In addition to being a pastor, I remain involved in the broader conversation about theology and the lives of faith communities. As a pastor-theologian, this aspect of my work generally takes the form of community-based scholarship. My earlier theological work revolved around texts, including their production and reception within faith communities. More recently, I’ve incorporated qualitative forms of inquiry into my scholarship, often semi-formal interviews or participant-observation.
I hold a doctorate in Christian theology from Wycliffe College, University of Toronto and a master’s degree in religion from Eastern Mennonite University. I have held visiting fellowships at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, Calvin College and the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. My research has also been supported through grants from the Louisville Institute and the Mennonite Historical Society. I have given presentations in both academic and public settings. My writing and research has been published in a variety of venues, including the Canadian Theological Review, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Syndicate, Direction, Brethren Life & Thought, The Conrad Grebel Review, Missio Alliance and Bearings Online. I have written, co-written or co-curated the following books:
Speaking of God: An Essential Guide to Christian Thought was published by Herald Press in the fall of 2019. This book is a lively introduction to the enduring conversation that is Christian theology. It is intended for post-secondary students, participants in church-based learning groups and anyone else wanting to begin thinking more purposefully about the way Christians speak of God, the world and human flourishing. Purchasing information can be found on the publisher’s website.
Participating Witness is a revised version of my doctoral dissertation. It is a work of constructive theology that tries, among other things, to make sense of the fact that Anabaptists still practice believers baptism in an era when most of them no longer believe it is the only viable baptismal practice.
Bonhoeffer the Assassin? is a book I co-wrote with Mark Thiessen Nation and Daniel Umble. This book challenges the commonly held assumption that the German theologian and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was intimately involved in plots against Hitler’s life. In doing this, we offer a revised version of Bonhoeffer’s biography and a rather detailed description of the development of his ethics. This is a controversial book that has been widely reviewed and discussed.
Power and Practices is a collection of essays by a variety of scholars all grappling with the legacy of a prominent Mennonite ethicist, John Howard Yoder. The essay were collected and edited by myself and Jeremy Bergen. It is now widely acknowledged that Yoder was a deeply flawed person and that both the church and the institutions that employed him did not do enough to hold him to account. Though this is true, the impact of his work on Mennonite theology, and Christian ethics more generally, remains significant.
I am currently completing a research project through Ottawa University’s Institute of the Environment. This project uses social scientific methodology and is part of my ongoing graduate studies in environmental sustainability. It explores the obstacles and opportunities of faith-based environmental initiatives.