We’re glad David Creech took us up on our offer to serve as a Celebrity Blogger this year for two main reasons. First, he’s a Lutheran and this proves that we’re ecumenical. Second, when we inevitably hear someone yelling “Is there a doctor in the Lent Madness house?” we have David around to save the day.
David Creech is Assistant Professor of Religion at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. A student of early Christianities, David knows a lot about saints — they killed many of his research subjects. He is a product of an Evangelical seminary and a Catholic PhD program and now teaches at a Lutheran college and worships with Episcopalians. For those looking for the ecumenical voice (read: objective and unbiased/quite confused) in this year’s competition, he’s your man. Although he does dress in robes from time to time, David brings the unique perspective of a layperson. His book title is long and boring (The Use of Scripture in the Apocryphon of John: A Diachronic Analysis of the Variant Versions) but nearly sold out of its initial print run of 200 copies. You can follow David on Twitter@dyingsparrows and read his oftentimes provocative posts at his blog by the same name. When not teaching and writing, David enjoys the company of his wife, Jessica, and their three children, Ian, Ela, and Dylan.
How has Lent Madness transformed your life?
Firstly, only Jesus transforms me. Lent Madness, however, has been a wonderful place to make friends and laugh. I found a community full of curious and playful people. Each day I was exposed to new ideas and learned fun facts about lives of extraordinary (and sometimes quite ordinary!) people. I found myself reflecting on their lives throughout the day. The Lent Madness blog and the Twitter feed allowed for further conversation, sometimes serious, sometimes playful, always a treat. I also enjoy the daily opportunity to explore the lives of the saints and to reflect on my own commitments and values.
Obviously being a Celebrity Blogger is your greatest lifetime achievement. What perks have you enjoyed as a result of your status?
The perks of being a Celebrity Blogger really pale in comparison to all the credibility, prestige, and money that come from being an assistant professor of religion at a small, regional liberal arts school in the frozen Midwest. That said, what is most thrilling about being a Celebrity Blogger is that I now receive occasional emails from the inimitable Scott A. Gunn and the always right Reverend Tim Schenck (see what I did there?). Sometimes they even reply to my tweets. Oh, and I think I am supposed to get some mythical mug.
What do you hope the Lent Madness public will learn from the lives of the saints?
So much! I’d have to say that at the top of my list is the fact that the lives of the saints are messy and our memories of them are not always as accurate as we would like. Sometimes the saints seem very mundane, other times exceptional (even too exceptional). Whatever the case, their lives and how we remember them encourage us to think about what it means to be the people of God.
Someday, when you become the answer on Jeopardy, what will the question be?
“Who is the first Celebrity Blogger to seamlessly blend academic rigor and sardonic wit in 400 word biographies of the saints thus effectively making said biographies must read think pieces.”