Lesslie Newbigin writes in The Gospel in a Pluralist Society: “How is it possible that the gospel should be credible, that people should come to believe that the power which has the last word in human affairs is represented by a man hanging on a cross? I am suggesting that the only answer, the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it.” (p. 227)
My prayer is to see the church become a living parable of the kingdom of God, demonstrating the love and grace of Jesus Christ to the world through words and deeds in everyday life. My goal, by God’s grace, to help create that kind of church. Thanks visiting this site, and I hope you’ll look around. Read blog posts, read sermons, and check out links. And if you’d like to email me, please do.
I live many roles. The most important to me are husband, father, brother, son and friend. I am also a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA), a ministry in which I pastor, write, and teach. In one form or another I have served congregations in several states, including Virginia, California, and New Jersey, and am a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Princeton Theological Seminary. I currently serve as Pastor/Head of Staff at First Presbyterian in Asheville, NC. Before that, I was a solo pastor for six years in New Jersey and adjunct faculty at Princeton Seminary. I’ve written numerous published articles and reviews, and the book The Mission of Preaching: Equipping the Community for Faithful Witness.
My spouse, Caitlin, is also a seminary graduate and candidate for ordination in the PC(USA). She currently serves as a supply pastor in Western North Carolina. We live in North Asheville, with our four children. I love to spend time outside, whether hiking the mountains or playing in the waves. I also enjoy any time spent in the woodshop.
While my primary work is serving as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC, I also seek to serve the church and community through teaching, serving on board and committees, and volunteering my time.
My primary academic work has been the intersection of missional theology and homiletics. My work in this area is groundbreaking, bringing mission theology into serious dialogue with homiletics for the first time, casting the congregation as the primary preacher and the preacher as one who equips the congregation for witness. The Mission of Preaching: Equipping the Community for Witness is available from Intervarsity Press Academic, and is a sustained development of this idea from homiletical, ecclesiological, and practical theological perspectives.
The Header – Van Gogh’s “The Sower”
The header on this blog isn’t just a stock image–it’s a portion of Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Sower.” Van Gogh is portraying the parable told by Jesus as recorded in Mark 4. He has the sower scattering seed as the sun is rising over the field. It is important to see that for van Gogh the sun was a symbol for resurrection and life. To me, preaching is the proclamation of the gospel in the light of the risen of the Christ, at the dawning of a new creation, as God is bringing forth the great harvest, which is the redemption and transformation of the world. I believe preaching happens this way, and so does the whole proclamation of the church which scatters its words and deeds like seed in the field.