I am a native of southwestern Virginia, reared in a small mountain coal-mining town named Appalachia. It was there that I learned life’s most important truths from godly Methodist parents, surrounded by of some of the greatest folks -- neighbors and friends -- I have ever known.
Professionally, I am a professor of theology and philosophy at Wesley Biblical Seminary. In addition, I have been a pastor, a college chaplain and instructor. Throughout my ministry I have had the privilege of preaching or lecturing to a variety of audiences: camp meetings, revivals, pastors’ schools, college courses, seminary lectures, youth conferences and camps, and college conventions. I've even guest hosted talk radio. Additionally, I have enjoyed a modest ministry of music as a vocalist across the years in many of these same settings.
In addition to this professional experience, I am one of the co-founders of "Resurrection," an annual winter youth convention held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee that was launched in 1986 along with my friends Don Thomas and Hugh Kilgore. Each year around 10,000 young people and their counselors from the southeastern United States attend this convention, which is focused on evangelism and the call to radical discipleship.
I am currently working with several professionals in the process of developing video resources for theological and spiritual formation for 21st century Christians. We will be combining theology and music, philosophy and comedy, biblical exegesis with artistic creativity. The goal is to help empower Christians to understand the dynamics facing the church in Western culture and enable them to practice positive apologetics as witness in order to be faithful and effective in carrying out the Great Commission of Jesus
Driven by a conviction that I learned from reading the great Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, namely that ideas have consequences, I know that toxic beliefs destroy lives. So, I see my calling as a Christian philosopher to be more than simply a scholarly endeavor. It is a task carried out for the love of God's Church in the world. My driving passion is to help Christian leaders to understand the ideologies that shape contemporary culture and how the Gospel of Jesus speaks to post-modern, post-Christian people. I want to help pastors and teachers be more confident as they defend the flock of our Lord from falsehood and confusion.
As well, I want to help the Church "take captive the imaginations" of the age and reach those outside the Church. Just as our spiritual forebearers did, contemporary Christian leaders and witnesses must be able to "give a reason for the hope that is within us." To do that we must first understand the faith and experience God in truth and power. So, I endeavor to think deeply about both the "Faith delivered once to all the saints" and how to communicate this faith and practice it in ministry to the contemporary world.