James Slack

My cousins and I are first-generation college educated. I grew up in a working class family. My father's side came from England in the 1880s to work in the sandstone quarries of South Amherst, Ohio. He eventually became a foreman in a sandstone mill. My mother's side is German, and they came over about the same time to be farmers and factory workers in Amherst, Ohio. She worked in a factory, starting when I was in the 6th grade, to save money for my college education. I did not think I would make it through college. My high school, 25 in my senior class, was rural and barely made the minimum state requirements each year. The fear of coming to college ill-equipped, and the potential consequence of flunking out, made me want to study very hard. When there was a home football game, I made sure I studied for at least six hours before the game. SO IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU! For most of my life, I was a "process" Christian. You know the type: just coming to church service and "barely breathing" while sitting in the pew. I was the kind of person about whom Dietrich Bonhoeffer talked about: the man who chose the easy way of "cheap Grace" rather than truly following Him and receiving "costly Grace". I became a "practicing" Christian as a result of my Walk to Emmaus in 1998. At Emmaus "Walks", your watch is separated from your arm the entire weekend, and you are asked not even to look at it when you are in your sleeping quarters. The reason being, you are supposed to be on God's time, not on man's time. Around lunch time on the Friday of my Walk, I was really missing my watch. Thinking that I could game the system, I told everyone I needed to get some medication from my cabin. All I really wanted to do was to see what time it was. When I checked my pocket watch, I found that it had stopped! (Hence, there was no way I could tell man's time!!) This was strange since I put a new battery in it the week before, which should last well over a year. I began to think about "God's time." That evening, the Holy Spirit entered me and changed the direction of my life. I had been a professor for about 20 years at that time, but now I really had something to profess! BTW, on Sunday evening, after the closing of the Emmaus Walk, I picked up my gear and checked my watch. Not only was my pocket watch now WORKING, it had the CORRECT time! Some people need a 2x4 board slammed against their foreheads to "get it"; that was me with the Holy Spirit. I then realized that I am not in charge of the time I have on this earth to do His work; only God is in charge of that particular "pocket watch!" If you are ever on the UAB campus, please stop in and say hello! Pax Christi!!!!

My Life

Favorite Quote

"Is Imago Dei different when the real becomes complex? Truth is, the answer comes not from the Imago Dei we see in others. It lies solely in the Imago Dei we find in ourselves." - James D. Slack,"Abortion, Execution and the Consequences of Taking Life," (Transaction Publishers, 2009), p. 133

Friends describe me

I don't know. I stopped asking them when I accepted Christ.

My hobbies

My teenage kids keep me pretty busy. Otherwise, I like to ride my bicycle.

Fantasy dinner guests

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Best advice I ever received

My dad would tell me to

My undergrad alma mater

Ohio University -- Go Bobcats!

My worst subject in school


In college I drove

pair of tennis shoes

If I weren't a professor, I would

be a pastor or missionary

Favorite books

Books by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Ethics; Cost of Discipleship; Prison letters

Favorite movies

I tend to fall asleep watching movies, nevertheless:

Favorite city

Toronto, Canada

Favorite coffee

Decaffeinated, in a cup

Nobody knows I

am a History Channel junkee

My latest accomplishment

new book: Abortion, Execution and the Consequences of Taking Life (Transaction Publishers, 2009)