Month: February 2019

John Williamson Nevin & What I Learned Spending A Year With Him

John Williamson Nevin, 1803-1886

 

Jonathan David Faulkner

As a Historian, there are times I want to go inside the head of one of the people I have been studying. Like Churchill during the bombing of London, Luther at the Diet of Worms or Nelson Mandela after he had just been released from prison To know what they were thinking exactly at the moment of a major event, not the thoughts they wrote down afterward, but the things they were concerned about at the time. Doubtless, some did not realize they were part of a historical moment, the thoughts that did not get written down. These things fascinate me and I have enough of a historical imagination in regards to some to actually carry on totally fictitious conversations. These exercises not only help me understand their views on historical events, but help me understand the people themselves.

For the past year, as I have written my masters thesis on The Mercersburg Theology, I have been involved in these conversations with two historical figures named Philip Schaff and John Williamson Nevin. Schaff in particular has been my companion throughout graduate school as Jonathan Edwards was through my undergraduate days. I have written more papers on Schaff than I have on anyone else in Church History aside from perhaps Nicolas Ludwig Von Zinzendorf whom my undergraduate Church History professor loved and who had me write multiple papers on through three classes. Schaff’s ecclesiology has given me a biblically oriented answer to some of the theology I disagree with in the Calvinism I grew up with. He has also shown me a deeper and historically minded view of the church and its practices as well as corrected inherited views of the reformation that were passed down by the tradition I was raised in. Not that I can no longer be called a “Calvinist” but that I can more adequately take on the position of “reformed thinker” than I could before. Through Schaff I began reading the Church Father’s, a dangerous proposition, and learned a theology of life after the cross that puts the resurrection back in its proper place and draws out the implications of the event for the life of the believer.

It is his companion at Mercersburg however, John Williamson Nevin, who I have found the more intriguing of the two as I have studied my thesis. Not because he adds much to Schaff, as I argue in my thesis, Nevin takes the natural implications and applications of Schaff’s theology and applies them to the practical matters of his time, including the political situation, one that is not dissimilar to ours today. It is not just that, it is more so that I find in him a companion on my own theological and ecclesiastical journey, one who followed a growth pattern similar to my own and who parted from his former colleagues on major points of what he considered to be theological importance, mainly, the unity of the church and its life in a world where Christ has risen.

So, in my mind, I wonder what he was thinking in the moment when the young doctor who had just finished his doctorate at Halle in Germany, whom the German Reformed Synod had called to assist Nevin in his labors at the young Mercersburg Seminary. He had certainly heard of Philip Schaff, having already read his first major work “What is Church History?” in the late 1830s at Allegheny College. He was also familiar with Schaff’s professor, August Neander, who had befriended Charles Hodge during his time in Berlin in 1828, during which Nevin filled his chair at Princeton. So he was already acquainted with Dr. Schaff before he had been called from Germany to Mercersburg Pennsylvania and had already learned the German that he would use to translate Schaff’s works as the progressed. Still, as Schaff sat in his parlor that warm August night in 1844, I have to wonder if the older Nevin (Schaff was 25 at the time, Nevin was in his 30s) knew how deeply the young professor before him would impact him.

Nevin was born in 1803 to John and Martha Nevin in Franklin Pennsylvania. His father was what was known as a “Latin Farmer” an educated man who taught his children Latin, Greek and Hebrew and farmed on the side. He is considered by Theodore Appel, John Williamson Nevin’s biographer, as a kind of “Proto-Abolitionist” who gave his valedictorian speech in school as: “The Evil of Slavery.” Something his son and Dr. Schaff would later take up in their article “The Bible and Slavery” which appeared in The Mercersburg Review in 1861 where in the first paragraph the men write: “Slavery has no place in the kingdom.” Nevin was descended from Scotch Irish Presbyterians, which may have influenced his decision to enter Princeton when it was time for college. It was at Princeton that he took classes from Hodge who he later taught for and who would become the most vocal critic of Mercersburg and his former student and colleague.

Before reading Neander and Schaff, Nevin was, in all respects an old-school Presbyterian. Holding fervently to late puritan ideas of piety and Presbyterian ideas nurture through catechesis which at the time was the Westminster Standards. His first major work in 1843 “The Anxious Bench” was a scathing rebuke of Charles Finney’s New Measures which had taken over revivalism and which had appeared in The New York Evangelical in 1843. Needless to say, he was raised in the aftermath of Puritan, colonial America, having been born not even 30 years after the Revolutionary War. These views had begun changing even as early as 1836 when he was first introduced to Neander’s writings, but it is clear by reading “The Anxious Bench” that he still held to many of those founding puritan and Presbyterian Old-School ideas that he had been brought up with to Mercersburg and likely still held them as he sat across from the small-statured German in his parlor.

August of 1844 then marks the beginning of a more rapid transition from his former, schismatic and sectarian traditions towards the ideals of catholicity and divine union which would, in two short years, cause him and Dr. Schaff to be charged with heresy (Romanizing) by the German Reformed Synod (they were found not-guilty 42-1). In fact, if you track the changes in his writing from 1844-1849, it is clear that Nevin comes not just to criticize the individualism and sectarian nature of his upbringing but to outright reject it, even calling it “A great evil” and referring to it as “Anti-Christ.” The Tome that contains these writings in the Mercersburg Theology Study Series is called: “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic” a cursory read through reveals a rapidly changing view of the church and sacraments that Nevin continually roots first in Holy Scripture and then finds in the Church Fathers. It is clear that the younger Schaff, who would complete his edits of the Church Fathers in the 20 years he spent at Mercersburg, had a major influence on Nevin’s Ecclesiology and Sacramentology.

I suppose I should not say he completely rejects his upbringing. Mercersburg, we can say, was firmly on the “Nurture” side of the Old and New School debate as evidenced by their rejection of what they called “Crisis Conversionism” and use of the Heidelberg Catechism which they considered to be the authoritative catechism of the reformation. Still, they saw Princeton as promoting a “Desacramentalized, Individualistic Christianity” to use the words of Mercersburg Scholar W. Bradford Littlejohn. So they fought for a historical understanding of the reformation, not one that misread the reformation as a split from catholicity, but as one that tried to reform it back to scripture. Schaff and Nevin understood that Luther’s intent was the change the church from within, not split from him, only after his efforts to reform from within did he split as a last resort, though he retained much of the Catholic Churches teachings in many ways. Schaff himself sees the reformation as a sort of organic “coming of age” for the church where it left behind its youthful rebellions and returned to the truth of the Gospel, justification by faith alone.

To Schaff and Nevin this meant that we are not to break fellowship with one another, as Luther never formally did with the Catholic Church (he was kicked out). Sectarianism and Schism were great evils that were distortions of the doctrine and which violated the spiritual and organic unity of the church. This also meant we were not merely individuals who entered a man-made building, but a part of a group, a universal, global body which existed in divine union with Christ who gave the teachings to the Apostles, who then handed them down to us. He tried to balance individual rights with corporate identity and spoke against both total individuality and total tribalism, attacking the “Two Party System” of the political landscape for the same reasons as he rejected sectarianism. Further, because of Divine Union, Nevin’s sacramentology changes quickly from a semi-Calvinist view of the Lord’s Supper to a Coena Mystica, Mystical Presence that is closer to Luther than Calvin and which rejects a purely memorial view of the Lord’s Supper which was advanced by the Revivalist and which Hodge would more or less admit believing in his debate with Nevin over this doctrine.

Nevin’s life, especially the transformation from 1844-1849 show what can happen when we go back and really read the Church Fathers and start digging into the documents of the reformation. You actually see in his writings, a man who is confronted by the historical reality he had largely been starved of growing up in a post-puritan world which viewed the reformation as a necessary split and which gave us the Anti-Catholicism sentiment that is still alive and well in some parts of America today. The interesting thing to note is that for all their discoveries and growth, Schaff and Nevin never return to Rome, though they express admiration for the Tractarian Movement in the Anglican Church, which Nevin actually thought did not go far enough, and borrowing liturgy from the High Church Lutheran Prussian Movement which Schaff was a part of, even borrowing theology from the Eastern Orthodox. Nevin does not reject the ancient wisdom of the Church Fathers on the basis of post-enlightenment snobbery, instead he adopts the wisdom of those whom the Apostles first handed down their teachings too. Men like Cyricl of Jerusalem, Irenaus of Lyons, Origen, Tertullian of Carthage. They rejected the Platonic construction adopted by Augustine in “The City of God” which was passed down through Jan Has and John Calvin and which had become full-blown Gnosticism in the American context.

I can attest to what happens when you start to read the church fathers alongside the writings of first generations of reformers. You start to recover something that you did not know you had lost and you start to feel a little bit lied too. Not that I completely reject the conservative evangelicalism and semi-reformed faith I was brought up with. There are good ideas within these traditions, especially things like the four core doctrines of Evangelicalism or the theological fences of the reformed movement that keep us from diving off the cliffs of heresy. One of the reasons Schaff and Nevin never went back to Rome, or even Anglicanism, was because they recognized that different strains of thought could exist together so long as they held to essential doctrines of the faith, or what Schaff called, “evangelical catholicity.” That is why I have not rejected and even embraced congregationalism in the CCCC, because they have successfully brought together many strains on evangelicalism and reformed faith, including Pentecostals and asked them to confirm to what they consider catholic (universal) doctrines and encourage unity among the body to the point that as pastors we are ethically bound to maintain the bond of peace with other churches in our towns even when we disagree on nonessential doctrine. As a mentor of mine said when I first entered the CCCC: “it is a place where you (I) can be as reformed as I am, and still rub shoulders with believers of different strains like I enjoy doing.”

I gravitate towards Nevin because I see a lot of the journey God has brought me on in Nevin’s journey. After my encounter with an abusive pastor in high school, I needed a better definition of the Church and deeper ecclesiology than what I had. What I thought were “anti-sectarian” rantings were really just as sectarian because my solution to the problems was to form another of the very things I hated, denominations. I was raised to think there was only one tradition and that Catholic meant the Roman Church. The first time I read of catholicity, which was the first time I read about Schaff, it was jarring to me. I was raised with the remnant of puritan and revivalist theology, which Billy Graham famously described as: “A mile wide and an inch deep.” I grew up with conflicted sacramentology, from my dad, a five-point Calvinist, and the memorial view of the Baptist church we attended when dad went back to school. Before I started actually reading the documents of the reformation and of the Church Fathers I thought I had been trained in the fullness of Christianity. One read through of Clement of Alexandria proved that to be an easily eroded façade. I did not read them because Jonathan Edwards had said that the church was in dark heresy from the time of Augustine on and I thought Augustine knew Paul.

I identity with Nevin because I see a lot of my own journey in his, the difference is that his transformation was born out of intellectual pursuit and mine was born out of the pain of what I experienced in my youth. He had the benefit of a colleague to guide him in the growth he had already begun, if I did not believe in divine providence, I would almost think I stumbled upon this change when I was handed an assignment to map the historiographical method of some guy named Philip Schaff in a historiography class. Nevin’s growth was a natural one, mine was born our of disillusionment with the church and her people.

I share this to share part of my journey, part of the process of moving from a place of disdain for the church to a place of love and a desire to answer the call to be a shepherd of God’s people. The goal is not to proselytize, but to encourage others on their own journey’s and encourage the new organic reformation that I have written about in the past. Not to force upon my next congregation these things that I have found in my study, but to be: “All things to all people” as Paul says and to encourage unity in the body across the various strains of Christian Faith.

The challenge Nevin brings to us is this: are we willing to critically examine all that we have been taught in light of discourse that may dispute that teaching and adapt for the sake of the Church. I am firmly a congregationalist, especially given the CCCC’s emphasis on participation in the global body of Christ while maintaining involvement and autonomy at the local level while the denomination offers just enough oversight to make sure our churches are healthy and our pastors are preaching essential doctrine. However, I have a deeper understanding of what all of them means and I have learned much of that from Schaff & Nevin who have helped me better understand what I am reading in Scripture and the Church Fathers.

Nevin’s life is an example of what happens when we start to read and step out of our limited view of Christianity that beholds us to one specific tradition. We may find that what we are doing is looking at one grain of sand through a magnifying glass and mistaking it for the entire beach. When we collide with the actual teachings of the reformation and of the church fathers we may find we are less divided than we think and continue to see the old divisions heal as we move on from a spirit of sect, to a spirit of unity.

 

Jonathan D12973040_10154269785339245_3845786340930956602_oavid Faulkner is a Graduate student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary working on Masters in Divinity and Church History, a Pastor, Musician and Writer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education & Administration with a concentration in Urban Ministry. He lives with his wife Rachel in the North Shore of Boston and seeks to be a part of the project of reconciliation in the local and international church. 

What Star Trek Taught Me About Diversity

& What it Can Teach the Church

 

The Cast of Deep Space Nine

Jonathan Faulkner

“I took the role because of one thought, that in 300 years I would be both Black and Human” – Avery Brooks, Captain Benjamin Sisko, Deep Space Nine

 

I have an unpopular confession, I do not like the new Star Wars. Not because the cast is more diverse than the original or because JJ Abrams has to do everything bigger than his predecessors do. It is not even the storylines that drives me insane, though the hour-long escape from the Imperial Fleet almost made me leave the theatre. I have not liked them because if you pay close attention or have any training in communication or theatre, you realize that the writers are actually struggling to write for such a diverse cast. To the point, in my mind, that it feels as though some of the scenes and lines are stereo and phenotypes which should actually offend the actors and actresses. This may seem like an unfair critique, but it is an understandable one when you consider that the original casts idea of diversity was Lando Calrizian and every single other actor or actress is white.

I guess too, one does not need to have a degree in Theatre to understand this point, one could just watch Star Trek. I did a lot of that growing up, watching The Original Series with dad, Deep Space Nine and Voyager on SPIKE TV, The Next Generation and Enterprise on Netflix and of course, the Animated Series (I have not been able to find the comedic spoof Quark). I was even watching Discovery until I deleted my CBS All Access account to save some money. In 50 years Star Trek has been the most successful and amassed the largest cult following of any other than maybe Marvel. The Original Series spurred three major spinoffs which lasted longer than its three seasons (TNG, DS9 and Voyager all lasted seven) and a total of seven with an eighth slated to debut next year.

Star Trek was the brain child of a man named Gene Rodenberry who was pioneering Sci-Fi long before George Lucas came along. His vision of the future was one where man had learned to live together, Earth was a peace and had a global government and was the seat of power for the United Federation of Planets. The tensions between ethnic groups had been solved, humans had overcome their differences and now lived in peace and unity with one another. There was even a plot device known as The Rodenberry Box that would not allow conflict between the major characters on the ship, something that Discovery has decided to do away with. The point was, that man lived together and that there was no need for tension, we were the human race, one race, one blood. Racism, prejudice and malice had been set aside and we were free from the restraints of their sins.

Because of that the cast of Star Trek was, from the beginning, fairly diverse. Nichelle Nicoles, George Takei, James Doohan, Walter Koenig all played people who represented not just their ethnic backgrounds, but maintained the accents and practices from those ethnic backgrounds. Leonard Nimoy plays an alien, a Vulcan, who is half human. Nicoles and William Shatner actually share the first on-screen kiss between a white man and a black woman. Takei finds and uses a samurai sword, Koenig speaks in his Russian accent, at the height of the Cold-War, Doohan plays a hard drinking Scottsmen. All throughout the ship you saw men and women talking and working together, Black and White working side-by-side. The Original Series had its issues, such as Kirk’s womanizing, but a lack of diversity was not one of them. Even those of Hispanic and Spanish heritage were represented in the actor Ricardo Montibaun who played Khan.

The later series continue this trajectory, adding to the diversity on the crew and in the universe. Some episodes even explore how humanity overcame its racism and prejudice to learn to live together. This was explored in great detail during the spinoff Deep Space Nine which featured the first black actor, Avery Brooks, to hold the highest rank in a Star Trek show (we had seen black captains before, but only as guest stars) through episodes that dealt with the historical problems of Earth in detail. Star Trek also featured Kate Mulgrew as its first major female captain (again, we had seen female captains and admirals before, but only in supporting roles) in Star Trek Voyager. Both TNG and DS9 feature the black actor Michael Dorn as Worf, in one episode of DS9 though Dorn takes off the makeup and we see his actual face, playing a famous black baseball player. VOY featured Robert Beltran and explored the injustices and atrocities committed against Native Americans in world history.

From TNG on, Star Trek also fought against the idea of cultural assimilation, or did you think the Borg were just a plot device. Ira Stevens Barr, who invented the Borg, wanted us to know that the fight against the Borg is not just a fight against the dark side of technology, but the problem of cultural assimilation, whitewashing and supremacy. It was also a fight for human autonomy and against the type of tribalism that runs rampant in our political circles today. The Borg are an indictment against white-supremacy, ethno-nationalism and every other evil we have devised in the name of sameness.

All this had a profound effect on me as a kid growing up near Ohio University, which at the time attracted students in mass from Asia and the Eastern Rim. Though my own high school was almost completely monolithic. I saw people, yes, they had different skin colors and features that were part of them, but they were people, people who looked different and did things different from me, but still people. Star Trek solidified that for me in my mind, so much so that the first time I encountered actual racism in my late teens it was shocking.

Star Trek showed all of us a future that could be, that can be, that I hope will be. It showed me a world full of human beings with different ethnic backgrounds, skin colors, cultural practices and languages and it taught me that this was okay. It was okay that we were different and we should not look down on one another because we have differences, and, that we should celebrate those differences and enjoy one another because they were part of being human and nothing to be ashamed of. Further, we shouldn’t look down on, malign or attack people from other cultures, but should work together in a spirit of understanding to make us all better because no one people group has the corner on completeness.

As a Christian, this made it easier than some to accept a diverse and multi-ethnic body and to see the changes happening in Global Christianity as good and important. I have also learned to see everyone as made in the image of God and that those in the Church, that is, living in communion with Christ, are having that image brought out and refined and that image is reflected in culture, skin color and ethnicity. So Star Trek didn’t just teach me to accept diversity as normal, it taught me a lesson that would inform the faith I would later claim, that God made humanity with different ethnicities, skin colors and cultures. And that, as Philip Schaff wrote in The Principle of Protestantism: “Christianity, having awakened in a historical and cultural context, did not seek to destroy culture, but to infuse them with its transforming power.” That is, make them the sanctified versions He had developed them to be.

Now, there was one drawback to these lessons, that is, that I came to the conclusion early on that humanity had already solved many of these issues. That is why my first encounter with racism was so jarring, when you are raised without prejudice and learn things like The Civil Rights Movement was a completed action (it is if we are talking about desegregation, but not if we are talking about integration). I also thought humanity was much more divided then I found we actually are. That we had solved our problems and had moved on from the racial tensions of our past. It wasn’t until later that I understood the gravity of some of Star Trek’s more poignant episodes such as “Let that be Your Last Battlefield” (TOS) and “Past Tense Part I&II” (VOY).

So much in my life has made diversity normal, Star Trek, proximity to Ohio University, where I saw the same kind of diversity I was seeing on TV. Even the music I was listening too, DC Talk and TobyMac and the Diverse City Band, reinforced and normalized the fact that diversity was normal. This doesn’t make me better than anyone, and I learned some lessons I shouldn’t have and have had to unlearn some things and relearn others, but what I saw in Star Trek was normal and reinforced by what I saw in the real world (even as a kid who was shielded from the racism that actually existed in the world).

Rodenberry’s future is a good one, it is one we should strive for, but it is also one that the Church can create within itself now by standing up against Racism, Ethno-nationalism, Christian Nationalism and those other great evils that we have long participated in and even endorsed, sometimes even twisting and mistranslating scripture, as in the case of the Slave Bible, to support and reinforce heretical and inhumane doctrines. The Church is a global organism, made up of every tribe, nation and tongue. It is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural made and reflecting the image of GOD. We can learn from Star Trek, what Rodenberry modeled is what the Church is and was meant to be since its birth.

Let us reflect that diversity and model it for the world.

 

Jonathan D12973040_10154269785339245_3845786340930956602_oavid Faulkner is a Graduate student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary working on Masters in Divinity and Church History, a Pastor, Musician and Writer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education & Administration with a concentration in Urban Ministry. He lives with his wife Rachel in the North Shore of Boston and seeks to be a part of the project of reconciliation in the local and international church. 

My Social Media Disillusionment

& Why Its Time to Back Off.

Jonathan Faulkner

When I first launched 10:31 in 2009, I wanted to use the platform of Facebook for outreach and to engage in conversations and exchange ideas. I wanted my writers to think about the global audience we had built in the short 2 years before we reorganized and expanded. I wanted to challenge myself to interact with a world audience and for the most part, it was a success as I learned and grew and was stretched by my writers and by our readers. When I 10:31 closed in April of 2015 and God’s Heart became my primary writing outlet (it already had the same international reach as its predecessor, a reach which has grown). I kept the same model of sharing to Facebook, trying to engage in the market place of ideas that was before. That seemed to work for a while, but in the last few years, with all the discord, divisions and partisanship posting serious content to Facebook or engaging in discussions in comment discussions began to get harder and harder. Especially now that outrage culture has become the norm, not the exception. Even last years #EndDehumanization campaign made me weary of posting because of some visceral reactions which I took down because they were contrary to the spirit of the post and bordered on abusive.

On top of that, in my adult life I have come to believe that I should strive to be the same person on Social Media as I am in real life. If I could not do that, then I did not allow myself to participate in conversations, something I try to hold others to and a resolution my wife and I both follow. That has even become difficult as statements meant to said in solidarity or encouragement have been misconstrued and moral judgements made about me by people who have not taken the time to know my character or know or have the ability to know me in person. The longer I have used Facebook the more I have seen the people on it turn into fundamentalists for whatever ideology they espouse, from Atheists to Christianity to SJW’s to, you name it. If Fundamentalism in real life is intellectually dishonest, then Facebook Fundamentalism is even moreso.

Maybe it is just my increased desire, the older I get, for face to face relationships. That is, more and more I use apps like Marco Polo to communicate with people who are far away just because I can actually see their facial expressions. I text less and less and have cut back significantly on my use of Facebook Messenger for this reason. I have a growing desire to be known, as a human being, by other human beings, not a picture behind a Facebook status that may or may not be used to paint you into an ideological category. The superficiality of the Social Network world no longer intrigues me, yes, it is nice to be able to stay in touch with friends from High School and such, but why can’t I do that without the outrage and posturing and fundamentalism of armchair pundits? I want real and authentic and social media has never and will never offer that.

In the last month I have unfollowed every single news outlet I once followed, added three news magazines and the papers I subscribe too (so all I am getting is the article I have just read in printable or sharable form). Unfollowed any political pundits or talking head with the exception of my own states representatives. I have also unfollowed Christian groups, Pro-Life (Anti-Abortion) groups and many others, left groups and unfollowed or snoozed those who spread fear, hatred or misinformation. In essence, I have Marie Kondo’d my Facebook and Twitter in favor of seeing the posts of my actual friends so I can interact with them and their big life announcements instead of gumming up my newsfeed with the latest spin. I have found that I for the first time since Facebook made the big change in 2010 or whatnot, I actually am seeing posts by my friends. It also means I see a lot more cat videos, which is okay with me.

I have also backed down on actually posting to social media, something those who have followed me for awhile have noticed (so has Facebook, trust me). Mostly because I have increasingly felt that posting to social media at times has become like casting pearls before swine. Not that I have terrible friends, I do not, the genuine friendships I use Facebook to maintain are filled with wonderful and amazing people, it was those who commented for the sake of stirring up division and starting fights that had seemed to take over my newsfeed and comment sections. I have even stopped responding to most messages if I can talk to the person face to face, though I need to be more diligent about this as it is one of the newer parts of this social media drawdown.

What I have come to believe is this: No mind was ever changed via Facebook, few people read your posts and think: “Hey that’s a great point, I think I will change my mind.” It may have happened a few times, but those times are few and far between. Most of the time people just get enraged and angry and throw violent and abusive words or make assumptions about your character based on nothing but that which was said and decide to label you a certain way. Social Media is not a place to debate ideas, it never ends well. It can be helpful tool, but no one has ever been convinced by a post which 9 times out of 10 they have not even read. This may seem unfair or even cynical to many of you, but if you really sit back and think about it, you might start to agree.

Because here is the thing, our online persona does have an affect and it is generally not to change a person’s mind, but to make them feel worse about themselves they may already do. When we attack and berate one another, say things we would never say in person, while hiding behind a computer screen several miles removed from the person we create a false sense of knowing and a false sense of reality. We need to be the same people we are in real life on Social Media and the same person we are on Social Media in Real Life. There has to be a constancy and consistency between the two and above that, we have to treat everyone as if they are made in the image of God and worthy of respect and inherent dignity and worth in the real world, as well as the online one.

So, do not worry, I will still be posting on social media, mostly pictures of my daughter when she is born, God’s Heart Articles and of course, the occasional Cat or Dog video, missing person notices and articles to read but not comment on. I will celebrate with my friends who are celebrating and mourn with my friends who mourn. And by the grace of God, be the same person in the real world as I am in the online world, while I continue to work for the Kingdom.

 

Jonathan D12973040_10154269785339245_3845786340930956602_oavid Faulkner is a Graduate student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary working on Masters in Divinity and Church History, a Pastor, Musician and Writer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education & Administration with a concentration in Urban Ministry. He lives with his wife Rachel in the North Shore of Boston and seeks to be a part of the project of reconciliation in the local and international church.