About Jonathan

Hi. I’m Jonathan.

In case you’re wondering, here are a few things about me…

  • I’m a Christian. By this, I mean that I confess faith in Jesus the Christ, and believe in the historic tenets of Christianity as so wonderfully documented in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds.
  • I am evangelical in that I believe in a personal faith in the finished work of Christ.
  • I am post-evangelical in that I believe in the whole Gospel, complexity in faith, grappling with Holy Scripture in community, trudging through ever-persistent grey area, and am learning how to hold my faith with an open hand.
  • I reject the American idea that the Christian faith can be reduced to a moralistic set of beliefs, political affiliation, or won through culture war.
  • I believe that as long as we operate the local church with a commercial, consumer, capitalist, seeker-sensitive mentality, it is doomed to be bloated, lukewarm, and largely irrelevant.
  • I find the paucity of theological thought in most evangelical circles to be unsettling, especially when it’s coupled with smug certainty about all moral and ethical issues.
  • I grew up Southern Baptist, thought for a while that I might be United Methodist, currently think I’m an Episcopalian, and serve a wonderful Presbyterian Church.
  • I have studied at Baylor University (Sic ’em, Bachelor of Music in Applied Voice, 2005), Wheaton College (Master of Arts in Theology, 2007), University of Houston, Clear Lake (Master of Science, Educational Leadership, 2013), and University of Houston (Master of Music in Sacred Music, expected sometime…maybe soon…).
  • I’m bothered by the pervasiveness of commercial contemporary worship, and the arrogance with which the church’s liturgical tradition is discarded and ignored.
  • I live in the Houston, Texas area with my fantastic wife, who is a mental health therapist, my beautiful son, and a cute little miniature poodle.

If you’re looking for something a little less personal, here’s my obligatory 3rd-person bio:

In addition to blogging for Patheos, Jonathan serves as Director of Music Ministries in a PCUSA congregation. Before entering full-time ministry, he taught elementary music in the public school system for six years, while serving the church in part-time, interim, and internship capacities.

A Houston, Texas native, he holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Voice from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he studied with legendary voice teacher, John Van Cura. After Baylor, he completed the Master of Arts in Theology from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and the Master of Science in Educational Management from the University of Houston, Clear Lake. He expects to finish the Master of Music in Sacred Music from the University of Houston soon, studying choral conducting with Charles Hausmann, and has promised his loving and supportive wife that this will be his final masters degree.

Jonathan maintains professional membership in the American Guild of Organists, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, and The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Committed to gender equality in church, home, and society, Jonathan is a member of Christians for Biblical Equality, and with his wife, was published in the Spring 2012 edition of Mutuality magazine.

Jonathan lives in the Houston area with his wife Kelsey, who is a mental health therapist, their adorable son and daughter, and a beautiful apricot miniature poodle. In his spare time, he enjoys baseball, visiting churches, the Houston Symphony, and teaching hymns and Mister Rogers songs to his son.

Jonathan can be reached at ponderanewblog@gmail.com