I became a member of the Methodist church at age ten and felt close to God before baptism and for a few years afterward, but by high school had become an "agnostic." My focus was career and having fun but there was always a sense of hollowness hovering in the background and manifesting itself in bad ways. In my late twenties I read C.S. Lewis's The Screw Tape Letters, briefly went back to another Methodist church, and even read Lewis's Mere Christianity, but my interest was a passing fad as self-centered behavior proved more beguiling and was even rewarded in the everyday world.
Still the hollowness continued, with intermittent bouts of serious worry about minor things. Rather than orthodox Christianity, I turned to Zen Buddhism and then non-orthodox Christianity. The latter version of Christianity rejected the concepts of sin or that Jesus was both the son of God and a human. Thanks to two Christian professors, my wife who leaned toward orthodox Christianity, and my own realization that not all errors are sins but sin and evil absolutely exist my heart and mind changed. If one believes this then humans cannot perfect themselves or do enough good works to enter heaven and must have the savior, Jesus Christ. In 2010 I began attending the Anglican Church of the Redeemer and in 2011 my wife and I were confirmed.
GK Chesterton "If you believe in nothing you believe in everything."
Running, travel, reading good books, and attending football, basketball, and baseball games
Fantasy dinner guests
J.R. R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, GK Chesterton, Betsy DeVos, Wendell Cook, and Friedrich Hayek
Best advice I ever received
Try to be prudent and humble
My undergrad alma mater
Mississippi State University
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
Churchill's My Early Life, Anthony Powell's Dances to the Music of Time series, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and anything by Russell Kirk
Its a Wonderful Life, all the Thin Man movies, and Christmas in Connecticut
Half and half French roast and Hazelnut
My latest accomplishment
Completing 23 years as founding editor of Education About Asia
Economic history paper on two Japanese entrepreneurs and research on the connection between literacy rates and history and social science knowledge.
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