This is a new adventure for me. But there are many new adventures these days. In May 2019 I retired from a thirty-five year career in Lutheran higher education, split nearly in half between service as a senior administrator (vice president, then president) and a teacher/scholar in my chosen field of Old Testament studies. Retirement has brought the gift of time to pursue from new angles my life’s vocation, to serve as a small bridge-builder between the world of biblical scholarship and the “real world” of people seeking meaning and some small measure of joy. These days I am doing so as a member of Feast of Victory Lutheran Church in Acme, Michigan (on Mount Hope Road off of MI-72, just a block east of US-31).
What I aim to share in this blog are reflections on the intersection of the Christian Scriptures (both Old and New Testaments) and life. I’ll aim for the “seam in the zone” between the academic and pastoral, doubtlessly falling now toward one and then toward the other.
Before I let you go, let me add a couple of personal notes. First, I am the husband of one and the father of two and grateful for all. My wife serves as pastor of Feast of Victory Lutheran Church. Our two grown (and thoroughly above-average) children live in Boston and Saint Paul, and we get nowhere near enough time with either.
Secondly, I’ll add a word about my car’s license tag (which almost became the title for this blog): “PONTMIN” on Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge plate option. OK, it’s a (kidding on the straight) joke from Latin. Roman emperors and later the popes styled themselves “Pontifex Maximus” or “great bridge builder” between heaven and earth. Go to Rome today, and you’ll see numerous architectural wonders inscribed with the name of a pope, followed by “PONT MAX.” I aspire to something more modest, to be a Pontifex Minimus, or “little bridge builder.” For my entire adult life, I have sought to build bridges among Lutherans, among Christians, and among people, across all the categories by which we divide ourselves into “insiders” and “outsiders.” If this blog can serve in some small way to advance the work of that vocation, that will be, as Shakespeare’s Prospero said of his library in The Tempest, “dukedom large enough.”