Mom was a lapsed Catholic and Dad was a ditto Presbyterian. They compromised by not going to church, but Dad dedicated Sundays to getting us kids up, dressed and fed to catch a ride with a neighbor to Sunday School.
In high school I nearly flunked Algebra while getting mediocre grades in Latin. While in the Air Force, they uncovered my linguistic ability, which floored my Latin teacher. I was sent to Yale to study Chinese, which I liked, maybe because it’s not a dead language. At Yale I became an angry atheist, but somehow fell in with some Ivy League believers. Their faith and love for God blew my atheism to bits and I discovered God’s amazing love at an Inter Varsity weekend, where I fell in love with Jesus Christ.
After training with NSA, the Air Force sent me to Taiwan to spy on China. It really wasn’t my gig. What I liked doing was spending off duty hours in Taipei with the MacCLurgs’s, elderly missionaries who put me to work doing some weird and wonderful things. Later at Cornell, I studied classical Greek. When I got to Princeton Seminary, I found KOINE Greek was required and was thrilled to read in John’s gospel Jesus’ words in his own tongue.
After ordination, I served a Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, where I kept up with the Greek and still do. But I’m not what you would call a Greek scholar. I’m more of a journeyman, still learning as I go. When reading Paul I keep my lexicon handy. His Greek is tougher than John’s.
High points of our ministry were: planting a church among the poor in Taipei City while in the Air Force and doing the same among American Gypsies in L.A. The ministry to Gypsies became a movement which has spread to dozens of other U.S. cities where Gypsies are found.
By the way, please check out the It’s Greek to Me pages in our menu. You won’t become a Greek scholar, but you will discover mysteries not found in the best translations. My journeyman Greek is in your favor, since super stars don’t make the best coaches. Things come too easy for them, they say. Good coaching is done by journeymen who had to work hard to make it,.