As of August 2021 I have finished all the requirements for my Doctor of Theology in Christian Philosophy (ThD), thus completing my official university and seminary education ending in a terminal graduate degree. Due to the current crisis in secular and Christian academia, I have made the decision (or the decision was made for me) to begin my ministry as an independent researcher rather than attempt to tether myself to an existing institution, ministry, or church. Given the scope and ramifications of my research subject, it would be nearly impossible for any “orthodox” evangelical organization (church or para-church) to align with me while also allowing me the flexibility I need to follow the data wherever it may lead. Thus, I view the current inaccessibilty to existing institutions not as a loss but as a gain.
This of course was no surprise. I pretty much knew the abysmal employment prospects heading into my Master’s program, and certainly when I entered my doctorate program. The glut of PhD in Biblical Studies applicants in the market place was a major contributing factor to my choosing the seminaries I did rather than regionally accredited ones. As you will find elsewhere on this site and discussed at length in podcast episodes, my Master’s program cost me less than $1000 and my doctorate was fully funded, costing me zero. If I had gone the route of regional accreditation (which would have afforded me absolutely no advantage in the job market) it would have cost at least $14,000 for a useless PhD and $7000 for a Master’s degree. In an age where seminaries and universities are gutting and dismantling their Philosophy Departments across the country, it is important to remain realistic and to adjust one’s assumptions, expectations, and listen all the more intently to the leading of the Lord in both ministry and life.
By the advice and encouragement of my advisors at the Christian Institute where I’m currently doing post-graduate work and volunteer as a mentor, I am embracing what I suspect is God’s leading toward a personal and professional ministry in independent research. Due to the nature and presumed stability of my current employment (part-time) I am afforded full funding for both my own needs and the needs of any research costs required in the future. So, not only do I have no student loans hanging over my head, I also do not have to be concerned with my personal expenses since my current employment allows me to live quite comfortably while simultaneously offering ample hours each week to dedicate to ministry research (40+ hours).
Therefore, I can focus on my research subject(s) without distraction and can follow the data where it leads. Research will be synthesized and presented as Project Reports, Workbook Courses, Academic Articles, Book/Course/Article Reviews and Commentary Analysis, as well as the publication of various Fiction titles. Below is a draft of my Research Plan for the foreseeable future with updates provided here as needed and also routinely via podcast episodes and blog posts.
- Metaphysics of Death
I’m interested in exploring the general concepts of death as well as its specific aspects: the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. I want to determine by way of comprehensive analysis the origin, nature, and fate of death as a principle, state, and its ultimate fate from a biblical worldview context. I would like to further develop a biblical understanding of what it means to prepare for and ultimately experience a “good” death and how the individual can effectively prepare in advance from what death might entail.
- Metaphysics of the Intermediate State
I’m interested in exploring the state of existence bounded between death and the Resurrection promised in the Bible. I would like to develop a clearer picture of what the Intermediate State is, how it was created, and how it will ultimately be destroyed at the final judgment. I would also like to develop a clearer understanding of what the experience is like for those captured by the Intermediate State and what the process will be like once they are give up to God at the judgment.
- Metaphysics of Afterlife
I would like to explore the realities and ramifications associated with the term “afterlife,” “heaven,” and “Kingdom.” I hope to develop a clear description of what this existence is like, how it compares to human existence as a “living soul” and what kind of castification humans can expect upon entry, and to what level humans will experience “free will,” “self-autonomy,” and “self-determinism.”
- Metaphysics of End Times, Prophecy, and the Rapture
I hope to explore end-times event prophecies in the Bible and organize them into a coherent, logical, and consistent timeframe of occurrence. I would further define a clear timeline for the event known as the Rapture of the Church.
- Metaphysics of the Supernatural Realms
I would like to establish a consistent understanding of what Paul meant when he described the ἐπουρανίοις “heavenly places” or “supernatural realms” both according to Paul and according to the 2nd Temple Period culture in which he was writing. I would further develop a comprehensive description of this place including its location, its fundamental essence, substance and nature, and how this location differs and is similar to our location on earth in the physical universe.
- Metaphysics of Supernatural Beings (Excluding God)
To uncover that which is hidden about the supernatural beings described in the Bible, and perhaps describe by way of extrapolation creatures not mentioned. Comprehensively define their origin, their purpose, and their ultimate fate. This would include those supernatural beings in right relationship with God as well as those classified as “fallen angels,” those identified as “earthborn” as well as “nephilim” and “demons” or “unclean spirits.”
- Metaphysics of the Supernatural Being (God)
I would like to develop a clearly defined definition and description of the supernatural being known in the Bible as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who is known by tradition within the Church as the Trinity, what his utter and fundamental essence, substance, and nature is, what his origin story is, what it is he desires from the present age in which we currently exist, what it is he wants from the human race, and what his ultimate future will be.
- Metaphysics of Transformation (Revealing of the Sons of God)
To develop a consistent understanding of what is meant by ἀλλαγησόμεθα “transformation or change.” The research would describe in detail its fundamental process(es), its nature, its ultimate purpose, and what the ramifications will be for humans after the transformation takes place. I will further explore how this is similar if not the same as the “revealing of the sons of God” in Romans 8:19 and how humans will by way of and after this metamorphasis will be by nature, essence, substance, or station “like” the angels in heaven (Mark 12:25).
EXTRAPOLATIVE REDEMPTIVE NARRATIVE ITTERATION:
- Correlation Between Angelic Origins and Human Destiny
This project will encompass the connections between the origins of the supernatural beings known as “angels” and the final destiny of humanity (specifically those written in the Book of Life). What privileges and promises do these creatures have in comparison to what humans will enjoy and be responsible for in the Kingdom and what differences will there be between existing angels and future humans who will be “like” angels.
- Possibilities of Multiple Redemptive Narratives (Past or Future)
Develop a comprehensive, logical, and realistic theory extrapolated from the biblical text that addressed the possibility that within the undefined portion of God’s plan – the history, purpose, ultimate destiny of angels, events before the creation and events after the close of Revelation – there were distinct and separate redemptive narratives and could possibly exist plans for additional redemptive narratives in the future. This would account for the origin and history of the supernatural beings known as “angels” as well as God’s overarching purpose in his creative activities.
- Questions Concerning the Hidden Things (κρυπτὰ)
This research examines the things hidden by God from the view of human perception, human knowledge, as well as divine revelation as defined by the biblical text. This would include the angelic narrative, what the 7 thunders spoke, and what exists and occurs out of human view (before Gen 1:1 and after Re 22:21 and also within and outside of the supernatural realm including all that can possibly exist that does exist outside of the two known dimensions: the physical and the supernatural). Included within this research will be a comprehensive analysis of what Solomon calls “dark sayings” and elsewhere in the biblical text is termed “witchcraft,” “soothsaying,” “sorcery,” and “doctrines of demons.” This will include a detailed description of the “magic arts” used by Christ, the disciples, the apostles, and other Christians as defined in the biblical records as well as in documents from Church History, with specific focus on why such practices are forbidden by God.
- Metaphysics of Reality (Beyond Dimensionalities)
This research spans the fundamental laws of the physical world as well as the supernatural realm, defining and describing the basic principles by which both exist and function, and also what laws (if any at all) govern the existence, nature, and activity of the supernatural being known as God.