Tag Archives: me


Last week I sat down with Tripp Fuller of Homebrewed Christianity fame. He had told me that we were going to talk Reza Aslan, so out of stark fear and an overwhelming instinct of self-preservation, I highjacked the entire conversation, keeping him talking about progressive theology, God being as nice as Jesus, and how to be a Process theologizing youth pastor.

Really, Kirk, God’s love is at LEAST this big!

The proof of the pudding can be found here: “Kirk Have I Loved, but Tripp?

Cambridge in Late June

Next week I’ll be heading to Cambridge (the U.K. version, not the Massachusetts version). In addition to a couple days in London beforehand for Laura, here’s what’s going on.

Cut and pasted from the newsletter of the Institute for Biblical Research:

*New Program for Beginning IBR Scholars. The Board of IBR is excited to announce a new initiative in partnership with the International Reference Library for Biblical Research Board (hereafter IRLBR). IRLBR had funds to propose an annual meeting to help nurture “junior scholars” to further their careers in research and writing. They suggested an annual meeting where beginning scholars under the leadership of a senior scholar would discuss a controversial topic of relevance to the academy, and very importantly, to the church. The hope then is to have the work of these scholars published for public benefit. IBR’s role is to help chose the topic and also provide names from our membership for senior scholar and participants.

Plans have recently been completed for what we are calling the Summer Summit this sum-mer. This first meeting will provide the basis for both boards to decide whether to make this partnership more permanent and the meeting an annual one. The Summer Summit for this year will be held on June 22-29 in Cambridge at Tyndale House. The focus will be “What is the Gospel: Cross or Kingdom?”

This year Lynn Cohick (Wheaton College and Secretary, IBR) will be the Senior Scholar (the IRLBR has requested that initially the senior scholar be an IBR Board member), and the three scholars will be Daniel Kirk (Fuller Theological Seminary), Joel Willits (North Park University), and Paul Hoskins (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary). This group of scholars represents work in the Synoptics, Pauline and Johannine areas. Dan Fredericks (Belhaven University), from the board of IRLBR is directing the Summit. In late September the IBR Board will report on this meeting to the membership.

Needless to say, I’m excited about this opportunity–not least because Joel W. claims to have the inside scoop on all the awesome pubs in Cambridge! I regret, however, that my presence at the summit may impede my blogging. Stay tuned.

And steel yourselves.

Story within the Story

If approaching the Bible as Story, and God as a story-bound God, opens up our interpretation of scripture, and Christianity, how does this not become a free for all?

Today I have a guest post up at Peter Enns’ site wrestling with just this issue:

if we open ourselves up to the idea of “story,” we are opening ourselves up to a Christianity, and a God, that cannot be easily controlled or pinned down. We are opening ourselves up to embracing the plurality of Christian expression and practice that we find even in the pages of scripture itself.

I was recently challenged on this. A perceptive reader of my work asked, “You’re talking about plurality and openness, and yet you speak quite confidently about any number of issues–where does that confidence come from within this more open narrative?”

Read the rest here.

Upcoming Speaking Gigs: NC & U.K.

Over the next month or so I’m going to be putting in a few miles in the air and on land. In case you’re interested, here are some places I’ll be–I hope to catch up with some of you there:


This Sunday, June 3, I will be leading the conversation at Emmaus Way in Durham. The service runs from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Hope to see some of you there.

This weekend we’re heading to NC for a family wedding, which is opening up an opportunity for me to preach in the church my mom grew up in and which she now serves as music minister:

Sunday, May 27, Oakhurst Baptist Church, in Charlotte (5037 Monroe Road – Charlotte, NC).


Tuesday, May 29, Emerging Church Discussion Group, meeting at the Inclusion Community House in Cornelius, NC. This will be less of a talk, more of a discussion.

I’m hoping to put something on the calendar for when I’m in Durham the following week. Stay tuned for that.

For those of you across the pond, I’ll be in London the first Sunday of July after a week of hard work, study, and pints in Cambridge:

Sunday July 1, Beechen Grove Baptist Church, Clarendon Road, Watford, Herts, U.K. (Confession, I actually have no idea what the various parts of that address mean. All I know is that my uncle is a pastor here and he’s invited me to preach while I’m in town!)

Houston Conference

This weekend! If you’re in or around Houston, TX, I’d love to see you at the Christians for Biblical Equality conference !

My talk, “Walking by the Light of New Creation’s Dawn,” will be working out the importance of finding our place as participants in the New Creation when dealing with issues of gender in the church.

You can register here.

Dungeons and Castles

As folks who have been around here (or me) know, I get my spiritual direction from the Mountain Goats. And I need it. Today, as I get ready to tell my own story at a gathering about “Navigating the Crisis of Identity,” John Darnielle posted this on the band’s website (language warning on his post):

I love literally everything about my life and I have this probably-dumb-but-what-the-hell mystical sense that if even one small detail of my life had been changed, then everything would be different now, and who’s to say that the things most dear to me wouldn’t have to be traded away in the bargain?


If there’s any point to this story, and I’m not sure there is but, it’s that the songs I sing, which are often about finding ways to call a dark dungeon a glittering castle & really mean it, have some of their genesis in me being a fearful young kid with just enough presence of mind to turn to music as an escape.

That’s what I continually learn from the Mountain Goats.

I can tell you that resurrection glory only comes by way of the cross, but he knows how to mean it better than I do. I confess the sovereignty of the God at work in the world, but with a chastened confession that wants so many things to have gone differently.

In the middle of all that brooding and questioning, there’s often the sense that I know who I am, what I should be, what I should do. But here, too, life is a jumbled contradictory mess. Who is this “I” whose story of identity crisis will be told tonight? I’m not sure I’ve seen yet.

And the Mountain Goats remind me of that as well:

Naming Kirk Aright

For those who know me only from such online venues as my blog and blog comments, my name poses a bit of a mystery–an enigma wrapped in a Twinkie, if you will. What do these letters mean? What does he go by? Shall we call him “JR”? “JRDK”? “JERK”?

I want to take this opportunity to clear the fog, step by step. Welcome to this “get to know you” episode of Storied Theology.

First, although my name ofttimes appears as “J. R. Daniel Kirk,” the reason for this is not that I go by J. R. To the contrary, the reason is that I go by “Daniel,” and therefore abbreviate my superfluous names.

What others do with their middle initials I must do with my first. It is my cross to bear.

Second, my name begins with a superfluous J for the following reason: My parents loved Pentateuchal source criticism and became enamored of the Jahwist’s understanding of Israel’s relationship to God. Every man in my family has the same first name: James.

And by everyone, I mean: My grandfather (Jim), his two sons (J. Thomas and J. Robert), my brother and I, my son and my nephew. But when one has the same name as everyone else, one cannot very well go by it, can one?

Third, then, I have the superfluous R. My dad’s name (see previous paragraph) is James Robert. I got named after dad. But then, one does not want two persons in the same house fighting over the same name, does one?

Thus, fourth, my parents bestowed upon me the name Daniel, foreseeing in a prescient moment that I would need a perennial and persistent reminder that God is my judge, since I have never seemed capable of listening to anyone else.

Fifth: please note that my name is Daniel. This has two syllables. This mystery is great, but I am speaking about being addressed by both of them. I am not Dan. Nor am I Danny.

Sixth, you might be asking yourself, why do I flout my superfluous letters rather than simply allowing “Daniel Kirk” to stand and clarify all potential misunderstandings?

To this there are two answers.

First, from my early love of J.R.R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, yes, J. I. Packer, and my later respect for N. T. Wright (time would fail me to speak of F. F. Bruce or E. P. Sanders)–I simply realized from the world around me that superfluous letters are absolutely sine qua non for an enduring legacy in the world of theological writing.

Second, well, let’s just say that it helps minimize the number of thank-you notes I get from grateful parents. Honestly, I’ve only gotten one, and it made me somewhat horrified for the poor lad who had done his fifth grade book report on my book.