I am often asked, “What do you do?”
I often respond, “This is who I am.”
Here is the heart of my thinking-being-doing. A story follows.
A biblical theologian intersecting with God’s creation is the essence of my educational, shepherding persona. Thinking biblically through all of life weaves itself through every class, sermon, and conversation. Preparation of God’s people for the world they engage depends on knowing and living God’s Story. My personal commitments and practice serve the following:
The Church Collaborative discipleship means not only a study of Scripture and a dedication to living life with others but an investment in the culture where The Body serves. Shepherding God’s People to do good in the community (Titus 3.1, 8, 14) is my calling.
The City I love Indianapolis. A theology of place is essential to understanding how to communicate in a municipality which has a specific ethos. The hard-working, entrepreneurial bent of a Midwestern mindset desperately needs the grace-filled gospel of Jesus (Titus 2.11-14).
The Arts Communication of God’s life changing message is so well delivered through verbal and visual art forms. Harrison Center for the Arts is an example of celebrating transcendent Truth through the incarnational insights of God’s image-bearers (Exodus 32.2-5, 35.31-36.2).
The Academe A lifelong learner, I am committed to the university. The place where ideas infiltrate minds needs a biblical presence (Acts 19.8-10). Discipleship of Christian young people through their college years is imperative: the reason for The Comenius Institute.
The Authority “Who says?” is the question which summarizes the human quest. “Who are you to tell me?” is asked and answered by everyone everywhere every day. The Church’s purpose is to equip its people to give the eternal answer to the universal question. The Personal Eternal Triune Creator of the cosmos has answered the question in The Written Word—Scripture—and The Living Word—Jesus. Now Christians carry The Message in their lives “known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3.2).
“Why do you think I’m ‘different’?” I answered a question with a question.
“Well, the questions you ask, suggest you have another point of view . . . but you’re not disagreeable.”
“That’s very kind of you to say! I would hate to be ‘disagreeable’!” my face registered a smile.
“But your questions always make me think. They make me consider another perspective. And I find myself thinking about them long after our discussions,” she declared her transparency.
“Questions are seeds that both grow roots and break the soil,” I responded. “Anytime you want to talk about possible answers, I’ll be glad to have that conversation.”
“Thanks. I’ll take you up on that.”
Mark is fortunate to be in a place to have discussions like this one. Dr. Mark Eckel will base all his discussions on the five, preceding distinctives, especially #5. Dr. Eckel is President of The Comenius Institute. I am interested in seeing the whole city of Indianapolis come together, supporting each other, encouraging our communities, and cross-pollinating with various ministries to create a strong cultural fabric, layered with Christian compassion, commitment, and conversation.