General Information About Me:
- Active member, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, GA (also, Lector, Eucharistic Minister and adult Sunday School teacher)
- Instructor, University of North Georgia
- Volunteer, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens
- Unapologetic product of the Enlightenment and the Northern Renaissance (more of the latter than the former)
- Unapologetic intellectual
- Avid reader and book collector
- Science fiction geek (especially classic and DS9 Star Trek)
- Amateur liturgist
- Reader in the intersection of race, religion, and politics, especially in the Southern United States
- I contain the juxtaposition of the serious and the humorous, the profound and the whimsical.
My Religious Identity:
- Within the Bible Belt I am a self-identified heretic, insofar as “heresy” means “choice” about what to believe. (Galileo Galilei was heretic for stating that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Yet he was correct. It seems that his accusers, the guardians of orthodoxy, were the actual heretics. So, the practical definition of heresy varies according to time and place.)
- I am more of an empiricist than a mystic.
- I am Neo-orthodox insofar as I recognize the power of sin to corrupt human moral judgment, and the need for God alone to show us our sinfulness, work righteousness (beyond civic righteousness), and to usher in the Kingdom of God. Also, I mean Jesus when I say “Word of God.” (Neo-orthodoxy is a very broad term.)
- I am a liberal Christian, by which I mean that I have far more questions than answers. Furthermore, I am comfortable with this reality.
- I am an Anglican, not a Protestant. I believe in seven sacraments, transubstantiation, and the Apostolic Succession of Bishops. I say the Hail Mary, too. Yet I am far too Protestant to be a Roman Catholic. So I am an Anglican in the broad sense of that word, not the exclusionary way in which some traditionalists use it. I am an inclusive Anglican.
- I believe most of the contents of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Parts of both creeds are optional.
- Sola Scriptura makes no sense to me. The Christian Bible is a product of the Church, which still cannot agree as to which books are canonical. And the Church did not place the final seal of approval on the New Testament until 397 C.E. How can one have Sola Scriptura as a rule when the definition of scripture is debated?
- My Protestant-Roman Catholic balance has shifted over the years, as it is certain to do again in the future. Since 2008 I have tilted more toward Reformed and Lutheran theology than I did previously. I have moved into the Anglican-Lutheran-Roman Catholic corner of Christianity.
- Sometimes I feel like a cafeteria Christian. “I’ll take those elements of Roman Catholicism, place them beside parts of Lutheranism, add a few dashes of Calvinism, and retain much of the Arminianism of my youth.” No human tradition has a monopoly on truth.
- Credo in unum Deum. I trust in one God, the incarnation of whom is Jesus of Nazareth, the fully human and fully divine crucified and resurrected Savior through whom human beings have atonement.
- High School Diploma, Berrien High School, Nashville, Georgia (1991)
- Associate of Science in Education, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton, Georgia (1993)
- Bachelor of Science in Education, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia (1996)
- Master of Arts, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia (2003)
- Doctoral student in history, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (August 2005-December 2006)
- Many books and documentaries over the years
My Teaching Experience:
- Turner Job Corps Center, Albany, Georgia (2000)
- Middle Georgia College–Dublin Center, Dublin, Georgia (2004-2005)
- Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia (2006-2008)
- Gainesville State College, Oakwood, Georgia (2007-2013); multiple campuses
- University of North Georgia, Oconee Campus, Watkinsville, Georgia (2013-present)
My Life Goals:
- To employ my talents and abilities to help others as much as possible
- To leave my corner of creation better than I found it
- To live into my vocation(s) from God
- Above all, to be useful, not wasting time in trivial pursuits
Some Favorite Quotes:
- “Superstition is cowardice in face of the divine.”–Theophrastus
- “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”–Galileo Galilei
- “It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.”–Galileo Galilei
- “It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment.”–Galileo Galilei
- “The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.”–Galileo Galilei
- “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”–Voltaire
- “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”–Voltaire
- “If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.”–Voltaire
- “Injustice in the end produces independence.”–Voltaire
- “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”–Voltaire
- “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”–First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
- “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”–Paragraph 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
- “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”–Samuel Johnson
- A summary of the Torah: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the entire Torah; the rest is commentary–go and learn it.”–Rabbi Hillel
- “Equality in baptism and in ordained ministry, regardless of sex or gender, should be a given, not be a matter of debate. Human equality flows from the image of God.”–Kenneth Randolph Taylor, February 17, 2010 Common Era
- “The Episcopal Church welcomes you–the Anglican Communion, not so much.”–Anonymous
- “Reason before passion”–Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1967-1979, 1980-1984)
- “The greatest blessing of my aging has been the realization of how few certainties there are and how few of them I know.”–Kenneth Randolph Taylor, June 28, 2010