I was once accused during my first graduate degree program of “hanging around with the theological stray dogs of the faculty.” This remark gave me the title for this blog. Of Course, being at a mainline fundamentalist school (that’s a technical definition, not a pejorative), it didn’t take much to find yourself on that side of the line. Having completed my formative theological education at a neo-evangelical college, I readily concede that my presuppositions and engagement was indeed different from most.
Yet I find that Jesus did much the same during his ministry. A group of “stray dogs” is an apropos description for the Twelve – several from Galilee, far from the religious heartland of Judea, a tax collector / Roman collaborator, a Jewish nationalist, and an eventual turncoat. Jesus went places and talked to people considered suspect in respectable first-century Jewish company. He challenged the reigning religious, political, and ethnic/social assumptions of Palestine, spending time with Samaritans, beggars, Gentiles, and women in addition to the every day people who sought him out for various reasons. “The healthy do not have need of a doctor, but the sick do, ” Jesus told the religious authorities.
But we have forgotten that in parts of the evangelical church. We have acted like rulers, not servants. We have forgotten that God himself gave up his glory to take on the rags of humanity. “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head,” Jesus told would-be disciples (Matt. 8:20). He identified with the stray dogs on the street.
So here are my goals for the site: 1) This will be a repository for my lectures, studies, and teaching materials. Feel free to explore. 2) When the Spirit leads, I will add some thoughts. I always welcome your thoughts and comments. Theology is a conversation, not a monologue.