About

 

photo 2

“THERE’S SOMETHING RIDICULOUS IN A CALLOW, YOUNG FOOL LIKE MYSELF STANDING UP TO PREACH.”

~ Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic by Reinhold Niebuhr

Forced to attend church the first time as a teenager in in Richmond, Virginia, the pastor a few months later handed me an old wrinkled paperback he thought I might enjoy:

Reinhold Niebuhr’s Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic.

Aquinas’ Summa followed the Cynic recommendation.

Since then, Jesus has gleefully afflicted me with the right kind of nightmares and continues to tame my stubborn cynicism. Or should I say, Jesus is giving me different things about which to be cynical- after all, if Jesus is King and the world knows it not then there’s plenty in the world for which cynicism is the sanest, healthiest posture.

About Me~

Thanks to being given a copy of Leaves, I’m now the least well-rounded person in the world, having studied theology at UVA and from Princeton. Seriously, I’ve got no skills apart from parsing Greek nouns and obscure theological categories. Fortunately, the United Methodist Church is the perfect place for someone like me. I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and since 2002 have served as a pastor of churches in New Jersey and Virginia as well as a prison and hospital chaplain. I’ve been a pastor at Aldersgate UMC in Alexandria, Va for 9 years.

I started the blog in June 2012 on a lark and through the encouragement of Tony Jones and named in homage to how my journey started.

IMG_4678The More Important About Me~

My wife, Ali, is my high school sweetheart. We first met on the swim team. One look at me in my Speedo and she was a goner. She’s shy and easily embarrassed so suffice it to say that she’s my better 3/4 in every way but cooking. To read about what Ali has taught me about marriage, click here.

My youngest son, Gabriel, is a budding standup. He loves swimming and the White Stripes. My oldest son, Alexander, is a hardcore hiker and gifted in everything but common sense. For a better idea of what they mean to me, click here.

I enjoy cooking, traveling, writing and running.
I’m also learning (slowly, very slowly) to play the banjo, but I’m better at growing a beard. My man-o-pause is such that I now cry at movies like the Blindside, and as strongly as I believe in anything I think baseball is the Platonic ideal.

But all that may not say as much about me as:

Favorite Bands: Blitzen Trapper, Trampled by Turtles and The Low Anthem (Dylan is too obvious but him too)
Favorite Movies: Chinatown, The Big Lebowski, Pan’s Labyrinth
Favorite TV Show: The Killing and Battlestar Galactica
Favorite Authors: Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Lynch, Richard Ford
Favorite Smell: Roast Chicken
Favorite Sound: Gabriel’s Belly Laugh
Favorite Theologian: Karl Barth, Herbert McCabe
If I wasn’t a pastor I’d be a….chef.
I tolerate: 2 crazy Australian Shepherds.
10514745_10204086970316768_6082680267224881371_n

6 responses to About

  1. Hmm
    Fav bands: Blitzen Trapper, Nena, Beirut
    Fave movies: Midnight in Paris, Once, Anything with Indiana Jones
    Fave smell: roast chicken
    Fave Theologians: St. Augustine, Thomas a Kempis, John MacArthur, Steve Brown
    If I wasn’t a chef, I’d be a…….Pastor. (just kidding, I’m a retired optician who re-invented himself as a Letterpress Printer and runs our churches College Dept. with my Seminary Trained Theologian Wife who happens to look like Olivia Newton John.
    Dogs: Australian Cattle Dogs (ACD with OCD)
    Fav instruments: My trusty Yairi, Irish tin whistle, recorder, mandolin, and banjo. Or any other instrument that can make a cultural German pass for Irish.

    Great to come across your site, Jason.

  2. Tamed Cynic,
    Stumbled onto this site doing a search on liberal fundamentalist,
    Happy I did.

  3. when I said to my wife just now that I wished we lived closer to y’all, she said that the local police / sheriff’s office might have a different view of that.

    anyway, glad I found ya a while back. keep on keeping on.

  4. Just found your blog. Enjoying it very much. Interested in your thoughts on the scapegoat and yom kippur as compared to those from Tova Singer on outreachjudiasm.com.

Leave a Reply

*

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>