About

Welcome!

My name is Stephen D. Morrison. I am 29 years old, and I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife, Ketlin.

I am the author of thirteen books. I’m best known for my “Plain English” series (Karl Barth in Plain English), but I’ve also written works of fiction and literary criticism. Find out more about my Plain English series here, or see all my books here.

I am an amateur theologian. Theology is a central passion of my life. I am especially interested in making theology approachable and relevant to everyday people. I am not a professionally trained theologian and proudly wear my “amateur” title accordingly. I did attend a two-year, unaccredited ministry school, but my theological education has been primarily self-taught.

The theologians who have influenced me the most (so far) are Barth, Torrance, Moltmann, Schleiermacher, and Cone. But I am a life-long student and have no fixed allegiances—though I must admit that Barth’s shadow looms the largest in my mind.

I am a coffee roaster. I love the subtle delights of coffee and the tactile experience of roasting, brewing, and drinking it. Roasting is a way to make money, but it is also a way to get out of my head.

For my latest attempts at blogging— I must confess I am an inconsistent blogger—click here.

To buy my books, click here.

To read more of my journey, click here.

To check out my coffee company, click here.

9 thoughts on “About

  1. Like you, I consider myself an amateur theologian (i.e. a lover of theology). I am a music major (jazz) who teaches religion at a Catholic high school in Canada. I also roast my own coffee (when the weather warms up enough to go outside). It was nice to stumble upon this website. I look forward to reading some more!

  2. Stephen – Thanks so much for your work/scholarship in the area of atonement. I agree with all you say in Part 1 of the critique of PSA. I also like the article on the 7 views of atonement. Which of the 7 views would you say your video most closely aligns with? in other words, How would you “label” your view?

  3. I think I should have waited until the last 30 seconds of Pt 1 to hear that you don’t see yourself proposing a theory of atonement but rather that you Jesus as the atonement.

    1. Thanks, Jeff! Glad to hear you enjoyed my videos. Even though I don’t think a single atonement theory is sufficient, I do see them as a helpful launching pad into deeper thinking about the atonement. But they should be the beginning not the end of the conversation. Much of what I propose in these videos is close to the patristic theory called recapitulation.

      Thanks again!

      Stephen

  4. I specialized in Barth in my Masters of Divinity program many years ago. Check out this book: https://barth.ptsem.edu/dialectical-theologians/. It speaks to the problem that Barth had with existentialist theologians, those theologians who took the human experience more seriously in relationship to the objective God and the subjective faith diolog. My favorite theologians were Paul Tillich (1886 – 1965) an American philosopher and theologian, b. Germany, educated at the universities of Berlin, Tübingen, Halle, and Breslau. In 1912 he was ordained a minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He taught theology at the universities of Berlin, Marburg, Dresden, and Leipzig and philosophy at the Univ. of Frankfurt until he was dismissed in 1933 because of his opposition to the Nazi regime.
    Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 – 1971) is another standout in my book. He was an American religious and social thinker. A graduate of Yale Divinity School, he served as pastor of Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit, where he became deeply interested in social problems. As a trained serious exegetic coming out of a divinity program, I continued practicing historical critical exegesis that led me to John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg. They and their peers have been (and are) demonized by current theological schools both left and right. Indeed, what major theologian hasn’t been demonized in their time and era? I digress. John Crossan is a VERY interesting man with an unbelievable biographical story. Worth looking into in my opinion. I think he is still alive (early 80’s maybe?). He is my hero with his honest exegetical and theological work over his lifetime. Thanks for your honest transparency and attempts to understand the theological underpinnings of Christendom.

  5. Merry Christmas, Stephen! I am reading your Barth book and I wanted to thank you very much for giving an overview of Barth’s teachings explained in an accessible manner. Barth was a great and courageous man, a true hero who dared to stand up and speak out against Hitler. Just to mention one of his great deeds. He aligned himself with people of all different beliefs and backgrounds against Nazism and in other political cases. I don’t particularly support his theology especially since reading your book gives me the impression that there was only one “true” faith in his view. My question is more a question for a biographer, but I find it hard to believe that such an exemplary Christian in deeds could be wasting his time with all kind of hairsplitting Bible issues that have no relation with our acting in the real world. What does it matter if one reads the Bible, the Koran or Spinoza, Kant, Hegel or Marx, what matters is how one acts. Did he really believe that there was only one right religion, ie. Christianity?

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