomfortable in traditional church communities.

For some reason the people in my newly found Mennonite church are ok with that. In fact, a lot of them are kind of weird, too.

This post ends here because words are utterly inadequate to express the depth of my gratitude.