My wife reminded me yesterday that it’s about time I updated this “about” section.  I looked today, and agreed.

I’m a thirty-something fella in a small urban church family in Cincinnati.

I’m married to a great wife who helps me to talk about my dreams, challenges me to be more of a man of integrity and passion, and generally is pretty awesome to hang out with.

I have friends that I have strong enough relationships with that we can listen well to each other and give each other good strong challenges from time to time without the friendships going to pot.

The gospel of God and heaven coming to earth has gripped me in the core of my being, and (though I haven’t had to face this decision) is something I would die for.  Whether I get to offer my life in that way to God or not, I intend to pour my life out for God’s justice and love in the world until the day I die.  Day by day I sense this conviction growing.  I hope to keep feeding this fire.  I believe at the core of this gospel is the reality that God is shaping me and other disciples of Jesus into an alternative community in the world, a literal different nation gathered from every tribe and tongue, and his intention for us is that we would give our lives for every single person in this world and refuse to kill any single person in this world.  Without this conviction, we’re just like the pagans surrounding us and don’t offer a different pathway.

Because of the conviction expressed just above here, as you could imagine I feel a strong sense of discontent with the institution of Christianity in America. Its gospel is too small, its Jesus a magical guy who did something two thousand years ago that magically frees us from hell, its presence in the world often hypocritical and clouded by the idolatries of nationalism, capitalism, materialism, individualism, and other relevant “-isms.”

But I have hope that we can be people of another way, so, in service of Christ and the church, I want to step up and be counted in proclaiming and living a more full gospel, a more complete love, a more complete respect for all that God has made, and a willingness to obey God in all things.  This has gotten me in hot water several times over the few years, but that’s only steeling my resolve to stand up and really muck things up wherever I live for the sake of the gospel, which uplifts the poor, includes the resident alien, seeks truthfulness and justice, and makes the powerful shift in their seats.

If in being in relationship with me you find over an extended time that the gospel I proclaim is focused on the afterlife at the expense of God renewing things here, please punch me in the mouth.  I’m not kidding. You might see anger flash in my eyes, but when you tell me why, I’ll put some ice on my busted lip and choose to be more Biblical from then on.  : )


5 thoughts on “About

  1. Do you review books on your website? We just published The Naked Anabaptist, by Stuart Murray. If you want, I can send you a media kit and you can let me know if you’d be interested.

    John Longhurst, Director of Marketing, Mennonite Publishing Network

  2. It is your stated judgement that the contemporary “gospel” is deficient. It is not that I don’t agree, but in your opinion what is the deficency?

  3. Our daughter, Suzanne McElvy, sent us a link to your blog post regarding Hannah’s birth. I want you to know that we will be praying for your family. I have subscribed to your blog to keep up to date.
    Linn & Patti Jarrett You can find me (Patti) on Facebook “Patti Suzi’sMom Jarrett” or my blog pattisjarrett.wordpress.com

  4. Hey Robert! Love your blog! So, let’s talk soon! I don’t have your email, but want to get together! I want to grab lunch soon…would also like to talk to you about a deal next weekend…

  5. Great “about” statement Nathan, and I understand both the concerns you express concerning institutional Christianity in the United States as well as your vision for a deeper, justice-focused, Christ-like faith and spiritual walk. I find myself on a somewhat parallel path arising uniquely from my own history and experience. I am currently writing about “sense of space” at http://spiritandpraxis.blogspot.com/ and discovered your blog through your post on Wendell Berry’s bucket. Thanks for your thoughts and insight. Peace,

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