After 34 years of teaching
philosophy at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, I retired from full-time
teaching in May of 2006. My principal area of interest and the area in which I have
done most of my own writing is philosophy of religion--which, of course, overlaps
with metaphysics, epistemology, moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, and virtually every
other area of philosophy.
I grew up in an exceptionally loving family, on the one hand, and in an exceptionally rigid fundamentalist church, on the other. I also graduated from a conservative Christian high school in which I acquired several lifelong friendships with some of the most intriguing personalities I have ever encountered in any context. My high school days and the enduring friendships I made at that time are in many ways the most cherished part of my life.
But as I continued to examine my religious heritage, first as an undergraduate, then as a seminary student, and finally as a graduate student in philosophy, I reluctantly came to the following conclusion. What too often passes for orthodox Christian theology is riddled with logical impossibilities. Worse yet, the Western theological tradition, insofar as it reflects the thought of St. Augustine and John Calvin, has too often twisted the New Testament message of love, forgiveness, and hope into a message of fear and condemnation. I explain all of this in my book, The Inescapable Love of God, and a second edition of this book is now available through Cascade Books, a division of Wipf and Stock Publishers in Eugene, Oregon. I also interact with other scholars on these matters in two additional books: Universal Salvation? The Current Debate, which is edited by Robin Parry and Christopher Partridge, and Perspectives on Election, which is edited by Chad Brand. In all of these writings as well as in other journal articles, book chapters, and an entry on universalism in The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology (Jerry Walls, editor), my aim has been to call attention to a minority Christian tradition, one that presents a stunning and utterly consistent vision of God's all-inclusive, all pervasive, and inexorable love.
My thanks to Peter Schmurr for designing such a clean-looking website for someone as technologically challenged as I.