I am a 29-year-old PhD student in Classics at UCL, specializing in Flavian epic poetry. I live in Bristol, UK, with my husband, and our cat, Joab (we adopted him in September 2015; his name is not insignificant). For my ‘real job’, I work at a local Japanese restaurant as assistant manager.
Though I grew up (from about 8 years of age) in a denomination where ‘Christian’ education is encouraged, and in some places, expected, I went to public schools my whole life. For my undergrad degree, I went to Hillsdale College. Once I’d been accepted there, more than one person at our church at the time asked, with some feeling, ‘Don’t you want to go to [flagship denominational] college?’ NO. I didn’t. I wanted to go to a place where I would be taught to think, and be challenged to know what I believe, why I believe it, and live accordingly (this did happen at Hillsdale, testified to by the huge number of non-denominational students who ended up converting to Roman Catholicism while there: their ‘no creed but Christ’ upbringing had not prepared them for the force of beautiful Tradition).
That (my desire to go to a place where ‘I would be taught to think’) betrays my bias at the time, which has not been much altered by ten more years of life experience–so many of the young people from our church who went to ‘Christian’ school would be going to ‘FDC’ as a matter of course; many of them showed minimal commitment in high school, and fell off the bandwagon of the faith as young adults. I was not motivated to go to a Christian college where so much would be taken for granted, and where indeed orthodoxy has been consistently undermined over the past decade. Indeed, after my younger sister’s experience at Christian school (which she attended for 3 years), and after this experience at my father’s former church, where so many of the older adults and their kids attended Christian school, I can’t see that it makes much difference in terms of love and fear of the Lord, knowledge of Christ’s character and expectations of his people, groundedness in Scripture and Proverbial common sense, ability to think critically and biblically, and simple Christian bearing of good fruit. Thus the tongue-in-cheek companion title of this blog.
My husband and I attend a small independent evangelical church here in Bristol. Both of us are pastor’s kids, though my husband’s father left the pastorate fairly early in his career to take up a position at the Free Church Seminary in Edinburgh, as professor of Old Testament. My husband–an academic in ‘Pure Maths’–and I are both committed Reformed believers; we love the Lord, we love our church, we love God’s word, and we love thinking about what it is, and who He is. We both love to read. Over the years I have read discernment blogs and listened to a discernment broadcast at Pirate Christian Radio, while doctrinally I have been formed by many years of listening to the Dividing Line.
If you check out my personal blog, you will see that what is going on in the American church at large interests me just as much as what happened in my home church at A., documented here at veritas praebita. For (much) more qualified observations on American ‘evangelical’ culture and issues in the church, I direct the reader to James R. White’s Pulpit Crimes, to more recent books by David Wells, e.g. God in the Whirlwind and The Courage to be Protestant, and to T. David Gordon’s Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns and Why Johnny Can’t Preach. Also, almost anything connected with John MacArthur’s ministry at Grace to You would be edifying and educational.
I will close by saying that I think I am a rather ordinary person, and that this blog is not about me. I can be summed up very simply: I like countryside views, cats, ’80s music, reading with my husband, laughing with my family, and enjoy real ales and a good curry.