- Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh in Religious Studies, concentrating in Sociology of Religion and modern American Religious History, 1999
- Th.M. (Master of Theology), Dallas Theological Seminary in Semitics and Old Testament Studies, 1991
- B.S., Bryan College
What are the main focuses of your research?
- Christianity and Social Flourishing
- Religion and American Culture
- The Torah
What specific courses or specialties do you teach?
- Civilization and the Biblical Revelation: This course surveys sample Bible books representing all of the major types of literature in the Bible and looks at the perspectives provided on the big questions civilizations ask, such as what sort of human government best secures social flourishing, how to make sense of suffering and evil, and the relation of faith and reason.
- Genesis and Hebrew Narrative Literature: Since 1968 interest in Hebrew narrative literature has blossomed, including its characteristics as literature written to an oral culture and its artistic devices. Genesis is a stellar example of such literature.
- The Torah: Judaism has always considered the Torah (the Christian “Pentateuch”) the heart and soul of the Jewish Scriptures. Assuming this is true for the entire Christian Bible, this course draws from Jewish and Christian scholarship to investigate the structure and argument of the Torah and how Christians can profit from it.
- Social Problems: A survey of American and global problems, including such issues as race, poverty, divorce, drugs, crime, population, the environment, and religion and public life. Data, Christian perspectives and solutions are discussed on these vital issues.
- Sociology of Religion: Examining religion from a sociological perspective adds helpful perspectives for believers and non-believers alike as the relation of religion and global culture continue to present fascination and challenge.
What is the most important piece of advice you give students to help them succeed?
Work hard in college, but remember that academic success is only one important aspect of life; satisfying relationships are more important than success in your work, and being a person who serves others and works for the common good is a central aspect of living out your faith.
- “Armed volunteers for public places: Trained agents would provide better protection than gun-free Zones,” column in The Washington Times Monday, May 27, 2013
- “Resisting Religious Violence with Religious Resources: The Case of Christianity,” in The Review of Faith & International Affairs 9:3 (Fall, 2011)
- “Refusing God’s Blessing: An Exposition of Genesis 11:27-32,” Bibliotheca Sacra 165 (July, 2008)
- “Religion and the Phases of Globalization,” in Religion, Globalization and Culture, Peter Beyer and Lori Beaman, eds. (2007).
- “Running Ahead of God: An Exposition of Genesis 16,” Bibliotheca Sacra 163 (July, 2006)
- Everything You Know Seems Wrong: Globalization and the Relativizing of Tradition (2005).
- Wadsworth's Sociology Online Resources and Writing Companion for Kendall's Sociology in Our Times, 5th edition (2005) with Michele Adams, David J. Ayers, and David G. LoConto.
- "Religion and Culture: Challenges and Prospects in the Next Generation," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (2000)