Read­ing Time: 3 min­utes

Dan ButcherI’m father, teacher, writer, invet­er­ate ques­tion­er. Curi­ous about most things, I tell my stu­dents — and firm­ly believe — that the only stu­pid ques­tions are the one prompt­ed by lack of atten­tion the first time around (and out­side the class­room, even those can be use­ful to ask). A friend once called me the “the loy­al oppo­si­tion” because I could be count­ed on to say, Yes, but what about…? I hope to find loy­al oppo­si­tion here: dis­cus­sion, dis­sen­sion, and ques­tions of all sorts are wel­come.

daily life

I live in Hoover, Alaba­ma, and have 3 chil­dren: Zack, a soft­ware engi­neer with Google in San Fran­cis­co; Isaac, in high school; and Anna, fin­ish­ing up mid­dle school. I occa­sion­al­ly keep the fam­i­ly pet: a minia­ture schnau­zer named Haley, who is some­times my favorite per­son — she’s always hap­py to see me, and she nev­er says any­thing unkind. (Yes, I talk about my dog like she’s a per­son; no, we don’t dress her up in cos­tumes.)

Work-wise, I’ve taught com­po­si­tion and lit­er­a­ture for about 20 years; I’ve been at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma at Birm­ing­ham since 2001.

my journey in 5 quick steps

  • I grew up in the Church­es of Christ,
  • went charis­mat­ic in 1997,
  • then non-denom­i­na­tion­al evan­gel­i­cal in 2001,
  • Epis­co­palian in 2012, and
  • now I’m a Methodist.

Though I don’t care much for the phrase, this has been a “faith jour­ney” (you can read a longer ver­sion here). And as the Holy Spir­it has chal­lenged and enriched my per­spec­tive, I have real­ized there is a whole world of faith that I knew lit­tle about. It’s amaz­ing to me that on Sun­day morn­ing in any giv­en com­mu­ni­ty, thou­sands of peo­ple gath­er in church­es to hon­or the same God and read the same Bible yet have such var­ied expres­sions of faith and expe­ri­ences of wor­ship. Even as we all hold in com­mon “Jesus Christ and Him cru­ci­fied” (1 Cor 2:2), I know that no sin­gle group has a cor­ner on the truth, and I have learned that I can ben­e­fit from a diver­si­ty of per­spec­tives.

about this blog

This diver­si­ty will be reflect­ed in my posts. In addi­tion to the Bible, you’ll find me respond­ing to the lit­er­a­ture I teach on cam­pus, the ser­mons I hear at church, the songs I sing along with in the car, the shows and movies in my Net­flix queue — pret­ty much any­thing that gets my atten­tion. Writ­ing, for me, is a way of explor­ing and refin­ing my per­spec­tives; as British nov­el­ist E.M. Forster said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” Also for me, most things con­nect one way or anoth­er, so a poem or TV show is as like­ly as the Bible to offer me a glimpse of the sacred (for instance, The Bor­gias has prompt­ed a lot of think­ing about for­give­ness — but I’ll save that for anoth­er time).

an invitation

That takes us to the tagline: “adven­tures in seek­ing the sacred.” In all the best sto­ries, adven­tures are shared; we humans need trav­el­ing com­pan­ions. My hope is that you will join me in the jour­ney, ask ques­tions, chal­lenge assump­tions, and offer insights of your own. I can’t promise a par­tic­u­lar des­ti­na­tion; this is one of those “we’ll know where we’re going when we get there” sort of trips. I can promise, how­ev­er, to be hon­est — hon­est with myself and with you, my read­ers; to be provoca­tive — I don’t mind stir­ring things up a bit; and to be prac­ti­cal. Hon­esty and provo­ca­tion are good, but there’s already plen­ty of that on blogs — too much, per­haps. At the end of the day, I want prac­ti­cal insights that will help me grow — in my under­stand­ing of myself, God, and the life of faith.

If that sounds like some­thing you’re inter­est­ed in, I invite you to book­mark this site and check back for new posts, sub­scribe to the rss feed, or sub­scribe via email using the form below.

Note: This is my own lit­tle piece of the Inter­net, and it’s exclu­sive­ly mine. I don’t claim to rep­re­sent any­one else, least of all present or for­mer fam­i­ly. While I may some­times speak of we in refer­ring to events from my past, I speak only for myself as I offer my expe­ri­ence of those events, my thoughts on God, or any­thing else. And of course, what I write here in no way rep­re­sents the opin­ions or per­spec­tives of my employ­er, my church, or any­one else. It’s all — and only — me.

updat­ed 4/28/15