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When I visited Whitworth this past February, I asked everyone I met, from students and administrators to the president, what the best thing about Whitworth was. Again and again I heard some version of the same answer: the community --support from fellow faculty; time spent investing in the lives of students; friendships among classmates of different backgrounds; a general feeling of uniting around a common purpose. The other repeated refrain was that Whitworth was a unique place, one where students, faculty and administration strive together in that community to "honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity." Even before I returned to the airport for my flight back across the Atlantic, I was convinced: there was something special about this place. In a matter of days, and in a situation in which I wasn't expecting it (the daunting campus interview!), I had been welcomed into the warmth of the Whitworth family.
What a pleasure it is now to anticipate my return to this extraordinary place in a few short months as a new member of that community I had heard so much about and just barely tasted in those few frenetic February days. I stand now on the figurative plains of Moab, gazing longingly across the Jordan to the Promised Land. Sure, there are still some metaphorical Canaanites to conquer (all those challenges of a transatlantic move and starting a new job), but my wife, Vanessa, and I are overjoyed that after years of academic wandering we have found a home to settle down in with our daughters Karis (3) and Charlotte (1). Karis can't wait to meet some Pirates!
I look forward to teaching Old Testament Introduction, second-year Hebrew, and contributing to Core 350 this fall. Each course offers the opportunity to explore with students the rich terrain of the Old Testament in different ways: to fly across its variegated breadth, to hike with lexicon-machete in hand through a few valleys, and to see how well it supports the construction of modern superstructures in its application to contemporary issues. In addition, when time allows, I hope to continue my research on the history of interpretation of Wisdom Literature. But, most of all, I look forward to arriving in Spokane on a one-way ticket, so that this time I will get more than a mere taste of the milk and honey of the Whitworth community.
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