My primary goal each year is to update my courses to incorporate what I have most recently learned. For example, during the last couple of years I have been able to visit Egypt, Greece and Italy, Turkey, Israel, and Jordan. Beyond that, I am currently working on a history of the writing of the Bible based on the evidence of the biblical text.
The primary reason I am at Taylor is that I want to help students at a Christian Liberal Arts college develop a solid understanding of their faith to better integrate their faith and learning. The background to this is that shortly after graduating from college, while I was going through Navy flight training, I was reading the works of Dr. Francis Schaeffer, where I was first introduced to the concept of the integration of faith and learning. As I discussed this with fellow flight students, we discovered that in the late 1960’s this was a weakness in colleges across the board, including historically solid Christian schools. As I saw a need for professors who could do this I also felt God calling me in that direction. After I finished my obligated naval service, my family and I moved to Dallas where we began preparing for that ministry. While the process took longer than anticipated, it was one which prepared me well as I worked to integrate my own faith with my studies in engineering and history along with what really became a first career as a Naval officer. I ended that career as we began a new career/ministry at Taylor in 1993.
I am a very avid reader with eclectic reading tastes. Since I generally am reading several different books at once, and tend to read rapidly, I can just give a sample of recent items that I have completed. Professionally I am currently reading to research Melchizedek in preparation for a paper I am scheduled to present this fall. In a non professional category, I just finished The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Kevin and Alex Malarkey, and prior to that I finished What We Can’t Not Know by J. Budziszewski. In terms of reading for relaxation, my choices tend to fall into three main categories, literature, science fiction, and mysteries. I recently finished T. E. Lawrence’s The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and am currently rereading Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, In science fiction I prefer the more classic forms. I have recently read Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, and am rereading Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. The latest mystery I read was River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters.
Normally, I have on Christian hymns (currently in my CD player are albums by Selah and Cynthia Clawson), folk music (e.g. The New Christy Minstrels, Peter, Paul, and Mary, or Loreena McKennitt), or classical music (my favorite composer is Bach).
My wife and I enjoy mysteries (especially Agatha Christie on PBS), or classic movies (most recently we watched Key Largo. Beyond that, the primary thing I watch on television is baseball or football, with an occasional viewing of a special that is relevant to my areas of study such as Nova presentations on the Middle East or matters of science (just recently I watch the Nova presentation on Fractals).