ec·cen·tric 
Adjective: not placed centrally or not having its axis or other part placed centrally.
Noun: a person of unconventional and slightly strange views or behavior.

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This is the story of….

Well to be honest, I’m not quite sure yet. I suppose it’s the story of me, which is something of a difficult undertaking seeing as I still have quite a bit of life left to live, or at least I certainly hope I do.

So it can’t be the story of my life, per se. Someone else will have to tell that story, provided they feel so inclined.

But it is a story about me. If that sounds pretentious (adjectiveattempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed), well, what you call pretentious I call blogging (sorry to all the long-time bloggers out there, please let me join your ranks).

But I’m afraid I don’t know a better way to frame it. And I’ve got a nagging feeling that I might be a little pretentious whether I start a blog or not.

So as a starting point, I suppose this will be the story of how I quit my job and moved across the country. And if that story is to be told, it must be told against the backdrop of the larger story of how my Christian faith has evolved over the past decade or so.

By the way, if you’ve read up to this point, and got to this sentence, and are now realizing that you don’t want to read a blog about the intersection of Christianity and life, let me save you some time and redirect you back to Instagram.

Anyway, that story, the story of the way my faith has changed over the last 10 or so years, probably fits into a larger narrative of self-discovery which, if I’m being honest, exceeds the scope of this blog.

Which is why this – cue the drum roll – is where I announce that I’m actually writing a book…

Okay, not really. But I do think this is a story worth telling, even if told inadequately. And even if I’m not entirely sure who, if anyone, might want to read it. My wife (who will be henceforth referred to as Amy) has tried to help me answer that question; she wants me to nail down who my target audience for this writing experiment might be.

It’s not necessarily people going through similar journeys. But it could be. After all, a touch of “me too!” solidarity never hurt anyone.

It could be, perhaps, those who might be resistant to the sort of developments I’ve experienced. Though I don’t presume to have everything figured out and certainly don’t want to suggest otherwise, I do hope some of them follow along.

It could also be those who are standing at the precipice of crisis, a rupture of sorts, with regards to all they wish they were certain was true. Or maybe that’s not a category of people. Sounds dramatic though.

Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m the target audience. I feel pretentious again.

Anyway….

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On July 10th of 2016, I stepped down from my job as a pastor at a church in Arizona.

About two weeks later, my family and I moved out of our house, the only house my two daughters had ever known, and moved in with some close friends. We sold the house a week later. Then, on August 30th, we packed up everything we own and drove across the country to Charlotte, NC.

I’ve asked myself why I (we) did that more than once over the past few weeks. I left a job I was good at and happened to enjoy (and for which I was reasonably well compensated), co-workers I worked well with (an understatement), dearly loved friends and family, and a life that was equal parts comfortable and enjoyable – not to mention affordable, all to come a city I had been to once…ever…in my whole life. Oh and I had (have) no job lined up. That last part kinda sucks. And I’m still sorting out how I feel about the rest of it.

So if all that is the what, then what’s the why? The explanation, at the time, was that I was leaving to focus on school (seminary, like an MBA for pastors) in order to put myself in a better position to be a church planter at some vaguely defined future juncture. And while that’s all true – I think – it doesn’t quite capture it.

The real story – at least the Fuller one (I made a joke there. A few of you will get it.) – is that my faith has become far too eccentric to stay where I was. And I mean in more than one sense of the word.

Here’s the definition of the word eccentric for those who foolishly breezed past my early foreshadowing:

ec·cen·tric 
Adjective: not placed centrally or not having its axis or other part placed centrally.
Noun: a person of unconventional and slightly strange views or behavior.

So, on the one hand, the axis of my faith has become de-centered. My faith has become eccentric.

And on the other, at the same time, the conventionality of my views has waned and, by extension, my behavior – if that’s the right word for it – has shifted. I too have become eccentric.

That’s a weird way of wording it. What I mean is that as the way I understood faith and God changed, and now I can’t keep doing what I had been doing.

I happen to think this is a good thing.

And so this will be the story of how I became an eccentric Christian. It will be the tale of how my beliefs have evolved in some pretty radical ways, the explanation of why, and the exposition of the excitement I feel about where this eccentricity is taking me. It’s a story of loss, a story of renewal. It’s a story that might not have a target audience, but one I need to tell anyway, if only to make sense of it for myself.

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As a point of preliminary house keeping, this story will proceed in three kinds of posts which will hopefully appear with some regularity on this page.

It will be one part autobiographical, the story of where I was, where I am, and where I think (hope?) I’m going. Though perhaps not always in chronological order. Because I’m a millennial. Obviously. I guess this first post falls into this category.

It will be one part expositional/theological. I’m going to take some time to unpack some of the areas where my thinking has changed over the years and why. And I don’t claim to speak for anyone but myself in these posts. I’m not trying to convince you as much as just shed light on why you’re wrong. Kidding.  But kidding aside, these posts will be for the nerds (like me).

Lastly, it will be one part…connectional (real word, look it up). Basically, I hope to introduce my (soon-to-be) loyal readers to some of the people (both living and dead) who have most influenced me over the years and who continue to direct me today. These posts will be on Fridays. Because #ff (follow Friday). Because Twitter. You’ll love it.

Expect the next post some time this week. It will be about the time I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up. I hope you’ll join me.