- Question #1—Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, family, job, personal interests, unique hobbies, what you do in your spare time, etc.
I grew up in the Seattle area and I’m still in love with the woods, the mountains, and the coves and inlets around Puget Sound. But my academic career has taken me to inner-city Chicago and rural Georgia, South Florida and West Michigan. I enjoy exploring the country with my wife, by foot or by car; and one of our favorite things to do is take the long way – the back roads and the old highways. Unfortunately, as a musician and professor I don’t have much time for hobbies. But I’ve been known to play a round of golf once in a while. My greatest delight is to spend time with my children and grandchildren.
- Question #2—What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?
My friend, Jay Green, asked me to join the Faithful Learning project, and many of the ideas in my little booklet on music were formed by conversations with wonderful Christian colleagues at Covenant College and Calvin College. My hope was to convey something of the character of the Christian scholarly mind, and the fellowship of Christians engaged in deep and careful thinking about their disciplines.
- Question #3—Do you have a favorite author? Who is it and why?
My go-to writer is C. S. Lewis. When I discovered his scholarship, especially his books and essays on Medieval and Renaissance literature, I realized what Christian scholarship could be. Mostly, though, I just enjoy his style: his wit and candor, and his old-school rhetorical flourishes. Nothing he wrote is the least bit boring.
- Question #4—What famous person (living or dead) would you like to meet and why?
I look forward to meeting J. S. Bach, and I’d love to hear him play his music. His music is so alive. I suspect the conventional image of Bach today isn’t quite accurate.
- Question #5—If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?
Every part of Scripture reveals the mind of God, so I can’t say that I favor any book over another. But I find myself quoting Paul from the letter to the Colossians all the time. There is such majesty in that little epistle, and yet, also, so much pastoral care.
- How can readers discover more about you and your work?