Saturday, January 13, 2007

Scot McKnight tagged me

Scot tagged me here, so here goes:

I’m supposed to give you five odd facts about myself most would not know.

1. My wife Deb and I met at Prairie Bible Institue in Alberta, Canada during the "pink and blue sidewalk" days (not literally). But we didn't date until we were back home, she in Indiana and I in Ohio.

2. I was raised Mennonite, attended our Mennonite church in Elida on the average of more than once a week for 17 years, later left the Mennonite version of the faith and now have come back full circle to be at least empathetic with the Mennonite, anabaptist teaching- though we happily are a part of a church that is in the Evangelical Covenant denomination.

3. In High School, students used to think I was high (I might as well have been). After I had my conversion during which there was a day I gave my life completely to God, based on what Jesus did for me on the cross (as I expressed that then or later), someone gave me the nickname "Father Goss", since I carried my Bible openly to school everyday, the rest of my senior year.

4. I was supposed to play a drunk in a lead role for a play we were to put on from my drama class my senior year, but as a new Christian, I developed a bad conscience about that, and opted out.

5. During our visit as a family, to the World's Fair in New York City, in 1965, I remember walking between two older people in conversation, from other nationalities in their national dress. We were probably striding right along, and I felt bad because I hadn't apologized ("excuse me") to them. By the way, during that same trip, my cousin Carol and I ran (and walked) up all the stairs to the top of the Washington monument.

If you are reading this, I’d like to tag Allan Bevere, L.L. Barkat, Lukas McKnight, Michael Kruse, and Susan Arnold (I'll e-mail them, too).


Adam Krell said...


I'd love to hear how your thinking developed with Mennonite/Anabaptist theology. I discovered Anabaptist theology later in my Christian life and began to realize how much I was identifying with it. I particularly enjoy the writings of John Driver.

Susan said...

Thanks Ted. I'm done and tagged three more :)


L.L. Barkat said...

Hope you don't mind if I save this for mid-week... (is there some kind of timeline rule on these things?) ... am quite sure I can think of some odd things about me!

Ted Gossard said...

Adam, Not an easy one to answer.

I was raised in reading the Bible a certain way, more like the anabaptist way, in reference to Romans 12 and 13. So even when I departed I could readily understand their point of view.

Also the Mennonite version of the faith has grown in its understanding and appreciation,theologically of anabaptism. At the same time increasingly getting rid of some of the theological influence that had come in and corrupted and undermined anabaptist, Mennonite theology (such as in reference to the Sermon on the Mount). As well as increasingly being open to learning from others within the orthodox Christian faith.

So while I've been more than respectful of anabaptist Mennonite theology, after leaving it- my reading of N.T. Wright, and being influenced by him along the lines of the central importance of the kingdom of God coming in Jesus, led myself on a rendevous with at least an entertaining again, of considering anew this version of the faith. And coming to more and more accept it, at least in many ways, as being the most compatible to my understanding of theology and the Story in Scripture.

Add to that Scot McKnight, who himself has embraced something (far more sophisticated) of this. He has had a major influence on me to keep me from drifting from the revolution N.T. Wright brought to my theology.

Sorry about the long answer, Adam. Interesting to hear of your journey. I do have some issues with anabaptist theology. I haven't read John Driver, but would like to find his books now. Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Susan, Your welcome. Your thoughts from it are interesting, especially when you're putting two of these things together! :)

L.L., Not at all. I look forward to your creative way you may end up sharing yours, as well.

No timeline rule. (Well, within a year- haha).

Adam Krell said...


I became a Christian at 15 and up to that point hadn't had any religious experience. I started attending a Charismatic church and after high school I became a missionary with an evangelical missions organization. After serving for nine years, several of my fellow missionaries and I formed a local church and I became the senior pastor after about four years.

Being missionaries, we were used to the idea of intentional community and that's the form our fellowship took. We had contacts with other intentional communities and we read a lot of authors like N.T. Wright, Stephan Clark, Jean Vanier, John Driver, Howard Synder, Tom Sine, Vincent Brummer, Watchman Nee ("The Body of Christ") and others. Driver's material was some of the most helpful and that's where I started to learn about Anabaptist theology. His book, "Community and Commitment" (which I believe is out of print) is a very concise overview of his thinking. We also really enjoy "Images of the Church in Mission" and "The Atonement".

I've enjoyed Scot McKnight's books and lectures, but only have recently discovered them.

Thanks for sharing your experience. What a blessing to share with other believers from all over the globe!

Ted Gossard said...

Adam, Interesting. We certainly need more "intentional communities" as you say. Too often our churches do not put an emphasis on community. I think you have to work at it. Even though we have that common unity through the Spirit, we're told that we have to work at keeping the unity in our practice, as you well know.

It is great to be able to so share, as you say, and also to have so many resources available to us, from people studying, thinking and learning in these areas. Thanks, too, for sharing with us!

L.L. Barkat said...

Okay, done. Come on down.