"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 Richmond, Virginia, the pastor a few months later handed me an old wrinkled paperback he thought I might enjoy: Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic.
Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae 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 and we’re all busy trying to justify ourselves before God then there’s plenty in the world for which silly cynicism is the sanest, healthiest posture.
Tamed Cynic proved the perfect book to steal a blog name for an Irreverend like 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 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.
Since 2002, I have served as a pastor of churches in New Jersey and Virginia, as well as a prison and hospital chaplain. I’ve been Executive Pastor at Aldersgate UMC in Alexandria, Va for coming on 13 years.
I started the blog in June 2012 on a lark and through the encouragement of my friend and editor Tony Jones and named in homage to how my journey started. Since then, I’ve added a podcast (Crackers and Grape Juice) to the CV as well as solo and collaborative writing projects with different publishers.
The 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.
My youngest son, Gabriel, is a budding standup. He loves swimming and the White Stripes. My oldest son, Alexander, is a hardcore swimmer and gifted in everything but common sense.
I enjoy cooking, traveling, writing and running.