Stuff About the Blog and Myself

Why ‘Reformedish’?
The title is an indicator of both my spiritual reality and theological outlook. Also, of the fact that I add “ish” to the end of a lot of words–more than I should really. The spiritual reality is that, while I’ve been saved in Christ through that ridiculous Gospel of grace and am even now being indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God, I am still in serious need of reformation–I am a work in progress. Much grace has been given–more will be needed. This will likely be evident in my writing.

Theologically I’ve become increasingly rooted in the Reformed tradition. I was drawn to this little patch of Christian thought by a few guys: Kevin Vanhoozer, Alvin Plantinga, Tim Keller, and N.T. Wright. They introduced me to their buddy, John Calvin. We’ve been friends ever since. This hasn’t always been the case, though, which means I’m still fairly new to this wing of things. I am not knee-jerk Reformed, nor an expert in the tradition. Consider me an increasingly avid novice. Still, I know that the Christian tradition is a broad and deep one so I try to read outside of what I’ve come to think of as my theological home.

C.S. Lewis has a wonderful passage in Mere Christianity about this. He talks about ‘Mere Christianity’ of the sort he is writing about as a hallway that leads into many doors, the doors of actual church communions and traditions. It’s in the rooms where real Christianity happens. I’ve recently found my room to be the Reformation tradition, and, for the time, a Presbyterian Church. I do so because I believe both in its adherence to central Orthodox tenets as well as a growing appreciation for its distinctives. Still, I hope to take the attitude Lewis speaks of when he writes:

When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rooms common to the whole house.

In that spirit, (and hopefully in THE Spirit), I’d like this blog to embody some of the best features of the tradition (commitment to the Scriptures, the Gospel, scholarship, and fidelity to historic orthodoxy), while avoiding some of the pitfalls (theological pride, over-fondness for polemics, stuffiness.) One of my Methodist buddies calls me his “friendly Calvinist” friend. I’ll try to live up that. Even though, for the record, I prefer ‘Reformed.’

The Blog
Now, as for the blog itself, I don’t know what to say beyond the fact that it’s a blog. You will find bloggish things here. Beyond that it is MY blog. This means it will primarily consist in my various explorations, meditations, proclamations, observations, and yes, at times, exhortations on myriad subjects. Given my interests, these might include things like: Jesus, cultural commentary, the Gospel, biblical studies, systematic theology, philosophy, music, books, other blogs, etc.

One particular conviction I have is that doctrine matters; the drama of everyday life is the stuff of doctrine. It is only in knowing that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, has humbled himself and died for my sins and the sins of my wife and (future) children that I am motivated to humble myself and “die” for their sakes in the way I treat them in my day-to-day life. It is only because I know that in Jesus Christ, God has, at far greater cost, forgiven me my sins that I can forgive my mother, my father, my husband or wife and not let bitterness poison our relationship. It is only because I know that God himself has come to dwell within me through the Holy Spirit, that I have the strength and confidence to go to my job and live a life of Christian witness before the watching world.  Basically, it is only because of the great doctrines of the faith such as Trinity and Atonement that I can truly live in the midst of my “real life.” Given this, I hope that any explorations of Christian doctrine or scripture that I engage in here will not be purely academic, or speculative, but rather, have a spiritual and practical end-goal.

I am also somewhat of a natural resourcer. By that I mean that if I can get you to read or hear something that’s been of benefit to me, I will pass it on. So, I will often be linking other sites, books, and possibly sermons for you to enjoy. 

Me 
Finally, my name is Derek Zaglul Rishmawy. (Yes, the one in the middle is a real name–my grandfather’s in fact.) That’s probably something to know about me. Also, I’m the Director of College and Young Adult Ministries at a sweet Presbyterian Church. (Think college pastor minus the ordination.) Basically, I get to hang out with college kids, talk Jesus, philosophy, theology, and life stuff.

I’m freshly married to a sweet little lady named McKenna. She’s an amazing gift from God; a flesh-and-blood reminder that grace is real. We have fun. Also, she blogs at thebrightblush.com about things almost entirely unrelated to what I blog about (make-up, fashion, hair, etc.). Check it out.

I have a couple of degrees (philosophy at UCI; Biblical studies at APU). I hope to get at least one more (Ph.D. at any institution desperate enough to take me). Beyond that, I love books, deep conversations, coffee, BBQs with friends, the church of God, and craft beer.

Most importantly, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. I’ve been taught that since I was a kid. I think it’s going to take the rest of my life to figure out what that means.

I would go on, but that seems pretentious. (Unlike developing an entire website dedicated to exploring my thoughts on various subjects.)

Disclaimer

Reformedish is my own personal blog. The views expressed here by me or by an affiliate do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the company I work for, my church, or the events and programs I’m involved in. Please don’t blame them for my silliness.

18 thoughts on “Stuff About the Blog and Myself

      • I almost switched to English. The quick story is that I felt the call into ministry and got bored with poli sci. I was torn between philosophy and English, but I ended up going with philosophy because I felt like it would give me a better foundation for seminary. Plus, I liked it. How about you?

      • Augustine sums it up nicely for me: “My discipline as a student drew praise, and I thought I could excel as a litigator in the courts. The more my work was praised, the better I became at it. Such is human blindness… I swelled with arrogance.”
        So yeah, switched to English in a university in Korea! Haha.
        I’m in my second year in seminary now, working on an MA. Thinking about pursuing more academics.
        Would love to hear about your academic interests (if you’re still pursuing a PhD). Maybe a brief email when you’re free?
        Nice meeting you on the blogosphere!

      • Sweet! Yeah, I got my MA. I’d like to go get another or maybe go straight to the Ph.D. I think I should do church work for a while first, though. Being freshly-married is something I think about. Also, I always want to think out of a church-context. My favorite theologians always have. We’ll see what God has for us.

  1. I came across your blog because of Connor. I liked the way you have your About Me section laid out here, so I used your format to create this for my blog and blog facebook page. Thanks :)

  2. Hey Derek! I came across a recent blog of yours that was featured on The Gospel Coalition’s website, and I absolutely love your post! Such a wonderful, concise, gracious exhortation for Christians in the states to love this particular neighbor. I thank God for your salvation, brother!

    And hey, I’m newish to Reformed teachings, too! Don’t they just bless your soul? :-)

    I look forward to reading more of what you have to say!

  3. Great blog Derek, I have a son-in-law I think highly of with that name. Someone linked to your post about looking for single reformed men and I thought it was funny, but good, So I explored your blog. Great serious stuff here. Thanks.

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