My name is Jay Johnson and I’m an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, a Christian theologian, a teacher, and writer. Call me a theological geek or maybe just peculiar, but I truly believe the Christian Gospel can transform individuals, communities, and the world.
The peculiar character of the Christian Gospel should seem at least a bit strange in the modern world, and shape unconventional communities of faith, hope, and transformative love. Or as the King James version of the Bible would have it in 1 Peter 2:9, Christians are a “peculiar” people.
Rowan Williams, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, once wrote that the whole story of Christian faith tell us one thing: God desires us. Williams went further and suggested that this good news ought to shape churches as places where people find themselves desired and occasions for joy. If we truly believed this, it would change us and the change the world. I have devoted my vocation (and this blog) to nurturing precisely that kind of transforming energy.
For a bit more on why Christian faith qualifies as “peculiar,” you can read about that here. For many Christians, the first question is really about the Bible, which I think (thankfully!) is a very strange book indeed. You can read a bit more about my take on the Bible here.
Overall, I’m committed to nurturing the peculiar potential of Christian faith to energize communities of transformative witness to the Gospel today. This blog is devoted to what that might mean, and I hope, some sustained conversation about how we can manifest the divine promise of abundant life (John 10:10) economically, politically, socially, culturally, and religiously. To do all that with a good sense of humor is not only helpful but, in my view, necessary.
I’m so grateful for the years I spent as Professor of Theology and Culture at Pacific School of Religion, and as a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, California. Early in 2020, I accepted a call to serve as the rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Saugatuck, Michigan. Judah the Australian shepherd dog and I moved across country that summer and are delighted to be back where I was born and living along the shoreline of my beloved Lake Michigan.
I earned a B.A. degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Wheaton College (Illinois) in 1983, an M.Div. from Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary (with honors) in 1988, and the Ph.D. in philosophical theology from the Graduate Theological Union in 1998. My first book, Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope, was published by Morehouse/Continuum in 2005.
Want to know more? Email me or go to Facebook.